Karanovic & Partners in cooperation with local lawyers
Can anyone (including foreigners) own and occupy real estate in your jurisdiction (including shares in property owning companies)? Are there any restrictions?
Domestic companies and citizens may own and occupy real estate and shares in property owning companies without restrictions. Foreigners are not restricted to hold shares in domestic property-owning companies, and can own and occupy real estate subject to certain restrictions: (i) citizens of Member States of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“Member States”) can own buildings and construction land or have long-term lease over construction land under same conditions as domestic citizens; (ii) citizens of other countries can have the mentioned rights only pursuant to reciprocity; (iii) foreigners can only have long-term lease over agricultural land subject to reciprocity and obtainment of certain consents; etc.
Are there restrictions on lending for the purchase of real estate by foreign companies? If so briefly give an outline?
No, except with respect to individuals, organisations and governments that are subject to sanctions, protective or restrictive measures (adopted by relevant authorities in North Macedonia or international organisations (and accepted by domestic authorities during appropriate procedures)). Additionally, foreign companies seated in countries which are considered as high risk under the anti-money laundering regulations of North Macedonia will be subject to enhanced client due diligence. In cases where the measures for client due diligence cannot be implemented, the business relationship/transaction will be rejected. Finally, certain credit operations must be recorded with the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia for statistical purposes.
Please provide a short summary of the fees and costs (including tax) relating to buying real estate in your jurisdiction.
When buying real estate, several
fees and costs arise, such as: fees for searches related to the real estate and
title review, fees to a real estate agency if hiring one, fee for notarization
of the Sale and Purchase Agreement (depending on the estimated market value of
the real estate), fee for registration of the ownership in the Agency for Real
Estate Cadastre (“AREC”) and the
municipal Real Estate Registry, real estate sales tax (tax rate ranges between
2% and 4%), Value Added Tax, etc. The amounts payable and appropriate tax exemptions
differ when buying residential, commercial or combined real estate and depend
on a few conditions.
Are there taxes applicable to owning real estate and can the burden of the taxes be passed to someone else (e.g. a tenant or an occupier - not being the owner)?
Property taxes are paid based on the estimated market value of the real estate by the competent municipality and the tax rate varies between 0.10% and 0.20%. Property tax is payable for owning immovables by the legal entity or natural person owner of the property. Only if the owner is unknown or unavailable, the taxpayer is the user of the property.
Are there tax breaks or other incentives for foreigners to buy real estate in your jurisdiction? If so what are they?
As an incentive, temporary
residence permit in the Republic of North Macedonia can be issued for a
duration of up to one year to a foreigner - resident of a Member State who has
acquired the right to own an apartment, apartment building and house in the
territory of the Republic of North Macedonia under conditions determined by law,
in the amount of at least EUR 40,000.
How is the ownership of Real Estate evidenced in your jurisdiction?
The ownership of Real Estate in the Republic of North Macedonia is evidenced with the AREC, who possess sole competence for maintenance and registration of real estate rights (such as ownership) and issue appropriate certification on the same in the form of Property Sheets (in Macedonian: “имотен лист”).
Additionally, the Registry of Rights over Real Estate, as part of the Central Registry of North Macedonia issues information of informative character on ownership rights, data on land parcels and objects on such parcels, as well as information on liens.
Is it possible to keep the identity of owners of real estate confidential in your jurisdiction?
Information on real estate
ownership registered with AREC
evidenced with a Property Sheet are considered as public and contain the
name and address of the owner. As such, this information may be used by anyone,
under conditions determined by law. However, in accordance with the Law on
Personal Data Protection, Property Sheets will not contain the owner’s Unique
Personal Identification Number (“UPIN”)
when issued to a third person. This is due to the fact that a citizen’s UPIN is
protected and may only be processed and issued with prior explicit consent by
the relevant person/owner listed in the Property Sheet.