Statistics: Housing expenses have increased 8% within a year

According to Statistics Estonia the consumer price index of October is 1,5% higher than that one year ago. At the same time housing expenses have increased as much as 8% in one year.

By today, in comparison with the year 1997, the consumer expenses have almost doubled and the housing expenses have increased 3,2 times. This means that the increase in housing expenses exceeds the overall increase in consumer prices during that time 66%.

According to Statistics Estonia, as of September the construction price index which influences the real estate market mainly from the supply side, is 4,9% higher than that one year ago.

The increase in construction price index is mainly due to labour expenses becoming more expensive. Unfortunately this does not mean increase in salaries in that sector but the positive process of black-market labour legalization.

Consumer price index, construction price index, producer price index of industrial output YoY

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Real Estate Prices In Estonia See Fall In July 2012

According to a recent article in the Estonian Press Digest from News2Biz, July 2012 saw something of a fall in real estate prices in Estonia as a whole, but at the same time real purchasing power (in Tallinn) for those wishing to purchase property also fell.

Citing real estate giant Pindi Kinnisvara‘s index as falling by 5.4 per cent between June and July, the report also stated that the real purchasing power of a Tallinn resident earning an average wage would stretch to a property of 68 square metres in area.

The Pindi Index is based on the weighted average transactions across the 17 largest Estonian towns (Tallinn is of course the largest with over 400 000 inhabitants, whereas 17th placed town is Kiviõli in Ida-Virumaa with only a little over six and a half thousand souls).

The average price of apartments per square metre in June 2012 for the whole of Estonia was 886 Euros, falling to 838 Euros per square metre in July, according to the report.

Not surprisingly the lower prices were accompanied by a somewhat higher rate of transactions – 991 in July, compared with 934 the previous month (this only covers the 17 cities incorporated in the Pindi index) the report stated.

According to the article, residents of Tartu and Pärnu can stretch to apartments a little larger in size when measured by their purchasing power levels (at 73 and 84 square metres respectively).

The Pindi Index reached an all time peak in April 2007 at the height of the boom, and an all time low in July 2009 (624.2 Euros per square metre).

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Apartment Prices Showing Slight Y-o-Y Rise in Tallinn, Estonia

Most of the major newspapers in Tallinn are taking a break today after Jaanipäev but here at Tallinn Property we don’t want to take a break from bringing you up to speed on all that is happening in real estate in Tallinn and Estonia in general!

According to a report on Tõnu Toompark’s adaur blog, signs of very slight price increases in property prices in Tallinn and Estonia as a whole can be gleaned from the latest kv.ee index. The kv.ee index currently stands at 61 points which is all of a 0.5 per cent y-o-y increase. Offer prices statistics for both Tallinn and some of the provincial towns show more concrete evidence of modest increases.

Meanwhile the volume of apartment offers remains at about the same level it was a year ago, though in Tallinn the level is about one per cent lower with 8 700 apartments currently under offer, writes Tõnu.  Average offer prices for the whole of Tallinn (apartments) currently stands at 1 317 Euros/square metre.

That said, agents have shown some optimisim in reporting a slight rise in offer prices on Tallinn flats, Tõnu continues. At the same time it needs to be pointed out that offer price rises remain below the growth in actual deal prices. Whereas the offer price on Tallinn apartments has seen a five per cent rise y-o-y, actual deal prices have seen a seven per cent rise over the same period, Tõnu says.

According to the data, within Tallinn, the district to have seen the highest rise in offer prices is Kristiine with an eight per cent increase from 9 May, 2011 to 9 May, 2012 (average price of 1 316 Euros/square metre). The Old Town actually saw a decrease of one per cent in offer prices over the same period (average price of 2 792 Euros/square metre). The greatest increase in volume of offers over the same period was in North Tallinn with an increase of 13 per cent (to 1 418 offers) though many areas saw a fall y-o-y, as high as -18 per cent in Pirita (278 offers). Outside of Tallinn, Tartu has also seen a fall in the volume of offers (-22 per cent) whilst simultaneously experiencing an increase in offer prices of eight per cent (average of 1 051 Euros/square metre).

Estonia as a whole has seen only small increases in both number of apartment offers at two per cent (18 511 currently) and an increase in average offer prices of three per cent (1 004 Euros/square metre).

The full article and statistics (in Estonian) can be viewed here.

The kv.ee index, which commenced on 18 February, 2008 (i.e. this is the date on which the value of the index is calibrated at 100) measures the week on week change in residential real estate prices in Estonia. The data has been measured back anachronistically to 1 January, 2005, when the index stood at an “all time” low of 49.9. The “all time” high came on 7 May, 2007, when it stood at 108.

