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Articles - Hrvatska

The price of new residential construction is the highest in ten years

The average price per square meter of new construction in the first half of 2021 reached the level of as much as 13,385 kuna for the level of the whole of Croatia, which has not been recorded in the last ten years.

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The growth seems to have come to an end: The real estate market has stalled

The rise in the real estate market is coming to an end, experts say.

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The appetites of property owners, however, are too great

Real estate is still a desirable investment, both in Europe and in the Republic of Croatia. The impact of the pandemic on the purchasing power of investors is felt, but it does not affect the price, which continues to grow on average. It has a negative impact primarily on real estate transactions, ie it is the cause of a decrease in the number of transactions throughout Croatia.

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Croats need to be aware that property insurance is an investment, not an expense

It only takes a few minutes for what has been painstakingly built over the years to disappear in an instant. Proof of this is the series of earthquakes in 2020 that shook central Croatia, and a few years ago Croats encountered large fires, floods and torrents that caused multimillion-dollar damage to property of citizens throughout Croatia. According to Eurostat, Croatia is at the top of the European scale in real estate ownership. More precisely, almost 90 percent of Croats own at least one. However, despite the great damage, when it comes to property insurance, we are at the bottom of the European scale. Awareness of the personal responsibility of Croats is still low, although the average property insurance premium in our country is three to four times lower than the European average. Nives Grgurić is the head of legal affairs and projects at the Croatian Insurance Bureau, a national insurance bureau that represents an association of insurance companies in legal transactions with third parties. He sees the reason for these statistics in the low level of awareness of citizens about the need for insurance in general, but also in the fact that some of them are not aware of the meaning of their property. - Insufficient apartment buildings are insured in the construction part, especially from earthquakes. These include common areas of buildings such as sheds and attics, staircases, foundations and basement walls, built-in installations and all built-in appliances. Apartment owners do not have the feeling that they are the co-owners of these parts of the buildings. When a natural disaster occurs, many of our citizens expect help from the state, which is not realistic and which is an indicator of the lack of awareness of personal responsibility for their own property - comments Nives Grgurić. Croatian premium lower than the European average The earthquake is, however, only one of the risks that can damage or destroy property and cause large costs to owners if they do not have insurance protection. The large disproportion of investment in property insurance in Croatia compared to other European countries is of particular concern, as Croatia, along with Greece, Turkey, Northern Macedonia and Italy, is in the most tectonic risk area in Europe. Namely, for property insurance, the average premium per capita in the European Union is 174 euros, and in Croatia only 51 euros per capita. - There is a noticeable trend of concluding property insurance contracts. Although it is an unfortunate event that has extremely severe consequences for many, the earthquake is likely to encourage citizens to think more about the possibility of harmful events in their lives and business and to think more actively about the relationship between insurance investment and potential costs - adds Nives Grgurić. Precisely in the strong earthquakes that hit Zagreb and Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and the surrounding area, insurers reacted quickly and efficiently to the earthquake and performed the necessary actions in difficult conditions and paid significant amounts of insurance (over EUR 55 million) within the legal deadlines. Insurance as an investment, not a cost According to a survey by Ipsos Pulse, more than 65 percent of citizens significantly overestimate the amount needed to fully insure the average apartment. Namely, for the price of an average apartment of 60 m2 in Zagreb, the annual premium is around 1,000 kuna. Although the property insurance premium per capita in Croatia has been growing very slightly in the last ten years, this growth and absolute value are still far below the European