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Real estate rental market trends in Riga

By Anatol Steven. 28.09.2012

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Property rental trends: prices stabilize but less offers on market

Stabilization in prices, changes in landlord structure and short-term agreements, an offer deficit in Riga and disappointment among real estate owners in Jurmala – these appear to be the main trends in the rental market in Riga in 2012.

According to experts at Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty, a company specializing in premium real estate, one of the more obvious trends is the lack of new premium rental offers in downtown Riga.

“Today the main problem for the rental market in the premium class segment is the deficit of properties on offer,” Vestards Rozenbergs, co-owner and chairman of the board of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty, commented.

According to him, the requirements of potential tenants have remained unchanged over years: a new or renovated building with concierge, security, parking space, and, most definitely, excellent decoration.  Yet apartment owners often ignore the last two requirements, hence the limited number of offers.

The most popular location among tenants in the capital remains the so-called embassy district, with the Old Town taking second place in terms of popularity.

“Foreign high-class experts such as bank employees or engineers, people for whom it's convenient to reach the workplace in the center, as well as tenants without a family and those who like a noisy, worldly life, prefer renting an apartment in the Old Town,” Rozenbergs said.

In the past year there has been a stabilization in prices in the premium-class rental segment, he added. Prices are slowly approaching their pre-crisis levels – before they were artificially raised to €20/sq m – and at the moment they stand at €12-15/sq m, depending on the apartment area.

However, sometimes costly offers are realistic and reasonable, such as projects located on Martas, Valnu, Vagnera, Alberta, and Vilandes streets.

The structure of tenants using premium class apartments in downtown Riga have remained practically the same over the years – diplomats and top management at big international companies who prefer renting an apartment with two to four bedrooms, with or without furniture, for long-term periods.

But a new caste of landlords has emerged recently – foreigners who have acquired apartments in new projects located practically in downtown Riga, such as buildings on Skanstes Street or Tomsona Terrace.

According to practice, the majority of foreign property buyers rent out their real estate.

 

Photo by Indrikis Sturmanis

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