Brac is among the greenest islands in the Adriatic Sea, a place where lush pine forests clash with pebble beaches. The main port is in Supetar town, less than an hour away from Split and is served daily by over ten regular ferry lines. Alternatively, one may reach other coastal area on Brac by catamaran, with various lines operating from Split and different areas on Brac itself. Due to pleasant climate, proximity to the mainland and the number of amenities opened year-round, Brac island has always been a favoured holiday destination for the Croatians, as well as the point of focus for International property investors in Croatia.
Progressive housing culture on Brac is clearly visible in aristocratic summer residences dating back to the 16th century. Quarries attracted many famous Croatian sculptors in the renaissance period. The white marble stone from Brac was used to build Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Parliament Houses in Vienna and Budapest, The White House in Washington, the UN building in New York etc.
In 1970s its inhabitants started building the island’s reputation as a desirable tourist destination in Croatia. It didn’t take much time before they abandoned old stone houses and built modern new homes to welcome guests from all over the world. The village of Splitska is a perfect example. Once a sleepy hamlet, it is now a multicultural settlement. With the population of only 852, it hosts happy property owners from United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Sweden and France. Brac island has never been a destination for the trendsetters, but it has always been visited by wealthy and famous people who appreciated the simplicity of life well fitted in an unspoilt environment.
Splitska is now an exception to other places on Brac that have also hosted many international property buyers, regardless of whether they were looking for a second home in Croatia or even permanent residence. Before the crisis, Brac was a hotspot to a few European real estate developers who successfully completed several residential real estate projects in various locations across the island.
The offer of real estate on Brac is diverse and the property market has its specifics. Traditional stone houses can still be found in the inland villages on Brac. Once loved for their charm, such properties are now both hard to find (title deed issues) and difficult to sell (high renovation costs nullify all prospective profit). Nowadays the property market on Brac is focused on high-end villas, detached family houses, apartments and building land.
Even though there aren’t many luxurious villas on Brac, the best and most expensive million plus seafront properties on Brac quickly find their buyers. In fact demand far outstrips supply due the tight planning control and low levels of supply of available land, especially bigger plots caused by limitations in spatial planning. In fact plots within 70 meters from the sea in newly formed residential zones are no longer allowed to be built. Of all the islands in mid Dalmatia the luxury end of the real estate market is most established on Brać and there is an going trend away from apartment buildings to luxury stand alone villa developments.
Detached family houses are probably the most common and desirable type of property to be found on Brac island. However, the majority of them were built in the 80’s and need substantial updating / modernisation. Most likely they will be divided into a few separate living units which does not match the Western idea or a standard for a family home. However, if you like the location, renovation works should be no obstacle – Brac is home to many builders, contractors and handymen.
Buying apartments on Brac have become popular since 2006 and many were sold to foreign buyers in Supetar, Sutivan, Bol and Milna. As with most second home destinations, apartments are still the most preferred property asset among domestic and foreign Croatian property buyers. This is for the simple reason they are easy to rent and maintain. As the prices of apartments fell (due to the crisis not over supply) a wide range of buyers driven by low initial investment capital came to secure their cash and ensure modest but safe rental returns in Croatia. Indeed, tourism is booming and with its 1,3 million overnight stays, Brac is not an exception to impressive regional statistics.
Demanding or more adventurous buyers will want to look for building land on Brac and create their own dream home. It is no secret – attractive building plots on Brac are relatively expensive and in low supply as mentioned previously. With good utilization ratios in spatial planning, you should not be put off by the price. Unique locations, such as first and second line plots with nice sea views, have always been selling well. Always consult your agent at First Property Croatia as building regulations may vary depending on location and planning conditions.