February, which next to January is usually one of the least active months, largely due to the lower number of days, surprised us with high activity this year. 1,972 sales-purchase transactions were concluded in February, which was only inferior to February of years 2006 and 2007. In comparison to last February, over 300 transactions more were concluded. The increase in the number of transactions was extensive in the counties, the largest increase having taken place in Harju County and Tartu County where the number of transactions increased by 247 and 59, respectively.
Apartment market in Estonia
The median price of transactions in February was 1,528 €/m2, which was inferior only to the figure of December 2019. In comparison to the same period last year, the median price dropped in four counties. The highest median price could be observed in Harju County (1,921 €/m2), the median price exceeded 1,000 €/m2 also in Tartu County (1,402 €/m2) and Pärnu County (1,123 €/m2). The lowest median price was recorded in Valga County – only 126 €/m2, which means that the difference between the highest and the lowest median prices in February was more than 15 times.
Apartment market in Tallinn
In Tallinn, in comparison to January, more transactions were concluded in February. According to the Land Board, 832 apartments were sold, the median price of transactions was 2,047 €/m2. In comparison to last February, 131 transactions more were concluded, the median price of transactions was over 200 €/m2 higher. Thus, according to the first two months of the year, 2020 exceeds the previous period by over 100 transactions. The median price of transactions has increased by 6.7% in the same period. Across area groups, the increase in the median price in February was extensive, both the increased activity and the increased prices were influenced by apartments in new developments with which 286 transactions were concluded, i.e. 81 transactions more than last year. As to developments, the largest number of transactions (49 transactions) were concluded in Kadrioru Plaza which has received contradictory opinions from the architectural perspective, over 20 transactions were concluded also in Hõbemetsa, Valge Sireli and A. H. Tammsaare tee 89a developments. Out of city districts, the Centre was the most active one where 212 transactions were concluded, over 100 transactions were concluded also in Haabersti, Lasnamäe, Mustamäe and Northern Tallinn.
The median price of transactions was not the highest of all time but it was the second time when the threshold of 2,000 €/m2 was crossed. As for the median price, the Centre was much ahead of the rest, with an increase of 200 €/m2 to over 2,700 €/m2. Due to the influence of new developments, the median price was very strong in the suburbs: both in Haabersti, Lasnamäe and Mustamäe the median price was higher than in Northern Tallinn, remaining between 1,850 and 1950 €/m2.
Apartment market in Tartu
In Tartu, 159 transactions with apartment ownerships were concluded in February, which was the highest number since 2007. Mostly, the activity of the previous months produced results in February, as according to real estate agents, activity was lower than in January. In comparison to the same period last year even 37 transactions more were concluded; thereby, the number of transactions with new developments was only 28, i.e. 18% of the total number of transactions. The large increase in the number of transactions was mainly based on 2- and 3-room apartments, as 101 transactions were concluded with apartments between 41 and 70 m2, which was 39 more than a year ago. Due to the large volume of the secondary market, in comparison to the same period last year the median price increased little (1422→1441 €/m2), but based on the first two months of the year the price increase in the comparison of years was over 7%. The median price increased virtually in all the area groups but large contrasts of transactions brought the figure down.
Apartment market in Pärnu
In February 2020, 74 purchase and sales transactions of apartments were concluded in Pärnu, with a median price of 1,241€/m2. Based on the number of transactions it was the most active February of the last few years, even though the difference with previous Februaries was not big. In comparison to the same period last year, ten transactions more were concluded. The greatest contribution to the increased number of transactions came from 30 to 55 m2 apartments with which even 23 transactions more were concluded. 16 transactions, i.e. 22% of the total number of transactions, were concluded as first-hand sale; the largest number of transactions, i.e. 7 transactions, were concluded in Kooli tn 63 development. In the first two months of the year, 156 transactions were concluded in Pärnu, which is 36 transactions more than during the same period last year. The median price of transactions has also moved up: if two years ago the median price was 1,154 €/m2 and last year 1,156 €/m2, this year it was 1,186 €/m2.
Apartment market in Narva
If we talk about the number of transactions, year 2020 in Narva has started similarly to last year: 121 transactions were concluded in January and February, which was exactly the same number as last year. The number of transactions in February, which was 58, thus remained at the average result of the past years. However, a positive factor in Narva is price increase, even though due to the low baseline of last year and the fact that the asking price stopped falling it would have been difficult for the prices to drop any further. In February, the median price of transactions was 390 €/m2 and based on the first two months of the year the relevant figure was 402 €/m2, which was 62 €/m2 higher than the figure of the first two months of last year.
Author – Igor Habal, Uus Maa Real Estate Agency analyst