Real estate market overview
Georgia is rapidly gaining popularity not only among tourists, but also among investors. So, according to TBC Capital, the number of transactions in the first quarter of 2022 for real estate in Batumi has increased by 36%.
Georgia is reasonably preparing to become a tourist center of the Caucasus, which means that investments will quickly meet the expectations of investors.
Who can buy property in Georgia?
Citizens of other countries have the right to acquire and own real estate in Georgia. But there are exceptions. For example, foreigners cannot buy agricultural land. This restriction also applies to foreigners who want to own land through a legal entity.
How to become an owner?
The Georgian government has made the process of buying real estate and registering ownership of it as convenient as possible. The buyer may even not be present in person. A notarized power of attorney is sufficient.
In terms of timing, new square meters can be registered on the day of purchase. To do this, you must submit a properly executed sales contract and other documentation to the state body on the same day. For an accelerated registration procedure, the buyer will have to pay an increased state fee.
Georgian real estate has a lot of advantages, but in terms of investment attractiveness, there are six main ones.
Attractive property prices
Compared to Europe or Turkey, where the average cost of an apartment starts at $250,000, in Georgia, you can buy an apartment in a new building for $60,000. take Tbilisi or ski resorts, here the price is about $1,200 per m2.
And it should also be taken into account that in Georgia the construction of new districts is proceeding at a high pace and what was recently the outskirts is very quickly becoming a full-fledged part of the cities. For example, Batumi is a small city, from its outskirts to the sea coast – 15 minutes walk, real estate costs about $400 per m2. In comparison, in Sochi or Turkey, 15 minutes from the sea, prices are much higher.
The buyer can make a down payment, usually 30% of the property value, and pay the remaining amount in installments (monthly or quarterly) within 12-36 months. There are no commissions involved. Installments in Georgia are very often given by the developers themselves.
Profitable return of investment
Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Georgia every year. After the pandemic, their flow resumed immediately. The most popular cities for buying an apartment today are Batumi and Tbilisi. Here real estate is very attractive for investors with its high payback and the demand for rental housing is growing every year.
You can earn from $6,000 a year by renting out an apartment, and the return on investment is about after 5-7 years. The cost of real estate in the country is growing by 15-20% annually. After a while, the apartment can be sold profitably. The country’s infrastructure is rapidly developing, which attracts “expensive” customers from all over the country.
Buying a house in the amount of $100,000 or more is one of the grounds for obtaining a short-term residence permit. Usually it is issued for one year, it can be renewed annually for up to 12 years. It should be kept in mind that the acquisition of agricultural land is not suitable for these purposes.
You can also get an investment residence permit in Georgia for 5 years. It is issued not only to a foreigner, but also to members of his family. In this case, the total value of real estate must be at least $300,000. After five years of ownership, a foreigner can obtain a residence permit.
Favourable investment climate
The country’s government has created favourable conditions for attracting foreign investment. The procedure for registering a company, a hotel business or for renting out real estate as an individual entrepreneur,, is simplified as much as possible.
Georgia is among the top five countries that have the easiest process when buying an apartment. The investor will need a passport, a contract of sale and a receipt for payment of state duty. The standard process of registration of documents will take up to 4 days, the accelerated procedure will take 1 day.
Conservative taxation system
In many cases you do not need to pay real estate tax for owning a home in Georgia, but for related income: income tax (corporate or personal), capital gains tax, and dividends. In some cases, VAT and property tax may be charged. But you can use legal tools that will help reduce the tax burden and optimize taxation.
The tax code of Georgia allows you to minimize deductions and increase the payback and profitability of investments in real estate. Foreign citizens in Georgia can use their real estate for commercial purposes without any restrictions and additional conditions. See also our Ultimate Guide for Individual Property Taxes.
Additional benefits of buying real estate in Georgia
- Absence of a visa regime – Georgia has free entry for citizens from almost 100 countries.
- Attractive conditions for doing business — transparency of all operations, the “one stop shop” principle.
- There is no corruption and bureaucracy in the country – in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking Georgia is in 6th place.
- Income in dollars, which, against the background of the unstable exchange rate of a number of national currencies, looks quite attractive.
- Additionally, beautiful nature, landscapes, mild climate, hospitable, friendly people, low cost of living. It is a pleasure to work, live and relax here.
- Every year the popularity of Georgia as a fashionable tourist destination is growing exponentially. The houses and apartments of the Black Sea resorts of the country are in special demand. For example, in Batumi, the yield on real estate is 15-18%, which is a telling indicator (the world average is 4-10% per year).
|Real Estate prices in Tbilisi or ski resorts||from $1,200 per m2|
|Real Estate prices in Batumi||from $400 per m2|
|Down payment||30% of property value|
|Interest-free installments||Within 12-36 months|
|Return on investment||after 5-7 years|
|Annual growth rate of real estate value||15-20%|
|Time to process documents for the registration||1-4 days|
|Minimum property value for individual residence permit||$100,000|
|Minimum property value for family residence permit||$300,000|
|Validity of short-term residence permit (can be renewed annually for up to 12 years)||1 year|
|Long-term residence permit||after 5 years|
There are also disadvantages
The real estate market in Georgia, like in any other country, is divided into primary market and a secondary market. The disadvantages of acquiring real estate in this country include the risks that arise in this case.
In the primary market (from the developer)
When buying real estate in the primary market, the buyer invests either in a finished apartment or in real estate that is still under construction. In the latter case, you can get a good discount and agree on the repairs: the location of the pipes, the color of the tiles, the type of flooring, etc.
But there can be the risk of the developer going bankrupt before delivering the construction. Even if such situations in Georgia in recent decades have become less and less common, the investor may still face unexpected issues if the developer fails to fulfill his formal obligations:
- Construction not completed on time
- Quality of work not corresponding to the declared one
- Different materials from the ones that were agreed upon
In the secondary market (from the owner)
The secondary market allows you to find and buy real estate at a bargain price, you can choose the location, and don’t have to wait for the completion of construction. But even in this case, there can be pitfalls:
- Ownership problems (several owners, not fully formalized inheritance rights),
- Apartment under bail (has been seized)
- Other obligations, such as large debts for utilities
Therefore, before buying a property, it’s important to carefully study the reputation of the ownership with the help of a lawyer.
Our team of can help you to avoid these risks. We perform a thourough check of the property, the owners/developer, legal structure and previous history.
Form of payments to buy real estate
Currency in GEL (Georgian lari)
If you make a payment in Georgia, then you can pay for the purchase of real estate only in Georgian lari. The use of another currency for these purposes in the country is illegal. And in the case of a transfer from another country (international payment), you can use any currency. True, it will cost more, because the bank will charge a commission for the conversion. In addition, the international payment is carried out for several days.
You can also pay for real estate with cryptocurrency. The transaction does not take place as a payment, but as a barter – an exchange of cryptocurrency for real estate ownership. In this case, the payment will be quick, but it”s necessary to have legal assistance and a well-thought-out contract to not incur in issues.
Another way to pay for the purchase of real estate is a mortgage. It is also given to foreigners. Usually this requires a deposit (the property itself) and an initial payment of 20-30% of the total value of the property. The average rate in the bank is 5-12%.
Summary: How to choose a property
If an investor plans to rent out real estate, he needs a ready-made apartment that will quickly start generating income. And if he buys it for further resale, it is more profitable to enter into an agreement with the developer. The lowest value for real estate, which is at the stage of excavation. By the time the apartment is put into operation, its value will reach the market value – you don’t even have to wait a year or several years until its value rises. And if you make repairs, you can earn 35-40%.