A staircase leads to the second floor, where there is a 500-square-foot master suite, with a glass-enclosed rain shower set flush to the floor and two wash basins. A door leads to a 500-square-foot terrace, with a sauna to the left. The multilevel terrace has an elevated eating rotunda with remotely adjustable sunshades, as well as extensive plantings and other sheltered areas for relaxing or reading. The apartment has central air-conditioning, and parking is available in the building for a monthly fee.
The Eighth District is very traditional, said Michaela Orisich of Otto Immobilien in Vienna, which is listing the property, with a number of parks, good public and private schools, and easy access to major highways and the city center via public transport. City Hall is nearby, and the Vienna airport is about 30 minutes away, she said.
The Viennese real estate market largely sailed through the 2008 recession unscathed, agents said. According to a report issued by Knight Frank real estate in London, home prices in the city rose 55 percent from the collapse of Lehman Brothers to June of last year. Overall prices in Austria rose 34.7 percent in the same period, the report said.
Agents cited a number of reasons, including a limited supply of new and renovated apartments in the desirable city center, Austria’s stable economy and conservative banking system, and limits on foreign buyers that had discouraged speculation and flipping.
When the crisis hit, said Peter Marschall, the owner of Marschall Real Estate in Vienna, “A lot of people invested in real estate as an alternative to shares. It was a secure investment.”
The luxury and second-home market in Vienna has traditionally centered on apartments in the First District, a Unesco heritage site with a wealth of Baroque architecture as well as the Imperial Palace. In recent years, as the high-end market has grown, a number of historic buildings in the center have been converted to luxury apartments. Prices in the First District range from about $1,000 per square foot to three times that or more for the most exclusive penthouses.
Buyers looking for houses or villas will find them in the 13th District, west of the center, as well as in the 18th and 19th Districts to the north. “You are 15 minutes by car from the city center, but you are in the countryside,” Mr. Marschall said. The very best historic houses in those districts can sell for up to $12 million, agents said, though many are under $4 million.
Prices tend to fall as buyers move away from the First District, said Alexander Koch de Gooreynd, the international residential director of Knight Frank in London, which is partners with Otto in Vienna, and developers are starting to respond to the limited supply there.
In districts like the second and fifth, he said, “It’s still easy to walk into the city center, but you’re looking at price points from 750,000 to 2.5 million…