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Property trends in Jurmala and beyond

By Anatol Steven. 26.07.2013

Real Estate Jurmala
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Residential real estate in Jurmala and other attractive areas in Latvia is still in demand. We talk to an expert to find out why.

To coincide with this year’s edition of the New Wave music festival, we decided to find out what’s happening in the residential property market in Jurmala and elsewhere in Latvia. Liga Kohtanena is chief expert at the niche property firm Real Estate Jurmala. Anatol Steven went to consult her about property that’s hot and in demand. 

 

What changes and trends are you seeing in the residential real estate market in Jurmala in 2013?

The trends for 2013 are quite similar to last year! The top product in the real estate market is apartment properties, then come houses, then land lots.

A new trend seen this year in Jurmala is activity and interest in investing in commercial spaces and cash-flow objects. In high demand in Jurmala are well located, newly built or renovated restaurants, shops and office space. 

 

What prices are residences now being bought for in Riga and Jurmala?

The most demanded flats in Riga are actually in the budget range, from €150,000 to €300,000-plus. The most demanded locations are Riga center, the embassies region and the Old Town.

In Jurmala, the average budget spent on flat in 2013 is €250,000 to €350 000 and more. The most demanded locations in Jurmala are in region of Lielupe, Bulduri and Dzintari.

Offerings at Real Estate Jurmala at the moment cover the upper level of the market and orientation is on customers with high income levels. We are offering to our customers apartments in new projects and developments with a good location – a short distance to the sea, good infrastructure in the surroundings, service options, the presence of nature, sea, pines, not too many crowds around. There are also good quality well-located houses on offer.

 

What are the motivations of non-Latvian buyers, from east and west? Is the residence permit still the main issue?

One of the motivations to buy in Jurmala is driven by the option to have second house outside the city, with a convenient flight distance of one to two hours, close to nature that calms the mind and body after a stressful life in a big metropolis like Moscow or St Petersburg. Customers for Jurmala are mainly from big cities in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan, etc.

Jurmala has many options to relax, to get access to European-level services including health recreation, medical services, dental and cosmetic surgery, to buy ecological and quality products.

As you say, the second option widely thought of as a nice bonus is the possibility to have a temporary residence permit to make it flexible to come to Latvia and stay here so long as needed without restrictions.

In Riga there are two types of investors in residential real estate. The first buy because of the temporary residential permit -- they invest, and after that they put their purchased apartment up for rent. The second group buy for their personal needs, many of whom visit Riga for short periods several times a year. These are mainly upper-level buyers in the range from €500,000 and upwards.

 

What kinds of high-end residential real estate in Riga or other places outside Jurmala are foreign buyers being attracted to?

Such examples include the renovated house at Elizabetes Street 23 in the "embassy" region of Riga, or the project Alexandra Apartments at Auseklja Street 4, or Gipsa Fabrika II across the river in Kipsala. These are very attractive for foreign investors because of their unique architecture, location, environment and being within the lively city of Riga in genera.

Prices per square meter for new or renovated apartments in Riga and Jurmala are quite high. In the best projects they are generally between €4,000 and €8000 per square meter and more.

Occasionally I hear comments from customers like, “Tell us why we should invest so much in Riga or Jurmala. The prices per square meter are sometimes on the level of such cities as Berlin, Vienna or Prague. What’s so special here?” My answer: Because we are conveniently located, because we can offer quality recreation and peace, nature, without crowds, a secure environment, within only one to two hours’ flight from the investor’s homeland, and we speak languages the investors understand.

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