In the second quarter of this year, the prices of apartments in Serbia fell, albeit minimal, in relation to the beginning of the year, as well as in relation to the second quarter of 2017.
According to the National Corporation for Mortgage Insurance (NKOSK), which monitors the prices of mortgaged apartments, the average price of a square metre of residential space in Serbia was at 878 euro in late June. However, judging by the prices of apartments, Belgrade and the rest of Serbia, with few minor exceptions, are like two different worlds.
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Namely, the average price per square meter of residential space in Belgrade was 1,171 euro in the second quarter, which is an increase of about 50 euro or 6% increase per square metre. At the same time, the average price in Serbia was reduced by 4 percent. Also, the prices vary in Belgrade – from only 389 euro in Barajevo to as much as 1,705 euro (on average) for residential space in Savski Venac, or 1,631 euro for a square metre of an apartment in Stari Grad.
Apart from migration to from smaller towns to Belgrade, the demand for luxurious apartments in the most attractive city locations, where the price of a square metre exceeds 2,000 or even 3,000 euro, is one of the biggest contributors to this price gap.
Also, significant disproportion in prices can be found in apartments in old and new buildings, where new apartments are much more expensive than apartments in old buildings. According to Kaca Lazarevic, the owner of a real estate agency, in 2017, the price of new apartments increased by almost two percent, and a similar trend continued this year as well. On the other hand, the prices of apartments in old buildings are growing much slower. It is mostly young people that are interested in newly built apartments because they usually buy with a help of a mortgage which, in turn, resulted in a remarkable increase in the number of new apartments, as much as 47% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
“It has been estimated that the number of new apartments in Belgrade and Novi Sad at the end of this year will be higher than in the pre-crisis period, while this cannot be said for the rest of Serbia. On the other hand, older people are more interested in older apartments because they don’t usually buy real estate on mortgage. The problem with the old construction is that it requires investing in the apartment, and they do not have garages”, Lazarevic explains.
Also, Belgrade is on par with the European centres, such as Paris and London, in terms of the prices of luxury apartments. According to Lazarevic, in some buildings, the price reaches three, four, five and even more thousand euro per square.
“Luxury apartments attract clients from abroad, mainly from the Serbian diaspora. We also have wealthy clients from China, England and the US who are especially interested in the Belgrade Waterfront development. Now, that the prices of apartments in this residential block have been lowered to between 2.000 to 2.500 euro per square metre, and considering that apartments go with their own car garages and perpetuate a new way of life, the Belgrade Waterfront project has become enormously popular with buyers. However, it is still a construction site. It is interesting to note that real estate agencies are already inquiring if there are apartments for rent there”, says Lazarevic.
And while some apartments in Belgrade are sold for over 5,000 euro per square meter, the cheapest residential properties are in Backi Petrovac, where the price of a square metre stands at only 134 euro. In a large number of municipalities, mostly poor, there were no registered real estate sales at all, at least not with NKOSK.
In the second quarter, a total of 1,999 apartments were sold, which is 234 more than in the first three months of the same year, and 181 less than in the same period last year.
And while the real estate sales have returned to the level from the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, they are still far below 4,500 apartments sold in certain periods of 2007 and 2008.
This post is also available in: Italiano