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Romanians continue to buy old apartments

Romanians are further purchasing old apartments, although their prices increased tenfold compared to early 1990s, at least at the level of Bucharest (Romania’s Capital), forced by the high prices for new homes and by lending restrictions adopted by the banks.
Old apartments are on average 47 years old, compared to the 30 years average in the European Union, and their area is only half of those built in residential complexes in recent years. In spite of new projects, at national level, housing surface per capita only amounts to 15 sqm, versus 30.6 sqm in EU.In 1990, some 90% of homes were built from budgetary funds, in 2005, approximately 85% of finalized homes are made from private funds, according to a study, part of the Real Estate File compiled by Business Standard daily.
Old apartments are cheaper, are available, have lower maintenance costs and, generally, the first acquisition will be an old apartment and the second will be a new one, says Residential Division Manager within Colliers International Ilinca Paun.
Last year, prices of old apartments in Bucharest rose some 52%, while prices of new apartments only increased by 17%. At present, the two have an evolution in parallel.
In the 1990s, a two bedroom apartment in a semi-central area, such as in Posta Vitan or Alba-Iulia Square, was sold for some 9,000-12,000 euros, depending on the floor, access to the subway and proximity to markets and parks. The same apartment is currently sold for 110,000-130,000 euros, says consulting company King Sturge Investment Manager, Radu Boitan.
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