EU ascension seems to be a sure-fire way to boost your real estate prices and three members of the Baltic State are actively generating strong interest in attractive off-plan investments. Former Soviet controlled Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all joined NATO and the European Union in 2004 with their investment appeal further increased as Ryanair
started to offer low cost city connections.
Hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002 also played a major part in putting Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city on the map. According to the Telegraph
, Estonia was Europe’s property hotspot last year with an annual survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reporting a house price boost of 28 percent in Estonia compared to the UK’s 3 percent. Much of this can attributed to capital city investment and neighbouring Finland which provides much of its investment.
On the market with Arc-Property
: A 15 minute drive from Tallinn’s main business district, the Karneri project features apartments in twin residential towers on a quiet, side street location. Just 100 metres from the western shore of Kopli bay, apartments overlook a nature reserve to the north-west and the old town to the north east. Within close proximity is the Rocca Al Mare shopping centre, the Saku Surhaal Concert/Sports Arena and a large supermarket. The only development in this area is the Estonian Open Air Museum, a vast collection of traditional Estonian buildings joined by trails through the woodland. Prices start from £57,600 and the apartments can be purchased with a deposit of only 20%.
Passing the Eurovision good luck charm to its sister country in 2003, Latvia is now in the midst of a property frenzy with houses prices increasing some 31 percent in 2005. Steadily attracting rising sums of foreign direct investment (GE Money and L’Oreal operate branch offices here with the central representative offices of Microsoft, SONY, Procter & Gamble all located in Riga) and massive EU funding, Latvia’s capital Riga is hosting much of the current boom and the country is on course to join the Eurozone in 2008. A recent Sunday Times report rated Latvia over Beijing as a buy-to-let property hotspot. Luxury hotel chain Kempinski are opening their second hotel in Riga at the end of 2007 in response to an undersupply of hotel accommodation as tourism demand continues to strengthen.
On the Market with Some Place Else
– Daugavgriva is an off-plan apartment development starting at £ 53,423 Located on the south side of the river Daugava, the project offers proximity to city centre, just a 7-10min drive and good local infrastructure with the "Kalnciems health centre, Riga’s biggest swimming pool "Kipsala and existing shopping centre "Olympia" nearby. A rapidly growing area of the city the current construction of the largest new leisure and shopping centre Akropole, commences next year and as part of the Riga development plan for 2006-2018 is set to receive massive investment to improve the area.
Kempinski are also investing Lithuania’s capital city Vilnius with the Kempinski Hotel AAA set to open in June 2007 to be located near Gedimanas Castle, at the heart of the centre of the city. The largest of the baltic states in terms of population and land, Vilnus is expericning heavy investment in modern retail space spurred on by increasing retail demand. 2004 saw the opening of Lituanias largest shopping complex Europa and IKEA’s decision to enter the city in 2005 on its main Gedimino Avenue points to future predicted future demand. 2009 is a milestone for Vilnius when it becomes the European Capital of Culture, as part of this accolade the city is developing an ambitious project to improve city infrastructure and tourism and culture offerings both long-term for local residents and short-term for tourist visitors.
On the market – Hanner
. Lituanian developer Hanner is developing low level contemporary 1 -5 bedroom apartments in the up and coming Santariškės district on Franko street. Just 100 metres from Verkiai regional park, the area is a new private residential region, popular with young professional families offering a strong rental market supported by good transport connections mean the centre of Vilinus is a 10-15 minute drive away and nearby Vilnius University Medical Hospital
3 blocks comprise just 17 or 21 apartments will be set in landscaped grounds and offer privacy and security with underground parking and optional fit-out of the apartment. Prices start at ₤53,894.7
The property pendulum inevitably has swung in favour of Europe's younger democracies as Europe becomes a smaller place, property investment is reaching further afield.