average. - Certainly a higher standard of living affects purchasing power. However, in EU countries, citizens with lower incomes than Croatia spend much more on insurance because there is a higher level of awareness of the importance of insurance and a different understanding of insurance. Insurance is primarily an investment, not a cost. Awareness of property insurance in the Republic of Croatia is still very low. The penetration and density of insurance show the insufficiency of property insurance in relation to other European countries - Grgurić comments. Ljubica Caren, a pensioner with an address in Zagreb's Čučerje, felt the consequences of the lack of property insurance because her property was damaged in an earthquake and the damage was great. - I was thinking of insuring the property after the earthquake because I am aware that property insurance is a useful investment. A neighbor had a chimney damaged during the quake, and her insurance paid all the expenses. These new houses also have a lot of investments, so it is certainly profitable to insure their property - concludes Ljubica Caren. Liljana Pušić is an accountant who owns real estate in Kašina and has been a property insurance user for twenty years. - Now we've even stepped up the shelf since the earthquake. Our house has three secured floors, we have secured movables on two. Insurance also covers earthquakes. Unfortunately, people in Croatia do not have the habit of securing a house and are negligent. They don’t care about their real estate, and most have inherited it. If you will not invest, you give up many things, and real estate insurance is important to us. There are people who don't. However, that is why we sleep more peacefully - comments the resident of Kašina. The question of the individual, but also others There are three basic elements of home property insurance that citizens of the Republic of Croatia must keep in mind, including earthquake insurance. Homeowners can provide movables, i.e. things in their apartment like a TV or furniture and a construction part. The third part that can be provided, ie the common parts of the apartment building such as the staircase, roof or basement, the co-owners contract with the building manager separately. - Insurers are efficient in repairing and compensating for damage, and in a short period of time the property of the insured is returned to its original condition. However, the most important thing is to be well acquainted with the insurance conditions that are taken out for a particular case and to be aware of what we pay the insurance premium for, or what exactly it covers in the event of a harmful event. Insurance companies offer many products of different profiles and it is necessary to find the one that best suits individual personal or business needs - comments Nives Grgurić. The benefits of property insurance are many. In addition to ensuring a secure existence independent of uncontrolled influences, it also provides opportunities to manage all risks, adds Grgurić. - The purpose of property insurance is to increase the economic stability of individuals, but also society as a whole. Insurance also performs important social functions because, the greater the representation of insurance, the less the eventual obligation of the state to compensate for damage and economic assistance to individuals and companies, such as fires and floods - comments the head of legal affairs and projects of the Croatian Insurance Bureau (HUO), Nives Grgurić. Financial literacy is crucial The fact that the lack of insurance can lead citizens into serious problems, whether in life or business, and their decisions are greatly influenced by the financial literacy of citizens. It is needed so that the people of Croatia can more easily make informed decisions about financial products and services, including property insurance. Since 2015, insurance companies and the Croatian Insurance Bureau (HUO) have been carrying out activities aimed at affirming and popularizing the financial literacy of citizens, especially young people. The project is implemented within the National Strategic Framework for Financial Literacy of Consumers, and the National Strategic Framework for Financial Literacy for the period from 2021 to 2026 is being prepared. The joint project of financial literacy 2021 of insurance companies and the Croatian Insurance Bureau, with the support of the Association of Insurers of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, is the crown of many years of work to raise youth awareness of the importance of financial literacy in insurance. Financial literacy is essential so that citizens can make the right decisions for the benefit of themselves and their property and to raise the general level of awareness of personal responsibility. Source: Vecernjilist.hr

