Global real estate: new trends

20.09.2010 09:10
Real Estate Market Analysis | Global real estate: new trends The real estate market countries, the most popular among Russian investors, experienced in 2009 a deep crisis. In February 2010, the operators unanimously recorded in a dozen countries, a sharp increase in holiday sales. Toward the middle of the year prices finally stopped his fall. If briefly described the trend of world real estate markets since early 2010, it sounds like: recovery. However, the real estate world today very different from himself to the financial crisis.

The report GlobalPropertyGuide, where analysts resource give their recommendations on investment in residential property in the second half of 2010, noted that despite the overall positive trend, investors, nevertheless, be very careful in choosing the direction of their investments. The report just says that the picture of the world today has changed, and it is far from that when all the real estate markets showed a simultaneous increase, as happened during the general expansion in 2006-2007.

Related article: Elite Residence Russia grown up in price

As an example of the continuing decline of markets Global Property Guide calls to countries such as Ireland, Iceland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Spain, Ukraine, Greece, Netherlands and Thailand. At the other extreme - Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Israel, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the UK.

In the bulk of Russian investors greater interest are those areas that had become traditional: the USA, Bulgaria, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro, the Baltic States.

With the beginning of the mortgage and is followed by a financial crisis this country has quickly become the main "newsmaker" of the world media. This is understandable: all echoes of the economic turmoil in the U.S. is too easily translated to the rest of the globalized world, which is due to problems with bank liquidity has not only witnessed but also participated in mass bankruptcies, credit and insurance companies.

Implications of the crisis still retained almost all areas of the world economy. But to understand the situation on world markets, it is important to what happened to the real estate in the U.S. at the peak of the crisis, and what trends are found in the "homeland of the crisis now.

In the period 2006-2008. U.S. real estate market has suffered very much, losing about a third of its value. Mass protest "exclusion" of homes in favor of creditors for nonpayment of mortgages in California, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Nevada, which continued in 2009, when only Ikvartale had been confiscated about 600,000 housing units.

Such housing is usually immediately exhibited the new owners to sell. A large number of simultaneously sold housing pushed prices down, but the "sale" was short-lived: at some point fall slowed and then stopped altogether. Their peak, according to the index of housing prices of Standard & Poor's / Case-Shiller, taking into account the average prices of real estate in the twenty largest U.S. cities fell on Ikv. 2009

Then the downward trend had run its course, and after a year of index Standard & Poor's / Case-Shilleruvelichil its significance as the first "ten" and on "Twenty» (Composite-10, Composite-20) largest cities in the U.S., 3,1 % and 2,3% respectively. Painting in the cities themselves proved to be more diverse: in San Francisco and San Diego average prices rose by 16,2% and 10,8%, then, for example, in Las Vegas, an annual decline of 12%.

Since early 2010, the U.S. economy shows positive trend: in 2009 GDP fell by 2.6%, in I and IIkvartalah in 2010 grew by 3,7% and 2,4%.

Meanwhile, the real estate market is not so sure. National Association of Realtors USA (NationalAssociationofRealtors, NAR) gives the following data: prices of secondary market for the annual period preceding Ikv. 2010, decreased by 0,7%, an increase in IIkv. 1,4%. For new housing, the figures were respectively 6.6% and -3.1%. The average price for a new residential facility in July was $ 211.9 thousand, and the "secondary housing" - $ 176,9 thousands

Global Property Guide in its current recommendations, identifies the North American market, as of interest, noting the positive trend in the economy and the strengthening dollar. Experts' Guide "advise investors pay attention to those states where markets during the crisis fell most heavily, particularly in Florida.

Incidentally, just for "Florida", more precisely, for Miami to agitate the Russian buyers do not need. It is believed that Miami on buying preferences of Russians is the second largest after New York. The third - Los Angeles and his elite suburbs.

As for the "Big Apple" as often referred to as New York, here, the results of index Standard & Poor's / Case-Shiller, prices for the year ending Ikvartalom fell by 2,4%. But, according to Alexander Bogod, the management company BroadwayRealty, there are many examples where a buyer can expect a more significant discount. As an example, Alexander leads a residential complex The Setai, located on Broad Street in the financial center of Manhattan. Here the prices only in the II quarter. this year fell by 40%. Now, large double apartment, previously offered for $ 1.85 million, sold for $ 1.1 million

Another example - the recent deal with a luxury penthouse in the complex The Miraval, located near the East River on the Upper East Side auction house Sotheby's in front. The apartment, which in 2007 was sold for $ 5 million, now cost the buyer $ 2.7 million in the same complex is very spacious triple apartment instead of $ 3.8 million price in 2008 sold for $ 2.2 million apartment has a ring terrace and wonderful view from the windows of the 19 th floor of a river. Auxiliary service - swimming pool, cafe only for residents of the house, fitness center, beauty salon and much more.

