Real Estate investment in Batumi, on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, has grown rapidly in recent years. As the world recovers from the covid epidemic, tourism is returning to normal. So it is an ideal time to resume your investment plans to bring in high returns.
Batumi, and Georgia in general, are prime places for real estate investing right now.
In this article we will tell you about Batumi, and property investment opportunities in different districts. Dive into prices per sqm and what kind of returns you may expect on your real estate investment in Batumi, Georgia.
Life In Batumi: The Essentials
Batumi, or the “Barcelona of the Black Sea”, as some locals have called it, is located in the southwestern corner of the country, very close to the Turkish border.
The city is small, compared to Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. There are not as many districts, and the living options for expats are more limited, due to how the city has developed over the years. But the population is increasing rapidly, and at the time of writing, there are more than 174,000 inhabitants, a significant increase from 153,000 in 2014.
Infrastructure, Transport & Internet
The infrastructure in Batumi is well-developed. Public transport is available in the form of buses, various “marshrutka” minibuses, and taxis, which are even more affordable than in Tbilisi. Bolt and Yandex taxis are the best options for taxis in Batumi. Generally, taxis are the best option for expats to get around the city as they are convenient and cheap.
But there is also efficient and cheap inter-city transport along the Black Sea coastline, enabling you to easily visit other beach towns for an afternoon.
The more touristy coastal areas are far more developed than either inner-city residential neighborhoods or suburbs on the outskirts of the city, which sometimes have very worn-down roads. For this reason, before committing to an apartment, it’s always good to check out the conditions of the surrounding roads and make sure they’re something you’d be comfortable using regularly.
However, if you don’t plan on regularly using a car or public transportation, there is also another option in Batumi: cycling! There are dedicated bike paths throughout the city (although, in some places cyclists will find themselves biking in traffic as the bike path occasionally stops and starts, and in other areas pedestrians tend to crowd the bike path). Even so, many locals prefer using bikes for commuting, as the city is relatively small, mostly flat. and the traffic can get quite busy, especially during peak summer season.
In general, Batumi is a very walkable & bikeable city, as there are far fewer hills than in Tbilisi.
Getting from Tbilisi to Batumi – Best way to do so is by using a train, it takes around 6 hours and costs 34 GEL one way. There is also a bus option provided by Metro Buses, they take slightly longer due to stops along the way but are another good alternative. It costs 35/40 GEL one way.
Finally, the internet in Batumi is almost as good as in Tbilisi. The same big internet providers operate here and you can buy the same packages and the service is quite reliable – 100MB fiber optic is typically available.
In terms of shopping for groceries, clothes, home goods, electronics, and more, Batumi is not as rich in choices as Tbilisi. There are 3 large shopping malls in Batumi:
- Metro City (located close to the airport)
- Carrefour Mall (near the Justice House)
- Batumi Mall (near the Justice House)
All major Georgian electronic chains have shops in the city, but their inventory is not as large as the Tbilisi branches, and the same is true of clothing shops and home goods stores. As for grocery shopping, the standard chains of supermarkets are available throughout the city, such as Spar, Nikora, and 2 Nabiji. In the malls you will find both Goodwill and Carrefour hypermarkets.
Entertainment-wise, the options available in Batumi vary dramatically between peak tourist season and the quieter winter season.
During the busy season, when the city transforms into a bustling seaside resort, the influx of tourists increases the demand for a variety of entertainment options. Every day there are concerts taking place somewhere in the city, especially near the Boulevard area, including the famous yearly summer Batumi Jazz Festival.
Moreover, there are entertainment fairs spread around the seaside boulevard area, such as amusement park rides (like the ferris wheel), go-karts, paintball & shooting galleries, tennis courts & ping pong tables, the aquarium, indoor ice-skating rinks, and more. During summer people also frequently rent bikes, scooters, and 4-wheelers to get around the city.
