Montenegro partnership Q&A and market focus

22nd July 2021

Finlay Brewer International and IM Property Group, one of Montenegro’s leading development and investment companies, have concluded a strategic partnership with an aim to offer its clientele access to the best possible service and property opportunities in Montenegro whether for investment or for personal use.

IM Property Group is a property investment adviser with an extensive experience of more than 15 years in the property market in Montenegro. The company offers a wide scope of services and its multinational, highly experienced team enables IM Property Group to advise clients on all stages of an investment life-cycle, or deliver turn-key projects on their behalf. 

Milos Radmilovic, IM Property Group founder, has lived and worked in Montenegro and has been involved with the local property market since he finished his degree at Birmingham University. His time living and working in England set him apart from other local agents. His business success has led to Milos being nominated for the prestigious Business Elite “40 under 40” award for South Eastern Europe.

Rista Backovic, Head of Finlay Brewer International, has used this opportunity to discuss Montenegrin property market with Milos.


Q: Hi Milos, tell us about Montenegro and its property offering. Where are the main areas that interest investors and second home purchasers? 

A: Montenegro has seen its tourism industry boom in the last decade. In 2007, the country welcomed 1 million visitors, whilst in 2019 over 3 million tourists visited. This has brought with it a real appreciation of some of the beautiful coastline and inland areas on offer, as well as a sharp rise in investment.

The main areas attracting investors to Montenegro are Budva Riviera and the Bay of Kotor, including Tivat, Kotor and since the completion of the first One & Only resort in Europe, the city of Herceg Novi.

Lustica peninsula has also become very attractive and apart from Lustica Bay, there are a number of new developments planned there. Budva Riviera is an undisputed leader in terms of value of investment and the number of sales achieved, while the Bay area, due to some very high-profile developments, attracts a wealthier clientele.

Q: What are your thoughts on the recovery of Montenegro in the post Covid-19 period? 

A: Despite the recent pandemic taking its toll, just as it has across the world, the future remains positive for the country, whose economy is realistically projected to grow by 8.5% in 2021 according to EBRD and further expand by solid 3.9% in 2022, following improvements in the overall economic environment, stronger export and fiscal support. This recovery is expected to be driven by planned investments in tourism and energy sector, as well as public and private construction activity and completion of the import-dependent highway section. The Government-anticipated tourism recovery of 65% on 2019 numbers should support export and consumption as well.

The community of foreign investors already operation in Montenegro have not slowdown or abandoned their investments during the Covid-19 crisis.

The general stand is that Montenegrin economy is attractive, has a strong potential growth and industry diversification possibilities, with measures currently being undertaken to enhance the transparency of administration and human capital, improve digital transformation, ensure predictable business environment, build stronger institutions and invest in regional transport and energy infrastructure integration. The country is also expected to join the EU in near future as Montenegro has opened the last chapters in the negotiation process.

Q: How has COVID-19 pandemics affected residential real estate market in Montenegro?

A: The residential real estate investment globally dropped significantly in 2020 due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions and economic uncertainties, when investors focused on their local, easily accessible markets and low-risk properties.

The most sought-after residential properties in 2020 and in H1 of 2021 among our clients were those which enabled investors and their families to work from home and focus on personal health and wellbeing:

  • provided excellent internet connection
  • private outdoor space or proximity to public green areas (such as beaches, hiking or biking paths, forests or parks)
  • easily accessible, yet more isolated out of town locations
  • good rental potential (to families, senior citizens, outdoor lovers, work nomads)
  • excellent, health-focused property management service

At IM Property Group we believe that this trend is likely to continue in the post-Covid period and is something developers in Montenegro will need to take into account when brining new product into the market no matter the country that buyers come from.

We have already seen an increase in Montenegrin residential property demand Q2 of 2021, as the countries globally start to open up for safe business and leisure travel once again, and more travellers and potential investors come to Montenegro to experience this wonderful Adriatic gem with charming towns, gregarious locals and breath-taking nature, schedule site visitations, regulated in-person meetings and are generally open to invest in quality projects in a country with ample potential. At the same time, the banks currently offer extremely low interest rates on savings, which is why more people turn to property investment instead.

The time to buy is now, before the market recovers, the prices go up and demand overruns supply in prime coastal locations. IM Property Group is here to help ensure that our clients get the best possible deal in the market and find the optimal property solution for them.

You may contact IM Property Group at contact@improperty.group, call +38233680912 or visit www.improperty.group

Q: Ok so we know why people visit, but what makes Montenegro an attractive investment for residential purchasers? 

A: There are a number of factors, I’ll break them down as follows:

  • Return on Investment – for residential property buyers, once the market recovers, an annual yield between 5-8% is expected following purchase and this is based on a 100-day occupancy rate. For property developers, expected returns range from 50%-100% ROI or on average 20-30% return per annum, which outstrips the rest of Europe.

  • Affordability – it is still possible to buy a one-bedroom apartment with sea views and within walking distance of a beautiful golden beach for up to €100,000 and a two-bedroom for around €150,000. So, for approximately €2,000 per sqm a good quality property can be bought. Even at the higher end of the market where prices go up to €8,000-€10,000 per sqm, investors realise strong value and capital appreciation potential at premium projects such as Porto Montenegro and Portonovi, which are often compared to similar offerings in luxury destinations such as Monaco.

  • Capital appreciation – Montenegro is undergoing a huge infrastructure regeneration programme, which will see the completion of a brand-new highway, improved flight connections and brand-new amenities. Over time this is going to positively impact the property values in countries that benefit from this.

  • VAT recovery – this is an important one. If a property is purchased through a private company, the full amount of VAT (21%) can be reclaimed through a thorough rental programme.

  • Low tax rates – 9% flat rate is very competitive when compared with other European destination’. It’s not quite Monaco, but it’s not bad.

  • Residency – when an investor purchases a property they automatically qualify for temporary residence. The current Citizenship by Investment Programme allows investors to obtain Montenegrin nationality and visa free travel within the EU Schengen zone, by investing in a new home in the northern part of the country for a minimum of €350,000 or in one of the coastal regions for €550,000 (both figures include €100,000 donation to the Government. This program will run until the end of 2021.

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