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In Austria, the homeownership rate increased to 55.4% in 2018 from 55% in 2017. Foreign nationals can buy property with the exception of Tyrol and Vorarlberg ski regions of Austria where non-EU citizens need to take local legal advice.

Property prices have seen a steady rise over the last decade. During the year to Q3 2019, for instance, the residential property price index in Austria rose by 5.22%. Meanwhile, house prices in Vienna, Austria’s capital, rose by 7.62%, and by an average of 1.82% in the rest of the country.

Total transactional costs are up to 15% of the property value or sales price. Here are the expected transaction fees for real estate in Austria:

  • Legal Fees for the contract set up by a lawyer or a notary, at 1% to 3% of the purchase price (+ 20% VAT).
  • Property Transfer Tax typically at a flat rate of 3.5% of the property value but is generally 2% for a transfer between relatives.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) is only for newly built properties. This can be claimed back if you lease the property out. However, the rental income would then be liable to VAT, plus a tourist tax of around €0.10 per person per night.
  • Registration Duty is paid to the Land Register.
  • Notary Fee of 2%+ 20% VAT, depending on the size of the property.
  • Real Estate Agent’s Fee, which is set by law at 3% to 4% of the property’s purchase price or market value + 20% VAT. Both buyer and seller pay this. Curiously, agents get a higher commission for cheaper properties that cost less than €50,000.
  • Stamp duty is the government tax on the purchase of 0.5 – 1%.
  • Property registration is set at 1.1%.
  • Mortgage fees consist of a bank fee of around 1% of the loan and a court registration fee of 1.2% of the loan amount.

Any property related transaction requires a notary in Austria.


German property is considered to be a stable, reliable investment for both local and overseas investors.

Transaction costs can also range from 7–12% for buyers (around 2–4% for sellers) on top of the purchase price. There are no restrictions to foreigners buying property in Germany. A borrower may buy property in Germany even if they are a non-resident and not an EU national. Total transaction costs to the buyer of purchasing a property is usually around 10% of the purchase price. This covers:

  • Property transfer tax (Grunderwerbssteuer) up to 7%
  • Notary’s fees up to 2%;
  • Registration fees up to 1.5%;
  • Estate agent’s fees, if shared, of up to 5%, plus VAT at 19%.

Any property related transaction requires a notary in Germany.


France is one of Europe’s core performing housing market. It continues to attract international investors, with stable year-on-year price growth.

In French property deals you will need to work with a notary. The notaire will investigate any legal, financial, or other claims on the property. This usually takes about three months but occasionally longer. Once this is underway, a completion date (when you sign the acte de vente, or deed of sale) can be set. In the meantime, a borrower might want to have a structural survey carried out although many locals don’t bother.

If the borrower is planning to build their own home on a plot of land or substantially alter an existing building, they will need to get permission from the mairie. They will need need to apply for the certificate d’urbanisme (certificate of town planning), provide a permis de construire setting out the building plans and check what other taxes or fees need to be paid. In France, property always passes to the children. Borrowers should take advice from the notaire before taking the next step – signing the acte de vente.

Fees and taxes
Costs may include the notaire’s fees (which include certain costs to do with the sale). The government sets these fees, and they depend on the tax bracket of the property. These are as follows:

  • €0-6,500 – 3.945%
  • €6,500 – €17,000 – 1.627%
  • €17,000 – €60,000 – 1.085%
  • €60,000+ – 0.814%

In total, the sum of fees involved in buying the house can’t exceed 10% of the property’s value.


The Monaco property market is open to most investors, whether resident or not in Monaco, although not large by land mass (less than 2 sq. kilometres) is made up of several areas, the most desirable and most expensive one being the area around the Casino Square, “ The Carre d’Or” (Golden Triangle), other areas are Larvotto which is close to the beaches, The Jardin Exotique, which is the area at the upper western side of Monaco, Fontvieille which is the newer port area of Monaco , popular for its marina and commercial shopping centre, and the Quartier St Romain, at the eastern end of the Principality, also close to the beaches, the Monte Carlo Country Club with tennis courts and a private beach club.

In addition to car parking spaces properties generally have an additional storage space allotted, known as “a cave”. The larger properties may have more than one parking space and cave.

A guide to Fees to buy a property in Monaco are as follows:

Estate agents

3% of purchase price to be paid by the purchaser 5% of purchase price to be paid by the seller.

Notary fees

Approximately 6% of the value of the property, depending on the ownership structure of the transaction. (Includes the registration, stamps, and legal fees).


Fees for buying a property in Spain vary from area-to-area, and many are negotiable. Buyers must pay the majority of the costs, which are generally as follows:

Transaction costs
Who pays?
Property Transfer tax 6% – 10% buyer
Notary Fee 0.03% – 0.45% buyer
Registration Fee 0.02% -18% buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 2.50% – 3% seller
Costs paid by buyer 6.05% – 10.63%
Costs paid by seller 2.50% – 3.00%

Homeownership levels in Switzerland are among the lowest in the world, measured at 37.4% of the population in 2016. Figures are lowest in Basel (16%) and Geneva (18.3%). This figure rises to nearly a third in Zurich.

Switzerland has strict restrictions on foreigners buying property known as “Lex Koller”, so depending on borrower background, options may be limited.

Although actual property costs are high, Switzerland is one of the cheapest places in Europe to buy property in terms of transaction costs. According to the Global Property Guide, total costs paid by the buyer are usually between 0.25 – 3.55% of the overall property cost. The seller pays between 3.23 – 5.38%.

Buyer’s costs include:

  • Real Estate Transfer Tax, which is between 0.2% and 3.3%
  • Registration fee – 0.15%
  • Notary fees – 0.1%

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You can contact us by calling +44 (20) 808 95279 or by e-mail enquiries@ibfg-europe.com

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