Protests in Belarus paralyzed real estate market
Since the end of the presidential elections in Belarus, protests have not stopped, employees of factories declare strikes, and the head of the country, in turn, is trying to intimidate them by closing the striking factories, dismiss teachers who supported the protesters from schools. However, this didn’t frighten the citizens, and they continued to protest.
After August 9, the number of applications for the purchase of real estate in comparison with the beginning of the month fell three times, said a representative of the company “Your capital”. According to the agency “Etazhi”, whose office is located in the capital, from the ninth to the twelfth of August, the official website of the company noted the lowest statistics among job seekers in the history of the company. At the moment, transactions are being carried out, which began to be formalized before the elections, and the number of new clients is 10-15% from the previous number, said the head of the agency, Alexander Masalov.
The beginning of the year was relatively good for the Belarusian housing market. According to the National Cadastral Agency, in the first quarter, the cost per square meter both in the primary and secondary markets went up. On the primary, it increased from $1410 to $1700, and on the secondary — from $1440 to $1500.
Even during the last crisis, experts noted the interest of Russian citizens in Belarusian housing. It happened this time too. According to the company “Etazhi”, from February to May, the share of Russians among those interested in buying real estate increased from 5.95% to 13.5%. Masalov suggested that this is more related to the search for investment instruments in connection with the unstable situation in the world.
According to the results of the second quarter, experts noted a “turnaround” in the industry. The number of deals in the agency “Etazhi” decreased by 60%. According to the NCA, the level of concluded contracts decreased by 41.2% compared to the first quarter and by 33.6% compared to the same period in 2019. Experts believe that the main reason for this is the instability of the national currency.
The decrease in purchasing activity immediately affected prices: in the primary market, the price per square meter fell by 7.1%, and in the secondary market — by 4.1%.
Recovery started in the summer. Throughout June and July, the level of transactions reached last year’s level.
According to the results of the past month, the number of concluded contracts will hardly reach the average level, experts of the agency “Your capital” reported. According to their forecast, the level of transactions in relation to July will be 20-25%, and to August last year — 35%.
Experts are confident that there will be a large selection of housing on the market amid falling demand. Most likely, some of them will be discounted.
The situation is likely to seriously affect the investment sentiment in the country due to the fall of the national currency. Developers who are credited in foreign currency may also suffer, says Saglara Okonova, an analyst at international real estate agent Tranio.
Some researchers are also confident in a serious outflow of citizens from the country, as a result of which the market may be oversaturated with new lots.