The New York Times

House Hunting in … Slovenia

Real Estate in Slovenia

JAN. 14, 2015

Credit: Christian Jungwirth for The New York Times

International Real Estate



$1.01 MILLION (850,000 EUROS)

This three-story stone-and-stucco farmhouse outside of Most na Soci, a town in the foothills of the Julian Alps near the Italian border, dates to the 19th century and has about 3,000 square feet of living space. A renovation in 2007 highlights historical features like exposed wood beams and plank floors, but also offers modern luxuries like radiant heating in some rooms, two fully equipped kitchens and sleek bathroom fittings. The nine-acre property has a pool, terraces, and extensive gardens and plantings. Much of the vintage furniture will be included in the sale, said Eva Jakopin of Elite Property Slovenia, which is listing the property.

A flagstone driveway descends to the house, which is entered through two traditional carved wooden doors into a hallway. On the first floor, partly set into the hillside, is a spacious dining room with a table that seats 10; an arched doorway leads to a kitchen with custom-built cabinetry, a stone floor and a large double-basin farmhouse-style sink. Most of the appliances, including a gas cooktop and electric oven, are by Ariston.Also on the first floor are a guest bedroom, a bathroom, a sauna, a laundry room, a wine cellar and a television room. On the second floor, which is reached by a  hand-carved rustic oak staircase, are three en-suite bedrooms, all with wide-plank wood floors and exposed ceiling beams.

Up another flight of stairs on the third floor is yet another en-suite bedroom, and a combination living/dining area with a small kitchen and a circular wood-burning stove in the middle of the space. The parquet floor comes from a historic building in Ljubljana, the capital, Ms. Jakopin said. A double-height picture window with a door that opens to a small terrace affords spectacular views of the high peaks of the Julian Alps.

Outside are a kidney-shaped pool with a large deck, a dining area with a stone oven, and numerous spots to sit and admire the views. Plantings include fruit trees and an herb and vegetable garden set into the old foundation of an outbuilding.

The town of Most na Soci, which means “bridge over the River Soca,” is a little over a mile away, and has restaurants and basic necessities. It is at the confluence of the Soca and Idrijca Rivers, and activities in the area include fishing, canoeing and hiking. Just to the north is Slovenia’s only national park, Triglav. Most na Soci is less than 30 minutes’ drive from the Italian border, and about an hour and a half from both Ljubljana and Trieste, Italy. The ski town of Kranjska Gora, on the Austrian border, is also about an hour and a half.


Most Slovenes lived in rental housing after World War II under the Yugoslavian government of Josip Broz Tito, said Barbara Por-Hrovat of Agencija Barbara in Ljubljana, who has been in business in Slovenia since 1994. After independence in 1991, a government program allowed residents to buy their properties at very low prices, which has resulted in an extremely high homeownership rate, she said, though that is falling as new rental properties are being developed.

Foreign buyers have gravitated toward the largely car-free old city of Ljubljana, the resort areas around Lakes Bled and Bohinj, the Adriatic coast and the ski areas along the Austrian border to the north.

“The natural beauty of the place, the greenery, the mountains, is the main reason why people first stumble across Slovenia,” said Justin Young of Slovenia Estates, a real estate company in Ljubljana. “The geographical location is superb,” he added. “You can drive from one end of the country to the other in two and a half hours. You can drive to Italy for lunch.”

Starting at the low end, buyers can find country homes in need of renovation in the east for well under $100,000, agents said. For $100,000 to $300,000, buyers can choose from among apartments in Ljubljana or small chalets in the Alps or lakes region. Properties priced up to around $1 million include the best city apartments, and luxury homes around the lakes and outside Ljubljana. The very highest prices — well over $1 million — are found at the coast.

Prices increased sharply in the years before the recent recession, agents said. “In 2006-7,  prices rose at a ridiculous rate. It was unrealistic,” Mr. Young said. “It was getting to the point where prices in Kranjska Gora were no different from that in Austria. And that shouldn’t be the case — this is still Slovenia, after all.”

The resulting price drop of 20 to 40 percent, depending on the region, “was correct,” he said. “I think prices now are correct when you compare them to other European cities.”

Sales volume and interest appear to have picked up in the past year, agents said, but looking ahead “is a tough call to make,” said Dan Bendall of Think Slovenia, a real estate company in Ljubljana. “Slovenia’s such a small country and it’s very dependent on what happens around it.” Data provided by Mr. Bendall show transaction volume rising sharply since the third quarter of 2013, while prices have continued to fall since a momentary rebound in early 2011.


The largest proportion of foreign buyers have traditionally been British, agents said, but Russians now make up a substantial segment of the market. Mr. Young of Slovenia Estates said that about 40 percent of his buyers in the last two and a half years were Russian, but that he expected that number to fall with the slump in Russia’s economy. Smaller numbers of buyers also come from other European countries and the United States.

British purchasers were among the first to buy and renovate less expensive properties in the rural east, and they have a substantial presence in the west around Lakes Bled and Bohinj, the ski valley of Kranjska Gora, and the Soca River valley, Mr. Young said. Russians and Ukrainians have bought properties along Slovenia’s small but attractive coastline, agents said, and apartments in the old town of Ljubljana appeal to investors and Americans.


“Buying costs are very low here,” Mr. Young said. He and other agents said buyers typically paid half the usual 4 percent commission on transactions. Legal, notary and translation fees usually total about 500 euros, or around $600, he said, depending on the size of the transaction.

Mr. Young and other agents said there were no restrictions on buyers from the European Union or the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, including the United States, although they will need to obtain a tax identification number. But buyers from other countries, including Russia, may need to form a corporation and purchase the property under that name.


Slovenian tourism:

Kranjska Gora skiing:

Lake Bled:

Triglav National Park:


Slovenian; euro (1 euro = $1.19)


The annual property taxes are about 300 euros a year, according to Ms. Jakopin.


Eva Jakopin, Elite Property Slovenia, (011-386) 31-309-000,

For the original article in The New York Times please follow this link.

Article from The New York Times, 14 January 2015 (PDF version)

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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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