In the first half of this year, a significant increase in the number of transactions was observed in the new housing project apartment segment in Riga: compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, activity with apartments in new buildings had increased by 31%. An even greater increase was found in housing estates of Riga, where number of transactions with apartments in the new projects had increased by as much as 47%, according to the statistics compiled by ARCO REAL ESTATE.
Mr. Māris Laukalējs, Member of the Management Board of ARCO REAL ESTATE, considers that the transaction registration procedure is one of the possible reasons for the increase in the number of transactions. Often, transactions in new projects take place over a year or two and data in the Land Register appear only after the housing project has been commissioned. Such a situation has a significant impact on real estate market statistics, and to a large extent this is the reason why such an increase in activity can now be observed, explains the expert.
In the opinion of Mr. M. Laukalējs, the decrease of market activity in the second half of the last year compared to the first half of the year could also prove the veracity of this assumption, - it does not mean that there were no transactions in the new buildings, they simply entered the statistics in the first quarter of this year, the period during which the most intense activity in the last five years was recorded.
"However, despite the partially artificial increase in the number of transactions, I can clearly say that demand for new housing projects is growing," says Mr. M. Laukalējs.
Characterizing the new project market segment, the price index per square meter recorded in the first half of this year was EUR 1,455. Also in this category, according to the expert, there are deviations from the actual market price, because in reality, transactions are recorded after some time. As a result, the actual market price in the first half of the year was between EUR 1,500 and EUR 1,600 per square meter.
It should be mentioned that in the first half of this year also the number of transactions with apartments with the price exceeding EUR 2,000 per square meter increased: if last year only 13 transactions were registered above this amount, then in the first half of this year already 30 transactions were registered.
Data collected by ARCO REAL ESTATE show that two-room apartments have gained the most popularity among apartments in new housing projects, accounting for 45 % of all transactions, while three-room apartments accounted for 35 %. In the first half of the year, one-room and four-room apartments were less demanded. 50-85 square meter apartments were the most popular in terms of area (58 %), and trends show that buyers choose this area with more rooms. The importance of the number of rooms is often emphasized by the young families.
Meanwhile, looking at the situation in the centre of Riga, it can be concluded that there was a great interest in renovated apartments of small size - about 20 square meters - located in renovated buildings. Most of the clients bought these apartments as their temporary property or with the intention of renting it, admits Mr. M. Laukalējs.