Property in Belarus: Shock Therapy

01.08.2011 09:57
Articles about real estate | Property in Belarus: Shock Therapy The Russians, who are thinking about buying real estate in Belarus, for sure to follow the latest developments in the country. And probably wonder how the devaluation of "bunny" affect the value of houses and apartments? The experts of the Belarusian market correspondent was told that was, is and probably will happen in the housing sector, a neighboring state.

Was: Monetary knockout

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The real estate market of Belarus began in 2011 on a positive note. From January to March, both the primary and secondary segments of a lot of transactions took place, according to local Realtors, more than in the first months of the previous three years. Housing prices have remained stable at this. First Deputy General Director of "Center of the real estate business" Pakodan "Paul Ostapenya notes that the houses and apartments in Minsk monthly added about 2% of its value.

Quiet life in Belarus ended in late March. That is when a currency crisis, which economists have long warned, took to the streets - from the exchangers at once lost all foreign bank notes. The population was in a panic - people around the clock knocked at doors of banks trying to buy dollars or euros. Instantly formed a shadow market, where currency is passed from one person to another on price, twice the official rate.

In late May, the Belarusian National Bank, which has long sought to regulate the situation of administrative measures, gave up and announced the devaluation. During the day, from 23 th to 24 th May the ruble fell to a basket of currencies to 54.42%, and from January 2011 "spot" prices have fallen by 71.62%.

To scale the incident was more understandable, I note that the World Bank recognized the recent devaluation of the Belarusian largest in the world for the past 20 years. A similar situation occurred in 2002 in Argentina and in 1992 in Ethiopia. Then the national currencies of these countries have fallen by 54%. And, for example, the devaluation of 1998, Russia is in the World Bank in fourth place (38%).

Naturally, the real estate market of Belarus has not remained aloof from the general economic problems. "With the advent of the currency crisis of the transaction to" a primary "is almost completely stopped, as a secondary market in May dipped twice in comparison with April", - says Paul Ostapenya.

There are: lack of buyers with money

"The primary market has reacted to the devaluation of lightning and very profitable for potential co-investors or buyers" of the primary "- a sharp increase in the cost per square meter in the Belarusian rubles. This has forced many who want to buy an apartment in a new spread in the secondary market, thereby reviving some of his "- says Deputy Director of Commercial Affairs Group," Molnar "Irina Susko.

Paul Ostapenya notes that "about the prices in the primary market does not seem possible to say anything definite, because the transactions in this segment is now almost concluded."

Deputy director for real estate sales, "Your Capital" Svetlana Koudelka explained that the primary market of Belarus, price per square meter is calculated in local currency. "Therefore, in response to the devaluation, the cost of new buildings has increased, but due to the fact that the dollar also rose, in dollar terms of significant changes in prices has not occurred. Price of the "square" in the new buildings in June 2011 ranged from $ 950 to $ 2,500 ($ 1,300 average). "

Analysts noted that the owners of second homes in Belarus have become more accommodating to customers. "External economic developments have increased the tendency to reduce the difference between the average bid and the transaction. This means that at the stage of uncertainty for sellers objective view to the situation now more mobile in the reduction of the price of an object than it was in 2010 "- says business analyst GC" Molnar "Irina Zagradskaya.

In recent months the offer price of existing homes declined Belarus, and in June fell by 2.5%. The transaction price, according to the company, "Your Capital", in June decreased by 3.2%. One-room apartments in Minsk in June sold for an average of $ 1283 per square meter. m, two-bedroom - $ 1173, two-bedroom - $ 1108, Multi - $ 1097 for "square".


In Belarus, the value of real estate is traditionally tied to the U.S. dollar. All calculations are in Belarusian rubles, but in advertisements for the sale of housing, analytical materials, and in the minds of owners of houses and apartments price is measured in U.S. dollars. This tradition goes back to the 90s of last century. In order not to get lost in galloping inflation, market participants have chosen as a benchmark U.S. dollar.

Svetlana Koudelka said that for people who have no problem with the currency (ie in this category include the citizens of Russia), accommodation in Belarus has always been available. However, according to the expert, right now they are able to more actively traded.

Irina Zagradskaya adds that the number of deals with housing decreased by almost half. "The demand today is only one third of the existing proposals. This suggests that the real estate buyer with cash - a favorite "- emphasizes the expert.

Would be: a collapse in property prices?

Thus, the devaluation of the Belarusian ruble and currency crisis have already led to an almost complete halt of the primary market, and significantly reduced activity in the "secondary housing." If in April in Minsk, the owners changed the 998 apartments in June - only 556. However, housing prices are still holding.

Several years ago, the economy of Belarus there were similar processes. In early 2009, the ruble was devalued at one time by 20%. The weakening of the national currency and the subsequent tightening of credit conditions have resulted in a drop in prices in all segments of the real estate market. If at the end of 2008 square meter of housing in Minsk was sold at an average of $ 1,950, at the beginning of 2011 "square" has already cost less than $ 1,300, according to "".

The conclusion suggests itself: perhaps what we see now on the Belarusian market of real estate - this is the beginning of the next large-scale collapse of prices? With a reporter's question turned to professional participants in the industry.

Paul Ostapenya: "What a terrible market for the things we do not expect. All that is happening now, we have seen in 1998 and in 2008-2009. Therefore, the fall of the market situation is stabilized, the primary market with a hundred percent probability will be the deal. Substantial fall in prices, we do not expect. The collapse of 2009 occurred because the developers worked with a very high return, and, in times of crisis, they donated their earnings to at least have something to sell. And for the primary and secondary market moved up. Now, a stock return from developers not, accordingly, there are no prospects for a substantial reduction in prices. "

Irina Zagradskaya: "The real estate market will finally" get well "at the very least, unlike other sectors of the economy. This is due to the high inertia of the industry, which is due to the presence of a time lag between the reaction of market participants and the consequences. It should be noted that the current situation is merely a continuation of the situation two years ago. Just an average rate of decline in transaction prices have stabilized at 1.5-2 years, due to the fact that the overriding features of the crisis that emerged at the end of 2008, were more depressed than structural change. "

Svetlana Koudelka: "The situation in the real estate market today is different from the one that was two years ago, at the time the prices were unjustifiably inflated - respectively, they were to fall. In 2009 the market lost 40% of the cost. Today, the current price of housing roughly equivalent to its market value. Therefore, the sharp collapse of prices is not expected, but by the fall of the market can lose 10% + / -2%. "

Even if the grand collapse of housing prices in Belarus does not happen, foreign buyers can now count on a very reverent to his attitude on the part of property owners. After all, foreigners tend to come to market with real cash ...

Content tags: Overseas property
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