House Hunting in Slovenia: Tucked Into the Trees for $908,000

In and around the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, real estate professionals are ready to get their market growing again.

Design Meets Nature in Slovenia


By Alison Gregor

This two-story, 2,350-square-foot house is tucked into a grassy hillside in Topol pri Medvodah, a quiet village just outside Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia.

Built in 2013 on about a third of an acre, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom villa offers panoramic views of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites, a pre-Alpine hilly region in northwestern Slovenia, from its south-facing facade of windows.

Winding terrazzo steps lead through the grass to a terrace on the home’s eastern side, where sliding larchwood panels open to a second-floor living space with an open kitchen, dining area and living area. The 1,076-square-foot space has floor-to-ceiling windows, a long balcony to the south and a large terrace facing west. The north side has a coat room, powder room, second kitchen, and utility and storage rooms.

The living area has a central wood-burning fireplace and is furnished with contemporary pieces, most of which are included in the asking price, said Justin Young, chief executive of Slovenia Estates, which has the listing.

Winding terrazzo steps lead through the grass to a terrace on the home’s eastern side, where sliding larchwood panels open to a second-floor living space with an open kitchen, dining area and living area.

Winding terrazzo steps lead through the grass to a terrace on the home’s eastern side, where sliding larchwood panels open to a second-floor living space with an open kitchen, dining area and living area.Credit…Slovenia Estates

Floors are oak parquet, and much of the home’s built-in furniture, such as shelves bordering the dining area, are oak. The open kitchen has an island with cabinets and Corian countertops, hiding an under-counter refrigerator and dishwasher. The second kitchen has a full-size refrigerator and an oven by Gaggenau.

A stairway near the kitchen descends to the first floor, where there are three bedrooms and a large main bathroom. The master bedroom has a built-in bed and wardrobe, and a sliding-glass door opens to a balcony. An adjacent bedroom with built-in beds also opens to the balcony. The bathroom has a walk-in shower and large sunken bath by Gessi.

The home was designed by the Ljubljana-based architecture firm Multiplan Arhitekti to be ecologically sensitive, with solar panels on the roof and an oil burner for heating. A separate garage with a sustainable green roof can hold one oversized vehicle. Built to maximize natural ventilation, the home does not need central air-conditioning, though the ductwork is there, Mr. Young said. Pipes have also been installed for a swimming pool. Shade from the chestnut, oak and poplar trees on the property cools the house during hot weather.

Topol pri Medvodah, a village of about 150 people in the municipality of Medvode, is 10 miles west of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital and largest city, with about 293,000 residents. Outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and trail running are popular in the heavily forested area. The Krvavec ski resort is about 30 miles north, while the Adriatic Sea beach towns of Portoroz and Piran are about 75 miles southwest. Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport is 20 miles north.

Slovenia, a verdant country of just over 2 million residents that borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, saw housing prices rise for a fifth straight year in 2019, with a 5.2 percent increase over 2018, according to the Republic of Slovenia Statistical Office.

Although Slovenia’s economy slowed in 2019 overall, housing sales accelerated, with an 11.7 percent year-over-year increase in transactions during the third quarter of 2019.

The 1,076-square-foot second-floor living space has an open kitchen, dining area and living area, along with a south-facing balcony.Credit…Slovenia Estates

“The housing market has been really good,” said Dusan Lazar, chief executive of Century 21 Ljubljana. “The international real estate crisis hit Slovenia in early 2009, and prices fell almost by 50 percent, and it took a long time to recover, until 2014. But since then it’s been growing like crazy, so basically the prices for new apartments are up to the same levels they were in 2008.”

Ljubljana and Slovenia’s other tourist areas have comparable home prices, with a typical family house running about 200,000 euros ($216,000), Mr. Lazar said. A larger house, perhaps with a pool or in a prime location, runs about 500,000 euros ($540,000). Outside of those areas, prices may drop as much as 50 percent for comparable homes.

Mr. Young said the average price for an existing apartment in Ljubljana in mid-2019 was 2,780 euros a square meter ($280 a square foot), while the average price for a house in the capital was about 290,000 euros ($315,000). Around the city, the average price for a house was 193,000 euros ($210,000).

