The evolution of the residential market in the first six months of 2018 confirms expectations for a slowdown in price rises. The imobiliare.ro portal index shows that, after a 1.2 percent decrease in June, the average asking price is at a value of EUR 1,200 per sqm. This figure is only 3.1 percent higher than the one recorded at the beginning of the year, a growth rate slower than in the same period last year.
For comparison, in the first half of 2017, apartment prices increased on average by 6.7 percent nationwide (to EUR 1.120 per sqm). It should be noted that the highest growth rate in the first half of this year was recorded in Brasov.
Last month, claims from apartment sellers in Bucharest increased slightly, 0.4 percent, from EUR 1,328 to EUR 1,333 per sqm. That made the value registered at the end of June 5.9 percent higher than the one in early January. This growth is very close to the one recorded last year, namely 5.4 percent. The prices in Bucharest have so far had a more moderate growth rate than other cities (Cluj-Napoca or Timisoara), and higher revenues and demand here are perceived as being able to absorb rises. The growth trend in the first half was mainly supported by new apartments, whose average value exceeded EUR 1,400/sqm at the end of June.
The downward trend in price increases is by far the most obvious in Cluj-Napoca: if in the first half of last year the apartments available for sale in the city have risen by no less than 10 percent, this year the pace growth is half. Apartments in Cluj-Napoca remain the most expensive in the country, with an average value of EUR 1,522 per sqm, at the end of June. Both analyzed market segments experienced a moderation in the rhythm of rises. The average asking price for the old apartments reached EUR 1,553 per sqm, and the new ones at EUR 1,492 per sqm.
Apartments sold for sale in Constanta appreciated by 0.8 percent in June (from EUR 1.147 to EUR 1.156 per sqm), the value being 5.6 percent higher than the one recorded by imobiliare.ro in January. Old building dwellings depreciated by 0.3 percent in June (from EUR 1,145 to EUR 1,142 per sqm), and new ones increased by more than 3 percent.
The biggest growth, in Brasov
After an increase of 2.8 percent recorded by imobiliare.ro Index during June (from EUR 1,048 to EUR 1,077 per sqm), Brasov ranks first in the ranking of the rhythm of the price increases in the first half year. Interestingly, while dwellings in old blocks appreciated by 2.1 percent in the past month (up to EUR 1,068 per sqm), the new ones recorded a leap of over 4.4 percent, reaching the threshold of EUR 1,100 per sqm. Compared to the same period last year, housing in Brasov is 12.7 percent more expensive.
In Iasi, the imobiliare.ro Index recorded a decrease of 0.8 percent in June (from EUR 1,015 to EUR 1,007 per sqm, which made the advance against the beginning of the year to 3.4 percent (compared to EUR 974 per sqm in January). The difference compared to last year, when an increase of 9.6 percent was recorded in the first semester, is considerable. The old apartments reached the threshold of EUR 1,000 per sqm in June. New residential units recorded a decrease of 1.9 percent in the last month, reaching EUR 1,009 per sqm.
The moderation in the rhythm of price increases is also observed in Timisoara: here, the claims of apartment owners increased overall by 4.3 percent in the first half of 2018 (from EUR 1,152 to EUR 1,202 per sqm) under a stabilization in June. In the last month, the old apartments in Timisoara appreciated by 0.1 percent (from EUR 1,206 to EUR 1,207 per sqm), and the new ones by 0.3 percent (from EUR 1,184 to EUR 1,187 per sqm).