New apartment affordability increased in Vilnius and Riga in 2015 but Estonians’ rising incomes meant they could afford much bigger apartments in the country's capital city, Tallinn, than citizens in other Baltic State capitals.
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Estonian retail banking specialist Tiinu Sepp indicated that in the last quarter of 2015, a Vilnius resident, who receives the average wage, could afford a 29.6 square metre apartment in a new building, which is 0.4 square metres more than in 2014.

A citizen of Riga last year could afford 27.9 square metre apartment from the average wage, or 3.3 square metres more than a year ago. However, in Tallinn the new housing affordability index dropped by 0.9 sq. m. in the year but Estonians could still afford the biggest apartments among the Baltic capitals – at 35.7 sq. m.

“The Lithuanian capital housing affordability index rose due to the fact that last year wages grew faster than the prices of apartments. Index in Riga rose due to the decline in the average price of residential areas. In Tallinn new apartment prices grew faster than wages, thus slightly reducing affordability of housing,” said Sepp.

According to SEB Bank, apartment prices in older buildings increased in all Baltic capitals, but grew slower than the growth in average wages.

“The biggest difference between the availability of new and old housing is in the capital of Latvia. Latvian capital residents with an average wage can afford 1.9 times bigger apartments in old than new in construction buildings. In Vilnius the equivalent ratio is 1.4 while in Tallinn it is 1.2,” said SEB bank family financial expert Julita Varanauskienė.

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