Interest rates on mortgages in the United States today are at their lowest level in 50 years in the region of 4% for a mortgage loan for 30 years and 3,7% - if this term is 15 years. The minimum personal contribution - 40% of the transaction.

Alexander Bogod the increase in revenue from the lease. In New York, prices for the last quarter have increased, depending on the area by 5-7%. Experts claim that the U.S. economy began to recover from the crisis.

This country is for the Russians - a special, though, because about 300 thousand of our compatriots are already owners of Bulgarian real estate. In addition, the Bulgarian market, apparently, has a good potential, as already quite a long time, Bulgaria is headed all the ratings of investment preferences of buyers from Russia. This is understandable: the climate, the sea, linguistic and cultural proximity and still fairly liberal prices.

If the 90th perfect apartment in downtown Sofia could be found for $ 200-300 per square meter, then the prices, starting with a two-fold increase in 2003, and at all "gone to White Castle", each year showing double-digit percentage increase. The main investors start of the decade were the British and Irish, but a significant fraction of the market also mastered Russian, Germans and representatives of the countries of Scandinavia.

The last three pre-crisis years, beginning in 2005, marked by a noticeable recovery in the construction and growth in home prices, respectively, at 37%, 16% and 27%. On average over the period 2000-2008. Prices rose by about threefold.

Then came what one interviewee described as "Velicata recessive whether e, whether e depression, crisis, or whether e - ne moga da Kazha. Tochnata council e stagnation. Speaking in Russian, a process of continuous growth, which peaked in autumn 2007, ceased. If 2008 was still quite safe (Bulgarian GDP was 6%, while real estate prices began to fall only at the very end of the year, had little effect on the statistical picture), then in 2009 turned out to Bulgaria has truly a crisis. The economy has shown negative growth in 5.1%, and real estate, according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI), prices dropped by 26,3%. Many construction projects have been frozen.

Last year was marked, and other unpleasant for the market characteristics, which are listed in the company's report Blgerian Properties LTD. For example, states that in 2009 relative to the previous year there was a 40% decline in the number of the first sales. Average price of sold residential property in Sofia has decreased by 32% to ? 54 thousand, whereas in the previous year the figure was equal to ? 96,2 thousand More than 50% of its value lost their apartments in the ski resort of Bansko, and about 30 % on the Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach.

However, as analysts note Blgerian Properties, crisis year has brought to the market and positive changes. Chief among them can be considered as the correction in prices, due to which of the real estate industry went nonprofessional developers, brokers and speculators. Vendors have become much more flexible and more flexibility in negotiating the sale.

Beginning in 2010 the revolution in the sphere of Bulgarian property to no avail. According to INE, housing in the country in I quarter. the average has fallen in price on 2,3%. Average prices for apartments in Sofia amounted to ? 470/kv. m to ? 1062/kv. m, which is 11.46% less than in the previous quarter.

In Blgerian Properties, however, note that the quarter was quite a success: buying activity was approximately 40% higher than in the first quarter of 2009, the number of sales in January and February 2010 remained stable, remained at the level of the second half of 2009 March was a record the number of transactions increased in 1,5 times in comparison with the average levels of the past 10 months. True, most of the purchases made in Ikvartale should be assigned to transactions with the objects that were offered at the lowest price.

According to INE, in IIkv. In 2010 the average reduction in market prices for housing in Bulgaria amounted to 0,8%. In Sofia the price remained the same. Compared with the previous quarter price declines in 13 regional centers. The highest price changes - in the inner regions of Bulgaria: Gabrovo (-8,3%), Shumen (-7.8%) and Vratsa (-6.9%).

Transactions in the resort areas mainly consist of costs in the range of ? 350/kv. m to ? 800/kv. m. There are many cases where owners, with an urgent need for a withdrawal of funds invested in real estate, sell their property at a loss.

