January 2016 brought a residential price hike on a national level, asking prices going up from EUR 951 to 971 per sqm of carpet area (a 2.1 percent monthly increase), according to a study by Imobiliare.ro. Compared to the values of January 2015, which stood at EUR 910 per sqm of carpet area at the beginning of the previous year, there was a 6.7 percent increase.
However, not all big cities followed suit, with the capital city and Constanta seeing drops in home costs. While in Bucharest asking prices dropped 1.4 percent in January over the previous month, Constanta only registered a slight decrease of 0.2 percent.
The rest of the large cities all saw increased demands, with Iasi registering the largest advance, of 3.5 percent, followed by Cluj-Napoca with 3.1 percent and Timisoara with 1.3 percent. Brasov posted the most modest advance, of 0.7 percent.
Though prices in Bucharest posted a decrease from the EUR 1,069 per sqm recorded in December 2015 (reaching EUR 1,054 per sqm), they were 1.6 percent higher year on year. The descending tendency of January can be explained by the decline in asking prices registered in the new buildings segment, which fell both in terms of monthly values (3.2 percent) and y-o-y (4.3 percent). On the other hand, old buildings gained ground, being 0.6 percent above the values in December 2015 and 2.8 percent above the beginning of the previous year.
In Constanta the situation was similar, with prices lowering between the end of 2015 and January 2016, but being higher year on year (4.5 percent above). Both new and old units have dropped in value when compared to the previous month (0.6 percent and 1 percent, respectively), while yearly asking prices are higher (2.8 percent for new homes and 3.9 percent for old units).
In Iasi asking prices saw an abrupt hike in January over the previous month, while y-o-y there was a 9.6 percent drop. Cluj-Napoca posted a more stable tendency, with asking prices being higher on a yearly level also (up 12.9 percent). Timisoara also registered a 13.5 percent rise in prices y-o-y. Brasov advanced by 3.8 percent over the same month of the previous year.