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Investment Withdrawal: Zlatibor Experiences Substantial Decline in Demand, with a 10% Drop in Square Meter Prices

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The average decline in the real estate market in Serbia in the fourth quarter of last year was about 30 percent, and the demand on Zlatibor dropped by a minimum of that much. Insiders say that there has been a decrease in the demand from investment property buyers in this popular tourist destination where many properties are being developed. Investment buyers are now more inclined to invest their money in real estate in Belgrade and larger cities in Serbia, as it proves to be more profitable for them.

The significant drop in demand on Zlatibor has also impacted the decline in the price per square meter, unlike the situation with square meter prices in larger cities in Serbia.

In Zlatibor, properties can be found ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 euros per square meter, but there are also those that range from 2,500 to 3,000 euros per square meter

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“In general, the average is around 2,000 euros, which is lower compared to some previous periods by at least 10 percent. However, this market has not yet responded adequately to the decline in demand. The drop in demand is much more significant on Zlatibor than investors have realistically adjusted prices,” said Miloš Mitić, the CEO of City Expert, in an interview with Euronews Serbia.

Currently, on the 4zida website, there are more than 1,000 apartments advertised in Zlatibor.

The PR representative of the website, Aleksandra Mihajlović, told Euronews Serbia that the average number of newly posted ads per month for this tourist destination is around 150.

“The average price per square meter in Zlatibor for existing buildings is 1,987 euros, and it is at a similar level to that in 2023. For a newly built apartment, on average, one needs to allocate 2,040 euros per square meter,” said Mihajlović.

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What is the calculation of investment buyers?

Mitić stated that it is evident that there is a strong supply of apartments of all structures in Zlatibor, but the demand has decreased, especially among investment buyers.

“These investment buyers have depleted their capital, in general, during the first impact of significant inflation. The market for these buyers has significantly shrunk. Now, when they reappear, a detailed analysis is conducted to determine where it is most profitable for them to invest their money. This often leads them to choose a large city for a secure rental income or a secure sale, allowing them to sell more quickly if needed. That’s why they definitely prefer to invest in Belgrade and Novi Sad rather than in Zlatibor,” stated Mitić.

He mentioned that the significant drop in demand on Zlatibor has also impacted the decline in prices, unlike the situation in larger cities.

“Within larger cities, there is a considerable influx of people, many are migrating from smaller to larger environments, and there is a higher influx of foreigners and multinational companies,” said Mitić.

When could prices start to decrease?

In the real estate market in Serbia, there was a trend of declining demand in the second half of last year, more directed towards existing buildings. However, this drop in demand has not yet led to a decrease in the prices per square meter of apartments.

Mitić mentioned that the market has stabilized, there is no more extreme overpricing by investors, meaning unrealistic prices, and that investors are flexible in negotiations. However, there is still no clear trend line indicating a decline in prices.

Therefore, it is not expected that there will be any drastic drop in prices, especially not in newly built properties, as there is still active demand.

He mentioned that investors will have to settle for a smaller piece of the pie, i.e., a smaller profit for themselves.

“We don’t have a market standstill; we have a reduced demand, but it still exists and is active. Depending on the market, the supply, the construction activity, and the overall balance between supply and demand, we will determine in which market the prices will decrease faster and more significantly or whether they will maintain a certain level of stability,” said Mitić.

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