Mediterranean part of Bosnia and Herzegovina: What does the south of the country have to offer?
In this article, we invite AIPP members Ljubic Law Firm/Mediterra Squares to take a short overview of 2 of the most popular destinations of the southern, Mediterranean part of Bosnia and Herzegovina which has become more popular after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Status of foreign property acquisition in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Foreigners can acquire property in Bosnia and Herzegovina upon reciprocity rule. This particular rule determines that the foreign persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina can have ownership right over the property with the same conditions as a country of their origin grants the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Foreigners enjoy reciprocity rule by default, but a list of countries with certain conditions and exemptions is updated every year by the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Justice and the Republika Srpska Ministry of Justice. For the latest list available check here. The UK is on this list as having reciprocity, so UK nationals are able to purchase property in BiH.
To further bypass restrictions on the acquisition of real estate, the option for any foreigner who enjoys Bosnian and Herzegovinian descent to is check eligibility and apply for citizenship. Then one would not be declared as a foreigner, removing any restrictions on real estate ownership.
Located in the hilly coast between Makarska and Dubrovnik, the town of Neum is the only place where Bosnia and Herzegovina has access to the sea which gives it’s Mediterranean claim, with 25 kilometers of coast.
According to last census (o.p. 2013), there was 3,013 inhabitants in the city, while the Municipality had 4,653 inhabitants.
Neum itself has had great transit significance: the city is located on the Adriatic Highway, dividing Croatian soil at Dubrovnik and Split Regions, up until the Peljesac bridge was built. The bridge has definitely helped Neum, as it can now develop as a desirable destination, unburdened by traffic during the summer days.
Peljesac Bridge of Croatia in construction site. Connecting the southeastern Croatian exclave to rest of the Croatia bypassing Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under construction from July 2018 to June 2022.
Property investments are showing a healthy net return each year, supported by low maintenance costs and very low property taxes for second homes. In Serbia this amounts to just 0.20% of the property value, annually
Most of the holiday houses in Neum were constructed during the Yugoslavian period, starting mostly at 1960s. After taking independence, nothing much changed, with minimal newly formed and build facilities. The reason mainly lays behind lack of building plots with quality locations, and you have to be lucky enough to gain valuable right time information from locals, to buy one.
The Municipality of Neum has numerous advantages, such as affordable real estate prices compared to nearby Croatian places, interesting and untouched rural environment great for adventurous tours, geo-location and proximity of popular destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Mostar and Medjugorje) and Croatia (Dubrovnik, Peljesac, Islands of Mljet and Korcula) respectively.
Photo: Rural area of Neum Municipality, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Copyright: Mediterra Squares, LJUBIC Law Firm)
As one of the world’s most famous Marian (Virgin Mary) shrines, Medjugorje is well known across the Catholic world.
According to the numbers before COVID-19 pandemic, Međugorje is visited by one million pilgrims annually, which is a great number if you compare it with Lourdes (with an average of 6.5 million pilgrims) and Fatima (5 million pilgrims), since these are well-know Marian shrines.
Also, there is great opportunity for further rise, as Medjugorje brings twice the amount of accommodation units of Fatima (20.000 vs 10.000). The number of priests alone that concelebrated at Holy Masses in August of 2019 was 9109 (293 per day).
With a favourable Mediterranean climate, the quality of life in this area is greatly enhanced by the location. Choose the sea or mountains, as the proximity of the Adriatic Sea and the Blidinje National Park in the mountains are within 90 minutes by car. Mild winters and warm summers, with this close distance to refreshing places is definitely a postive for anyone entering a more relaxed period of life.
Is it no wonder that many of the tourists visiting the Croatian seaside decide to take a cross-border one day tour to this peaceful and God-given place?
Medjugorje property market is not developed at all and it’s pretty time consuming to find a great piece of land, and even harder to build a house or apartment. It’s easier to find a bigger and complete accommodation unit, such as apartments dating from the 1980’s or new build hotel complexes from 2010’s.
Investment in those two Bosnian-Herzegovina towns are definitely worth your consideration, and if you change your mind at any point afterwards, the market liquidity is high enough to make your property investment possibly even more valuable than when you purchased it.
Our thanks to Marin Ljubic of MEDITERRA SQUARES platform, LJUBIC Law Firm for this article and observation. We would like to know your thoughts about investing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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