The start of the new year is great in business terms. In anticipation of a new tender for subsidies, buyers have resumed inspecting the property. Renting apartments is more than good because a lot of clients from the center of Zagreb go to other parts - says Peđa Kovačević, owner of a Zagreb real estate agency. The earthquake frightened some residents who live in the center of Zagreb and decided to move to other parts of the city, writes Večernji list.

- Now we are mostly looking at the year of construction, the quality of the building and the construction - says Kovacevic. This is also confirmed by Dubravko Ranilović, the first man of the chamber real estate association, who says that the main topic of conversation, whether it is bought or rented, is the amount of reinforced concrete and the quality of construction. Statistics show that there is still a lot of pressure on housing prices, especially in Zagreb and the coast, while in other parts of the country there is a general decline. New real estate in Zagreb rose in price by about 15 percent in the first part of 2020, while elsewhere it fell by five percent.

Ranilović says that currently new construction is more in demand, and obviously that also affects prices. In the center of Zagreb, there is almost no sale of real estate in older buildings. By the way, a year before the appearance of the crown in Croatia, about 4,000 residential buildings with 10.5 thousand apartments were built. Most of the investors are natural persons, people who build houses (there were 2280 such buildings with one apartment), while 943 buildings with exactly 7420 apartments were delivered to the market that year.

In the first part of last year, a square meter of a new apartment in Zagreb cost an average of HRK 14,300, while elsewhere in Croatia it was on average HRK 2,000 cheaper. But like all averages, this one doesn’t show a price range. Currently, for example, a new building in Spain is offered for 1,750 euros per square meter, but in one building in Britana, a square meter is also sold for 5,500 euros. The owner of the Zagreb agency, Boro Vujovic, says that it is impossible to find a new building in Maksimir for less than 3,000 euros per square meter, in some parts of Tresnjevka as well, and that another new building is being prepared in Britanac, where apartments could cost 7,000 euros per square meter.

- There are people who want to live in the center, whatever the price per square meter - says Vujović.

- According to the square footage of newly built buildings, it is most dynamic in Zagreb and in Zadar County, which has almost reached the capital in terms of new square footage. They are followed by Istria, Split-Dalmatia and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties. The housing market remained active even in the difficult 2020 year, largely thanks to the state and its subsidies, and in September alone the state approved just over 4,000 subsidies to buy an apartment or build a house. In four years, about 17,000 families have been "taken care of", and a new round of subsidies is expected in the coming weeks. This year, the state provided HRK 263 million for subsidized tenants, of which HRK 50 million was intended for new beneficiaries.

- However, the volume of trade is not even close to what we had before the outbreak - says Ranilović. Of course, foreign buyers, who dominate among the new owners in the coastal area, were also absent.

MacroHub of the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb has compiled a regional price index of apartments based on the prices of apartments sold in the period from 2010 to 2019 from the database of the Real Estate Exchange. According to them, coastal regions have experienced a significant drop in prices. The strongest decrease, both in demand and realized prices, is noticeable in Istria and the northern Adriatic. In Dalmatia, there was a recovery in prices after 2015, as well as in Zagreb, but in 2019 there was a significant drop in prices. Trends in other parts of the country are fairly stable, but sales volumes are small. More transactions (168) were only in Bjelovar-Bilogora County.