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Interview with Mirela Marović Omerza, founder of BIZkoshnica coworking space in Zagreb

Can you tell us a bit more about your coworking office? BIZkoshnica is one of the first coworking spaces in Croatia. It was opened in the fall of 2015 and has since been a home and place for work, meetings, gatherings and events for a community of hundreds of micro-entrepreneurs, freelancers, members and employees of associations, professionals in a wide range of professions, and our creative tenants. The specifics of BIZkoshnica are its attractive location in the city center on Zagreb's Britanc, pleasant and stimulating atmosphere and professionally arranged space that meets all the requirements of today's digital and mobile entrepreneurs and a team of business advisors and mentors who serve community members in realizing their business ideas and business development . So, BIZkoshnica offers much more than just office and communication infrastructure, it is a place where we share space, knowledge and ideas and nurture the values ​​of openness, flexibility, accessibility and sustainability. The definition of coworking that we prefer is the work of independent individuals and companies from different fields of activity in a common shared space, based on mutual cooperation and networking, and encourages the growth and development of each user and his business with the support of the coworking team and community. How did the crisis with the pandemic affect and how will it affect the coworking concept that was on the rise? As we have become accustomed to the constant and continuous growth of demand for coworking services in the last few years, the crisis has shaken us quite a bit like most industries, especially service industries, but it has also helped us to wake up and reset. The global pandemic has caused and accelerated the inevitable change in the way we work remotely and work from home. People accepted this change after the initial shock, but it turned out that the home office also has a lot of shortcomings. Most people at home do not have adequate working conditions, feel isolated, have many distractions they are surrounded by, from household chores, children, pets, all of which affect reduced productivity, lack of focus, harm to people's mental health and work from home is not long-term. solution. Thanks to the flexible conditions of use, and at the same time satisfying all health, safety and social measures, one of the possible solutions for entrepreneurs as well as corporate employees who cannot use their company's offices during a pandemic is the use of coworking space. Eg. instead of teams of employees working from home in inadequate conditions during the week when they are not in the office they can use the coworking space. The use of coworking space is also supported by the accelerated digitalisation and digital transformation that has benefited the pandemic in many sectors and the fact that more and more employees have become workplace independent. It is becoming a general trend for remote workers to grow up who do not need to be physically present in the company they work for. Already now in the world about 40% of the total workforce are freelancers or self-employed, and on the other hand there are estimates that by 2030 there will be 1 billion digital nomads globally. All these changes will affect the fact that companies will gradually reduce their office space, which will increase the demand and need for alternative places to work, and the demand for coworking spaces will grow. Therefore, I am optimistic when it comes to the perspective of coworking space in general, but it will be necessary to monitor and listen to the needs of users so that their existing concepts can be adapted in the best possible way, but flexibility is one of the features and advantages of coworking. Many creatives and companies from different industries work in one place where they can share experiences, but also save on utilities. In your opinion, what are the advantages of working from a coworking office? There are a number of benefits. Eliminating the already mentioned feeling of isolation at work from home, working in a professional and representative space, which is much more affordable than renting your own office and paying all office expenses, encouraging creativity and innovation, and of course increasing productivity, then coming to new business opportunities and associates and countless opportunities for collaboration and networking, informal transfers of knowledge and skills over coffee, lunch and socializing together. I like to point out that by staying and working in a coworking space, some doors often open for you and you come across business opportunities and projects and people that you would otherwise very likely not meet. Getting a quick feedback from fellow coworkers and ideas for solving a business challenge is also often invaluable. In coworking, we witness the daily personal and professional development of community members, which leads to strengthening the professional competitiveness of each member and a better quality of life to separate private from business space and strengthen satisfaction and feelings of happiness and success. Can you explain to us the difference between HUB, Open Space Office and Coworking Office? I believe that a lot of people are confused by the terminology related to the different types of shared office spaces we encounter so I will try to clarify. HUB denotes a place that gathers many people and may include a physical place, but can only denote some central event. In coworking terminology it is used for spaces that offer office and other customer services. An Open Space office is a type of office in which several people, usually employees of one company, work in one common open space, while in coworking spaces users who do not necessarily belong to the same team or company can share an open space office or desk in one common open space. Coworking as one of the derivatives of the ‘sharing economy’ denotes office space and the community that shares that space and at the same time shares knowledge and other resources. Coworking space offers fully equipped fixed and flexible workstations organized in open or closed work zones, can also offer separate offices, then space for events for members as well as for external clients from meeting rooms, workshops, lectures and halls for larger events , lounge space, kitchen with bar… Coworking spaces offer short-term and long-term coworking packages depending on the needs of users. There are many types of coworking spaces from luxury, full service coworking spaces located in urban centers, to rural coworking spaces. There are also niche coworking spaces specialized for a particular type of user, such as women entrepreneurs, families, the IT industry, chefs, digital nomads, makers and spaces for creation, and there are coliving spaces, which in addition to work space offer their community and accommodation facilities. Each of these spaces is characterized by a specific design and level of equipment. Have your clients returned to your Coworking office? Most of our members returned to BIZkoshnica after the lockdown and earthquake, because they need space to work and have to continue with their jobs in the best possible way. Since our members are mainly engaged in digital occupations, there are not too many changes in the performance of work compared to the time before the pandemic, except that we have adapted the space to the 'new normal' and adhere to all prescribed epidemiological measures. After a long break, meetings and smaller events began to be held in the space again, and one of the major changes is that in addition to live events, the so-called hybrid events, which, in addition to participants who are physically present, are also transmitted digitally via streaming and are available to an online audience that is not present at the event itself. As you see the world economy after the pandemic, it is known that there are a lot of digital people in Croatia. Do you believe that number will increase? Globalization and market liberalization with the development of technology have enabled the development of digital occupations and a ‘new’ way of working. The pandemic itself has further accelerated this trend so that artists, creatives, developers, marketing professionals, business consultants and many others can provide services around the world. Given its geographical position, natural and cultural beauties, Croatia is a very nice place to live, so the benefits of living here, and working for clients from around the world sound very tempting not only to Croatians but also to many digital nomads from different countries. This is supported by the work visa for digital nomads, which was introduced so that we expect a large number of digital nomads in Croatia. The charm of digital nomads, such as freedom and autonomy, is also hidden in the place of work, ie coworking spaces that are available to everyone today. In coworking offices, foreigners and locals get to know each other, cooperate, contribute and it is this wonderful vicious circle of coworking and exchange of knowledge and experience for the benefit of society and community that we love and live every day in BIZkoshnica.

