Jun 27, 2023 / BUYING PROCESS

Buying ski property in Austria – an international buyers guide

Mention Austria and pretty much everyone will think of mountains – this is a country with more slopes than flat ( around 60% of the territory is mountainous) and a country that seems to embody the alpine lifestyle. There are other captivating aspects of course – rich culture, flavoursome food - but it’s the mountains that draw visitors from across Europe and across the world.

The good news is that Austria is cool with this. So cool they make investing here as straightforward as possible. There are some restrictions for non-EU nationals (more of that later) but on the whole, investing in Austria and enjoying all the country has to offer is a relatively simple prospect. There are things you need to know of course, and we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to buying ski property in Austria to help you navigate the process.

Restrictions for non-EU buyers

Whilst EU/EEA citizens can enjoy restriction-free purchase prospects, those outside the EU are restricted in terms of where they can buy. Several provinces including Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburgerland are off limits to non-EU/EEA buyers and other areas may ask for a foreigners purchase permit or for the property to be on sale for a specific time scale before it becomes available to non-EU nationals. Each case will be different and those buying from outside the EU will benefit from engaging the services of an Austrian lawyer to work through the process.

Buying a ski property in Austria – step by step

  1. After viewing and settling on your ideal property you can move on to the buying process. As mentioned above, buying property in Austria is pretty straightforward, and this is especially true in new build developments.
  2. Make your offer

This step is delineated by signing an Offer to Purchase (known as a Kaufanbot). The document describes the property details, price and payment agreements. It will also include information about the relevant taxes and fees.

Once this document is signed, it is taken off the market. It is a binding agreement to purchase. 

  1. Deed of Sale

Once both parties have signed the Offer to Purchase, the Deed of Sale (Kaufvertrag) is prepared by the notary. The process draws together details from the land registry, property details and the details of the escrow account (an account that protects the buyer by holding their money securely until purchase is complete) This takes between 2 and 4 weeks. Spacious villa in Austria ideal for family holidays and with plenty of rental potential

  1. Other documents

Depending on the nature of your property, you may need to acquire other documents

  • KYC (know your client) confirmation – documented evidence that ID has been verified through official documents such as passport, ID card etc.
  • PEP (politically exposed person) documents – declarations of the holding of high public office, again to avoid possible bribery or money laundering
  • For those buying a Tourist Residence, you will need to present a signed rental management agreement (Betreibervertrag). This details private usage, rental provision and details of general property management, known as the Verwaltungsvertrag or Building Management Agreement.
  • Those buying in an apartment will also need to confirm their agreement with the rules of the condominium as laid out in the Wohnungseigentumvertrag – the condominium agreement

What needs to be signed?

The only document that needs your signature is the Deed of Sale. This can happen in Austria, at the office of the notary handling the sale or at the Austrian embassy.

When does the money change hands?

Once both parties have signed the Deed of Sale the new owner must transfer funds into the escrow account within 2 weeks. The notary then carries our registration, which will take between two weeks and three months. The Deed of Sale is sent to the buyer as soon as registration is completed.

Brand new apartment in Schladming -  just metres from the ski lift

What if I’m buying off plan?

If you’re buying off plan using a progressive payment schedule the money is deposited into an escrow account at an agreed date so you know your money is safe. You’ll receive notification after each date. The staging will vary according to each development, but could look something like this: 

  • 15% when building work begins
  • 35% when shell and roof are complete
  • 20% when utilities like plumbing and electrics are installed
  • 12% when exterior finish and windows are completed
  • 12% at final completion
  • 4% on formal handover
  • 2% after 2-3 years

If you are interested in a particular new build then it’s important to act fast – developers operate on a first come first served basis and it’s not unusual for a development to be fully sold by the time construction is complete. Joining our property alert system is a good way to stay fully tuned in to the market and any opportunities that arise.

Would you like to save up to 20% on your new build ski property in Austria? 

New build Austrian ski properties that are designated as a Tourist Residence often qualify for a scheme whereby owners can reclaim a portion of the 20% VAT levied on the purchase price. The rebate can be claimed for the periods when your property is available to let and can be claimed back after purchase – usually within 2-6 months.

Handover of your new Austrian ski property

Property handover is arranged following completion of payment. It’s a chance to ask any final questions about things like utilities, managing the property and of course your own stay.