Additionally, because Batumi is located so close to Turkey, you can always hop across the border for a short trip. Many locals frequently visit Turkey for shopping, tourism, or other activities at any time of the year.
Batumi is one of the prime gambling destinations in the region. Almost every small/major hotel has a casino attached to it which invites players from all over the world. They also hold frequent tournaments and special events throughout the year. For this reason, Batumi has also been called the “Las Vegas of the Black Sea”.
Food & Dining
Finally, most of Batumi’s gastronomy scene is located alongside the coastal boulevard, which stretches over 7 kilometers, starting from the seaport and running all the way to the International airport at the other end of the city. In the future it may become even longer, as there are plans to stretch it all the way to Sarpi, a coastal village located at the Turkish border crossing.
Within the city, especially around the Old Town area, there are many cafes and restaurants popular with both locals and foreigners alike. Batumi offers unique Adjarian-style cuisine, as well as more authentic Turkish food than can be found in the rest of Georgia.
During the off-season, most of the cafes and restaurants located around the main boulevard close down. Those that do remain open are not as lively as during the summer season. However, there are still plenty of places where expats like to gather and socialize, as many spots in the Old Town are open year round. Certainly, the busy season offers more activities, but the off-season means that you might have your favourite cafe or restaurant all to yourself.
Cost of Living, Weather, Health & Safety
The cost of living in Batumi is relatively low, on average, even lower than that of Tbilisi. Of course, since Batumi is a resort town, the prices fluctuate from the on-season to the off-season. Because it is a highly popular tourist destination in summer, the cost of lodging, dining out, and even the prices for basic goods will tend to increase during the busy season. However, if you live in Batumi year-round, the relative decrease during the rest of the year will even out your expenditures and still, have you spending less than in other major cities.
Batumi weather is very much like English weather; one minute it can be sunny and people will flock to the beach, and by the next, there is a massive rainstorm that lasts for a week. Batumi is extremely humid due to its proximity to the sea. Because of this, the weather here is chaotic and sometimes very unpredictable. Unlike England, however, the climate is classed as “sub-tropical”, so while being changeable year round, it certainly does not get as cold/damp and miserable as England in the winter, in general.
When it comes to health and safety, Batumi is as safe as any other major city in Georgia. In terms of healthcare, there are several major hospitals and dental clinics in Batumi. However, if you’re in need of a more complicated medical procedure, scheduling a trip to Tbilisi may be necessary.
Why Invest In Batumi?
There are many reasons why one might consider investing in Batumi real estate, here are several key ones:
- Geographic location. Batumi is undergoing rapid development. Its location on the Black Sea coast, part of the ancient Silk Road, makes it attractive to expats from all over the world.
- Batumi is a resort city. This means a large flow of tourists seeking a place to vacation in the summer. Batumi is one of the most popular places in the country due to its lush seaside.
- High rate of construction growth. The active construction of apartments in Batumi has led to record levels. Directly before the pandemic, the municipality of Batumi alone annually issued building permits for an average of 1,200,000 square meters. (For a broad comparison, the entire country of Lithuania, issued about 4 times less in the same period.)
- Relatively low cost real estate. Real estate prices in Tbilisi are considered to be higher than those of Batumi. The average price $/m2 of residential property in Batumi is $771/m2, whereas it’s just over $1,050/m2 on average in Tbilisi.
- Favorable property tax rates. The maximum payable annual property tax rate in Georgia is 1% of the property value for residential property, as per the Tax Code of Georgia. However, the precise amount of the tax is determined by the local government of each municipality. The representative body of Batumi established a property tax for individuals at 0.2% in 2017.
- Foreigners can obtain a legal residence permit in Georgia by owning real estate with an assessed market value in excess of $100,000 USD or investing over $300,000 USD in other types of business investment and real estate.
- Purchase remotely. Non-Georgian citizens can complete the purchase of property remotely without visiting the country. Our lawyers and agents can represent you in all matters using a Power of Attorney.