The number of foreign home buyers in Slovenia, though small, has grown steadily in the past two or three years, brokers said. Among Slovenia’s chief attractions are its low crime rate, stable economy, convenient central European location, widespread use of the English language and its “beautiful nature, with many forests, lakes, mountains and a small coastline,” said Eva Jakopin Tomazic, the director of Ljubljana-based Elite Property Slovenia.

Even so, when the coronavirus pandemic essentially shut down the residential market in mid-March for about six weeks, real estate agents were already anticipating a cooler housing market in 2020.

“We knew the situation was nearing its peak and a slowdown was expected, even though not such a dramatic one,” Ms. Jakopin Tomazic said.

The dining area has an assortment of hanging lights. Most of the home’s contemporary furnishings are included in the asking price.Credit…Slovenia Estates

While the government won’t have an official accounting for months, statistics shared by the country’s largest real estate agencies suggest that transactions fell by more than 80 percent during the market’s six-week closure, Mr. Lazar said. The European Commission has projected that Slovenia’s gross domestic product will fall by 7 percent this year compared with 2019.

But Slovenia is ready to reopen its economy: On May 15, it became the first European country to declare an end to the coronavirus pandemic at home, though not everyone there was pleased. And in the two weeks since the residential real estate market reopened in late April, activity has been brisk, Mr. Lazar said.

“Let’s say the prices have not gone down, but stayed exactly where they were on March 15,” he said. “There’s been a lot of business in the last two weeks. The only effect I foresee will be on the prices of older apartments and houses, where we might see a drop of 10 percent, or maybe 15 percent, but those prices were too high before March 15.”

Mr. Young believes the post-pandemic recession will differ from the one that followed the 2008 housing crisis. “Slovenia, over the past 12 years, has changed considerably,” he said. “Tourism has grown hugely, and the country is far more well known than 12 years ago. So with more people aware of the beauty and advantages of investing here, it’s likely to continue to be a popular foreign investment destination for the foreseeable future.”

Many foreign home buyers in Slovenia come from ex-Soviet bloc countries, such as Russia and Ukraine, in search of a safe investment, Mr. Lazar said. Retirees from Northern European countries also come in hopes of stretching their retirement pensions, he said.

A terrace on the home’s western side has views of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites, a pre-Alpine hilly region in northwestern Slovenia.Credit…Slovenia Estates

“Here, life is still half the price of life in England or the Scandinavian countries or Germany,” he said. “Plus the weather is warmer.”

Dan Bendall, a director of a real estate company in Ljubljana, said he sees foreign buyers from Britain, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Italy, among other countries.

In recent years, there has also been a smattering of Chinese buyers, Mr. Lazar said.

Foreign home buyers in Slovenia tend to seek homes in and around Ljubljana, or in the country’s tourist spots, such as the lake districts of Bled and Bohinj, the ski resort area of Kransjka Gora, and the coastal area. Also popular, Mr. Bendall said, are “rural locations in the south and east of the country, where a lot of buyers buy small holdings or farms with land in idyllic hill country or wine country.”

Buying a home in Slovenia has become easier in recent years, brokers said. Citizens of the European Union or member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, such as the United States, can buy without restriction.

Buyers from other foreign countries must form a company to purchase, but the process is straightforward, Mr. Young said.

Real estate agencies, which are heavily regulated, are usually sufficient for purchasing a home, though English-speaking local lawyers are available, brokers said. Notaries, representing both the seller and buyer, handle all sales transactions. Legal costs will typically run about 500 euros ($540), Mr. Young said.

Swings are installed on the north side of the home, where there are also doors to the storage and utility spaces.Credit…Slovenia Estates

A 2 to 4 percent brokerage commission on transactions is often split between the buyer and seller, brokers said. Ms. Jakopin Tomazic said the typical closing costs for home buyers total 2.5 to 3 percent of the sale price.

It can be difficult for nonresidents to obtain a mortgage from a Slovenian bank. “Most of our buyers finance by savings or financing or remortgaging a home,” Mr. Bendall said.

The annual property taxes on this property are about 80 euros ($87), Mr. Young said.

