Forget the French Riviera, the Albanian coast is the next big thing
The Albanian coast offers stunning views, crystal clear waters and some of the best value property deals in the Mediterranean. No wonder buyers are flocking to the country from all over the world.
According to a Necklaces Albania report from April 2021, as the country’s real estate market experienced a significant decline during the first outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, it has rebounded quickly: interest has since reached new highs with the loosening of restrictions on coronaviruses.
In the first quarter of 2021, the Albanian Institute of Statistics, Instat, said the country recorded a GDP growth of 5.53 percent, of which 1.09 percent was attributed to construction and 0.58 percent to real estate activity.
By far the most popular region in Albania for local and international investors, competing with the capital Tirana, is the Albanian Riviera.
“There has been a very strong demand from buyers throughout 2021,” said Ilir Konomi, managing director of the Albania real estate group. Emerging europe. “We have been selling more and more properties on the Albanian Riviera to foreign clients, especially since February.
The Albanian Riviera is the part of the country’s coastline along the Ionian Sea, described by Arber Brahaj of RealEstate.al as “an expanse of over 100 kilometers of rock and crystal-clear water”.
According to Brahaj, the towns of Vlorë, Himarë and Sarandë, as well as the villages of Radhimë, Palasë, Dhërmi and Jala, are among the most popular settlements along the riviera.
The allure of the Albanian Riviera
“I think what makes the Albanian Riviera special is the combination of a picturesque Mediterranean landscape and the Ionian Sea, the beaches, the cultural background (traditional settlements and monuments) and the fact that until recently , there was an abundance of undeveloped coastal land, which is rare in northern and central coastal Albania where construction has been intense, ”says Loukas Triantis of the National Technical University of Athens, who conducted research on urban and regional planning in the Himarë region.
Konomi believes that part of what makes property on the Riviera increasingly popular is the availability of typical Mediterranean scenery combined with prices not found elsewhere in this part of Europe.
“The prices remain affordable, between 1,000 and 1,400 euros per square meter for beachfront properties with a nice sea view. You can find these prices in the seaside resorts of Lalzit Bay, Saranda and Vlorë,” he explains. -he.
“The exception is Dhermi, the heart of the Riviera. Apartment prices are around 2,000 euros per square meter, and around 3,000 euros [per square metre] for the villas, ”adds Konomi.
Bahaj says Albanians rate Dhermi as the best beach in the country, and judging by the thousands of positive reviews on internet forums, foreigners seem to agree.
“Dhermi is an old village, located in the mountains overlooking the coastline, the rocks and the sea,” he explains.
Despite the reasonable prices, the Albanian Rivera nonetheless has its fair share of luxury property, according to Bahaj.
“One of the most famous properties near the village of Ksamil is the Kep Merli Residence, where popular singer Dua Lipa took her vacation earlier this month. Villas start at one million euros and go up to four million euros, including private pontoons for boats. For short-term visitors, prices range from 900 to 4000 euros per night, ”says Bahaj.
Who is buying?
Brahaj and Konomi say their customers come from diverse backgrounds, but note that different areas of the Riviera are popular with different groups of buyers.
“Albanian emigrants from Western and Northern Europe buy mainly in the Lalzit Bay area and Saranda, while the Ionian coast between Vlorë and Saranda is doing very well with the Albanians in the capital, Kosovo, as well as the Albanian emigrants, ”Konomi said. said.
Then there are the foreigners.
“In the Lalzit Bay area, while Albanian emigrants account for almost 90 percent of all sales, we also had Polish, Austrian and few Czech customers. Saranda is quite the opposite, 90 percent of buyers come from countries like Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Nordic countries, including Sweden and Norway, ”he adds.
Bahaj says that part of Saranda’s attraction for foreigners is its proximity to the Greek island of Corfu, just 40 minutes away by ferry.
“Many Greek agencies offer a city tour,” says Bahaj, adding that “much of the city is an archaeological site, with Butrint National Park just to the south, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “.
Brahaj says RealEstate.al has also made a number of sales at the Green Coast Residence in the village of Palasë in the Himarë region since early 2020, despite the pandemic.
“We have seen big investments in apartments, semi-detached villas and detached villas at prices around 1,450 to 2,100 euros per square meter. The buyers are mainly Albanians who live in Albania and a few foreigners. We believe the main reason most of our buyers were from Albania is that most of the properties were sold during the Covid-19 lockdown last year, ”he said.
Konomi argues that Albania needs more foreign buyers to continue its upward trend.
“Considering the fact that the presence of foreigners is still low, I think their number will increase by around 5-10% over the next three to four years,” he said.
Better infrastructure is also likely to give the region a boost, says Brahaj.
“With the construction of two new airports in the cities of Saranda and Vlorë, and a new road that will connect Vlorë to the rest of the Riviera under construction, allowing drivers to avoid the Llogara mountain, interest in the Albanian Riviera is expected to increase. . many in the near future.
Unlike many news and information platforms, Emerging europe is free to read, and always will be. There is no paywall here. We are independent, we are not affiliated with or represent any political party or business organization. We want the best for emerging Europe, no more and no less. Your support will help us continue to spread awareness of this incredible region.
You can contribute here. Thank you.