Goodson & Red Tallinn Property Consultancy is a premier residential and commercial property service based in Tallinn, Estonia, with a strong focus on consultancy services for overseas property investors. Our recent media accolades include mentions in both the UK quality newspaper the Daily Telegraph, and the New York Times.

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Estonian Property Prices Rising Despite Most Countries Seeing A Fall

According to a recent  global property report from prestigious real estate company Knight Frank, whilst the general global trend for house prices is for a continuing  fall, Estonia is bucking this trend and seeing rising prices.

Written by Kate Everett-Allen, the report referred to Knight Frank’s own Global House Price Index (GHPI), where Estonia saw the second highest property price rise in the world y-o-y between December 2010 and December 2011 with a 12.3 per cent GHPI rise (only Brazil was higher) and, whilst more recent rises have been more modest, it is still well ahead of many countries, and much of Europe in particular.

The 6 month GHPI figure stood at 4.4 per cent rise (only Germany was higher at 5 per cent, and Ireland saw a drop of -9 per cent over the same period) and the 3 month period GHPI stood at 1.1 per cent (compared with – 1.1 per cent for the UK).

Whilst the slowdown in China and other Asian countries, not to mention North America, has had its effect on the index, Europe stands as the worst affected region with all 12 bottom spots being occupied by European countries, which makes the Estonian ‘blip’ all the more surprising. In addition to Germany, the only other European countries to have seen an increase are Iceland, Norway and Switzerland; naturally the continuing Eurozone crisis has taken its toll.

60 per cent of countries polled saw a drop in prices over the final quarter of 2011. In addition to the Eurozone crisis and other global economic uncertainty, the report also cited stricter mortgage lending requirements and falling consumer confidence.

“If ..[the] .. trend spreads to more locations, the overall GHPI could easily slip into negative territory during 2012, especially if the slowdown in Asia continues”, the report stated.

Knight Frank is a truly global, high quality commercial and residential real estate agent with a presence in 43 countries worldwide. The original report is available here.

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Estonia Property Prices Lowest Since Downturn, Offers Increase

Positive changes in residential offer prices in Estonia as reflected in the kv.ee index are, despite positive forecasts, not apparent, with the index showing its lowest figure since the 2008-2010 crash, standing at 61.0 on 3 July, 2011, writes Tõnu Toompark on his adaur blog.

This, however, does not represent a catastrophic drop; the figure is only 1.5 per cent lower than a year ago.

Over the past year the index has fluctuated, albeit in the narrow range of just two points. Unfortunately the index is thus far a long distance from the 10 per cent rise predicted at the beginning of the year.

That said, there has been a 10 per cent rise in the level the number of offers year-on-year. At that time the number of offers in the kv.ee portal stood at 18 900, whereas at the time of writing the figure is 20 700, Tõnu writes.

The deals cited consist of offers on apartments and residential houses. The latter are primarily to be found in provincial Estonia (The biggest change was in provincial Estonia, in Paide – not that houses predominate there, of 185 per cent).

In Tallinn the number of residential offers has increased by 9 per cent year-on-year; in the second city of Tartu, and the south Estonian town of Võru, the number of offers have actually decreased, by -6 per cent and -7 per cent respectively, according to Tõnu.

The original article (in Estonian) including a table showing changes in number of offers for all regions of Estonia, can be found here.

The kv.ee index, which commenced on 18 February, 2008 (i.e. this is the date on which the value of the index is calibrated at 100) measures the week on week change in residential real estate prices in Estonia. The data has been measured back anachronistically to 1 January, 2005, when the index stood at an “all time” low of 49.9. The “all time” high came on 7 May, 2007, when it stood at 108. As noted the lowest figure since the downturn of 2008 onwards, of 61.0, has just been recorded.

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Estonian Housing Offer Prices Holding Back Market Index

As recently posted on this blog, a sluggish real estate market in provincial Estonia is having a deleterious effect on the Estonian housing market as a whole, as reflected in the kv.ee index. According to Tõnu Toompark’s Adaur blog, neither the ensuing heat that summer has brought, nor the following showers, have had an effect on the index, which currently stands at 61.3 (earlier in the month the figure was 61.4).

This is 1.3 per cent lower than this time last year; over the last year the figure has only fluctuated a little, between 61.1 and 62.8 writes Tõnu.

The main factor is that, notwithstanding the much-vaunted talk of a rise in offer prices in the real estate market, these supposed increases have been lost in the stutcture of transactions, Tõnu goes on.

Having said that, it appears that both offer and transaction prices in Tallinn and Tartu, the two largest cities in Estonia, have been rising. However it is clear that the property market in the rest of the country has been struggling and this is preventing any possible index rate rise, Tõnu says.

It is worth specifically mentioning house (as opposed to apartment) prices. These have long stayed at an unrealistic level, Tõnu explains. However they have recently fallen to more realistic levels, which by itself will mean more realistic price levels in rural areas, Tõnu writes.