Justin Young, Slovenia Estates, 011-386-41-958-735,

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News headlines

  • Adria to launch Ljubljana to Kiev route

    The Slovenian national carrier Adria Airways is to launch regular flights to the Ukrainian capital from Ljubljana Brnik airport, The route will launch in October and there will be three flights a week on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with the return flights being on Monday, Friday and Saturday.

    As well as providing a useful link with Ukraine, the route is also expected to be an important springboard to other European destinations from Kiev. 

  • Luton Town to Come to Slovenia for Training Camp

    The English football league club Luton Town, known as the Hatters, are coming to Slovenia in July for a week-long training camp. They players and coaching staff will be based just outside Maribor, at the same place where Scottish side Celtic was based for preseason training.

    Slovenia, and especially Maribor, has been keen to promote itself as a great location for such training events with excellent facilities and accommodation and additional attractions such as sports physio services and wellness centres, in particular, those available at the country’s numerous spa centres

  • Slovenian Music Superstar to Play in the USA

    Vlado Kreslin, one of the best known and most popular Slovenian musicians will play a convert in Cleveland, Ohio on 3rd December. Kreslin, who is often referred to as the ‘Slovenian Bob Dylan’ first came to prominence in the Yugoslavian days, as a member of the 1970s rock band Martin Krpan but his solo incarnation veers more towards the genres of folk-rock. 

    While Kreslin is in the States on a short concert tour, the Cleveland date is particularly special because around 40 percent of Slovene Americans live in the state, the greatest concentration od them in the US, and of them the majority live in the Greater Cleveland area.

  • Ljubljana to Amsterdam flights from April 2017

    Dutch budget carrier Transavia is to launch three weekly flights connected Ljubljana with Amsterdam from April 2017. Tickets are already on sale and start at €29 one way. The flights will take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

    As well as being an attractive destination in its own right, Amsterdam is a useful hub for flights to destinations all over the world, and especially for those looking for easy access to regional UK airports. 


  • Lendava to bid for European Capital of Culture title

    Lendava in the far east of Slovenia is making an ambitious bid to win the title European Capital of Culture for 2025. 

    Slovenia’s Minister for Culture has endorsed the bid, saying that it represents an important chance to decentralise culture and spread it to small towns, not just to concentrate it in the bigger cities.

    Campaigning proper will begin in earnest in 2019 but a conference has just taken place in the town to get the ball rolling. Organisers say that Lendava will make the bid along with partner towns, citing Croatia’s Čakovec, Austria’s Bad Radkersburg and Hungary’s Szentgotthard as possibilities. 


  • Celtic Football Club Coming to Slovenia

    Despite the Euros being in full swing, it’s that time of year when football supporters start thinking about the new season. How many new signings will their side make and how will those players fit into the existing team? Will they have a good run in the cup, or will they be fighting for survival once again?

    Following an age-old tradition of pre-season tours, this year Glasgow Celtic, one of Scotland’s biggest clubs has chosen Slovenia for its short trip abroad. The brief tour will kick off in Celje on 30 June before heading over the border to play Austria’s Sturm Graz on 3 July. The Bhoys, as they are known, will return to Slovenia to play Olimpija at Ljubljana’s Stožice Stadium on 6 July and the final match will take place at the Ljudski vrt in Maribor on 9 July.

    Celtic have met NK Maribor already: in 2014 they faced each other in a play-off for entry to the Uefa Champions League, and after the two legs Maribor came out the victors, winning on aggregate 1-2.

    This time, Celtic will be led by their new manager Brendan Rodgers who previously managed Liverpool FC.

  • Slovenia Estates Comes To Kobarid

    We’ve opened a new Slovenia Estates office in Kobarid, in the Soča Valley. This beautiful area has long been popular with Slovenian families as well as holiday makers and second home owners, and we are delighted to be able to based in Kobarid so we can better meet the needs of sellers and buyers in the far west of Slovenia.

  • Plečnik chair sells for 40,000 Euro

     A chair designed by Slovenia’s most celebrated architect Jože Plečnik has been sold at auction for over €40,000 and returned to its original home at the same time.

    Plečnik is usually associated with Ljubljana, having overseen the redesign of the large parts of the city in the first half of the twentieth century and his distinctive style is easy to spot. However, he was also responsible for a major reworking of Prague Castle in the Czech capital between 1921 and 1934 and this chair was part of that project, having been designed to sit in the study of the President at the time, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk.

