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Romania Property Investment For Sale

 

"Romanian property prices are some of the lowest in Europe."

 

Romania is a beautiful and mainly unspoilt country from the majestic Carpathian Mountains, to the hosts of medieval villages, fairy tale castles and architecturally crammed cities.  With a quarter of the country covered in forests Romania offers some of the richest and most vibrant fauna in Europe and its rich fruit orchards, vineyards and farmlands harp back to when Romania was considered the bread basket of Europe.

Yet thanks to its turbulent past Romania left communism behind in 1989 with a largely obsolete industrial output and suffering widespread poverty. Since joining the European Union in 2007 Romania has been blessed with large amounts of EU redevelopment funding and has gone some way to improve the infrastructure and build a better business environment which has started to create a middle class. 

However extensive red tape continues to hamper business development, there has been slow economic and political reform and corruption is rife and largely ignored by the government.  These factors and the international financial crisis have done nothing to help the countries growth or property market.

Romania still has some of the cheapest real estate in Europe and there are no restrictions on foreign ownership here.  Rental yields are also healthy especially in the beautiful capital, Bucharest, which holds the nickname ‘Little Paris’ thanks to its wide tree-lined streets and imposing architecture.
 

Country Guide

Geography

Romania is the largest country in Southeastern Europe, situated to the south of Bulgaria bordering Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary. The country is divided into six regions, to the north of Romania lie Transylvania and Moldavia and central Romania contains the flat Danube plain of Walachia, home to the capital Bucharest. The remaining three regions are Banat, Moldavia and Dobnija. The north and south of the country are divided by the Carpathian Mountains. The Danube River flows through Romania and joins the Black Sea on the country's border. The country has a lot of un-spoilt scenery to be admired and historic and medieval towns to visit.

Governmento

Romania has been a Democratic Republic since 1991. A semi-presidential republic, functions are held by both the government and the president.

Language

Romanian is the official language with some Hungarian and German spoken in border areas, while mainly French and some English are spoken by those connected with the tourist industry.

Standard of Living

When Romania joined the EU in January 2007 the standard of living was only a third of the European average.  Since joining the EU Romania has recieved much redevelopment funding which has helped with infrastructure improvements and the fostering of a growing middle class but still proverty is rife. 

 

Country Economy

Romania is a large, upper-middle-income economy of central-eastern Europe and the capital Bucharest is one of the largest financial centres in the region. The country is the nineteenth largest economy in Europe and although fell into recession like most of the rest of Europe following the international financial crisis the country has bounced back and is showing GDP growth again. Wages are low as is unemployment for the size of the country but exports continue to increase especially with Romanias key trading partners of Germany and Italy.

Key Industries

Romania's main exports are cars, software, clothing and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, raw materials, military equipment, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). 

 

Hotspots

Bucharest

The capital holds the nickname Little Paris thanks to its wide, tree-lined streets and imposing architecture. However, the Communist era has left its mark in many areas, especially the central district, much of which was razed and rebuilt by former dictator Ceaucescu. The city is an interesting mix of French-style Belle Epoque buildings, traditional Romanian architecture, Communist-era Neo-classicism and faceless Soviet-style blocks. However, new residential and commercial developments are bringing a touch of more contemporary steel-and-glass construction.

Far from being the super-cheap destination it once was, prices in the city are now on a par with other areas of Europe. Having said that, Bucharest still remains one of the cheapest capital cities in which to invest. Middle and upper-end buyers are now beginnign to reject older-style blocks in favour of new, well-designed, contemporary apartments with modern, quality fittings, parking and leisure facilities. Either central or easily accessible suburbs are favoured by owners working in the city.

Northern Bucharest is heavily sought after and may be too saturated with development for some investors. As a result, land is scarce and expensive and so are properties. Those looking for cheaper property may want to investigate South Bucharest and the Olt Valley, which, while close to Bucharest, is underdeveloped and under publicised but has stunning countryside landscapes, attractive spa towns and lower prices. The suburbs and outskirts of Bucharest also have the potential for substantial longer-term returns as the city expands and properties in these areas become more integrated.

Timisoara

Known as Little Venice, this is one of Romania's richest cities situated on the western border with Serbia and surrounded by the lovely countryside of the Banat region with its lakes, mountains and forests. The city has attracted a lot of commercial investment with several large companies including Procter & Gamble and Nestlé. The property sector here is thriving with many residents opting for new villas in the suburbs and surrounding countryside rather than apartments. 

Arad

This modern city is a designated free trade zone (with only five percent taxation) and as a result is pulling in lots of industry and businesses. Situated on the Bucharest-Budapest route it is well placed for trade links. 

Transylvania

This central region is forever associated with the myth of Count Dracula and pulls in substantial tourism as a result. It is also a rural paradise of forests, fairytale castles and the Carpathian Mountains. Cities worth considering for investment include Cluj-Napoca in the north-west, a populous and thriving hub for many corporations and with good transport connections including an airport and new motorway connections with Bucharest and the Black Sea. Architecturally very attractive and in one of the country's most beautiful regions this area also has a large student population making it a good buy-to-let option.

Brasov

Situated in the centre of southern Transylvania, Brasov is another busy town offering beautiful architecture, good commercial links and a large university. It is a popular tourist destination during the winter season because of all the winter sports and activities it has to offer. Brasov is also the largest of resorts in the mountain area. Property here consists of new apartments in the slightly sprawling industrialised areas and contemporary and older-style family homes. 

Sibiu

A beautiful and historic town, surveys have showed that Sibiu and its surrounding areas are the most visited in Romania. The city has several museums that exhibit a mass of historic artefacts and there are also several historic buildings to be seen. Substantial investment has gone into infrastructure and commercial investment. 

Poiana Brasov, Predeal and Sinaia

These are Romania's main ski resorts and also offer investment and second home opportunities. Poiana Brasov in particular has developed well and attracts large numbers of skiers each winter. The beautiful Alpine countryside is now home to clusters of luxury hotels, private chalets and apartment developments. Not only do Romania's mountain resorts have some of the best skiing in Europe, they offer the potential for good rental during the summer too. With attractions such as hiking, cycling and horse riding, unlike the coast, there is the potential for year-round rental. 

Black Sea coast

The country's seaside resorts are not as well known or developed as those of neighbouring Bulgaria and the short summer rental season of only four months each year has curtailed investment. Nevertheless, the towns of Constanta, Costinesti and Mamaia are busy with eastern European tourists all summer. 

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