Although perhaps not the first city that initially springs to mind when considering Europe’s major hubs, Bucharest has proved itself to be a growing power of cultural and investment interest in recent years, offering great value and a covetable lifestyle. The city has a distinctive look and feel, the contrast between new and old creates charm, and while Bucharest is brimming with history, it is also increasingly progressive and caters to a modern, cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Bucharest has an eclectic feel, its rich European history is combined with Balkan spirit and a Latin and francophone base. Not many people realise that, despite its Southeastern Europe location, the Romanian language is actually classed as a Romance language, derived from Latin and closely related to French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.
It is the only Romance language to have developed in Eastern Europe. Consequently, for those who speak a Romance language, Romanian is easy to learn, while English is also widely spoken. Bucharest is renowned for its open, friendly culture and incredibly high safety rankings.
Despite being a capital city, and the fourth largest city in Europe, it has a small and compact feel, and is easy to navigate thanks to its strong public transport network including the metro, trams, rail, buses and an increasing number of cycle lanes. A rich cultural life exists in Bucharest, with high-quality restaurants, cafes and bars, plenty of green space, and a geographical location that allows proximity to both the mountains and coast.
"While Bucharest is brimming with history, it is also increasingly progressive and caters to a modern, cosmopolitan lifestyle"
What can you get for your money in Bucharest?
Knight Frank has listed all properties within the past 12 months.
Neighbourhoods to watch
J8 Office Park
The J8 Office Park office development will be located in Bucharest’s 1st District, in the north of the city - a high-density residential area. The 78,400 sq m GBA project will comprise two separate and self-contained, eight-floor office buildings set over a shared two-level basement parking structure. The buildings will be set in a beautiful landscaped environment designed to create semi-public spaces of human scale with an attractive and relaxing atmosphere.
Dacia One Unique office space combines heritage and modernity. In the historical heart of Bucharest, ATENOR embarked on the challenge of renovating a listed villa, formerly occupied by the German representation, and a theatre with a protected historical facade, to add a new Class A building. Dacia One is ideally situated at the intersection of two main arteries, Dacia Boulevard and Calea Victoriei. This ever so prized commercial avenue links in particular the seat of the Romanian government to parliament. The exceptional location of the site is an undeniable major winning asset in a very active rental market.
@Expo is a decidedly smart business campus in Bucharest proposing 54,000 sq m offices and retail. Ideally situated, the site is superbly accessible by road (the airport and city centre are scarcely 15 minutes away) and by public transport. Architectural performance, flexible and innovative spaces, and eco-design: the project aims for a BREEAM Excellent certification.
What’s driving demand
23 Universities / 18 international Schools Inexpensive & good quality education Internationally recognized degrees
Reason for buying?
IT & Technology
Price per sq m:
Core: €2,100 Prime: €4,000 Super Prime: €8,000
75% Local 25% International
Did you know
The cost of living in Romania, Bucharest, is around 50% lower compared to other major Western cities
Reasons to buy
Bucharest is a relatively rare example of a European city that still has great, untapped socio-economic potential and opportunity for a high standard of lifestyle at a low cost compared to other Western European countries. The cost of residential real estate in Bucharest remains low, and rental yields are promising, core at 7.5% and prime at 7%.
As a large and progressive city with excellent educational centres, including 18 international schools and 23 universities, degrees are internationally recognised, yet education is inexpensive, or free if you are a resident. Bucharest, therefore, has a highly qualified workforce and plenty of university graduates who speak a myriad of languages. It’s got a multicultural, diverse and welcoming atmosphere with good job opportunities, particularly in tech sectors such as software development. Airline connections to the rest of the world are convenient and reliable, making the most of its strategic position on both the border of the EU and Asia.
Bucharest market in numbers
Whether it is for lifestyle or investment purposes, there can be extra costs that need to be considered in addition to the purchase of the property itself. While the cost of the property is by far the most significant expense, additional costs you may need to cover can include local fees, taxes, running costs and possible charges that will need to be factored in.
The total percentage of purchasers costs involved buying a property in Bucharest, which includes:
Taxes of 1-2% represent the notary and legal fee. Advisory fees of 2-3 % represent the agency fees (if the case, for newly built apartments the commission is paid by the developer) For newly built apartments VAT is applied (mentioned in the listed price so no other extra cost). At this moment VAT is 5% for apartments under 90.000 Euro for multiple transactions or 140.000 euro for only one time transaction and 19% in the other cases.
Rental yields: Based on gross income. Average rental: Based on prices per month. Prime market: The most desirable and most expensive property in a given location, defined as the top 5% of each market by value. Super prime market: The most desirable and most expensive property in a given location, defined as homes priced at more than US $7 million.
Rental yield: 7.5% Expected running costs: €2 sq m Average rental: €12 sq m
Rental yield: 6.5% Expected running costs: €2.5 sq m Average rental: €15 sq m
Super prime market
Rental yield: 5.5% Expected running costs: €3.5 sq m Average rental: €25 sq m
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Sources: 1. Knight Frank Romania. This city guide is provided for general information only. It is not definitive, nor is it intended to amount to advice on which you should solely rely upon. As far as applicable laws allow, we do not accept responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions, nor for loss or damage that may result directly or indirectly from reliance on or use of its contents.