    Plečnik actually had three of these chairs made but only one managed to stay in Prague Castle throughout the Communist period. In fact, for a long time curators there thought that chair was one of a kind until a second chair was returned to Prague Castle in a bad condition in 2006, and they were delighted when this third chair turned up at auction. 

  • Ljubljana to Warsaw Six Flights Weekly

    From 1 March flights will commence between Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport to Warsaw. There will be six flights weekly and they will be operated by Polish carrier LOT. Flight time is less than two hours and Warsaw gives Slovenian passengers a useful connection for onward travel to a variety of destinations including northern Europe and Scandinavia and even the United States.

  • New Bled Office

    We have opened a new office in the centre of Bled. This will serve as our base in the Bled/Bohinj/Kranjska Gora areas. The office is situated in the main shopping centre on the first floor next to Gallus Pizzeria. Lots of lovely properties from the area are displayed in the window!

  • We have opened an office in The Old Town

    We are pleased to annouce we have opened a new office in the heart of Ljubljana’s Old Town on Gornji Trg 1. We have shop front space so lots of lovely properties in the window. Please come and visit us whenever you can!

  • Slovenia real estate increases in popularity

    This year we have seen a marked increase in foreigners interested to buy Slovenian rela estate. Buyers from both the West of Europe, Russia and the US are taking advantage of low real estate price due to the Crisis in Europe before any rises are seen. Most popular areas are Ljubljana, Bled & Portoroz and with more and more sellers becoming very flexible on asking prices its fast becoming an attractive overseas destination for foreigners looking for both their own property as well as a secure long term investment

  • Slovenia Property Blog page

    We have now set up a new Blog page with news articles on Slovenian real estae, topical issues, news and featured & bargain properties. We will be updating the page each week with stories, so please check the page out for up to date information on Real estate in Slovenia. Click HERE to go to the page


  • Ljubljana Apartments moving faster

    This year we have noticed a marked increase in the both the number of enquiries about Ljubljana real estate as well as overall transactions, we ourselves have sold more this year than last and while generally it is still the foreign buyer who is buying enquiries from locals have also increased slowly. The feeling locally is prices in the city may have reached their low point and with faint signs of a recovery in Europe generally that feeling may well be borne out.

  • Slovenia real estate bargains

    There is more and more excellent value real estate in Slovenia now, with local owners unable to finance renovations or improvements themselves, there is a good supply of property in need of renovation at some very attractive prices. With Slovenia Estates project managing renovations, a project need not be a headache but a very worthwhile investment. Contact us for the best bargain real estate in Slovenia on the market.

  • We have moved

    We have moved to lovely new offices in Prule, the Old part of Ljubljana. With increased space, interiors designed by JVBdesignworks, and a fantastic shop front location we are looking forward to welcoming new & old faces to Žabjak 2, Ljubljana 1000.

  • Slovenia Self Catering

    Slovenia self catering accommodation is extremely popular and gaining more popularity as competition increases amongst available self catering houses and apartments and quality rises. We have some delightful self catering properties in Slovenia for vacation rental. They can be found here . We also know of many more available so contact us if you wish to rent a house or apartment in Slovenia for an unforgettable holiday.

  • Ljubljana Apartment Sales

    Further to the recent News we posted on “Ljubljana Sells Best” we wanted to provide more information on Ljubljana real estate. The sales are nearly always apartments and always in the centre of town. The demand from foreign buyers for houses in Ljubljana is low as they want to be located very centrally and this means apartments. Ljubljana villas in for example the Rozna Dolina area are also priced at a level that is too high for most Slovenia real estate investors.

  • Ljubljana Sells best

    This year we have sold more real esate in Ljubljana than any other year. It seems investors from various parts of the globe see Ljubljana as perfect place to buy. Small, neat and improving year on year, with a fabulous centre and old town and with prices at a very competitive level. The most popular areas being the historic old town and the centre, and despite no cars being allowed in the old town, buyers seem to accept this with the positives that come with that. See our Ljubljana real estate section for more details.

