The relative importance of rental space is growing in Estonia and nearing the European average, member of the board of realtors LMV Kinnisvara Ingmar Saksing told Vikerraadio.
"Generally, the relative importance of rental spaces in available real estate is growing and catching up to the European average. Coming from a situation where rental space used to make up 5 percent, we have reached 20-30 percent today," Saksing said.
He said that the record share of rental space is 50 percent. "That is where we're headed," Saksing remarked.
Ukrainian refugees and foreign students are the main factor affecting the rental market. Official data puts the number of Ukrainians to have arrived in Estonia since Russia launched its war at 115,000 of whom 62,656 people have remained in Estonia.
Saksing suggested that Ukrainians have impacted the availability of cheaper rental housing.
"Rental space in the €200-400 per month price range is basically impossible to find. 50,000 or 60,0000 is just what statistics reflects. There are far more people who haven't registered or signed in so to speak," Saksing said. "It has definitely livened up the rental market and kept it from developing vacancy."
Talking about foreign students, the real estate agent said their focus and interest was on rental properties in the above average price range.
People who have been postponing the decision to buy real estate are also interested in more expensive rental space. "A rental apartment is the go-to alternative for buying one's own home. Especially in a situation where the market has seen a lot of so-called professional landlords who see renters as customers and themselves as offering a service, and who prioritize long-term rent relationships," Saksing said.
The realtor said that it is a good time to buy real estate right now and in the next six months as prices are coming down and the value of money is growing.
Editor: Marcus Turovski