How to Buy Property in Austria as a Foreigner

Who can buy property in Austria?

There are no restrictions for EU and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals buying properties in Austria. For residents of third countries (non-EU, non EEA) a special permit is needed in order to purchase property. The regulations regarding the obtaining of the permit are set by each region independently. Thus it´s important to understand the regulations of the area you are interested in before purchasing if you are a resident of a third country. Residents of Switzerland (also non-EU, non-EEA) are treated equally to EU and EEA residents due to Switzerland´s strong connection with the EEA.

Financing is also available for non-resident investors.

Research regions and properties

If you need a permit to purchase property in Austria, it´s best to apply for it before searching for properties. Once you have the permit in place (or you don´t need one), it´s good to familiarise yourself with the wonderful regions of Austria. 

Popular areas:

  • Vienna - The capital city and cultural heart of Austria. Vienna is known for its grand architecture, museums, theaters, opera houses and vibrant arts scene. It blends a rich history with modern cosmopolitan living and has been rated the best city to live in in the world.
  • Salzburg - Birthplace of Mozart and famous for its baroque architecture. Being close to the alps, you can enjoy the outdoors mixed with culture, music and architecture.
  • Tyrol - Located in the Austrian Alps, Tyrol is renowned for its mountain villages, ski resorts, and hiking trails. If you´re a winter sports or outdoors enthusiast, look no further.

There are multiple portals where properties are being sold. Make sure to check atleast a few of them so you don´t miss any of the available stock. Where to find properties online:

Property inspection and offer

When a property has been selected, make a formal offer in writing via a real estate agent. If the offer is accepted, it´s best to organise a surveyor to check the property for any issues.


If the property is as described, a purchase agreement or sale contract is drawn by an Austrian notary. When the contract is signed, the buyer may be expected to pay 10% of the purchase price as deposit, which is put in a trustee or escrow account until the completion takes place. Upon completion changes will be made into the land registry and any transfer taxes will have to be paid in addition to the final sales price. After the changes are made in the registry, the notary will release the payment from escrow.

What are the buying and selling costs like in Austria?

Transaction Costs

    Who Pays?
Legal Fees 1% - 3% (+ 20% VAT) buyer
Property Transfer Tax 3.5% buyer
Registration Duty 1.1% buyer
Notary´s Fee €120 per signature (+ 20% VAT) buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 1.5% - 2% (+ 20% VAT)
1.5% - 2% (+ 20% VAT)
Costs paid by buyer 7.1% - 9.60%
Costs paid by seller 1.50% - 2.00%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table

The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property - lawyers´ fees, notaries´ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents´ fees, etc.

Legal Fees :
The contract is usually set up by a lawyer or a notary, at 1% to 3% of the purchase price (+ 20% VAT).

Property Transfer Tax:
Property transfer tax is generally levied at a flat rate of 3.5% of the property value. The transfer tax is reduced to 2% for transfer between close relatives.

Value Added Tax (VAT)
Value Added Tax (VAT) is payable for newly-built properties.

Property owners can claim back the 20% VAT if they lease the property. However, the rental income will be liable to VAT in this case, plus a tourist tax of around €0.10 per person per night.

Registration Duty:
Registration duty is payable to the Land Register.

Notary Fee:
The signatures of the seller and buyer have to be authenticated on the contract. That can be done by notary or by court for a max of €120 per person (plus 20% VAT); the fee of the court may differ slightly to the notary´s.

Real Estate Agent´s Fee:

Real estate agent´s fee is set by law at 3% to 4% of the property´s purchase price or market value. The agent´s commission is payable by both the buyer and the seller.


Up to € 36,336 4% (+20% VAT)
From € 36,336 to € 48,448 maximum of €1,453 (+20% VAT)
From € 48,448 3% (+20% VAT)