Examples. According to Blgerian Properties fully furnished apartments in the ski resort of Bansko, bought in 2006 for ? 1500/kv. m, were sold for ? 750/kv. m, ie a 50% discount. Half the price of the original price (? 700/kv. M) cost the new owner of the apartment in the seaside resort of Golden Sands, previously purchased for ? 1385/kv. m. Apartment in Kranevo, bought 5 years ago for ? 550/kv. m, implemented at a discount of 43%, for ? 315/kv. m. declined and prices from developers. Now the price of the cheapest apartments on the sea start at ? 360/kv. m. Bansko - ? 500/kv. m. It is stipulated that, despite the momentary popularity, particularly liquidity in the long run such objects do not possess. This price is for coastal apartments involves removing the beach for 3-5 km and the lack of infrastructure around the ski resort - the distance from the lift, the minimum amenities in the complex.

A separate category - the sellers who have purchased property at low cost to the "boom" and which now can easily implement it at a price significantly below market, but without financial loss to himself. Most other such objects are sold the owners of Britain and Ireland.

Most customers are looking for an apartment on the coast and in Bansko in the price range of ? 25 thousand to 40 thousand ? Prices for high quality real estate in the Black Sea ranged between ? 80 thousand and ? 130 thousand Very bad apartments for sale in residential facilities, construction have not yet been completed. This gives some advantage to sellers on the secondary market.

Polina Stoykova, managing director Blgerian Properties, believes that before the end of the year house price growth in Bulgaria is hardly possible.

When a strong favorite with Russian investors real estate market is Spain, where the average price of housing from 1998 to 2008 increased by 187%, had long been encouraged by the good news. Since May 2007, in Spain have fallen sharply selling and fastest growing market for United Europe began to roll back, his transition to the sustainable growth to date is not revealed.

As the well-known expert in this market, permanently residing in Spain, Englishman Mark Staklin, the prices of Spanish square meters, in spite of the prolonged stagnation, yet did not fall as, for example, in the UK and the USA. One of the reasons Mark calls "ingenious" compilation of statistical calculations Spanish official agencies. Indeed, according to the National Statistics Institute of Spain, the housing index lost from their peak, recorded in III quarter. 2007, only 11,2%. But it seems not only that.

Daily newspaper ElMundoprivodit his version of the belief that housing prices artificially held by Spanish banks, which, thanks to numerous return of property from owners who stop paying mortgages and bankrupt developers, have become the largest property owners in Spain. Only during 2008-2009., According to fund Spain'sFundaci?nColegioLibredeEm?ritosUniversitarios, declared bankruptcy 170 thousand construction firms, representing 23% of the total. In ElMundoschitayut that maintain high prices for Spanish property has been the banking sector helps the policy of containment of sales when the facility partially owned by banks "hold" in order not to over-sold market oversupply of housing.

Sami sales are stimulated not by lowering prices and improving credit conditions. Now, Spanish banks are ready to return to the practice of providing 100% financing for buyers of its facilities that will enable them to attract buyers, do not have equity. Actually, it is a return to the same errors that have already been admitted during the Spanish "a ten-year boom. As economists say, such a strategy in the medium term will cost the banks is expensive, but today it allows them to meet the challenges of implementation at their own installations, not "dropping" of market prices.

Meanwhile, construction continues to decline: for the first five months of this year, the approved plans for new construction fell compared with the corresponding period last year by 22%. How ironic notes Mark Staklin, this fall unpleasant, but with last year's figure, when it amounted to 58% - it probably can be attributed to the good news.

In today's Spain, a host of economic problems, one of the most important - high unemployment, which in May for the first time since 1997, exceeded dvadtsatiprotsentny level. That is why, after "almost a default" Greece the whole of Europe immediately drew their attention to Spain, expecting to see a similar scenario here. But Economy and Finance Minister Elena Salgado told the German newspaper Handelsblatt unequivocally stated that Spain will come out of the crisis on their own and do not intend to use to solve their financial problems European stabilization fund.

Despite the difficulties, the Spanish housing market remains attractive for the Russians, taking second place after the Bulgarian on the number of purchased housing. Apartments bought by Russian in Spain usually cost from ? 50 thousand to ? 150 thousand, and villas - from ? 300 thousand

As Ikv. In 2010, according to the portal, the average price of housing in Spain is ? 292 th most expensive real estate is located in the provinces of Barcelona (? 660 thousand) and Girona (? 470 thousand), and the most affordable price in ? 89 thousand - in Jaen (Andalusia). The average price "obscheispanskogo" square meter in July 2010 was estimated at ? 2,077 thousand

Assessing the current state of affairs, Yuri Constantine, deputy director general real estate agency LeangaCostablancaS.L., Says: "In the past six months, the market of Spain demonstrates the long-forgotten increase in the number of transactions. The most successful in this regard was February, when the number of sales has increased relative to the previous month at 19%. But the remaining months of this year showed very significant growth ".

