Buying In Montenegro:
Foreigners in Montenegro have the right to purchase real estate under the conditions fulfilled by domestic entities and by presenting their passport. However, according to the Law on Property Relations, a foreigner cannot own natural resources, public goods, agricultural land, forests and forest land, cultural monuments of great and special importance, real estate in a land-border one kilometer from the border and islands, real estate located in an area which was declared by law an area in which foreigners cannot have right of ownership in view of protecting the national interests and security of the country (Immoveable property). Exceptionally, foreigners may also acquire the right of ownership on agricultural land, forests and forest land having a surface area of up to 5,000 m2, only if a residential building located on that land is the subject of the contract of divestiture (sale, gift, exchange, etc.). By means of legal transactions, foreigners may transfer the right of ownership to domestic persons, as well as to foreign persons eligible for that right. A foreign individual may be entitled to long-term lease, concession, BOT and other arrangements of private - public partnership.
Types of properties for sale:
Apartments – Most functional residences, best for rentals, simplest for maintenance, easy to buy and best to resell afterwards, most commonly placed within walking distance of centers or tourism areas. Most are simple and range usually from 40m2 - 100m2. Used mostly year round with seasonal peaks.
Plots – Easy to develop and create your own personal home, cheap to buy and if urbanized easy to connect and make something special. Larger investment projects have potential for other benefits. Note that different sizes of land will have different permits and plans. Plots usually range from anything 300m2 to 0.5ha.
Villas – Great for holidays, best for high class tourism also great for yachts and more likely to have a moor. Premium properties but always showing Montenegro’s natural beauty since most Villas are in prime locations either overlooking the mountains and/or sea. Seasonal yields.
Ruins – Be a part of something unique and restore something special. Most are restoration projects in a small town/old city or fort overlooking the bay. Seasonal yields.
Commercial Spaces – Business orientated properties are always in prime locations and it is easily one of the most in demand properties. But knowing where and when to buy them is the most important thing. Most are small places since space comes at a premium. Used year round.
Multi-level homes – In Montenegro there are multilevel houses that people are selling and these have a large dynamic range of types. From double story to 4 story homes with a luxury floor on top. Used year round and commonly renovated/converted into apartments.
General Fees when purchasing real estate:
• Lawyer’s fees.
• Seller pays the real estate agent.
• Buyer pays for notarizing documents.
• Buyer pays 3% title transfer tax.
• Cost of company formation and registration for land purchases.
There are two conditions necessary to complete the purchase of a property and confirm ownership. These conditions are: “justus titulus” (legal entitlement to the property), and “modus aquirendi” (the registration of the property with the Area of Land Registry).
Once a property has been chosen, a purchase contract is drawn and signed by both parties, or by their authorized representatives. A purchase contract must be concluded in the form of public notary deed prepared by the public notary who has jurisdiction for the municipality in which the subject property is located. When legal ownership is confirmed, a department within the Local Council Offices determines the value of the property. The buyer then is supposed to pay the property transfer tax of 3% of the agreed valuation. Once this tax is paid, the purchase contract is confirmed by an official stamp. Upon final and non-appealable registration of title with the competent Land Registry the purchase is complete.
Things to consider when buying:
• Ownership papers and having multiple owners: If the ownership is split between multiple owners the land will need the permission of both owners to allow the sale of the purchase.
• Legal access and sub division: Also not that some land might be locked away within parts of other people’s land and it may not have access to public roads or have access.
• Building Permits: All buildings must have permits to be constructed and must have permits to be there. If a building doesn’t have the necessary permits it will have to be legalized and that will cause some delay.
• Stone ruins: This requires approval and planning of a Montenegrin architect who specializes in the field of restoration of ruins. The exterior of the building will have to fulfill certain conditions and requirements but the interiors can be designed to the owner’s requests.
• Mortgages are not present within Montenegrin banks and should be done from abroad.
To enhance utilization of major resources and bring in new investments, the tax reform policy introduced fiscal incentives for the investments in the following sectors: high-end tourism – hotels with 5 or more stars; food production, except primary agricultural production, and capital investments in the energy sector. The Law on VAT stipulates zero VAT rate on the delivery of products and services for the construction and furnishing of any hospitality establishment with 5 or more stars, construction of energy-generation facilities with more than 10 MW installed capacity or of food production plants categorized within sector C group 10 under the Law on Business Activity Classification (Official Gazette of MNE 18/11), if the investment exceeds €500,000. With the aim to eliminate business barriers and incentivize high-end tourism, the Law Amending the Law on Real Estate Tax allows local governments to set a higher tax rate of 2%-5.5% of the market value of the real estate for the hospitality establishments with up to 3 stars situated at priority tourism sites, depending on the category of the establishment; local governments are also allowed to lower the tax rate for the hospitality establishments that operate throughout the year by up to 30% for the 4-star ones and up to 70% for those with more than 4 stars
The economic cooperation agreements aim primarily to establish an institutional form of cooperation through the strengthening and promotion of economic interests. These agreements identify the areas of mutual interest, with particular emphasis on the following: agriculture, water management, energy, research and development, construction industry and infrastructure, transport and logistics, environmental protection, tourism, investment promotion, cooperation in the field of SMEs, ICT and services.
20 agreements on economic cooperation are in effect in Montenegro, namely with: Romania, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Bulgaria, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Hungary, the State of Qatar, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Slovenia, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Croatia, the Federal Republic of Germany, Spain, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Albania, and the Argentine Republic.
According to the projections for Montenegro for the period 2016-2019, real GDP is expected to grow by 4.6% in 2017, 3.9% in 2018 and 1.8% in 2019. Between 2017 and 2019, the Montenegrin economy is expected to grow, prompted by increased investments and involvement of domestic potential, principally in the construction and transport sectors.
Driven by the growth of the economic activity, employment will gradually increase (on average by 1% per annum); wages are expected to rise on average by 2% in 2017.-2019. Unemployment is projected to drop from the estimated average of 19.4% in 2016 to 16.6% in 2019.