Although within the recent two years the growth of new projects had been observed in Riga, the Latvian capital in the off-site competition of the Baltic capitals streamed back to the third place. The leading positions in a number of new builds are still maintained by Vilnius, Tallinn holds the second place.
Since the beginning of 2015 just 5.1 fully finished apartments per 1000 residents appeared in Riga, which is 2 apartments more than in 2013-2014. In Tallinn in new projects 8.6 finished apartments were available, which is 4.7 more than two years ago. While in Vilnius accordingly – 13.4 finished apartments, which is 5.6 more than before.
If to turn to history, then before 2007 in the capitals of all Baltic States the influx to the market of new projects used to grow annually. Since 2008 the number of new projects shrank, by reaching the lowest point during the crisis in 2010. Notwithstanding that in 2011 in all cities the number of new housing projects with varying indices resumed its growth again, exactly Vilnius managed to build up the volumes most rapidly.
Interesting that the Baltic builders haven’t been able to return to the pre-crisis level. In 2016 the number of new housing projects in Riga stands at the level of 2003, in Tallinn – approximately at the level of 2004, but in Vilnius – at the level of 2005.
What’s also interesting, the Lithuanian builders try to bring costs to minimum through the gain in the number of apartments in new housing projects under construction. As a result in Tallinn the average number of apartments in new housing projects makes up 44. While in Riga this number amounts to 56 apartments, but in Vilnius – 81.
It’s not surprising that in Vilnius the apartments, as a result, come out the most small – scaled – on average 54 square metres. By comparison: in Riga and Tallinn an average area of a new apartment makes up 65-70 square metres.
But in the capital of Lithuania new apartments are sold much more successfully, then in the northern neighbours. So, the number of apartments purchased in 2014-2015 in new projects in Lithuania makes up 33% of the total number of apartments purchased within this period. In Tallinn the proportion is considerably lower – 19% of purchased apartments are located in new projects, but in Riga – in 14% of cases.
Weak demand for new builds in Riga speaks not first and foremost of their low quality and high price, but of the fact that in Latvia the housing market offers a wide choice of series-type apartments.