In addition to buying, Russians, Finns and Swedes, the most common foreign buyers of real esate in Estonia, have begun selling properties in Estonia as well, daily Postimees reported on Monday.
As of mid-July, Swedes had acquired 19 units of real estate via Estonian realtor Arco Vara, but sold as many as 177; Finns, meanwhile, had purchased 197 but sold 368 units, and Russians 161 and 229 units, respectively, said Arco Vara analyst Mihkel Eliste.
Statistics available from the Land Board likewise indicate that foreigners currently tend to be selling rather than buying, particularly when it comes to properties located outside of the capital city of Tallinn.
Eliste ascribed foreigners' increased interest in selling to their having acquired a large portion of properties currently under their ownership at or close to the peak of the mid-2000s boom, meaning that they are interested in selling as prices again come close to 2007 levels — the peak year of the boom.
Pindi Kinnisvara board member Peep Sooman saw the price increase as an argument in favor of buying.
"The situation we are currently seeing in Estonia is that everything has become expensive, including accommodation," Sooman said. "Finns, meanwhile, have gotten back on their feet again financially, and prices here look sensible to them again. In terms of investment, Estonia is a cheap country after all compared with Finland, and productivity is a bit higher in Estonia as well."
Seaside popular for summer cottages
Finns are currently the most active buyers of real estate in Estonia. While most Finnish-bought properties are situated in Tallinn, many have also been located in Pärnu and Lääne County, including in the seaside town of Haapsalu. Properties located on th Western Estonian island of Saaremaa are popular as well, according to Sooman. Finns are mostly interested in buying a summer cottage in an Estonian resort town or coming to spend their retirement years in Estonia.
Russian buyers, meanwhile, are eyeing properties in Narva and Narva-Jõesuu in Northeastern Estonia. In Narva-Jõesuu in particular, Russian buyers are interested in summer cottages, which are significantly cheaper than in Russian resort towns but situated as close to the wealthy and ultrawealthy clientele of St. Petersburg as Pärnu is to Tallinn.
Sooman observed that the Russian economy has become more stable, and Russian buyers have begun returning to the Estonian market as well.
Eliste, meanwhile, noted that his experience suggested the opposite: after sanctions were imposed on Russia and the money laundering scandal broke out, Russian nationals have disappeared as buyers from the Estonian market.
Editor: Aili Vahtla