March has traditionally been the month of enlivenment in the real estate market – in the past five years, in average, 316 flats more have been sold in comparison to January and February. There were 1836 transactions this March, i.e. 118 transactions more than in February. In total, 5247 transactions were concluded in the first quarter, which was 139 transactions less than last year. The number of transactions increased only in four counties. The biggest drop could be seen in Ida-Viru County (–45 transactions) and Pärnu County (–33 transactions). In Harju County where the market is more tied to the cycle of new developments in comparison to other counties, the number of transactions dropped by 23 but the median price increased by 7%. One of the main reasons for the decrease in population is the demographic development – in past five years, the population of Harju County has increased by 6.5%, whereas it has dropped by 5.2% in the rest of Estonia.
In general, the median price is strongly tied to the structure of transactions, especially in the counties with a small number of transactions – thus, the median price of transactions increased by nearly 21% in Jõgeva County, whereas the median price decreased by over a third in Hiiu County (with 11 transactions), and by 23% in Viljandi County. In total, the median price increased by nearly 11% compared to the 1st quarter of last year, reaching 1348 EUR/m2, which is the highest level of all time.
As in last March, a record number of transactions for the past five years – 1012 transactions – were concluded, the number of transactions in the 1st quarter decreased compared to the same period of last year, however, only by 7 transactions. The median price of transactions increased by 6.4%, backed by the active market of new developments, which has pushed up prices in nearly every segment. In the first quarter of the year, about 33% of all transactions were carried out with new developments, increasing the market share by 6% compared to the same period last year.
The movement of the market into a more speculative phase has brought along a growth in new developments in the outskirts of the city, resulting in a growth in the number of transactions by 6% in Haabersti, Lasnamäe and Mustamäe, whereas the Centre and Northern Tallinn experienced a decrease by 5%. In the two last city districts, the number of transactions in the 1st quarter dropped by 39 and 91, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Compared to last year, the number of transactions most increased in Kristiine (+83), mainly due to the real right transactions of the developments related to Pro Kapital. Compared to the same period last year, the median price increased in all the city districts; next to Kristiine mentioned before (+15.4%), a strong growth could also be observed in Haabersti (+12.0%).
Of larger cities, we predicted growth in the real estate market of Tartu this year, as one year ago, an anomalous drop in the number of transactions in the context of the Estonian market took place there. As predicted, the market of Tartu was active in the first quarter of the year – the number of transactions increased by 54 and the median price by 13.2%. The rise in the market was supported by a large share of new developments (about 24%), the main contributors being Ränilinna Apartments and the apartment building Three Brothers in Ülejõe.
In Pärnu where the number of new developments is even smaller than in Tartu and thus, also the periodic fluctuations are larger, the volume of transactions dropped by 23 but the median price continued the strong growth that started in 2017, increasing even by 17.9%.
In Narva, the market is still in recess that started in year 2015, after the completion of larger constructions. In the first quarter of the year, the number of transactions dropped by 37 compared to last year. In Narva, the median price has remained stable between 400 and 450 EUR/m2 in the last years; it was nearly the same as last year in the first quarter, 418 EUR/m2.
Of the remaining municipalities in Estonia, the most active ones according to the statistics of transactions are the ones in the vicinity of Tallinn. Harku, Rae, Saue and Viimsi municipalities most gaining from their location have increased their population by nearly 8300 people in the past five years. In the median price calculation of transactions, those municipalities are only bested by Tallinn – compared to the same period last year, the median price in Harku and Saue municipalities has increased by over 15%, Rae and Viimsi municipalities where the market of new developments grew quicker, a little over 5%.
The most active municipality is still Kohtla-Järve City, even though in the last three quarters the number of transactions has dropped in average by 20 compared to a couple of years ago. Of the other magnets, the median price has increased well in Rakvere and Viljandi cities – by 25.4% and 20.5%, respectively, compared to the same period last year, reaching over 700 EUR/m2 in the 1st quarter. Next to other factors, the quick price increase has been facilitated by a decreased number of offers.