Real estate transactions in Estonia down by 30 percent on year to April

Apartment buildings in Tallinn.
Apartment buildings in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The volume of real estate purchase and sale transactions fell by 30 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) in April, and by a quarter on the previous month. Land deals also saw a fall. However, there has so far been no significant change in real estate prices.

The end of the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020) showed a slight slowdown in transaction activity, the Land Board (Maa-amet) says, but based on April data, significantly fewer purchase and sale transactions have been made than usual since then, as fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bite.

This is doubly significant since April is traditionally a busy month in real estate deals, ERR's online news in Estonia reports.

Transactions of new-builds fell by 20 percent on year, rising to 27 percent in the capital, though the price of new-builds so far remains unchanged.

In April, the volume of transactions of undeveloped land also fell by 22 percent

Harju County was otherwise most active, where 35 percent of transactions in April took place. The other more populous counties of Tartu, Pärnu, Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru were next, together comprising over 60 percent of the remainder, with transactions in the remaining 10 counties amounting to less than 5 percent of the total.

One increase was seen in the total of apartment properties sold as dwellings, which rose 40 percent on year to April, and constituted the total of apartment transactions in three of Estonia's four largest towns, Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu.

Price levels as noted remain largely unchanged so far. The average price per square meter of a Tallinn apartment remained at €2,090 in April, as it had been the previous month, and 10 percent higher than in April 2019.

In Tartu, the average price per square meter actually rose by 2 percent between March and April, and 6 percent on year.

Pärnu did see a significant fall, however – of 16 percent on month and 7 percent on year, in its average price per square meter, though greater variation in price in Pärnu in general and seasonal factors given it is a resort town should be taken into account.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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