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Interest in APN loans has dropped

Despite generous state subsidies, interest in APN is lower this year than last. Namely, in the spring of 2020, in a month, despite the lockdown and the then extremely uncertain situation with COVID-19, APN received 3681 applications for loan subsidies, while this year, at a time when the government is still optimistic about the epidemic (hopefully ) sees the end, 3459 customers applied for subsidies. The difference in the number of applications is even bigger if compared to last year's autumn deadline, when APN received as many as 4651 requests. The situation on the real estate market is well reflected in the data on newly approved housing loans - despite last year's rise in real estate prices, the number of newly approved housing loans in 2020, according to the CNB (excluding reprograms) increased by only 2.5 percent, from 12, 1 to HRK 12.4 billion. The reasons for the reduced influx of subsidies, according to experts in the real estate market, mostly lie in the growth of real estate prices, which is why many buyers have postponed their investment in real estate. However, the 'wait and see' position was also taken by sellers, who for the time being generally do not lower real estate prices, although demand, judging by the number of real estate sold, fell throughout Croatia last year, and in Zagreb demand is falling for the third year in a row. The biggest drop in demand was in the city center, most likely as a result of the earthquake, which is why buyers turned to newer real estate in other parts of Zagreb. That Centar, Gornji Grad and Medveščak have lost their appeal is also shown by the data from Njuškalo on the increased offer of apartments in those neighborhoods. Before the corona and earthquake, in April 2019, 2,000 apartments were advertised on the most popular real estate search engine in those three Zagreb neighborhoods, and now there are as many as 3,000 on offer. For comparison, about 10,000 apartments are currently advertised on Njuškalo throughout Zagreb. Certain price corrections in the center of Zagreb have been visible lately, so according to Njuškalo, the asking prices in that part of the city have dropped in the last year by 100 euros per square meter. What will happen next with residential real estate prices is not at all easy to predict because macroeconomic trends are uncertain, and they in turn largely depend on the epidemiological situation. Also, there are a lot of unknowns about the upcoming tourist season. The answers to these questions will probably be easier to give in the fall, when this year's tourist balance is clearer. The only thing that is certain for now is that this year there will be no autumn round of the APN, so everyone who counted on a state subsidy to solve the housing issue will have to start in the spring of 2022. Source: Lider media

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A new focus of office space

The notion of office has changed significantly in today's pandemic time compared to the period up to just one year ago. The period of isolation has shown us how easy it is to work from home thanks to technology. However, it also showed us that the office as a gathering place for all employees is still very much needed and what are the elements that make it necessary for the growth of both individuals and companies.