If you want to discuss any of the above, or have any other questions relating to real estate in Batumi, or anywhere in Georgia, get a free consultation with one of our agents. These are information calls, not sales calls.
Batumi by District – Where To invest
Which districts of Batumi to consider for real estate investment.
The crème de la crème of Batumi, this district is the closest to the seashore, boulevard, and most of what the city has to offer. Therefore the most prestigious and high-profile development projects are located here, which obviously means the prices per square meter here can be quite high, but can also bring in more returns for your investment.
Prices here usually are around $1,000 to $1,200+ USD per square meter. However, due to increased demand and economic conditions, the prices may go up even further soon, although this remains to be seen.
The downtown area of the city is also close to the coast line, but slightly further inland than the 1st Line district.
There is a lot more variety in prices here compared to 1st Line. Usually, prices here start from $400 all the way up to $1,000+ USD per square meter. As a result, you have much more variety in type and budget for your investment. Similar to the 1st Line district, prices here may also increase slightly in the future.
This is where the majority of the local population lives, and is comparatively less developed than the 1st Line and Inner Center districts. It is usually populated by old private homes with gardens.
However, in recent years several developers have begun construction of villas and small residences in this area, bringing much-needed upgrades to the district. Prices here are much cheaper than in the other two districts, sometimes as low as $400 to $600 USD per square meter, and very few projects go above $800 USD per square meter.
This encompasses the very sparsely populated and underdeveloped areas on the outskirts of Batumi. Some of these areas were also recently added to within the city limits, as the city continues to grow. It is becoming increasingly popular with developers and future projects as many buyers and investors are looking for quieter places that are outside the city but not too far away.
In recent years, city hall gave out comparatively large amounts of building permits in this district for projects. Prices in this district vary between $400 to $1000 USD per square meter.
Potential Challenges When Investing In Batumi
Every investment opportunity comes with some challenges, and Batumi is no exception.
If you decide to purchase property in Batumi, you’ll need to find a reliable real estate agent. As this sector is unregulated in Georgia, you will find a slew of unscrupulous agents who may go as so far as to sell you anything and aren’t above faking or failing to disclose certain information about properties they’re trying to sell. When deciding to invest large amounts of money in Batumi, it is extremely important to complete due diligence for your intended purchase and do business with reliable realtors and developers alike.
Similarly, one must also be careful with property management companies, in the event that you will be buying to let. There are several high-profile developments that are partnered with world-renowned property management services that will ensure your investment is in good hands. However, it still poses a certain risk, because that same management company may decide to abandon the development and pass it on to local authorities or a local management company, which may reduce the quality of service and therefore endanger your investment.
The development of the real estate market in Batumi has accelerated in recent years, with a record number of units built in the past five years.
Up until 2022, supply far outweighed demand, however in 2022 this trend has reversed, with Batumi mirroring the high rental demand of Tbilisi. An advantage of the Batumi market is that it is led by a number of large, quality developers, building impressive coastline mixed-use towers.
In some cases, guaranteed rental income is offered by the developers. For buy-to-let investment in Batumi, look for proximity to the coastline, guaranteed profitability, quality of construction, and finishing, and service management.
The Georgian real estate market can be daunting. Even after gaining some experience, the level of nuance can be confusing enough to cause a lot of concern and leave you unsure if you are making good decisions.
Though the final decision on what to buy always has to come down to you, our buy-side agents exist to give you the right context, support, and objective advice to be informed enough to feel confident at every stage of the process. Combined with comprehensive service from our real estate lawyers, we are here to make the process as safe and painless as possible. We get paid by you no matter which property you end up buying, so we are focused on representing your interests, not the seller’s.
Free Real Estate Consultation
Considering buying in Georgia? We offer a free 30 minute consultation.
Our consultation is an information call, not a sales call. English language consultation only.
If you prefer to go it alone in the research and selection process, we still can assist with the essential due diligence legal work, as well as recommend our partner company Checkit.ge for your property inspections.