Financial turnover of the real estate market has not increased, since in some regions of the country prices in the beginning of the year continued to decline. But now we can assume that the minimum price of Spanish property left behind.

The Cyprus market has become perhaps the first foreign market, is officially open for business from Russia. New housing from developers on this Mediterranean island Cypriots began to offer more in the mid 90's through specially opened for this purpose in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Active real estate sales to foreigners began in 2004, which was associated with the entry of Cyprus to the EU. Then, the price gradually rose until 2007, when followed by a boom, thanks to which housing prices increased by 19,2%. Weakening investment flow occurred in 2008, when many Europeans, was, to put it mildly, not to purchase resort real estate. Nevertheless, in 2008 still showed a small increase in 2,8%.

Next in 2009 noted a dramatic decline in consumer activity: according to the Land Registry Cyprus (CyprusLandRegistry) the number of deals involving foreign buyers has decreased almost in 1,8 times. In the first such decline was due to the departure of the British market.

Prices in the secondary market decreased slightly, but the "crash" was not followed. The number of permits issued for new construction sharply (20%) decreased, which allowed developers to keep prices Cyprus.

As an anti-crisis measures, the Government of Cyprus has decided to send a large investment in building infrastructure of the island - building new roads, construction of wind farms in the area of Paphos, design and installation of desalination plants.

In real estate had been taken "stimulating" foreign investors legislation to obtain resident status in Cyprus, the buyer of the property value in excess of ? 300 thousand This step led to the fact that significantly increased the number of customers, primarily from Russia. The main Russian investment was in Limassol, a coastal city with a population of two hundred thousand, a considerable part of which (about 30-40 thousand) today is Russian.

Since the beginning of 2010 reports on the Cyprus property market started to release the British Royal Institute of Certified Appraisers RICS in collaboration with the Association of quantity surveyors and building economists Cyprus. Presentation of the new index of real estate prices (Cyprus Property Price Index, PPI) for the I quarter. In 2010 showed that average prices in Cyprus since the beginning of the year decreased by 4.5%. The second quarter of optimism is not added, showing a fall in prices for private homes at the rate of 1,6% and 4,5% - on the apartment.

Commenting on these statistics, market participants say that they fall largely by niche market of expensive villas and new quality construction. Apparently, the demand for new facilities actually available. To some extent this is confirmed by the Statistical Office of Cyprus (CYSTAT), recently published data which for March 2010 suggests that the number of permits issued for new construction increases again. In comparison with last year's period ending May, this year these permits were received by 3,7% more. In May 2010, this growth, compared with last year's figure amounted to 12,3%. According to the Land Office of Cyprus, from January to July this year was an increase in sales of real estate compared to the same period of 2009 to 1.23 times.

Prior to the "Greek" crisis of the Greek media remembered not so often: a small country in south-east of the continent with 10 million people are not spoiled by the press extraordinary events, neither in politics nor in economics.

All that changed last fall, after the elections and the coming to power a center-left Party of PASOK. The new leadership of the country for the first time in the past few years, announced the size of external debt, which was equal to $ 300 billion or 112% of GDP. In November, was declared a fiscal deficit of Greece, whose level was the highest in the euro area - 12,7%. In December, two major international rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's lowered the credit rating of Greece. Immediately thereafter, the expectation of default of Greece was the main topic of print and electronic media, one way or another connected with economic issues.

I must say that the information on the economic situation in Greece did not become a sensation. Chronic budget deficits and the enormous cost of maintaining the public sector - has long been known problems the Greek economy. Another eleven and a half years ago, in January 1999, before the introduction of the euro, Greece was the only one of the countries - EU members, which, although there has been adopted, and failed to provide the necessary set of economic indicators, relevant criteria include a organization.

Nevertheless, news releases, on Greece (which, incidentally, only 2% of the economy of the EU), many months in a row frightened man in the street then the collapse of the euro, the collapse of the EU. Fortunately, so far none of these apocalyptic predictions do not seem to come true.

