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How to buy property in Albania as foreigner: Full guide

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Buying property in Albania has become an attractive option for foreigners due to the country’s landscape, affordability of living, and location between the Balkan and the rest of Europe. Foreigners face limited limitations when it comes to purchasing properties. This article aims to guide you through everything you need to know about how to buy property in Albania as a foreigner, from the buying process, to understanding the taxes involved. 

​​Can foreigners buy property in Albania?

Foreigners are allowed to purchase property in Albania without restrictions, and the buying process is generally straightforward. The only exception is for foreigners buying agricultural land with an area exceeding 1000 square meters. In such cases, foreigners can acquire the land by either establishing a company in Albania or partnering with a locally registered company. Understanding how to buy property in Albania is crucial for a seamless property journey. 

Get help with buying property in Albania

Leave your name and email below – Our property expert will reach out to explain more on this topic and answer all your questions.

Reasons for buying property in Albania

Buying property in Albania offers multiple benefits: 

  • Affordability: Real estate in Albania is more affordable compared to other European countries.
  • Growth potential: Albania has a stable and growing economy, making it an attractive prospect for investors.
  • Strategic location: Albania’s accessibility to popular destinations and neighboring countries in the Balkans and West Europe adds to its appeal.
  • Low living cost: Albania offers a low cost of living compared to other European countries, making it appealing for retirees and those seeking an affordable lifestyle.
  • Tourism: The number of tourists visiting Albania has been increasing steadily, indicating growth in the tourism sector.

How to buy property in Albania in 6 steps

Foreigners are allowed to buy property in Albania as a home or investment. These are the general steps involved when buying property in Albania: 

  1. Find a property: The first step is to search online or through a real estate agent for properties that meet your criteria.
  2. Engage a real estate agent: Hire a local agent who can assist you throughout the buying process and provide market insights.
  3. Legal checks: Ensure that the property can be legally sold and is free from any encumbrances.
  4. Preliminary contract: Sign a preliminary contract and pay a deposit to secure the property.
  5. Payment and main contract: Make the full payment and sign the main contract. If you are not from Albania, an interpreter certified by the Ministry of Justice must also sign the contract.
  6. Registration: Complete the transfer of ownership by registering the transaction with the National Cadastral Agency.

Different types of houses in Albania

Albania offers various types of properties, including apartments, villas, and traditional houses:

  • Apartments: Commonly found in areas like Tirana and Durrës.
  • Villas: More prevalent in coastal areas, offering luxury and space.
  • Traditional houses: Found in rural or historic areas, reflecting Albanian culture.
how to buy property in Albania

Property prices in Albania

The property prices in Albania vary depending on factors such as location, type of housing, size, and amenities. Prices are higher in cities like Tirana and Durrës, as well as coastal areas due to their popularity and development. The range can be from €1,200 to €2,500 per square meter. However, more affordable options for buying property in Albania can be found in smaller towns and rural areas.

Taxes and additional costs when buying property in Albania

Both buyers and sellers face several taxes and costs when purchasing/selling property in Albania. Buyers generally pay the Property Transfer Tax, notary fees, and registration fees. Sellers usually cover real estate agency fees. Here is an overview of the taxes and costs involved:

Taxes and costsWhat is it  How to calculate Who pays 
Property Transfer TaxLevied on the transfer of the property Generally 2% of the property price Buyer 
Capital Gains TaxTax on the profit from the sale of the property15% on the difference between the sale and purchase priceSeller 
Value Added TaxOnly applied on the sale of new buildings20% of the sale priceBuyer 
Notary feesCharge for notarizing the property contract Typically the notary fees vary between 0.23% and 0.35% of the transaction value. Buyer 
Registration feePaid for registering the property transferThe fee depends on the property’s location and property type Buyer 
Real estate agency feePaid for a real estate agent or agency Seller typically pays 3% of the property sale Buyer typically pays 1% of the property saleBuyer and seller 
Annual property taxYearly tax based on the property’s value 0.05% for residential property value0.2% for commercial properties Owner 

Risks of buying property in Albania and how to avoid them

When buying property in a foreign country, there are always potential risks. Here are some potential risks and their solutions when buying property in Albania:

Land grabbing: 

  • Land grabbing occurs when individuals illegally take possession of land by bribing authorities or exploiting weaknesses in the legal system. 
  • Solution: Verify the property’s title and history to ensure everything is in order before making a purchase.

Legal risks: 

  • Legal risks can arise due to incomplete or inaccurate property documentation, unclear ownership history, or conflicts over land. 
  • Solution: Engage a local and trusted real estate lawyer to conduct due diligence and ensure the legality of the property.

Corruption and fraud: 

  • The property market may have possibilities for corruption and fraud. 
  • Solution: Engage a verified and trusted local agent, verifying their credentials before proceeding.

Language and cultural barriers: 

  • Language and cultural barriers can create challenges when buying property in Albania as a foreigner. 
  • Solution: Work with a (local) real estate agent who has experience in the local market and understands the needs of both buyers and sellers.

Best places to buy property in Albania

Considering Albania’s growing economy and tourism sector, there are several cities that offer attractive investment opportunities for foreigners buying property in Albania:

  • Tirana: As the capital city, Tirana is a prime location for property investment. It serves as a business center with a growing expat community. There are diverse options available, from apartments to commercial properties.
  • Durrës: Located on the coast, Durrës offers opportunities for residential and holiday rentals due to its popularity among tourists.
  • Vlorë: Situated along the Albanian Riviera, Vlorë attracts both tourists and retirees. The city is actively developing its infrastructure, creating further investment potential.
  • Sarandë: Sarandë is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and historical sites. It is an excellent location for property investment.
  • Berat: Also known as the City of a Thousand Windows, Berat draws tourists each year with its historical attractions. Investors interested in hotels, guesthouses, or restoration projects can find opportunities here.

Buy property in Albania with Own Property Abroad

Do you want to buy property in Albania? Or are you opting to buy land in Albania? Own Property Abroad can assist you and ensure a seamless and hassle-free property journey. Thanks to our extensive knowledge and local experience in the Albanian real estate market, we can help with legal requirements, finding suitable properties, negotiating the best deals, and conducting due diligence.

With our expert team, you won’t have to navigate the complexities of buying property in Albania alone. For further information on how we can assist you, kindly drop your details below or email us at hello@ownpropertyabroad.com. Let’s start working on your property success story today!

Get help with buying property in Albania

Leave your name and email below – Our property expert will reach out to explain more on this topic and answer all your questions.

Where can I find houses in Albania for sale?

Houses for sale in Albania can be found online on local real estate agent websites and through advertisements. Local real estate agents can also provide listings and market insights.

What are the pros and cons of living in Albania?

Living in Albania offers several advantages, including affordability, beautiful landscapes, a rich culture, and a mild Mediterranean climate. However, there may be limitations in public services and infrastructure in some areas, as well as language barriers as English is not widely spoken

If I buy property in Albania, can I get a residence permit?

No, purchasing property in Albania does not automatically grant you a residence permit. However, property ownership can be included as part of your application when applying for permanent residency.

Is Albania a good place to invest in property?

Yes, Albania is considered a favorable location for property investment due to its affordable real estate compared to other countries, potential for property value appreciation and rental income generation, and the growing tourism sector.

Can foreigners buy houses in Albania?

Yes, at present foreigners are allowed to purchase houses in Albania without any restrictions.

What is the best place to live in Albania?

The best place to live in Albania depends on personal interests and goals. Generally speaking, Tirana, Durrës, Vlorë Sarandë, and Berat are popular choices.

Written by Ninke van Vliet

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