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See how real estate prices are moving in Europe, Split is at the very top

SPLIT is the third most expensive city in Europe in terms of real estate prices in terms of income - at least according to the Numbeo page, which presents itself as the world's largest database on the cost of living, as well as the quality of life. Namely, the ratio of real estate prices and average income in Split is a high 20.3, according to the calculation of the Numbeo page founded by Mladen Adamović, a former Google software engineer from Serbia. Only Moscow and Paris are more expensive than Split Split is thus behind Moscow (ratio 21.12), which is in first place, and Paris (20.97), and ahead of Belgrade (19.77), Vladivostok (18.63), Gdansk (18.31), Prague (17.97) and Milan 17.85). Moreover, Croatia has two cities among the 20 most expensive - Zadar is in 13th place, with a ratio of 16.41, ahead of St. Petersburg (16.34) and Munich (16.27). Interestingly, London, which has a reputation as a city with unbearably high housing prices, is only in 20th place, with a ratio of 15.65. Zagreb in 33rd place, ahead of Madrid Zagreb is much lower than the two largest Dalmatian cities - where the price is so high primarily due to tourism - but again quite high, in 33rd place out of a total of 192 larger European cities on this scale. With a ratio of 13.47, Zagreb is ahead of Skopje (13.46), Madrid (13.37) and Ljubljana (13.35). In Split, according to the data of this specialized site, the price per square meter of an apartment in the city center averages HRK 25,403, and outside the city center HRK 18,694. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages 3220 kn, and outside the center 2803 kn. In Zagreb, the average price per square meter of an apartment in the city center is HRK 21,765, and outside the center HRK 14,791. The average rental price of a one-bedroom apartment is HRK 3,625, and HRK 2,762 outside the center. On the other hand, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the average price of a square meter of a new apartment for sale in Zagreb was HRK 4,125 in the second half of 2020, not counting socially supported housing (POS) programs. Of course, Split is relatively more expensive than Zagreb due to the drastic difference in the average net salary. While in Zagreb it is HRK 6,947, in Split it is HRK 5,395 - therefore, HRK 1,552 less, according to data from Numbe. Also, while the average fixed interest rate on a 20-year mortgage loan in Split is 4.54%, in Zagreb it is 3.37%. In Zagreb, the price per square meter of an apartment goes up to 5 thousand euros, in Split up to 7 Recall, real estate prices continue to rise in Croatia, especially in Zagreb and on the coast, despite the pandemic, the corona crisis that caused a record decline in GDP and earthquakes in Zagreb and Banija. In Zagreb, the price of a square meter of an apartment ranges from two to five thousand euros. In Split, the price of a square meter of an apartment goes up to 6-7 thousand euros. "We even have 6 to 7 thousand euros per square meter. The limit has long passed the limit of reasonable prices, but while there are buyers, prices do not fall. If we had stagnant sales, then those prices would fall," said Meri Vulic, Split real estate agent. , in January for HRT. Real estate prices in Croatia grew more last year than in the EU And according to a Eurostat report from January, in Croatia in the third quarter of 2020, ie before the second, autumn wave of the coronavirus epidemic, real estate prices continued to rise. Moreover, while residential real estate prices, measured by the Eurostat House Price Index (HPI), in the European Union increased on average by 5.2%, in Croatia they increased by 6.9%, compared to the same period in 2019. It is also interesting that the price for sale in the last few years in the EU has increased significantly more than the rental price, although from 2011 to 2017 the trend was reversed, as seen in the above graph of Eurostat. Nevertheless, residential real estate prices in Croatia decreased by 0.6% compared to the previous, second quarter of 2020, while in the EU they increased by 1.4%. And the European Central Bank warned in its Financial Stability Report last November that prices in the eurozone were followed by a reality check, as the corona crisis took its toll and left more and more people jobless and reduced purchasing power. Source: Index.hr

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