Buying an apartment in Georgia country might seem attractive, especially with the cheap prices of real estate in Batumi. But before jumping into the idea, you have to think twice. The investing climate in the country remains interesting for many reasons : cost-effective lifestyle, safe and friendly environment, modern banking system, soft property tax regulations etc. If you are planning to buy a property in Georgia the very first of the questions you ask yourself might be “Where?”, the common answer to that question is either Tbilisi or Batumi. In this article we’ll provide some facts, pros and cons, you should know before investing in real estate in Batumi.
The autonomous republic of Adjara is one of the regions of western Georgia. This region has undergone emerging changes and reforms. Batumi is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, with fascinating urban architecture, good infrastructure, sandy and rocky beaches, mountains all over it, warm subtropical climate, natural greens and breath-taking landscapes and the nature of the Black Sea.
Hospitality sector, on the other hand, as is expected, is remaining one of the majors in the city’s economy. The coastal area of the region and Batumi in particular, have become favorable destinations for the famous developers of hotels like Radisson, Marriott, Le Meridien, Sheraton etc.
Real estate market is booming in Batumi: new buildings, a lot of housing complexes, resorts are mushrooming all around the city and suburbs. The reason for increasing numbers in relating is the flow of tourists and entrepreneurs who are ready for purchasing their business in Georgia. Tourism and real estate are main role player sectors in the region’s economic growth.
1. Stable and developing Environment — Georgian legislation protects the investments made and used on the territory of Georgia. Batumi is the second most visited place in the country after Tbilisi. The city is developing at a fast pace. Government has issued a legal framework to achieve financial stability in the country.
2. Cheap price on the real estate and rental yields- costs of newly built real estates with sea view per square meter is $400 average. This is the lowest price compared to the most of the European countries. If you aren’t going to be based in Batumi, you can always rent the apartment and have a stable income.
3. Soft property tax law — 0% ownership tax. Different regulations apply if you are selling the property within the first 2 years of ownership — you should pay the state 20%. Plus to that, you can have your property registered in a few minutes. There’s not restrictions for foreign citizens / investors to buy or register apartments, houses or other types of properties. (except for agricultural land).
4. Path to the residency permit — owning a property in Georgia allows you to get a residency and to legally to manage property yourself.
5. Strategic Geographic Location — Batumi is located between Europe and Asia. It has access by sea, land and air. The border to Turkey gives assets to the economy of the city. There’s an international airport as well as a road to international transactions.
The national bank of Georgia has recently published Financial Stability Committee’s Decision, reporting about the real estate markets in Georgia:
“In a lockdown, declining incomes and growing uncertainty in the market have significantly reduced demand for residential real estate.
Additionally, the sharp loss of tourist flows imposed an efficient bad impact on the attractiveness of real estate as an investment asset.
As demand decreases and market uncertainty increases, residential real estate prices fall. However, the decline in prices will not be as sharp as it was as a result of the 2008 crisis, because in contrast to the crisis, the recession caused by the pandemic, the real estate market was more resilient.
Restrictions on air and land travel under COVID-19 era have drastically reduced tourist flows. The recovery of the sector largely depends on the remediation of the epidemiological situation, the depth and duration of the recession caused by the pandemic.
It is important to note that non-residents, who own a third of the properties issued in Batumi, are more likely to default, than residents, especially when neighboring countries experience a pandemic-induced recession.
Imposition of a loan-to-non-resident loan ratio of 70 percent by the National Bank last year reduces the risks to financial stability posed by non-residents.”
Taking into account that the issue of reopening borders for international visitors is under question mark, the drop of the volume of the market might remain a drastic process for a certain period.
The commercial real estate market in Batumi is drenched these days. Many projects are being implemented, and the building industry is practically the leading player in the city.
Competing with real estate developers (see the article by Hossam)
Not so great opportunity for high budget investment — even though the rates of the apartments are cheap, this is a low budget investment.
Lack of trustworthy real estate agents and property management — if you decide to put your property for sale, you’ll face a situation when the majority of the huge buyers prefer to buy properties from Georgians. In that case you’ll need to find reliable real estate agent. This sector is similarly tricky.
Long word short, it is natural to have concerns about buying property in Batumi. The city is dominated by the real estate industry. Even though, Having a summer house in Batumi by the sea is a great plan to enjoy spending summer in one of the most beautiful places on the black sea, It’s not a good investment plan. Before making a decision, you need an expert in the field to give you a personal guide, provide you with true advantages and disadvantages and lead you to a smart decision.