Housing website for Austria


The OeAD Housing Office (OeAD-WohnraumverwaltungsGmbH) is a 100% subsidiary of the OeAD. The OeAD Housing Office provides places in student halls of …


Finding a nice place to live is always difficult. Austria is no exception – getting the right accommodation can be hard, especially in the larger cities. Read our …


Austria-HOUSING from the Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program.


Austria HOUSING – Flags, Maps, Economy, History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political …


Published on December 16, 2012 with No Comments. Troy Austria, from Academy of Swag, is showing us his housing freestyle. Check it out. If you like the video …

This three-story home dating to the 1760s was once in the Alpine village of Doellach, though in 2011 it was moved five miles and rebuilt at the foot of Mount Grossglockner, the highest peak in Austria. Called Hofstadl, the chalet, composed mainly of stone pine, has four bedrooms and spans 2,900 square feet. The exterior has an ornate scalloped fascia and two intricate lathed balconies; atop the roof are an antique farm bell and a skier weather vane.

The Austrian interior designer Wolfgang Hoffher interspersed antiques and other objects related to farming, hunting and skiing throughout the simple rustic interior of the chalet, and furnishings are included in the asking price. Most floors are of French limestone with underfloor heating, although some are of pine. The house has a recessed lighting system controlled by one switch near the front door; it is heated with a central wood-pellet burning system.

The front door opens to an entrance hall with a contemporary wood-burning cast iron stove designed in an 18th-century style. On the right, an antique wooden hayrack partitions off a dining area and an open farmhouse-style kitchen. Cabinets are reclaimed pine with a pale gray finish, and countertops are of French limestone. Appliances are by Miele, Siemens and Liebherr. The dining area has a large curved wooden bench and a round table that Marlies Muhr, the listing agent, described as “the most important social gathering point in the farmhouse,” adding, “All the working people, including the children, received their food at this table.”

Off the entrance hall to the left is a parlor with a tiled 17th-century wood-fired stove, a coffered ceiling with a quatrefoil in the center, and a long dining table with 10 chairs hand-carved in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Beyond the parlor are a bedroom with an 18th-century Tyrolean armoire, and a bath with a sink of petrified wood and a glass-encased shower with fixtures by Grohe. Nearby is what the owner calls a “wellness room,” which has a wall of broken slate, a large copper bathtub lined in nickel, a sauna and a glass-encased shower.

The second floor has two large living rooms with double-height ceilings. One has a wood-burning fireplace bordered with granite-quartz stone, as well as doors leading to the balcony, which spans the front and one side of the chalet. The other living room has a wall of large windows and a door opening to a terrace and outdoor dining area.

The second floor also has a pair of bedrooms atop mezzanines. Tucked under one of these is a bath; under the other are the master bedroom and another bath. The master, its walls covered in red check cloth by Ralph Lauren, has reading lamps suspended on old skis dating to the 1920s.

The house has a storage room, a utility room and a carport for two cars. The lot of almost a quarter acre is landscaped with native plants, Japanese boxwoods and other easy-maintenance vegetation, Ms. Muhr said. It is surrounded by national parkland, which offers climbing, skiing, hiking, cycling, golf and fly fishing. The closest village, Heiligenblut, is 2.5 miles away. The chalet, which is in southern Carinthia state, is only five miles from the border of Tyrol state, and the closest city, Lienz, is over the state border. It is 18 miles away and has a population of about 15,000. The closest international airport is a small one in Carinthia, which is 80 miles away; the Salzburg airport is about 100 miles away.

After World War II, Austria’s standard of housing was low, a reflection of the historically low quality of urban and rural housing, the poor economic development of Austria in the interwar period, and the destruction during World War II. Overcrowding was widespread, especially in urban centers and among the working classes, and many living units did not have such modern conveniences as running water, toilets, bathing facilities, or central heating. In 1951, for example, only one-third of the country’s living units had running water; less than 31 percent had a toilet on the premises; and only 11 percent had bathing facilities. Stoves using coal, oil, or wood as fuel were the most common forms of heating.

Since then, however, Austrian housing has improved considerably. The number of living units has increased by 53 percent, although the population grew by just over 10 percent, and almost all of the living units built since 1945 have all modern conveniences. Furthermore, improvements have been made in many of the living units built before World War II, although there remains a clear gap between the overall standards of old and new buildings. Seriously substandard housing–living units with running water, but without toilets or bathing facilities on the premises–has been reduced to less than 10 percent of the total. Most of this housing is found in cities. Low-income groups, such as the elderly, unskilled workers, and foreign workers, are the most frequent inhabitants of substandard housing.

As of the early 1990s, just over 55 percent of all Austrians owned their own homes or apartments, either as private individuals or under the auspices of ownership cooperatives. The rate of home ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban areas and higher in western and central Austria than in the east. In urban areas, apartment houses are much more common than single-family dwellings. Renting is more common in cities and in eastern Austria. Renters have considerable legal rights that make the termination of leases difficult and that provide for the regulation of rents. The building and ownership of apartment buildings by the municipal government is common in cities, such as Vienna, which traditionally have social democratic municipal governments.

