Real estate transactions were 22 percent lower in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to the Chamber of Notaries.
In the first quarter of this year, notaries signed 15,275 real estate transactions, compared to 19,521 in the first quarter of 2022. The largest decreases were in Võru, Jõgeva, Põlva and Harju counties, the Chamber of Notaries said.
The year-on-year picture for April was also similar to that of the first quarter, as the number of real estate transactions certified fell by 22 percent, from 6,862 in April last year to 5,334 this year.
Merle Saar-Johanson, chair of the Chamber of Notaries, said the drop in the number of real estate transactions is mostly due to the poor state of the economy.
"The high inflation that began last year, the European Central Bank's continued interest rate hikes, and the cooling economy have significantly slowed the momentum of the real estate market," Saar-Johanson said. "The current status of the economy has made both banks and real estate buyers extremely cautious, and the increase in interest rates has also cut the maximum loan amount, which is cooling the real estate market."
The volume of all professional activities and services provided by notaries has also decreased year-on-year, but the fall is half that of transactions in real estate, at 11 percent.
There are currently 87 notaries working in Estonia. There are notaries in all county centers, plus Narva, Sillamäe, Räpina, Otepää, Saue and Elva.
Editor: Kristina Kersa