Luxury home or premium for exclusivity
Last year, over 300 flats priced at over $150,000 were sold in Minsk, although property prices have fallen countrywide and buyers are acting cautiously
By Darya Svetlova
Flats for $600,000?
“Often, expensive apartments are called ‘elite’ but not all can be strictly classified as such,” notes Andrey Astreiko, who heads the Consulting and Analytical Department of Tvoya Stolitsa Real Estate Agency. “Elite flats should have a good location, pleasant surroundings and spacious layout but may be found in the old ‘stalinka’ buildings in the centre of Minsk or in modern buildings along Nezavisimosti Avenue, near Victory Square, as well as in the National Library area, Pionerskaya Street.”
A one-bedroom open plan apartment sold recently for $600,000. With 190 square metres, it is inside the ‘At Troetsky’ building, in the historical part of the city, on the banks of the River Svisloch, on Storozhevskaya Street. The Troetsky Suburbs is certainly desirable and the flat boasts three-metre high ceilings, panoramic mirror glazing, underground parking and other elements of comfort. It is among the most ambitious projects in this most prestigious of areas.
Architect Oleg Ladkin tells us, “One-bedroom apartments in this building sold immediately, unfurnished, with just the bare walls, a light-bulb and working sink. Owners brought in interior designers who worked wonders. It’s very fashionable for modern apartments to be open plan, as the walls don’t need to be load bearing. It gives you great freedom in your design. Meanwhile, heating, lighting and electricity are all organised to be hyper-efficient. Two level flats, located on the top floor, with access to the penthouse, sold for $1,500,000.”
A three-room apartment in the Partizansky District in a 2008 building sold for $550,000 recently and, last year, in the Tsentralny and Partizansky districts, two apartments were sold for $350,000: a two-room ‘stalinka’ with 85 square metres; and a three-room ‘khrushchevka’ with 90 square metres, in excellent repair. Per square metre, they cost over $4,000!
However, countryside properties are falling in price, emphasises realtor Yelena Akulich. “Previously, the price could start from $800,000 and reach $2,000,000 while now the cost reduced from $500,000 to $1,500,000. Of course, there will always be those who can afford such prices but supply now exceeds demand, so buyers have a large choice and can stipulate their own price.”
People expect a lot more for their money today, especially regarding finishing and comfort.
The Maryalivo, Valeryanovo and Drozdovo buildings are generally sought-after but a flat may sell for far less if it lacks modern touches.