Spot Media: Bucharest has among the lowest housing prices in Europe

It takes 96 average net salaries to buy a 70 sqm apartment in the capital city. Housing in Bucharest is more affordable than in other large cities in the country, where more serious price increases have been recorded in the past year, according to Spot Media.

Bucharest is also among the European cities with the lowest housing prices, but with the highest levels of affordability, according to data from the real estate consultancy company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.Advertisement“The projected salary increases, against the backdrop of positive economic developments, as well as the relaxation of financing conditions, will favor an increase in housing prices in the near future, a trend that we will most likely see more pronounced from next year onwards.

Based on public data regarding the average price requested for a 70-square-meter apartment in Europe, the level of affordability for purchasing such an apartment in Bucharest is among the highest both nationally and in Europe, requiring 96.2 average net monthly salaries,” the company stated in a press release.

A higher level of affordability is recorded in Brussels and Sofia (84.2 and 94.3 respective average net salaries) among the major European cities and capitals.

On the other hand, cities like London, Munich, Paris, or Zurich stand out, where average prices per usable square meter can exceed or even surpass 10,000 euros (Paris) or even 16,000 euros (Zurich), requiring in certain cases more than 200 average net salaries from those locations, a level more than double compared to that in Bucharest.

Moreover, the capital of Romania offers advantageous residential prices compared to the region, with a low level of affordability observed in Prague (a city with average prices exceeding 4,700 euros/sqm and where 196.7 average net salaries are required for such an apartment), Bratislava (171.5), Warsaw (165.3), Belgrade (161), Cluj-Napoca (158.2), or Budapest (150).

“Residential property prices in Romania have recorded significant increases in the past year in cities like Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Oradea, Iasi, or Craiova, with increases exceeding 10% in most of the mentioned cases.

The capital has somewhat stood out in the last 12 – 24 months, a period during which asking prices have increased at a much lower level than the corresponding inflation rate and significant construction cost increases.

Additionally, after a first semester of the previous year, during which the number of transactions for housing units significantly decreased due to high mortgage interest rates, we witnessed a clear revival in the second half of 2023 and in the early months of the current year.

Banks have started a series of promotions with much more advantageous interest rates, lower than the 7% reference rate set by the National Bank, to restart mortgage lending. Therefore, we see offers in the market with annual fixed interest rates for a period of 3 – 5 years ranging between 5.6% – 5.85%, a level similar to those currently practiced in Western Europe and which, combined with the high level of affordability for purchasing housing in Bucharest compared to most major European cities, will create an extremely favorable environment for further development of large residential projects in the capital, as well as for medium and long-term price increases,” stated Vlad Saftoiu, Head of Research, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.

The average price requested for an apartment in Bucharest was 1,663 euros per usable square meter during February, according to imobiliare.ro.

This level corresponds to a 6.6% increase compared to February 2023 and a 7.5% increase compared to the same month in 2022, representing some of the smallest price increases at the national level during those periods.

The capital ranks only 3rd in terms of the highest prices after Cluj-Napoca (2,666 euros/sqm, +10.4% vs. February 2023) and Brasov (1,815 euros/sqm, +14.9% vs. February 2023).

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