How to Buy Property in Latvia as a Foreigner

Who can buy property in Latvia?

Foreigners are permitted to acquire both residential and commercial real estate in Latvia, and residency is not a requirement for property ownership. Once in possession of a property, foreign owners enjoy the same rights as Latvian citizens, allowing them to sell, lease, or develop the property.

However, specific restrictions apply to land ownership. While non-residents are generally allowed to own land, certain limitations may exist. For instance, acquiring agricultural and forest land can be challenging or even impossible for non-residents or individuals who are not citizens of the European Union.

Do the research

Investing in real estate in Latvia can be attractive for various reasons. The country´s strategic location in the Baltic region makes it a gateway between Western Europe and the East, contributing to economic opportunities. Latvia has a stable political environment and a growing economy, providing a favorable climate for real estate investment. The capital, Riga, with its well-preserved historic architecture and vibrant cultural scene, is a key focus for investors. The overall affordability of real estate in Latvia, compared to some Western European countries, adds to its appeal. Additionally, the government´s investor-friendly policies further support the real estate sector, making Latvia an interesting option for those seeking opportunities in the Baltic real estate market.

Additionally, Estonia´s natural beauty, characterized by its coastline and picturesque landscapes, enhances the overall appeal for both residents and tourists, potentially fueling demand for real estate in the region.

Below are some sought-after destinations for real estate investment:

  • Riga - As the capital and largest city, Riga is a major economic and cultural hub. The city´s well-preserved medieval Old Town, vibrant atmosphere, and growing economy make it a sought-after location for real estate investment.
  • Jūrmala - This coastal resort town along the Gulf of Riga is known for its sandy beaches, pine forests, and historic wooden architecture. Jurmala is a popular destination for both residents and tourists, influencing the local real estate market.
  • Sigulda - Located in the picturesque Gauja National Park, Sigulda is known for its medieval castle, scenic landscapes, and outdoor activities. The town´s appeal as a recreational area contributes to its popularity in the real estate market.
  • Cēsis - Cesis is a charming town with a well-preserved medieval castle and historic architecture. The town´s cultural heritage and natural surroundings make it an attractive location for real estate investment.
  • Liepāja - This coastal city on the Baltic Sea has a rich maritime history and a unique blend of architectural styles. Liepaja´s cultural attractions and seaside location impact the local real estate market.
  • Ventspils - A port city on the western coast, Ventspils is known for its industrial activities and historical landmarks. The city´s economic significance can influence the real estate market.

Where to find properties online:

Financing

Foreigners are eligible to obtain property loans in Latvia, as the Latvian banking system permits non-residents to apply for such loans, provided they meet certain conditions and requirements. If you´re a foreigner seeking a property loan in Latvia, you would typically need a valid residence permit, documentation of income or employment, and adherence to the specific criteria set by lenders.

Due Diligence and Sales Contract 

In Latvia, there is no legal mandate to conduct due diligence, but it is strongly advised. Due diligence involves examining the legal status of the property, checking for any restrictions or claims, and ensuring that all property documents are in proper order. While buyers typically oversee the due diligence process, it is recommended for foreigners to engage professionals such as real estate lawyers or agents experienced in Latvian property law to mitigate potential risks.

In Latvia, the property purchase agreement (Pirkuma Līgums) serves as a crucial document in real estate transactions, constituting a legally binding contract between the buyer and the seller. This document encompasses detailed information about the property, the agreed price, payment terms, and any other conditions or contingencies pertinent to the sale.

Property Buying Costs and Taxes in Latvia

Transaction Costs
    Who Pays?
Property Transfer Tax 0.20% - 1.50% buyer
Notary Fees 0.60% buyer
Legal Fees 1.00% buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 2.00% - 5.00% seller
Costs paid by buyer 1.80% - 3.10%  
Costs paid by seller 2.00% - 5.00%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 3.80% - 8.10%
Source: Global Property Guide