Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Housing prices asked in Capital fell by more than 26% on average

The average price asked by owners in the Capital in January 2010, compared with same month of previous year, registered drops of over 26% for one-, two-, three- and four-rooms apartments, according to the monitoring report made by
Thus, the prices of one-room apartments were cheaper, from 57,594 euros to 42,467 euros, two-room apartments from 90,870 euros to 68,902 euros, three-room apartments from 132,569 euros to 95,021 euros and four room ones dropped from 168,061 euros (January 2009) to 124,832 euros (January 2010).
Compared to 2006, the prices are still much higher. In 2006, a one/room apartment cost 32,332 euros, on average, a two-room apartment 49,000 euros, a three-room apartment 62,647 euros and four-room apartments were valued at 100,346 euros on average.
"This year, January was more agitated than usual and this mainly because of the uncertainties related to the First Home programme. If the programme was initially blocked for a period of time, its imminent change was announced from mid-February. Some of those who now qualify for the programme rush to submit their files, to be sure they do not lose this opportunity, while those who still do not qualify, expect more relaxed conditions for the entry into the programme. In conclusion everyone keeps their eyes on prices and there has been a sudden surge of interest from potential buyers, at least at the exploratory level," reads the real estate monitoring report for January 2010, conducted by According to the source cited above, the number of apartments put on the market is also on a downward slope. In the first month of this year, the private owners put up for sale less than 1700 apartments. There were on the market 652 two-room apartments, 489 two-room apartments, 382 one-room apartments and 137 four-room apartments.
The statistics is based on the real estate offers in Bucharest, posted by private individuals in the printed media and on the internet, and the average price is obtained from the initial prices asked by the owners.

AnunturiParticulari was launched in 2001 and monitors all the real estate ads published by private individuals in the printed media and on the internet.



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Prices of old two-room apartments dropped again in Q3

According to the survey on the dynamics of the asking price on old two-room apartments in the third quarter 2009, significant decreases were registered in Romania's largest cities, with the exception of Cluj-Napoca municipality. Despite the first signs of recovery under the influence of the "First Home" programme, owners and real estate agencies reduce their expectations. shows that, in Bucharest, the sellers' average asking price for a two-room apartment situated in blocks built before the Revolution with an area of 54 square meters, dropped by more than 8,000 euros, down from an average of 77,385 euros (1,443 euros / sqm), registered in early July, to 69,008 euros (1,277 euros / sqm) at the end of September. If the asking price remains relatively high, the transaction price is significantly lower.

The real estate market in Brasov continues to register significant decreases: at the end of September, the average asking price for an old two-room apartment with an area of 53 sqm was more than 8,000 euros lower than in early July, following a trend similar to that of capital. Thus, at the end of the third quarter, real estate agencies and owners were asking an average price of 52,795 euros (998 euros / sqm) for a two-room apartment, as against 61,395 euros (1,145 euros / sqm). The lowest level, 50,500 euros, was reached at the end of August.

After several months of decline, the average price asked for a two-room apartment in Cluj-Napoca registered a trend of slight increase during the period under survey, fluctuating very little around the value 56,500 euros (1,086 euros / sqm). The highest average value, 57,223 euros, was reached in mid-September, and the minimum average, 55,033 euros, was registered in mid-July.

As regards Constanţa, the rate of decrease of the average price asked for old two-room apartments accelerated during the period under survey. Thus, at the end of the third quarter, the average asking price for a real estate of this kind with an area of 52 sqm, was 55,376 euros (1,115 euros / sqm), compared to the value registered in early July, 63,429 euros (1,299 euros / mp).



