Romania is a beautiful country of many contrasts which offers investors the prospect for great returns and the chance to own some stunning real estate. The real estate market in Romania is in its early infancy.

The property investment potential in Romania is quite possibly unrivalled across all of the European emerging markets because property prices in Romania are currently so low and the demand for residential and commercial property in Romania is increasing rapidly. The charm of the country is also quite unique, and the class of property on offer for sale in the capital, Bucharest, on the Black Sea Coast and in Transylvania is high.

The majority of best returning investments are currently to be found in the higher end residential property market in the major towns and cities, the winter sports tourism market and in industrial property such as retail and office space. There is incredible room for growth in Romania and the commitment of the government to maximise their country’s economic expansion possibilities and manage EU accession hopefully by 2007.

Buying Property in Romania

As Romania continues its progress towards EU accession (currently due to join in 2007), so the rules relating to foreign freehold ownership of land and property in Romania are changing to come in line with the EU's regulations.

This bodes well for the investment property market in Romania because currently non-Romanian citizens are not permitted to own land in Romania unless they purchase it through a Romanian company structure. In this way it is a similar country to Bulgaria. In Bulgaria there are currently changes afoot that will see this old fashioned rule become obsolete in the next nine years or so, and a provisional date has been set for an amendment to the Romanian constitution based on when the country gains accession to the EU. Foreign buyers can own property and real estate in Romania but to own land they have to establish a Romanian based foundation which is permitted to own land.

The property buying process in Romania will become more streamlined and hopefully more transparent once the country achieves EU member status, since the Romanian government has passed a series of laws that will allow for direct foreign freehold ownership of land in Romania five years after the country achieves full EU member status (seven years for agricultural land), which will bring the property laws in Romania inline with those of other European Union member states.

Summary

For a true emerging property investment hotspot consider Romania. The potential for an investment made in Romania is as vast as the country is beautiful and the long term prospects are very positive.

In terms of market segment opportunities Bucharest offers the property investor two angles to target. An investor could consider either prime residential property in the best city locations or office space - both market sectors are highly in demand and both have seen the greatest price increases in Romania in recent months. Other areas of the country generally accepted as worth considering by property investors are Ploiesti, Constanta, Cluj, Oradea, Brasov, and Timisoara.