For a comparison of changes in prices over a one day period (10-11 May) when prices in the whole of Estonia fell, sometimes by quite some margin, plus a diagram showing the kv.ee index for the past year, see the original article (in Estonian) here.

The KV.ee index, which commenced on 18 February, 2008 (i.e. this is the date on which the value of the index is calibrated at 100) measures the week on week change in residential real estate prices in Estonia. The data has been measured back anachronistically to 1 January, 2005, when the index stood at an “all time” low of 49.9. The “all time” high came on 7 May, 2007, when it stood at 108. Following the economic downturn of 2008 onwards, the index reached a low point (to date) of 61.4 on two occasions, on 5 September and 27 October, 2010.

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Index Of Repair And Reconstruction Prices In Estonia Have Risen By 1.7 Per Cent

According to Tõnu Toompark’s Adaur blog, the price index for repair and reconstruction work in Estonia appears to be following that of construction itself, seeing a recent rise.

Whilst the price index for construction work in the first quarter of 2011 saw a rise of 1.5 per cent, repair and reconstruction work has seen an increase of 1.7 per cent over the same period.

In both cases the index rise was the main factor in a subsequent rise in labour costs. This has led to an overall increase in repair and reconstruction work of 5.1 per cent year-on-year.

The full article, together with graphs showing figures for indices along with percentage changes in indices for building materials, capital, labour and the overall index, since 2001, can be viewed here. The all time high in labour cost index figures came in the first quarter of 2008, at a little under 280 (the index is calibrated anachronistically to 100 in 1997). This was followed by a steep drop in the downturn of 2008-2010, and stands at a little over 220 today.

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Real Estate Offers In Estonian Regions Still Falling

Here at Tallinn Property we tend to focus, naturally enough, on Tallinn, but this article will give a snapshot of the residential real estate situation in provincial Estonia.

The current trend in Estonian residential offers as reflected in the real estate portal KV.ee‘s index is to continually move in a horizontal direction. Today’s KV index stands at 61.4, which is 1.9 per cent lower than a year ago, according to Tõnu Toompark on his adaur.ee blog.

The average offer price for the whole of Estonia is being hindered from rising by the fact that residential offer prices in the regional centres are still facing a severe downturn.

Through the year, only four regions have seen a rise in asking prices of apartments, and even then these areas have only experienced the average asking price level for Estonia plus one per cent YoY.

However the situation with regard to transaction prices is not so bleak. Transaction prices are now in the black in what in the UK would be termed county towns.

The decline in offer prices is partly explained by the fact that there has been a steady increase in volume of offers in most of the regional centres, in some places by as much as twenty per cent. In any case an increasing downward pressure on prices is taking place, writes Tõnu.

The number of offers has been rising rapidly since the beginning of 2011, he writes.

The full article (in Estonian) is here, and includes a table showing number of offers and average offer prices for all of the county towns, and the percentage change over the last year, plus the figures for the whole country.

You can find out more about what is happening in the Estonian real estate market here.

The KV.ee index, which commenced on 18 February, 2008 (i.e. this is the date on which the value of the index is calibrated at 100) measures the week on week change in residential real estate prices in Estonia. The data has been measured back anachronistically to 1 January, 2005, when the index stood at an “all time” low of 49.9. The “all time” high came on 7 May, 2007, when it stood at 108. Following the economic downturn of 2008 onwards, the index reached a low point (to date) of 61.4 on two occasions, on 5 September and 27 October, 2010.

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Statistics: No Change In Loans Interest Rates

Euro-based home loans rates have remained unchanged in the range of 3.2 to 3.4 per cent, despite small rises in the Euribor index of European lending rates since 2009, according to Tõnu Toompark on his adaur.ee blog. The monthly rate stood at 3.4 per cent for March, whilst the Euribor index over the same period was 1.5 per cent, writes Tõnu.

These small but persistent rises in the Euribor rate, when combined with falling lending rates by the banks themselves, mean that banks’ margins have been eroded somewhat.

Meanwhile the average interest rate for business loans stood at 4.47 per cent in March, Tõnu explains.

The original article (in Estonian) along with diagrams illustrating the chages in Home loan rates in both Estonian Kroons and Euros, and margins, is here.

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Estonian Construction Volume Still Falling

According to Estonian Statistics Office data, the index of construction volume for the fourth quarter of 2010 fell by 4.7 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, as reported on Tõnu Toompark’s Adaur blog.

Aside from the third quarter of 2010 when there was a small 1.1 per cent year on year increase, this has been the twelfth successive quarter in which the index has declined.

One small positive detail is the fact that the rate of decline has slowed somewhat, Tõnu says.

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

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