Friday, June 26, 2009

Odyssea residential complex sells 10 apartments in nine months

Residential complex Odyssea Residential, developed by Caterata and by Profit Building in the Sisesti area in North-Western Bucharest, will in a first phase consist of only two blocks with 50 apartments, out of a total of six buildings with 156 homes, announced when the project was launched in March. Profit Building and Caterata, a joint venture between Austrian Immoeast and Israeli New Horizon, have so far sold 20% of the first phase of the project, i.e. 10 homes nine months from the launch of the residential complex. "We are on schedule with delivering the apartments, which will happen in April 2010, as we promised buyers. 20% of the apartments of the Odyssea complex have been pre-contracted," said representatives of the developers. In order to stimulate the sales growth rate, developers changed the price offer, which started from 1,500 euros/square metre plus VAT. "The price is still 1,500 euros/square metre, but we can change this in order to adapt to the market trend. We offer a discount of 100 euros per square metre, free-of-charge financial assistance and fully equipped kitchens, in order to make the offer as affordable as possible," representatives of the developer added.



Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bankers want BNR to cover whole guarantee for ''First Home''

The banks asked BNR to accept the whole guarantee issued by the National Credit Guarantee Fund for SMEs in the "First Home" programme in constituting the provisions relating to the granted loans and will agree to an execution period of the Fund of up to 90 days. "We are discussing over extending the value taken into account from the guarantee of the Guarantee Fund for SMEs from the current 50% to 100%, so that the banks will no longer be obliged to make provisions for loans of up to 60,000 euro. If they do not make provisions, they will probably accept a period of execution of 90 days from the occurrence of the delay on the respective loan," said sources participating in discussions, Mediafax informs.

"The banks will execute the guarantee of the National Credit Guarantee Fund for SMEs, in the First Home programme, most likely in the case of arrears exceeding 90 days'', Sorin Mititelu, Executive Manager of the Business & Retail Product Development Department of BCR, said on Friday. In the opinion of the BCR representative, in the "First Home" programme, the customers will decide to what bank they will apply to get a loan and there will be no pre-qualification conditions for the banks from the government. He confirmed the central bank would accept the increase of the value taken into account in constituting provisions, from 50% to 100%, from the guarantee of the National Credit Guarantee Fund for SMEs.

"Studies show that approximately 3% of the active urban population express their intention to buy a home. There certainly is a potential demand, but the eligible demand has decreased even more lately. The programme comes in support of the eligible demand," said Mititelu. He considers the maximum amount guaranteed, of 60,000 euros, covers the need, as long as last year, at national level, an average mortgage loan amounted to approximately 50,000 euros. Only in the area of the Capital the average mortgage loans exceeded 60,000 euros.

The BCR manager also said the bank currently has a maximum indebtness level for mortgage loans of 60% of customer revenues.

The discussions also analysed the possibility of a counter-guarantee from the Finance Ministry, to increase trust in the capacity of the National Credit Guarantee for SMEs (FNGCIMM) to cover the guarantees executed. Given that banks will practically have zero provisions on the "First Home" mortgage loans of up to 60,000 euros, they will not have significant costs for delays in payment and will even be interested in suporting the client in resuming to pay installments in time.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Buyers offer prices even 70% lower than those demanded by real estate market

The prices offered by potential buyers on the real estate market are even 70% lower than those demanded by the owners and, under these circumstances, the offer of apartments put up for rent has increased by 40 since the beginning of the year, EuroMetropola estimates.

"Most of the buyers or those who are shopping the real estate market focused only to opportunities now. Nobody wants to buy at the "price of the area", but only at "crisis prices", which translates into a sharply negotiated price, sometimes almost up to the cost price ", reads a release of real estate company EuroMetropola.

The consultants of the company estimate that whether it is a matter of residential, industrial, land sales or residential, office or commercial space rentals, under the pretext that "there is a crisis", all customers negotiate very tough and make price offers even 70% lower than the initial demand. "As the waiting period from the listing of a property to its sale or rent increased considerably, as compared to 2007-2008, the owners accept negotiation more easily, sometimes up to even half the price asked, forced by other financial obligations. Under these circumstances, no wonder that the number of apartments put up for sale has increased by 40% from the beginning of the year, and the ranks of those who refuse to sell grow more and more," the release mentions.

