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Buy a Property in Denmark

Buy a Property in Denmark

Buying a property in Denmark can be a natural step for those who have their domicile in the country, or foreign nationals who have been residing in Denmark for several years. In fact, a key consideration for foreigners willing to buy property is their tie to the country. Before starting the property purchase process foreign citizens or investors must know that there are a few requirements related to this procedure.

Quick Facts  
Overview on Danish real estate

The Danish real estate market offers various property types and it is characterized by stability and a growing emphasis on sustainability.

Where to search for properties

– real estate agencies,

– online portals,

– social media postings,

– newspapers,

– auctions, etc.

Requirements to buy a property

Have domicile in Denmark or have had residence in Denmark for at least 5 years;

Otherwise you need permission from the Department of Civil Affairs.

Permanent vs. non-permanent dwellings Permanent dwellings are intended for year-round living, while non-permanent dwellings are often used seasonally or temporarily, such as holiday houses.
Permission to purchase a non-permanent dwelling

– have family linguistic or cultural ties to Denmark,

– be granted by the Department of Civil Affairs,

– purchase the property within 3 years after permission.

Mortgages

up to 80% of the property's total price (for residents)

Down payments

– minimum 5% deposit from personal funds with the remaining 15% through a bank loan (for residents),

– higher rates for foreigners

Occupancy requirements

Once you buy a property, you cannot leave it empty for more than six months;

Our Danish lawyers can explain this rule in detail for you.

Appealing decision by Department of Civil Affairs

You cannot appeal the decision, but you can appeal to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

Surveyor needed (YES/NO)

NO

Taxes

 – property tax,

– land tax,

– real estate agent fees,

– notary fees, etc.

Residence or citizenship by investment (YES/NO)

 

NO

Types of available properties in Denmark

– commercial,

– residential (apartments, detached or terraced houses, co-operatives apartments, etc.)

Advantages of buying a property in Denmark

– high-quality living,

– stable real estate market,

– legal protection,

– possible rental income,

– beautiful scenery, etc.

Assistance

Our Danish law firm can help you obtain the permission from Department of Civil Affairs and buy a property in the country, guiding you in every step.

Local bank account required

Our lawyers recommend opening a bank account to facilitate any real estate transactions.

Due diligence procedure

– verify the property's ownership,

– check zoning regulations,

– conduct building inspections,

– verify utility accessibility,

– assess the financial aspects of the property, etc.

General documents needed for buying property

– ID documents,

– proof of residence,

– proof of financial stability,

– property purchase agreement,

– property valuation report, etc.

Mandatory insurance (YES/NO) NO
Cooperative housing (andelsbolig)

You can buy shares in a cooperative housing association and live in a specific dwelling within the cooperative;

Note this does not mean you own the property.

Constructing a house

Requires obtaining the necessary building permits.

Content of property contract (købsaftale)

– personal information about the buyer and seller,

– property description,

– purchase price,

– payment terms,

– possession date,

– deposit terms, etc.

Legal framework for Danish real estate

– Danish Purchase Act ("Købeloven),

– The Rent Act (Lejeloven),

– The Planning Act (Planloven),

– The Building Act (Byggeloven), etc.

Land registry excerpt – characteristics

Offers information on property ownership and any associated legal obligations.

Restrictions to agricultural lands (YES/NO) NO
Registration of ownership

At the Danish Land Registry (Tinglysningen)

Processing time for permission from the Department of Civil Affairs

4 weeks (approx.)

Tax number required to buy property (YES/NO)

YES

Documentation verification

Our attorneys will verify the documents for the purchased property.

Additional services provided by our team

company formation,

– accounting,

– debt collection,

– business consulting,

– tax planning, etc.

Conditions for buying property in Denmark

Buying a home is a natural step for many foreign nationals who have decided to move to Denmark permanently, as well as for Danish citizens. An important distinction is made between permanent (or all-year) dwellings, and holiday homes. In both of these cases, a key issue is how long the buyer has been living in Denmark.

Seeking personalized assistance from a team of real estate lawyers in the country, such as our team of lawyers in Denmark, is important in order to understand if you do need special permission from the authorities in order to buy a permanent home or a secondary residence.

In order to buy a property in Denmark, a foreign citizen must:

  • have his or her domicile in Denmark;
  • have lived in Denmark for a minimum period of 5 years prior to the purchase;
  • receive permission for the purchase from the Department of Civil Affairs, if the buyer does not meet the conditions above.

Special conditions are in place for purchasing properties for EEA/Swiss citizens. These foreign nationals can, under EU law, be subject to lighter rules, and receive an exemption from having to receive the permission of the authorities in order to buy a permanent dwelling. Our Danish lawyers will give you detailed information on the rules that apply in your case if you are an employee in Denmark and are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.

Our lawyers in Denmark can offer more information on the requirements related to buying a property in this country. Seeking specialized legal assistance, as well as counsel before you start the purchase process is advisable in all cases. Our team will not only evaluate your case, but we will also assist you with the application to the Department of Civil Affairs, if this is a needed step in your case.

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Types of properties that can be bought in Denmark

Before explaining the Danish property purchase procedure, one must know that both individuals (as seen above) and companies can own real estate here. This is why the type of real estate to be bought in Denmark are divided into:

  • commercial properties;
  • residential properties.

Residential properties are further categorized as:

  • detached or terraced houses;
  • apartments;
  • co-operative apartments.

