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International investors discover Slovenia's real estate
Emonika next to Ljubljana's new passenger centre / Photo: Emonika

Favourable conditions on the Slovenian property market offer excellent opportunities to local and international investors, as forecasts indicate stable growth.

The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, resembles a large building site these days, with some of the largest construction projects in recent history going on. And the property market continues to grow with no plateau yet in sight. The forecast by the local real estate agency Altum Capital shows that the Slovenian property market looks much more stable than, for example, Germany’s. The Statista website’s analyst opinion underlines the factors driving demand; a growing economy, changing customer preferences, a shift to modern and energy efficient properties, attractive locations with natural landscapes, cultural heritage, and proximity to popular tourist destinations. “Several factors indicate a potential increase in housing prices,” reports Statista, pointing out that the burgeoning tech industry in Slovenia is attracting a highly skilled workforce – another element influencing demand.

This favourable situation attracts international investors. UK’s Zetland Capital is about to begin construction of two residential areas with 500 flats in Ljubljana, and is in the process of getting the building permits for a third. The city of Ljubljana has started building a large and modern passenger hub with new railway and bus stations. The new passenger centre and the revitalization of the brownfield site near the railway tracks represent the largest property investment in Ljubljana ever: the total value of the projects is estimated to surpass 1 billion euros.

The nearest building to the new passenger centre will be Emonika (Emona was the Roman fort on the site of which the contemporary Ljubljana stands today) which will include the tallest building in the city. The 90,000 square meter large complex will include flats, offices, 2 hotels and a shopping mall: “a hub of living, working, shopping, relaxing, and connecting in Ljubljana’s vibrant centre”. The investor behind the 350 million euro project is OTP, the largest Hungarian bank. The Slovak company Corwin plans to revitalise two other brownfield sites close to the station. In one of these areas Slovak investors plan to build Vilharia, a business building with 36,500 square meters of space. Designed by Danish Schmitt Hammer Larsen architects, it should meet the highest sustainability standards. The Slovaks have already built two residential buildings with 236 apartments in northwestern Ljubljana, and plan construction of another 1,600 flats in the next ten years.

It is not only foreign investors that are seeing opportunity on the Slovenian property market. Ivo Boscarol is one of the most successful Slovenian entrepreneurs. In 2022 he sold the Pipistrel, an ultrasmall aircraft manufacturer, to US based Textron for 218 million euros. Since then, he has been mostly investing in real estate and is currently developing a large residential zone with 1,000 affordable flats, green areas, and parks near the BTC shopping center in northern Ljubljana. The new residential area is near Šmartinska street – the venue of the Šmartinska Partnership project. Led by the City of Ljubljana, it is “the largest project of urban regeneration in Slovenia”. The City is also building a large sports center with swimming pools in the heart of the capital, right next to Tivoli Park. They are also planning an athletic centre, developing a few other sport parks, and several residential areas.

Slovenia’s property boom hasn’t gone unnoticed in the international media, such as New York Times, Financial Times, and Forbes magazine. The Financial Times reported in 2023 that “overseas buyers have been increasingly drawn to Ljubljana, and from more nationalities than ever before”. “The city has become attractive to “people from the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and other European countries”. This should further boost both demand and the attractiveness of the country for investors. Many unexplored opportunities remain: you may find a few of the best on the website of the Spirit Slovenia agency.

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