Both house prices and rents in Estonia have risen more than any other European Union country over the past decade, and far more than the union's average, according to a recent report. Estonia also saw a huge rise in the cost of both buying and renting, whereas some countries in the union only saw a significant increase in one sector, predominantly house prices, but not the other.
The report, published by European Commission statistics directorate Eurostat Thursday, found that in the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021) compared with 2010, house prices rose by close to 130 percent over that period, while rents rose by even more, by 140 percent, 2010-Q1 2021.
The EU average for the two categories stood at 30 percent and around 15 percent respectively, while for the Euro Zone, of which Estonia is a part, the same figures were fractionally lower (see graph below).
Regarding house prices, only Luxembourg (nearly 110 percent growth) and Hungary (circa 100 percent) came close to Estonia's figures, while with rents, fellow Baltic State Lithuania was the only country which could hold a candle to Estonia, at a nearly 110 percent increase.
Lithuania was also virtually the only other EU country which saw substantial rises in both categories – house prices and rents. Many countries with high increases in house prices saw much lower surges in rents over the same period, while in Ireland, rents rose by twice as much (at 60 percent) than house prices.
Several countries actually saw a fall in one or both indicators, with Greece experiencing a fall in rents and house prices of over 20 percent over the past 10 years.
As to explanations, one real estate expert, Peep Sooman of real estate firm Pindi, says the increases are "logical", since Estonia experienced higher falls in real estate prices as a result of the economic crisis which began in 2008, than almost any other European country.
Editor: Andrew Whyte