The Ukrainian real estate market is developing fast and is generating growing interest from international investors. The key factors which make the market so attractive are:
– Low real estate carrying costs (almost the lowest in Europe)
– High gross annual yields from commercial real estate investment in big cities
– Minimal property taxes or complete absence of them in some cases.
– Low renovation costs
– Good location in the middle of Europe
However, the Ukrainian market may be tricky and bear some hidden risks.
First of all, Ukrainian laws do not regulate the activities of real estate agents. No official licenses are granted, and an unprepared investor may face fraudulent activity. Many investment opportunities come with hidden surprises such as property seizure, third party rights, open litigation, and debts.
Unlike European Union countries, Ukraine has no controlling authority; hence relying on real estate agents or a private seller is ill-advised. A proper legal due diligence is necessary before signing a sale and purchase agreement in Ukraine. Neglecting this country-specific procedure may result in more problems than advantages.
Second, registration, taxes, and fees may apply depending on the agreement’s structure and the property type. For example, for the purchase of commercial property it would be advisable to register in the name of a Ukrainian company rather than as an individual, so the taxes will differ from buying a simple apartment in your name.
There are no significant restrictions on foreign individuals’ real estate acquisition and ownership (though note there are some restrictions relating to land ownership by non-Ukrainian nationals). Becoming a shareholder of a Ukrainian company opens lots of business possibilities and is straightforward.
A real estate purchase agreement is concluded from the moment of its notarial certification. Both parties must attend the notary appointment to commit a deal to paper and signing a contract is mandatory. Through a power of attorney, a lawyer may represent clients to provide additional flexibility. The financial transaction might be organized from a foreign bank account or a Ukrainian one, depending on a client’s preferences.
In conclusion, while Ukrainian administrative processes, laws, and languages will, no doubt, appear daunting, with the assistance of an experienced independent legal expert, you should not be deterred if you are looking for solid investment in the Ukraine.