Nearly 100 very expensive apartments purchased in the capital city in half-year
The housing market in Vilnius has seen substantial changes in the past five years. One of the more significant trends is changes in the structure of supply of new housing. If during the time of the crisis and in its immediate aftermath developers of apartments diverted almost all their investments into the economy class and mid-range apartments, so in the past five years a fast increase in the scope of the development of higher class housing has been observed.
According to Ober-Haus, if in 2013–2015 more expensive apartments accounted for 6–8% of the total number of newly built apartments, so in 2016 their share reached 13% and in 2017 – a sizeable 18%. The year 2018 will be notable for the construction of more expensive housing (the price of apartments with partial finish in excess of 2,000 EUR/sqm), which, according to a preliminary estimate of Ober-Haus, will account for about 15–17% (about 700–800 apartments) of all apartments scheduled for construction in 2018 (4,600–4,700 apartments).
‘Since we live in the period when the housing market is particularly active, housing prices in the country’s capital, where one square meter price reaches EUR 2,000–3,000, come as no surprise. Yet we can look at even more expensive housing market segment to see the real potential of buyers and what they pay for the most expensive apartments in Vilnius,’ Raimondas Reginis, Ober-Haus Research Manager for the Baltics, said.
The last time Ober-Haus performed the analysis of this segment was a year ago (October 2017), so this time an overview of the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018 is provided. In the period in question, all registered transactions for apartments in Vilnius were selected and analysed (data source: State Enterprise Centre of Registers), where the purchase price of one square meter was in excess of EUR 3,000, less the portion of the price paid for parking spaces, storage areas and other appurtenances of the apartments.
The obtained results suggest that in 2017–2018 there was a rapid increase in the share of the number of transactions of such housing and their value in the capital city. In the first half of 2017, 54 apartments with a price tag in excess of 3,000 EUR/sqm were purchased in Vilnius, in the second half of 2017 – 91 such apartments and in the first half of 2018 – 99 apartments.
The total cumulative purchase price of such apartments has also increased. According to Ober-Haus, nearly EUR 18.7 million was paid for high value property purchased in the first half of 2017 (54 apartments and their appurtenances), in the second half of 2017 – EUR 34.3 million and in the first half of 2018 – EUR 29.5 million. For a comparison of prices, in 2016 a total of 90 such apartments were purchased for a total of EUR 24.7 million.
‘The analysis of the transactions for the purchase of the most expensive apartments over the past two half-year periods shows that only in exceptional cases the buyers paid in excess of 5,000 EUR/sqm,’ Mr Reginis said. In terms of the price per square meter, the most expensive apartment in Vilnius sold in the first half of 2018 was in a historic building on Etmonų Street (Old Town) – the buyer paid EUR 305,000 for a 47 sqm apartment (6,500 EUR/sqm). ‘By the way, one apartment was purchased in the same building in 2016 paying a high price of about EUR 5,600/sqm for it. This year’s transaction is, however, truly exceptional in the market, because the price of the square meter of the second most expensive transaction in the same period is by EUR 1,100 lower,’ Mr Reginis pointed out.
A 90 sqm apartment sold in the second half of 2017 in a reconstructed historical building on Gaono Street (Old Town) with the underground car parking spaces fetched EUR 530,000 (approximately 5,400 EUR/sqm, less the parking space price).
An apartment of over 300 sqm in a newly constructed building on Bokšto Street (Old Town) with parking spaces was sold in the second half of 2017 for over EUR 1,700,000 (approximately 5,300 EUR/sqm, less the parking space price).
An apartment of over 370 sqm in a newly constructed building on A. Tumėno Street (next to the Parliament) with parking spaces fetched over EUR 2,200,000 (approximately 5,100 EUR/sqm, less the price of the parking spaces and other appurtenances of the apartment) in the second half of 2017.
In terms of the number of the transactions for the top price apartments in the overall statistics of apartment sales in Vilnius, their share in 2016–2018 has increased. If in the first half of 2016, the share of the transactions involving high-end apartments was 0.8% of the total amount of transactions, in the first half of 2017 it was 1.1%, in the second half of 2017 – 1.7%, and in the first half of 2018 – 1.8%.
‘The analysis of the completed transactions shows that buyers mainly value and pay most for luxury apartments in historical buildings in good condition or apartments in newly constructed projects in the centre of the city of Vilnius and in the Old Town. Usually the most expensive apartments have a greater floor area and are located on the top floors of the buildings. For example, the average area of luxury apartments acquired in the second half of 2017 and in the first half of 2018 was 86 sqm,’ Mr Reginis said.
According to the representative of Ober-Haus, the rapidly growing number of projects of newly built apartment buildings in the centre of the city, the Old Town, and the area of Užupis has largely contributed to the growing sales volumes of such housing. New projects can offer new and broader choice options to wealthy customers who, as the official figures have showed, make use of them. For example, out of 190 most expensive apartments sold in Vilnius in the second half of 2017 and in the first half of 2018, 60% of them were in recently completed residential projects (year of construction 2016–2018).
With regard to specific residential apartment projects in Vilnius, the following fetched top prices: Grafų Pliaterių Rūmai (Palace of Count Plater, Bokšto Street), Magnus Residence (Gedimino Avenue), Pilies Apartamentai (Castle Apartments, Olimpiečių Street), Jogailos Rezidencija (Jogaila Residence, Jogailos Street), Užupio Krantinės (Užupis Embankment, Polocko Street), Čiurlionio 3 (M. K. Čiurlionio Street), K. Kalinausko 20 (K. Kalinausko Street), Užupis Citadel (Malūnų Street) and several smaller projects. ‘High housing market activity, newly launched projects in the most prestigious locations of Vilnius and the number of most expensive apartments reserved in these projects lead to expect more impressive transactions in the near future. Affluent customers value exclusivity and are prepared to spend significant amounts for such properties,’ Mr Reginis said.