The first decrease, after three years of steady or rising asking prices for both new and old apartments, of almost three percent, came in February 2008, from a then peak of EUR 1,826 per sqm in January 2008. Prices then rose unexpectedly in March of that year to EUR 1, 887 per sqm.
But from an April peak of EUR 1,888 per sqm the market has been on a downward trend. Q2 of 2008, saw asking prices in the capital at an average of EUR 1,840 per sqm. But the second half of 2008 saw five falls in value in six months, from EUR 1,844 per sqm in July to EUR 1,540 in December. In percentage terms, the BREI fell 16 percent in the second half of 2008, with a total April-December peak to trough decrease of EUR 350 per sqm, meaning a slump of 20 percent.
Initially, new apartments performed better than old ones. But by the end of 2008, prices of both new and old properties were falling.
At the beginning of 2007, BREI-Old (the Colliers index for old flats) had a lot lower value than BREI-New. But throughout 2007, BREI-Old increased 29 percent, reaching EUR 1,875 per sqm in January 2008. In Q1 of 2008, BREI-Old beat the value of asking prices for new apartments. From April 2008, BREI-Old embarked on its fall.