Residential prices down 3.9 pct in Q1 2010

Prices of residential properties fell 3.9 pct in the first quarter of 2010 against the baseline year of 2009, reads a release of the National Statistics Institute (INS).

The price decrease was noticeable for both property categories: ask prices for apartments dropped 3.8 percent in Q1 2010 y-o-y, while house prices also decreased 4.3 percent from the same reference. For the first time, INS released on Tuesday information on the evolution of residential property prices.
Works on the calculation methodology began in 2008 in collaboration between INS, the National Bank of Romania (BNR) and the National Union of Notaries Public of Romania (UNNPR). INS began collecting information from notary offices in January 2009, with assistance from the local chambers of notaries public.

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The residential price index measures the quarterly evolution of residential property prices compared to the year 2009 (the starting year of the survey). The index is calculated based on a survey conducted by notary offices beginning with 2009.
The goal of the survey is to measure the quarterly evolution of residential property prices against the baseline year 2009 (investigation ‘year zero’), not to calculate an average rate per square meter or an average value per transaction in relation to the number of rooms and useful surface.

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The data is collected by monthly submission of an electronic questionnaire. The index is a Laspeyres-type aggregate index, which presupposes measuring the evolution of prices in the current period against a base period (2009) for apartment-type buildings, individual buildings and residential properties overall. The estimation method used is the ‘hedonic’ regression that measures the correlation between the dependent variable (the transaction price) and the elements characteristic for the formation of residential property prices.

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