Tallinn Property and Goodson and Red Make The New York Times!

Following a recent mention in the UK quality daily newspaper the Daily Telegraph, Tallinn Property is delighted to announce that Goodson & Red has also now extensively featured in the online version of the New York Times‘ property section, “Great Homes and Destinations”.

The article, by Nina Roberts , covers a gorgeously-appointed and spacious apartment currently being presented by Goodson & Red. The property is at 37 Lai Street, in the heart of the Old Town, and the article goes into some detail about the layout and features of this showcase, heritage property.

It also contains comment from multiple sources about the current state of affairs with the Estonian real esate market and economy.

The apartment is almost 200 square metres in area, fully remonted and split over three levels, and is on the market at an asking price of 860,000 Euros.

The New York Times article can be viewed here.

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Estonian Land Board – Seasonal Drop in Real Estate Sales For January

According to analysis of data concerning property prices and transactions from the Estonian Land Board as carried out by real estate firm 1Partner Kinnisvara, whilst January 2012 saw a 40 per cent increase in the number of real estate deals year -on-year, the number actually went down compared with December 2011.

According to 1Partner Kinnisvara managaing director Martin Vahter, as reported on Tõnu Toompark’s Adaur blog, this comes as so great surprise and is most probably seasonal. “The market is being currently shaped by a lot of different factors that are likely to have an impact, for example the exceptionally cold February weather” explains Mr. Vahter.

“At the same time there have been some good signs” Mr. Vahter goes on. “The winter has seen activity from those Finnish people who wish to invest in city centre apartments” he explains, whilst adding that this activity comes from the purchasing power of a market-conscious group of customers.

685 sale-purchase transactions took place in Tallinn in January 2012, which is nearly 25 per cent less than December 2011. The total value of deals fell by 12 per cent over the same period to a value of 49 million Euros.

Apartment price per square metre in January saw no significant variation for the tenth month in a row, where prices have remained above the 1 000 Euro per square metre mark; in this case it stood at 1 036 Euros. The most expensive apartment to be sold in Tallinn cost 350 000 Euros, whilst the cheapest in the city went for 1 500 Euros [editor’s note – such seemingly fantastic bargains are only likely to be found in the outer, Soviet-era dormitory districts, and are most probably affected by other issues].

Twenty one entire residential buildings were built in January 2012, seven less than the previous month. The most expensive deal came to 1.45 million Euros and the cheapest cost 100 000 Euros.

Four unimproved houses were sold in the same month, eight less than in December 2011.

The original article (in Estonian) can be viewed here.

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Colliers International: Demand For Commercial Space To Increase

Here at Tallinn Property we like to focus on residential real estate, but it’s worth taking time out on occasion to examine how other areas of the real estate market are faring.

Real estate analysts Colliers international’s monthly survey, when taking 2011 as a whole, has shown that whilst at the beginning of 2011, no significant changes were expected to take place in the market, there was a surprise in store in the office space sector, where at the end of the year there were few vacancies and a rise in the rental price for new office space.

“There is a distinct lack of first-rate office space, and thus we forecast that by 2013 there will be an increase in this area  in the central business district [of Tallinn] of at least 10 000 square meters” says Colliers Investment and Evaluations manager Margus Tinno.

“The retail sector, which saw a high degree of competition between supermarket chains in 2011, will see this trend continuing into 2012. Rental rates for long term tenants should remain stable; however some smaller landlords may increase rents” Mr Tinno went on.

Activity in the real estate market saw some unexpected developments in 2011, which was mainly driven by the public sector. In 2012 the Technomedicum (incorporating the biomedical engineering, clinical medicine departments together with the cardiology centre) and Mechatronics Centre at the Tallinn Science Park is due to be finished, and about half of the space is so far subject to rental lease agreements with the state. Additionally, the Ülemiste Technopolis has started to construct some new office space, of which 11 600 square metres is to be taken up by the Estonian Tax and Customs authority. Furthermore a new headquarters for the Estonian Statistics office, of around 4 4000 square metres, has been planned for the end of 2013, all of which makes the public sector the most important driving force in the marketplace for office space.

2011 saw a growth in exports which in turn led to increased demand for industrial and warehouse space. A significant number of industrial enterprises and foreign capital-based companies, which work primarily in the electronics and distribution fields, have begun to consider expanding and thus need to find additional or entirely new space. However, due to rising construction costs, commercial rental prices have increased significantly (by 50 per cent or more when compared with 2009). Colliers predicts that the industrial warehouse market will be seeing a distinct lack of larger, high quality space, and so there is a current gap in the market for speculative, good quality warehouse space with a provisional asking rental of 4-4.50 Euros per square metre per month.

Overall, the boom time of the middle 2000s saw a decline in the use of warehouse ownership. More and more warehouse users are preferring to rent warehouse space, thus keeping themselves free of the capital and real estate commitments that ownership entails. The situation is somewhat different for heavy industry, however, where more specialised production demands tend to necessitate ownership of suitable facilities.

“Whilst the debt crisis in the Eurozone has continued to adversely affect the investment market, the total volume of investment in this area in 2011 came to around 250 million Euros, which is more than three times the value for 2010” Tinno goes on.

“The largest single deal in the history of the Estonian real estate market took place in 2011 as well, when publicly-traded Finnish retail investor Citycon purchased the Kristiine shopping centre in Tallinn for 105 million Euros. We anticipate that the investment arket in 2012 will continue to be active, because most investors now have the funds available, and the market is expecting to see investment coming to sites” he concludes.

The original article (in Estonian) as published on Tõnu Toompark’s Adaur blog, can be viewed here.

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Estonia Placed Third Equal In Press Freedom Rankings

The recently-published Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index has seen Estonia rise six places to joint third (with the Netherlands) just behind Finland and Norway which occupy the top two spots.

The Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom index is based on a survey compiled and sent to partner organisations, journalists, correspondents, jurists and other interested parties round the world. Questions include incidence of repression of journalists including imprisonment (this only refers to domestic journalists and not foreign correspondents), state responsibility in censorship, and the state’s attitude towards internet development in any given country. The way in which scores are measured has somewhat changed from the previous year, with a negative score actually being a good thing, but the change in ranking is the key yardstick.

Estonia first appeared in the rankings in 2003, the second year they had been compiled, in joint 13th place, and it never fell lower than this point. In fact this year’s is the country’s joint best place, having already placed third in 2007.

The latest rankings see Iceland and Austria making up the top six, Sweden in 12th place, the UK in 28th place, the US in 47th place, neighbouring Latvia in 50th place and Russia in 142nd place.

The Press Freedom Index placing is not a reflection of the quality of the media within a given country, though it might be surmised that a certain corollary between the two might exist.

The original article which includes the criteria used in the questionnaire and the procedures in making the survey can be viewed here.

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