By 1990 almost 10 percent of Austrians had a “second residence,” used predominantly for recreational purposes. These second homes range from garden plots with huts (Schrebergarten), located on the outskirts of the cities, to old houses in rural communities and newly built one-family houses in the country.

At the beginning of the 1990s, around 25 percent of an average Austrian household’s expenditures were for housing (mortgage or rent and utilities). Another 25 percent went for food (including alcohol and tobacco), and a further 16 percent was spent on transportation (including automobile payments). About 9 percent was spent on furnishings, 11 percent for clothing, education, or recreation, and the remainder for miscellaneous activities.

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No scholarly work in English treats Austrian society as a whole. John Fitzmaurice’s Austrian Politics and Society Today examines the development and roles of Austria’s most important sociopolitical organizations. Although they are somewhat dated, a number of chapters from Modern Austria, edited by Kurt Steiner, are good historical and in-depth introductions to various aspects of Austrian society. Specific chapters in Austria: A Study in Modern Achievement, edited by Jim Sweeney and Josef Weidenholzer, offer a less detailed but more current analysis of many facets of Austrian society. Lonnie Johnson’s Introducing Austria provides readers with some general insights into the dynamics of the development of Austrian society as a whole.

The Austrian government is responsible for a range of informative publications. The Federal Press Service’s small book Austria: Facts and Figures is a good overview of the country’s society, economy, and politics. The service also publishes a series of brochures in English and German that deal with specific aspects of Austrian society such as immigration, religion, education, and social security. These publications are available from Austrian embassies, consulates, and cultural institutes around the world. The annually revised Survey of the Austrian Economy from the government’s Austrian Museum for Economic and Social Affairs in Vienna contains some social data. Scholarly publications in German from the ?sterreichisches Statistisches Zentralamt contain much information about Austrian society. Particularly valuable are Sozialstatistische Daten and Statistisches Jahrbuch f?r die Republik ?sterreich, both of which appear on a regular basis. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)


Home prices in Austria have stayed strong; since 2009, particularly in cities like Salzburg and Vienna, they have appreciated by about 20 percent, said Berndt Kretschmer, the head of real estate sales at the Salzburg company Stiller & Hohla, the Austrian affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate.

“People wanted to spend their money in real estate, so they took it from the bank, which they had lost trust in,” Mr. Kretschmer said. “So we’ve had a really strong increase in real estate prices, especially for apartments.”

The housing market in general has a reputation for stability, as Austrians tend to hold their properties for generations and stay put, said Detlef Barthmes, a senior real estate agent with the Vienna-based Dr. Vospernik Immobilien. Some of the increased activity in the market is attributed to investors seeking housing after Austria’s office market foundered, he said.

Apartment prices in Vienna’s central district, the most expensive area in Austria, have reached an average of about 10,000 euros per square meter, or about $1,243 a square foot, and can be as high as 16,000 euros per square meter, or $1,989 a square foot, Mr. Barthmes said. Salzburg’s prices are comparable, and those of Innsbruck and Graz, two other cities with universities, are almost as high.

In the countryside, prices have not experienced the same appreciation, brokers said. A handful of ski resorts have high prices, but in most parts of the country, especially an hour’s drive or more from one of Austria’s nine state capitals, they are much lower.

Ski chalets generally have not fared well in recent years, Mr. Kretschmer said. A large portion of their market, British buyers, disappeared after the global financial crisis , and several small budget airlines, like Ryan Air, have canceled flights to the Alps region and throughout Europe, he said.

“If it’s not easy to come there, you’re not going to buy there,” he said, “or you even sell your property you bought before, and that really had an impact on prices for chalets and apartments in the skiing areas,” which have fallen as much as 20 percent.

Ms. Muhr said Hofstadl, a fully restored antique chalet, is a rarity in Austria and priced appropriately at about $1,055 a foot, as a “collector’s item.”


Hofstadl is in a part of Carinthia that does not attract many foreign buyers, though it is being marketed internationally because it’s a rare find, Ms. Muhr said. Foreign buyers in Austria tend to focus on Vienna and Salzburg, along with the popular ski resorts, brokers said. Traditionally, Germans were the largest group of foreign buyers, but that profile has changed in recent years, Mr. Kretschmer said.

As British buyers have all but disappeared, their numbers have been replaced by Russians, particularly in the cities. There are also Czechs, Slovenians and other East European buyers, Mr. Kretschmer said. Also, Austria tends to draw Italian buyers, as well as French, Dutch, Swiss and Scandinavians, brokers said.


Each state has its own permission requirements for non-European Union foreign buyers. In most cases, foreign buyers who intend to make their primary residence in Austria are granted approval, Mr. Kretschmer said. A lawyer can be hired to help navigate the permissions process.

In closing costs, buyers should expect to pay about 10 percent on top of the sales price; that will cover a transfer tax, a land registration fee, and fees for the real estate agent and notary. Mortgages from local banks are available, though there is a 1.1 percent mortgage registry fee, Mr. Kretschmer said.

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