Special rules are in place in case of property purchases in Denmark involving cooperative housing units, detached houses, owner-occupied apartments, and other types of real property. It is advisable to seek the assistance of our attorneys in Denmark if you are a natural or legal person interested in such construction projects or purchases. Moreover, we can also advise on buying holiday homes, as well as construction plots, which can also be subject to special rules.

The authorities will take more issues into account in the case of applications for holiday homes. The total period of residence in the country is also assessed, along with any ties the applicant might have (family ties, cultural, or business ties).

Once the type of property is chosen, one can start the preparations for the purchase which can imply a pre-sale agreement and after that the sale-purchase contract. However, it is best to request the legal services of a law firm in Demark when entering such contracts.

When a legal person is involved in the property purchase, our lawyers will provide details on any special requirements that may apply. Furthermore, companies that require information about the taxes that apply in their case following such a purchase can discuss these with our accountants in Denmark.

We invite you to watch a video about the property purchase requirements:

Permanent dwellings in Denmark

Before buying a property in Denmark, it is important to know the definitions and characteristics of permanent dwellings. Our Danish lawyers will explain them to you.

A permanent dwelling refers to a property where an individual has their primary and permanent residence. He/she must be registered as living in the property in the Danish Civil Registration System (CPR).

EU/EEA or Swiss citizens may purchase permanent dwellings in Denmark without the permission of the Department of Civil Affairs, under certain conditions. This includes being employed in Denmark or another EU/EEA country, having an EU/EEA residence permit, or being self-employed with sufficient funds to support oneself. A declaration stating that the property will be used as a permanent dwelling must be submitted to the Danish Court of Land Registration. This can be done remotely by our attorneys in DenmarkLeaving or abandoning this property might lead to certain fines.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens still might require permission from the Department of Civil Affairs to purchase a permanent dwelling, if the other criteria are not met. 

Please note that processing time for applications to the Department of Civil Affairs can take up to four weeks.

Non-permanent dwellings in Denmark

A non-permanent dwelling is usually a holiday home, apartment, or property where the individual does not live permanently and is not registered in the CPR. Here are more details on how to buy this property in Denmark.

If you wish to purchase a non-permanent dwelling you must apply for permission if you do not have domicile in Denmark or did not have residence in Denmark for at least 5 years. However, permission to purchase a non-permanent dwelling can be granted if you have particularly strong ties to Denmark.

This includes a history of spending holidays in Denmark over an extended period (on average over 25 years). Other factors taken into account might be having family ties with Denmark, linguistic or cultural ties to the country, and association with the property being purchased. To apply for permission, you must provide detailed information on these ties. It is also possible to inherit non-permanent dwellings.

The processing of applications for permission to purchase a non-permanent dwelling can take up to 10 weeks. Our law firm in Denmark can help with the application process.

Financing buying a property in Denmark

By law, individuals need a minimum down payment of 5% of the purchase price to buy a property in Denmark. However, banks may require foreigners to provide a higher down payment.

The next 15% of the purchase price, if not covered by the buyer’s own funds, can be financed through a bank loan. The remaining 80% of the purchase price, ranging from 20% to 100%, can be financed through other bank loans.

Banks in Denmark typically limit the loan amount to no more than 4 times the borrower’s yearly pre-tax salary. If the property costs more than 4 times the borrower’s income, a larger down payment is required.

If you need assistance in financial matters, our accountants in Denmark can help. Among our other services, we can also help you open a company in the country.

Completing the purchase of a property in Denmark

Before concluding the purchase and signing the sale contract, the future owner will have some time in which he or she can verify the property. A check with the Land Register and a technical inspection of the property is part of the standard real estate due diligence procedures in Denmark.

If the buyer is content with the choice, the contract has been signed and the money transferred to the seller’s bank account, the real estate must be transferred to the new owner’s name. This is done by registering the property with the local Land Register which will issue the new property title.

If you own a company in Denmark and are interested in buying a property that will serve as a company headquarters, you should know that our team can also help you with accounting services. Among the essential services we provide we can include bookkeeping, annual financial statements preparation, tax accounting, and more. You can always reach out to our accountants in Denmark for additional information.

Property taxes in Denmark

Persons who wish to buy a property in Denmark should be mindful not only of the general purchase rules and the purchase process, but also of the mandatory steps that follow once they become homeowners in the country.

Individuals who are permanent residents in Denmark should already be accustomed to the personal income taxes they pay on their income (from salaries, in most cases). However, once they buy a property in Denmark, they will also pay property tax.

Our lawyers in Denmark highlight some of the most important issues concerning property taxes below:

  • The property tax is based on an assessment made by the authorities;
  • The Danish Property Assessment Agency will generally be involved in this assessment every 2 years;
  • A new system for assessment has entered into force in 2020; new property owners are informed of  these rules, and any regular updates, as they take place;
  • The basis for taxation is, generally, 0.92% of the value of the property up to 3,040,000 DKK and 3% when the value exceeds this amount;
  • Business property owned by companies can also be subject to a different building tax of 1% of the building’s value.

Statistics about Danish real estate ​market

Our Danish lawyers have collected some interesting statistics about the country’s real estate market and the sales of properties:

  • There were over 46,000 property sales in 2022 in Denmark for one-family houses;
  • 912 business properties were sold that year;
  • 919 residential properties with 2 flats were sold in 2022;
  • Most of the sales were done in the Hovedstaden Capital Region of Denmark and Midtjylland Region, with over 20,000 sales in each region. 

For full information on how to buy a property here, please contact our Danish lawyers. We can also help you open a company in Denmark.