Now the EU and the IMF distinguished Greek loans totaling ? 110 billion in exchange for this assistance, the Greek Government has undertaken this year to reduce the budget deficit by 40%. Under this program in the country raised some taxes and tariffs on public utilities, reduced government spending. There are first results: the budget deficit for the first six months of 2010 amounted to ? 9,65 billion, while during the same period last year the figure was ? 17,87 billion That is an annual decline of 46%, while as adopted in the Greek government program of economic policy provides for a decrease of 39,5%. The IMF in its recent report noted this fact as a sign of stabilization of public finances in Greece.

Interestingly, the real estate market in Greece all these events almost no impact. Realtors say that at the end of 2009 and January 2010 were still deals when sellers want to sell something as soon as possible and sometimes quite dramatically lowers the price. But soon everything returned to normal: as in any other market, attractive price offers sometimes appear, but on some regular "discount" sales say no. And the advertising the Greek real estate with unprecedented discounts, "a Greek representative of a foreign investment fund compared with the poster" closing sale "is located near his home in Thessaloniki a small shop whose owner posted this ad several years ago on the first day of work.

One reason for the lack of "loud" falling real estate market in Greece can be called the same lack of prior to this housing boom. Property in Greece, mainly a resort, foreigners are always interested, but this interest was not high enough to lead to the construction and investment boom: real estate prices in recent years quietly grew at an average rate of growth of 5-10% per annum.

This continued until the "crisis" mid-2008, when prices peaked and began to slowly back off, according to the Bank of Greece, down to IIkv. this year, compared with their peak values on average by 6,7% in the Greek cities and by 6,3% - in Athens. In comparison with the corresponding period in 2009 fall were not so significant - 2,6%.

In the area of the resort real estate-oriented foreign buyer, also registered a small decline. Analysts of the Bank of Greece is divided into two types of housing - new construction and projects put into operation more than five years ago. This sensation also did not take place: in the annual measurement of new housing has lost 0,3%, and "second hand" - about 4%. According to representatives of real estate companies, real price fall of 2009, depending on the sector, were in practice in the region of 6-8%.

Today, the main foreign buyers of Greek real estate are British, Germans and Russians. Moreover, the proportion of buyers from Russia last year increased substantially due to the fact that local banks have started to issue mortgage loans 4.5% APR to citizens of the states outside the EU.

One of the most expensive and popular areas are the Attica (the so-called Athens area) and Athens. According PommelHoldings, price two-bedroom apartments, depending on the area, here varies from ? 300 thousand to ? 1,5 million

Away from the big cities a small town house area of 64-70 square meters. m without balcony in a 5-10 minute walk from the sea can be bought at a price of ? 160 thousand in the distance from the sea or the mountains prices markedly lower.

Russian citizens prefer a property in the next prestigious suburbs of Athens, Chalkidiki and numerous Greek islands. In the past six months has significantly increased the number of Russians who are not interested in houses and small apartments in resort areas, cost from ? 75 thousand to ? 100 thousand experts believe that this phenomenon is connected with the economic situation in Russia itself.

In Montenegro, very seriously the question of how to attract foreign investment in general, and investments in real estate in particular. For this purpose it was created by the Agency for Foreign Investment (MIPA), which say it is a small country with a population of 650 thousand people on the level of foreign investment per capita ranks first in the Balkans.

Through the wonderful natural environment and rare beauty places along the coast, the republic has evolved rapidly foreign tourism, which "pulled" for an investment in the resort real estate. Of all the foreigners bought 75% of real estate located in coastal zones, and the proportion of Russians among this category of customers - about 70%. The remaining 30% mainly fell on the British, Irish, Germans and citizens of Slovenia.

Thus, the Russians began investing in local real estate back in 2002, almost took the initiative in this small market. Russian steel-intensive buying, according to one local estate agent, "all that is not moving, being interested in the most expensive areas of the Adriatic coast: the Riviera of Budva, Kotor Bay and Barsky Riviera. Prices have gone up rapidly, almost caught up with prices for resort real estate Spain, Italy and France. During the crisis, tourism has plummeted, and decreased the number of transactions with foreigners, but the housing market is largely resisted, as they say local experts, largely due to the absence of a developed system of mortgage lending.

In March 2009, foreigners were allowed to purchase land, except for areas of strategic importance, as well as those places where there are parks and historic monuments. Many then thought it was a decision for the local market almost fatal, but it was not so simple.

