The Lowest Number of Unsold Apartments in Lithuania Since 2008
Lithuanians increasingly take out mortgage loans, and loan volumes continue to grow. According to data from the European Central Bank, mortgage loans for EUR 775 million were provided in Lithuania in the first eight months of 2016, which is a 12% increase compared to the same period last year. In 2015–2016, mortgage loans for an average of over EUR 90 million were provided per month, which is nearly double compared to this figure in the time period from 2010 to 2014.
The volumes of sale of apartments and houses in Lithuania have also reached new heights, with this year’s figures being the highest since 2007. According to data from the State Enterprise Centre of Registers, in Q3 2016, the number of transactions of apartments in Lithuania was 10% higher and the number of transactions for houses was nearly 4% higher compared to Q3 2015. In Q1–Q3 2016, an average of 2,745 transactions for apartments and 815 transactions for houses were concluded in Lithuania. Figures exceeding these ones were for last time recorded in 2007, when an average of 3,006 apartments and 1,009 houses were purchased in Lithuania per month.
The growing activity in the housing market has resulted in further growth of housing prices in the main Lithuanian cities. According to data from Ober-Haus, in Q3 2016, the overall growth of apartment prices in the five main Lithuanian cities was 1.1%. The fastest growth in prices in Q3 2016 was recorded in Vilnius, where apartment prices grew on average by 1.7% (to 1,399 EUR/sqm). The following figures were recorded for the other cities: 0.5% in Kaunas (to 975 EUR/sqm), 0.2% in Klaipėda (to 1,004 EUR/sqm), 0.8% in Šiauliai (to 590 EUR/sqm), and 0.9% in Panevėžys (to 552 EUR/sqm). Over the year, apartment prices increased by 6.0% in Vilnius, 3.6% in Kaunas, 2.4% in Klaipėda, 5.1% in Šiauliai, and 4.1% in Panevėžys. Similar trends were recorded in the apartment rental market. In Q3 2016, rents increased on average by 4.6% in Vilnius, 1.8% in Kaunas, and 2.7% in Klaipėda compared to Q3 2015.
The volumes of sales of new apartments in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda remain stable, while the development of new apartment buildings in Šiauliai and Panevėžys has virtually stopped (new apartments in just a few projects are currently being sold). According to data from Ober-Haus, in Q3 2016, 1,267 newly constructed apartments were purchased or booked directly from developers in apartment blocks under construction or those already completed in the five main Lithuanian cities. This figure is 11% lower than in Q2 2016 and 27% higher than in Q3 2015.