Prices of accommodation growing, with prospects vague
Spring awakens not only nature but property buyers, with 60 percent rise in purchase-and-sale deals of late, against early 2016 figures
Early in the year, registered purchases were slow, perhaps as the growing foreign currency market seemed to cause anxiety. Now, prices have fallen, with a one-bedroom flat to be had for as little as $35,000 (just over $1,000 per square metre) and a two-bedroom flat for $50,000 ($995 per square metre). Three-bedroom flats are selling for about $950 per square metre. Modern buyers are less eager to pay more for fully fitted flats in good repair, although they prefer properties to be in this condition. Price is the main factor, which is logical against today’s Dollar exchange rate (which is steadily falling for the second month in a row).
“The majority of deals on the secondary market account for exchange of small flats into larger apartments, or large flats divided into several smaller,” notes the director of Viva Capital consulting company, Vadim Tachkin. He explains, “Less extra payment is asked for and, accordingly, people are keen to buy. However, this doesn’t mean that the property market is receiving more money. A three-bedroom apartment may be exchanged for two one-bedroom flats. This involves three deals, but money is eventually received only by the seller of one flat. Accordingly, it’s too early to speak of increased demand. At least, the major indicator, the primary market, does not demonstrate this: we are not observing much activity there.”
Prices are quite attractive, with accommodation priced at $850 per square metre for a panel house in a Minsk residential district. In Dzerzhinsk, a suburb of Minsk, prices of $650 are common.
The difference between expensive and inexpensive repairs has levelled on the secondary market but newly built accommodation faces another situation, with buyers preferring not to pay for the project but for a ready-made house. Speaking of future prospects, further reduction of prices is possible if banks fail to act. At present, constructors and buyers are trying to do without loans, or are using them in small amounts. However, one of the country’s major banks recently sent a proposal to the Association of Accommodation Constructors, to lease flats under the refinancing rate plus 3-4 percent, for a period of 15 years. Similar mortgage programmes are being prepared by other financial institutions.
By Anna Savelieva