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Sunday 20.08.2017 | Name days: Bernhards, Boriss
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Economic diary. Most affordable Baltic flats in Rīga

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUTalks between the European Union and Russia on a visa-free travel regime have been halted; the development is considered beneficial to the Latvian real estate market.

Aigars Zariņš, President of the Baltic branch of the International Real Estate Federation, has told that the decision by the EU will stimulate the interest of Russian citizens to purchase real estate in Latvia. Even if issuing of temporary residence permits in exchange for purchase of real estate is reviewed or curbed, Russian citizens would invest in Latvian properties, as ownership of real estate in the Baltic state would facilitate their travel to the EU.

Flats in Rīga considerably more affordable than similar real estate in Vilnius and Tallinn

Last week, Latvian branch of SEB bank released its latest Housing Affordability Index, which shows the affordability of housing for local population of Rīga as compared to Tallinn and Vilnius. The bank said that in Rīga, a working person with average income can take a low-risk bank loan and buy a 50.5 square-metre standard flat in Soviet-built residential areas. In Vilnius, this indicator is at 40.3 square metres and in Tallinn – at 42.4 square metres.

Among Baltic states’ capitals, Tallinn currently has the highest average price for a 55 square metre flat, exceeding the price of a similar property in Vilnius by 19% and in Riga – by 64%. Flat prices in Rīga have reached only 53% of pre-crisis prices, while in Tallinn and Vilnius, this ratio is at 80% and 67%, respectively.

IFM predicts 4% growth for Latvia

Ending their mission in Rīga inspectors of the International Monetary Fund said that they have come to positive conclusion: Latvian GDP could grow 4% and due to a higher level of income, the economy of Latvia would grow at a rate faster than the EU average.

Head of the IMF mission to Latvia also pointed out potential risks which should be avoided to retain the growth rate suggesting more structural reforms, improvements to business environment and higher workforce productivity is needed.

Since the crisis, productivity and low wages in exporting companies have ensured the competitiveness of Latvia. In the mid-term, higher wages should go hand in hand with increased productivity, the IMF recommended.


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