Market review August 2018

Even though the number of transactions in August was only higher than that of July, the real estate market in Tallinn has still been active, which is confirmed by the fact that in the first eight months of the year, 127 transactions more have been concluded in Tallinn in comparison to the same period last year (the growth during the year being 2%). In general, the real estate market of the capital has reached a calmer phase where the increase in the number of transactions is slowing down, and there is no reason to expect a large growth characteristic of the previous years.

The volume of residential premises having received a building permit has been decreasing already for some time. However, it does not adequately reflect the general situation of the real estate market, as according to developers, the application periods for building permits have been extended. In comparison to the same period in year 2017, the volume of established detailed plans with residential land as the main intended purpose has increased.

Regardless of the quick increase in the construction prices, the median price of apartments has stabilised, remaining between 1,700 and 1,800 EUR/m2 this year, depending on the month, and having increased by 6.3% during the first eight months in comparison to the same period last year. In August, 722 apartments were sold in Tallinn, with a median price of 1,725 euros per square metre. In comparison to last August which was one of the most active months of year 2017, the number of transactions dropped by 144, the median price, however, remained virtually at the same level.

The developments of the other larger cities in Estonia are slightly different from those in Tallinn – in Tartu, the growth of the current year has been amplified by the low baseline of last year – the number of transactions has increased by over 200 and the median price by 7.2% in the first eight months. The market of Tartu was also active in August – over 170 transactions were concluded for the fourth consecutive month, whereas last year no such results were achieved. The median price of the square metre of apartments was 1,330 euros in August, which was slightly less than in July but practically the same as last August.

The market of Pärnu depends on a few large developments even to a greater extent, and the volume of the latter last year was larger than this year – the price increase has been significant (+15% in comparison to the first eight months of last year) but the number of transactions has slightly decreased (21 in comparison to the same period last year). In August, 72 apartments were sold in Pärnu, with the median price of 1,169 euros per square metre. In comparison to July, the figure changed by –7.9% whereas in comparison to last August it increased by 20.5%.

Narva has caught a lot of attention lately but all the excitement has not resulted in positive statistics just yet. With its 61 transactions, August remained close to the annual average, whereas, similarly to June, the median price was one of the lowest of the year, only 325 EUR/m2. In comparison to last August, the number of transactions remained almost the same, whereas the median price dropped by nearly 70 EUR/m2.

In the first eight months of this year, 35 transactions less than last year were concluded in Narva (500→465), the median price of the transactions remained virtually at the same level (slightly under 400 EUR/m2).

At the end of summer, it is also appropriate to discuss the market of summer houses which, similarly to the market of apartments, was also influenced by the hot summer. According to the information of the Land Board, 79 transactions with summer houses were concluded in August all over Estonia, which is similar to the level of year 2014, as since then, around 100 transactions have been concluded in August. In the first eight months of the year, 583 transactions were concluded with summer houses, which is the lowest result of past five years. The median price of the transactions has somewhat increased. In years 2014 and 2015, it remained under 34,000 euros, in 2018, the figure was slightly over 36,000 euros.

Based on the figures of the past three years, the most active counties are Harju County with 852 transactions, Ida-Viru County with 427 transactions and Rapla County and Pärnu County with slightly over 100 transactions. Out of the transactions with built-up residential land, the share of transactions with summer houses exceeded 60% in Ida-Viru County; in Harju and Rapla Counties it was also over 30%. The most expensive summer houses are located in Harju County and the islands. Based on the figures of the past three years, the median price of the transactions was 54,700 euros in Harju County; speaking of the most active areas, the median price in Tartu County was nearly 43,000 euros, whereas the median price was one of the lowest in Ida-Viru County (nearly 11,000 euros).

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