Anyone who can now call a house or apartment with direct access to the Wörthersee their own need say nothing more in order to impress at a pool party. Because to state that properties located directly on Austria’s most glamorous lake are a rarity, is a polite understatement. In fact, the prices for the few plots of land on the waterside banks that are still available have reached such dizzy heights that they can only be afforded by private persons willing to pay the sums charged for collectors’ items. Moreover, with prices of up to EUR 5,000 per square metre, the rows on the waters’ edge no longer pay dividends for commercial investors. In fact, the astronomic prices for small properties mean that an investor would have to demand EUR 15,000 to EUR 16,000 per square metre for freehold apartments. Therefore, such real estate almost always goes to private owners because prices in excess of EUR 15,000 per square metre for exclusive homes, which nonetheless mean living wall-to-wall with the neighbours, cannot be attained on the Wörthersee. However, EUR 11,000 to EUR 12,000 per square metre for top quality properties on the north shore are already being paid in individual cases.

A secret market

Whereby, as Thomas Hopfgartner, the founder of LIVING DE LUXE, explains the concept of a price curve between the north and south banks no longer applies. His company pursues a different philosophy on the Wörthersee, in Vienna and Kitzbühel, with no shop window offers and instead absolute discretion and maximum customer service. The majority of properties in this league should change hands without anyone noticing.

At present, Thomas Hopfgartner has three such exceptional real estate gems in his portfolio and in addition, LIVING DE LUXE currently has an object that creates its own category. Here, the bathing area is separated from the remainder of the property with a villa by a small road. The sums required for such split properties are somewhat lower than those demanded for real estate where crossing a road, a walk, private bridges, lifts or tunnels are not an issue.

Other lakes, other prices

Therefore, how can one avoid these problems when affordable offers are becoming increasingly rare even for sizeable budgets? For a genuine Wörthersee fan no other lake will do and therefore the trend is towards the second row. Accordingly, the real estate experts are generally of the opinion that demand in this area will rise steadily. For a growing number of purchasers, prices of between EUR 3,000 and EUR 4,000 per luxury square metre are making the walk to the water seem thoroughly acceptable, as long as the lake can be seen from their own terraces.

Moreover, for those that can imagine owing a summer residence on another Carinthian stretch of water, the Ossiacher, Faaker and Millstätter lakes remain the favourite spots and attract with prices that are as much as 60 per cent lower than those on the Wörthersee. It could also be that changes are on the way in the smaller bathing paradises with fresh possibilities on the Klopeiner See, although some items of planning permission are still outstanding. What is certain is that exclusive new properties are to be built on the small Magdalenensee.

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