According to Alexander Gorbunov, manager of the Zagreb company CRConsultinG, in Montenegro there is little land that has building status - almost all vacant lands are agricultural. By law, foreigners can buy agricultural land only if the subject of sale is a residential facility, located on this site. It turns out that the land without the buildings can not be bought, but on the coast home with small areas - a large deficit.

Now Montenegrin real estate market - a market of apartments. Experts believe that the adoption of this law will be followed by development of the construction of houses and villas, and construction companies will have a good incentive to render habitable not covered so far field.

2009 was for the real estate market in Montenegro is not very good: although very tragic upheavals there, but prices "rolled" for about a year and a half ago, reaching an average cost per square meter in sites located on the coast, ? 3,1 - ? 4 2 thousand

Since early 2010, prices have not fallen, but the number of sales are significantly lower than during the "boom", and from time to time sellers, apparently spurred by some personal circumstances, offer significant discounts (10% and sometimes more) of originally announced price. Construction projects are often financed by Russians, not minimized, as it seems, the Montenegrin market may in the long run prove to be quite interesting. With regard to individual customer's preferences of Russians, they have not changed - the leaders of sales are apartments on the coast with one or two bedrooms.

Already this fall, Montenegro will be formally adopted as a candidate for EU member states, which is expected to lead the country more investment and a positive impact, including the real estate market.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, despite the obvious differences in the short historical retrospect were quite similar stages of development. Having declared its independence in 1991, all three former Soviet republics have embarked on European integration. This resulted in EU membership, where they again entered a joint list in 2004, It gave a powerful impetus for the development of the economies of the Baltic countries - in all three countries was marked by good GDP growth, developing the banking industry and infrastructure, declining unemployment and increased real incomes citizens. This was accompanied by soaring real estate markets, has reached its greatest momentum in 2006 when the price increase for housing in annual terms in Latvia and Lithuania reached 60% and Estonia - to 77%. Next in 2007 showed a smaller rise in price, but he was very fortunate for the sector RealEstate.

This was followed by the global financial and economic crisis, which primarily affected the Estonia. It is, according to the European statistical office Eurostat, was the only EU country where in the second quarter of 2008, GDP growth was negative, down compared with last year's figure at 1.4%. In 2008, a 30% decreased the number of transactions on real estate and apartments in the capital Tallinn became cheaper by about 25%.

International consulting company KnightFrankposchitala that fall on the real estate market of Estonia since the beginning of 2009 amounted to 35,8%. Related to this value figures led the Estonian company PindiKinnisvara, which declared that PindiIndex, which includes data on real estate 17 largest cities in Estonia in 2009 decreased by 1,4 times, ie, the average price of housing per square meter fell from ? 950 to ? 678,5.

In early 2010, the market decline has stopped, but, as the June PindiIndex, compared with April 2007, when had the highest housing prices in Estonia, the values of June 2010 decreased by 49,5%. If we take as a starting point in July 2009, when the values were lowest, the June index rose by 11,7%.

In July PindiIndexopyat decreased by 4,8%, but with the increasing number of transactions in the first half of the year can be assumed that in the long term we are not talking about a new negative trend. The present market situation in Estonia could be called stable: the fall seems to be stopped, cost Estonian square meters have not yet seen.

In Latvia the number of transactions declined by more than doubled, while prices fell by more than 60%. Currently only in Riga has more than 5000 unsold new apartments. Now the property is mainly in the possession of banks established special management companies. The situation in Lithuania and Estonia, where prices fell by more than 40% - is also rather complicated, but there is much less unsold apartments, so developers have already started thinking about new projects, and some have begun construction.

Strongly affected by the crisis Latvia and its capital Riga, however, are beginning to regain its position in the market: according to GlobalPropertyGuide, in Ikv. 2010 prices in the Latvian capital amounted to 10,7%. To further encourage this process, the country's recently enacted amendments to the Immigration Act, under which from 1 July 2010 the citizens of countries outside the EU may obtain a residence permit in Latvia, in the case of a home purchase in the amount of ? 141 thousand . in Riga and ? 70,5 thousand in other cities. However, seeking "investor visa" is not so much: as reported in the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia, for the first month of the amendments from the Russians, have invested in property of the republic, received only three applications. Perhaps this is due to the fact that a residence permit in Latvia is easier to obtain, invest in entrepreneurial activity. The right to residence permit under the law gets a foreigner, who invests in the Latvian company not less than ? 35,2 thousand

Begins to come alive and real estate market in Lithuania. During the first half of 2010, according to registration centers, the number of deals on new apartments in Vilnius increased compared with the previous year by 47%. It is noted that the bulk of purchases (68%) took place in the economy class with prices from ? 810/kv. m to ? 1330/kv. m. The rise in prices in this market sector grew for the first half of about 2%. In the middle category with prices from ? 1,330 to ? 1850/kv. m accounted for about 27% of sales from the six-month increase in value by 3%. Only 5% of sales were recorded in the sector of expensive apartments.

