Scandinavians are becoming increasingly active in Estonia’s housing market, but Russian buyers are the main driving force, according to Ober-haus Kinnisvara.
The main target for Russian buyers is Narva-Jõesu, according to Rando Vanaveski, head of Norther Estonian region of Domus Kinnisvara. Prices have been too expensive for locals for several years, opening up opportunities for wealthier overseas investors to step into the market.
Indeed, prices of seaside apartments in the area between €80,000 and €500,000.
In June and July, 23 apartments were sold in the town, in addition to five private homes. During 2013, 67 apartments and seven private homes have been sold. Russians have accounted for the majority of transactions.
“The high number of transactions in June and July was connected to the notarization of apartments booked earlier at Sunset Residence which has 67 apartments,” Vanaveski told Baltic Business News .
Indeed, 95 per cent of the units in the Sunset Residence were bought by Russians.
It is no surprise, perhaps, that Narva-Jõesuu is the area of the country with highest level of foreign homeownership: foreign nationals own 12.8% of housing, i.e. 240 housing properties.
But Scandinavians are rivalling Russia’s interest. In Tallinn, most sales went to Finnish buyers, who are keen on flats in the central town and Old Town. Finns are also fond of property in Pärnu.
Overall, foreign buyers own 2.3 per cent of Estonian property, according to figures from a 2011 census.