  • Portoroz real estate on the up

    We are experiencing a marked increase in enquiries and sales of real estate in Portoroz. The buyers are mainly from Russia and Ukraine, wanting Villas with sea views. Prices of Portoroz real estate remain high but have come down considerably over the past few years. Real estate in Portoroz is in short demand and quality property goes fairly quickly if priced correctly.

  • Luxury Hisa Zeenia for Slovenia holiday rental

    We are pleased to announce the availabilty of this wonderful, magical House for rent in Slovenia. Hisa Zeenia is a truly magnificent house available for a Holiday rental in Slovenia all year round. With outdoor Natural swimming pool and 7 bedrooms, landscaped gardens and all located in the stunning Soca Valley its one of the best holiday properties to rent in slovenia. Click here for more

  • Prekmurje Property

    We are seeing a marked increase in the Prekmurje region again. Both Slovenians and foreigners are enquiring about property in Prekmurke, especially old style houses with some land. Renovation projects remain popular and views a must. Prices have come down since the crisis and with the Euro falling it has become a very attractive area to look at.

  • New section here

    As you can see this is a new section we have just added, to keep our customers up to date with whats going on with Elite and real estate here in Slovenia. It will be regularly updated.

  • A Bargain!

    Does it get any cheaper than this for a renovation project, a lovely village, a quiet street, some land all for €25000! Click here

  • New Properties added

    We have been out and about over the past few weeks seeing and adding new properties to our website. Over the next few weeks many more will be added so its a good idea to register for updates if you wish to be kept informed of whats new in Slovenia real estate.

  • Another Beauty – Karst Project

    We are pleased to announce another superb development in the popular Karst region. Beautiful, modern villas in a rural setting, super views and highly energy efficient, these represent Slovenia real estate at its best. For details click here, a full presentation of visuals will also be found here. For more details just contact us.

  • Lipica Villas

    Together with a partner agency we are soon to be launching a beautiful new development in Lipica, just opposite the entrance to the famous Lipica Estate where the famous Lipizzaner horses are from. This represents Slovenia real estate at its finest…Click here for a sneak preview

  • Summer Here!

    The good weather has arrived just in time for the holidays and the three public holiday days here in Slovenia. Blue skies 26 degrees, everything green its a very beautiful time!


  • Good Weather means enquiries

    Its always interesting to see the corallation between good weather and increased enquiries for Slovenia real estate. Over the past few weeks when its been cold and rainy enquiries were low, now people see the sun is coming back and the enquiries have risen. Forget the moon! We are ruled by the sun!

  • Success in Moscow

    We are happy to report that our attendance at the Moscow Real Estate fair was a great success, we were the only representation Slovenia had and that proved effective. There was much interest in Slovenia especially in the €150-€250,000 price range. Many of the visitors to the Croatia stands were also coming our way so its good to know that many consider Slovenia as an alternative to Croatia.

  • Soca Interest

    Interest in the Soca region of Slovenia has reached the highest level in two years. People have always loved this area for Slovenia real estate for its beauty but it seems people are really seeing all the benefits of this popular area and preferring it to other areas.

  • Karst Interest, new stone villas

    We have seen a marked increase in enquiries for the Karst (Kras) region of Slovenia, we will soon be selling stone villas in a new exclusive development in Lipica, home of the famous Lipizzaner horses. We will publish more information once we start the marketing campaign

  • Moscow Fair

    We will be promoting 4 fabulous new developments at the fair as well as all our beautiful properties on our books. As well as meeting all the agencies we work with and several we will hopefully be working with in the future.

  • New Site Comments

    We have recieved many kind comments about our re designed site, Thank you to all those that sent emails with such great comments. We also received some great suggestions about what people would like to see on the site and we will be working on including many of these suggestions!

  • Katja to get Licence

    Our Office general manager Katja Keber is studying for her real estate licence, let’s hope she gets it soon!

    Katja has been with SE for 4 years and has a great understanding of how Slovenia real estate Market works so we expect her to pass first time!

  • Off to Moscow

    The SE team will be attending the International Real Estate Fair in Moscow in April, we will be promoting selected properties and projects on our books.

    The show is Russia’s largest real estate show and in the past Slovenia real estate has not been presented before, so a first for Slovenia and Elite!

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