The consultants of the company say that, in other market conditions, negotiations would go up to 20%, but since there is no market price anymore, buyers try to force the owners' hand even more. "Prices are calming down, but will not decrease very much. Unfortunately, those who want dramatic price drops, driven by personal interests, do not imagine that this could lead to a collapse of the construction and financial markets. Prices should stagnate at a certain level, which would reveal the quality of the building, the year of construction, finishing, location and other advantages", the release mentions. Real estate consultants estimate there are properties in Bucharest that, even before the crisis, would stay 1-2 years on the market without selling, because the price requested was not justified even in a period when nothing seemed hard to sell. It is the case of some land in areas such as Victoria, Floreasca, Dorobanţi, but also of some inter-war villas in Primăverii and Dorobanţi whose owners were refusing any form of negotiation.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Housing prices could fall by 30% more by end-year

Housing prices in Romania will continue to fall this year, according to real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, which estimates a 30% drop of current levels, while recommending for 2009 investments in properties generating high rents.

According to Cushman, old housing prices fell by 15% in the period September - December 2008, and the new ones by 5-10%, and a 10% decrease in price was registered at overall market level from the beginning of 2009.

"In total, we talk about a fall in prices of up to 35% since September 2008 to date. From September 2008 until now, 50% of apartments have been removed from sale and offered for rental. Under these circumstances, one cannot make a market price for apartments, so there is a possibility for it to fall another 30% over this year. Thus, a 65% decrease may be reached at the end of 2009", the manager of the company's evaluation department, Dan Ionaşcu, said in a release.

Most residential buildings have entered "conservation" and all the unstarted projects, in the project stage, or in the stage of obtaining approvals are offered for sale.

"These projects which were in the stage of planning and organisation and where construction has not started yet represent 70% of all the new projects, on which works started after 2006", the release reads.

On the other hand, the Cushman analysts believe that the small investors, who purchased a large share of the housing under construction in the past two years, will stand the test of the market crisis, because only 15% of those who contracted bank credits will have problems during this period because of the impossibility to reimburse funds.

At the same time, there are very many small investors who have contracted bank credits and therefore will not be so affected by what happens in the market, as they offer apartments for rental at moderate prices.

Similarly, in the residential segment, the most favoured will be the cities where unemployment is very low, respectively those that enjoy the investors' interest, such as Bucharest, Constanţa, Cluj Napoca and Braşov.



Sunday, February 8, 2009

BNP Paribas: real estate assets in Romania still expensive

Romania does not offer favourable conditions for the investors interested in buying real estate because prices are still high, say BNP Paribas Real Estate representatives, but who, however, see a good opportunity to develop housing priced up to 100,000 euros.

"This year is not a good moment for international investors to buy property in Romania. The market is non-transparent, the investors do not have access to information on the real estate sector, and the difference between the prices requested by the seller and the buyers are willing to pay is still significant", the Deputy Executive Director of BNP Paribas Real Estate, the real estate division of French group BNP Paribas, Henri Faure, told the Mediafax agency.
In his opinion, under these circumstances, the developers that will not adapt to the market by lowering prices will have the most to suffer.

On the other hand, the BNP Paribas Real Estate representative considered that a very good opportunity on the Romanian market this year would be the development of housing priced up to 100,000 euros, to benefit from a payment of 5% VAT.

"The developers must adapt to market needs, to study better its future development. The development of such housing could be a solution to unblock the market," said Faure.
He noted that the most optimistic variant for the real estate market is a change of conditions from the second part of the year, if financing will be unblocked.

BNP Paribas Real Estate is present in Romania through Atisreal company, which acquired the Romanian company Cornerstone International last year. The Bucharest office provides brokerage, consulting and evaluation services on the residential segment, offices and investments.

"This year, we will focus on developing these activities, and, probably, from 2010 we will also bring to the Romanian market other services, namely property management and asset management," Faure mentioned.

The Executive Director of BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management, Laurie Leclerc, said that, on this segment, the company is interested to buy a Romanian company or to enter into a partnership.

The Group holds three more companies in Romania, respectively Centelem in consumer credit, Cardif - insurance and Arval - leasing.