Most of Croatia properties buyers come from neighboring Slovenia, Austria and Germany. They travel mostly by car and the nearest point in Croatia for them is Istria peninsula. They come to be closer to the sea, to the beach, to enjoy the sea, swimming and sunbathing. First of all want to find properties on the first and second lines to the sea, not 5-10 km away from the coastline. It concerns all the segments of the market: smaller apartments, modest houses, luxury villas. Although Tuscany-style villas are strongly present at mainland real estate market of Istria, still 80-85% of the buyers want to stick to the coast of Croatia
But if you look at the coastline from Umag to Medulin we will find just a few new developments on the first line, practically no houses for sale, up to 10 seafront villas and no land plots for sale. This situation is very disappointing for Croatian property buyers, as they see huge undeveloped massives of forests, agricultural lands along the sea with no signs of intended construction. Considerable area from Umag to Novigrad, Peroj and Barbariga to Rovinj along the sea is a remarkable oasis preserved for construction of future generations. Seafront belts from Liznjan to Krnica stay virgin, same as the areas from Duga Uvala almost to Rabac, and then areas from Plomin to Brsec. Multiple seafront residences with apartments, villages of modern villas could be built there for the Germans, for the Austrians but they are mostly zoned as T1-T2 (hotel purpose) or agricultural lands. No considerable development is foreseen by local plans. And it continues to generate inadequacy of the market. Istria peninsula continues to be most demanded area in Croatia, closest to Europe and perfect from the point of view of transport connectivity. But it offers least adequate property supply. It is now partially compensated by modern residential construction on Krk island connected to the mainland by the bridge. Realty on Krk can satisfy both Zagreb buyers and international buyers demand. But again – most of properties are 100-200 meters from the sea, 1 km away, but not on the beachline. This makes the buyers go down to the south. Most often they set Zadar as the utmost point of their journey and they find what they were looking for in Zadar area. In 70% of cases they do not want to go further to Sibenik and Split area and make a mistake: most attractive villas, houses and seafront apartments are located there. But it is already a very long travel, more suitable for buyers from Hungary, Bosnia, Serbia.
So, the first and major problem at real estate market of Croatia now is controversy of Istria with absence of proper seafront properties. Existing demand could easily embrace more than 50 seafront villas in lux segment and over 500 apartments of seafront location per annum.