In January 2011, Estonia enters into the Eurozone. Judging from the experience of previously included in the euro zone of Eastern European countries, it is usually this step gave a good impetus for the development of the real estate market, accompanied by rising prices. Will there be the same in the present new "post-crisis" economic reality - is unknown, but the operators who work in the Baltic market, feel confident enough.

Given that in addition to almost have adopted the euro in Estonia in 2014, the euro zone are planning to join as Latvia and Lithuania, many believe this moment is as promising for the market as the independence of these countries in the early 90's, or their subsequent entry into the European Union.

Expert Comments:

Alexander Bogod, Managing BroadwayRealty (New York, USA): - Recently, among the buyers from Russia have spread some new trends. Quite often people come to get a visa for the EB-5 investors, through which you can get a GreenCard, and then a U.S. citizen. To obtain a visa investor should invest in the economy at least $ 500 thousand for a period of 5 years and create 10 jobs for Americans. Having obtained such a visa, after 2 years the investor and his family members receive permanent resident status in the U.S., and after 5 years become U.S. citizens. We often find young mothers who came to give birth in New York - their child automatically gets U.S. citizenship.

Margarita Polezhayev, director BREstate (St. Petersburg): - The incentive for the Russian investor was the residence permit when buying objects worth more than ? 300,000. Of course, this is quite a large sum, but its value is partly offset by the possibility of obtaining a mortgage loan with low interest rates and good credit conditions. Bank of Cyprus had not reduced the volume of lending, but instead offer a very attractive design and ease of mortgages. Interest on loans is about 4-5%. Large development companies, in turn, reduced the amount of initial contribution from 30% to 15-20% of the value of the object, with mortgages for the remainder.

Polina Stoykova, Managing Director BulgarianProperties (Bulgaria): - The Russians have been actively buying budget versions of real estate: apartments near the sea (Varna, Sunny Beach) and other sea resorts for the price of ? 20 thousand to ? 40 thousand, and also flat in the biggest ski resort in Bulgaria - Bansko, at a price of ? 30 thousand to 45 thousand ? noted interest in the property in the sparsely populated and rural areas - near the cities of Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Elhovo, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia. Prices for these properties starting from ? 3 000-4 000. Many Russian customers acquire new or renovated farmhouses, which are fully suitable for permanent residence. Here the prices vary from ? 20 thousand to ? 40 thousand

Alexander Gorbunov, Managing Director CRConsultinG (Zagreb): - On the one hand, our fellow citizens increasingly feel in Montenegro, at home. However, Montenegro is less and less justified on its promises. All acutely raises questions of illegal construction, water supply, destruction of landscape, pollution of the territory of household waste. While on the inertia of our customers are interested in Montenegro, but before the actual transactions, compared with past years, income is much less. Doubting buyers are increasingly luring Bulgaria and Greece.

Igor Bachurin, vice president PommelHoldingsInc (Athens, Greece) - I am as a person living and working in Greece, it is unclear why the European and Russian media have spread so much negative information about this beautiful country. In general, economic and political situation in Greece is now much less tense than in many other EU countries. Amid so painstakingly created a negative image of the country began to appear on the absence of information products in the country, a sharp decline in property prices. All this is very interesting, but to put it mildly, does not correspond to reality.

Neringa Plant, head of the company Re & SolutionBaltics (Vilnius, Lithuania) - During the peak of the market in real estate business of the Baltic States took part in almost everything - from professional investors to truck drivers. This was aided by policy banks that provide loans for almost everyone. Before the crisis, more than 30%, and in some segments more than 50% of purchases was made for speculative purposes. Now the market has been sharply reduced the number of construction companies and were only professional builders. If we talk about investment, then the time for this now quite successful. All three countries are now very attractive.

Constantine Krinitskiy, your home abroad
Content tags: Overseas property
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