Seaside property skyrockets

  • 2004-08-05
  • By Andris Salguns
If you own residential real estate in Ventspils, then congratulations! You posted a 50 percent appreciation in assets last year.

While all real estate segments grew in value, the residential sector in the seaside shipping port really catapulted, with prices of multistory residential houses jumping 50 percent from 180 euros to 250 euros per square meter.
Likewise, there has been robust growth in demand for land plots. At the moment, it is difficult to buy a vacant building-plot since there are very limited offers. Coastal territory, of course, is the most favored area, and the plot price is 25 euros - 35 euros per square meter. To capitalize on demand, the municipal government is planning a public sale of 200 - 300 land plots with communication infrastructure.
The market for single-family homes has also heated up in Ventspils. Even homes that are 20-30 years old are grabbing buyers' attention due to the limited availability of land plots. People who desperately want to move out of their Soviet flat and buy a home are willing to buy almost anything that stands alone. Ober-Haus foresees a large wave of single-family home development, as the city announces new development plans and developers buy and subdivide larger plots.
Commercial rents are stable, ranging from 5 euros per square meter at the low-end to 15 euros per square meter at the high-end.

Ventspils' historic Old Town is being reconstructed and renovated. Old buildings are being remodeled, and the bottom floors are being turned into offices, shops or cafes and service sector enterprises. Upper floors often serve as apartments. To be sure, the Old Town does not contain any unoccupied plots. Moreover, it's anticipated that the city will try to make room for up to four new supermarkets. (There is only one supermarket in the area at the moment.) One can easily see that the arrival of such a large amount of retail space might force retail rents down and hurt some small retail shops, which in turn could find themselves reincarnated in more tourist - or leisure-oriented bars or cafes.
The demand for industrial premises and plots is well balanced. Half of Ventspils is the territory of Ventspils Free Port, which provides certain tax advantages to owners and tenants.
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Andris Salguns works at Ober-Haus Valuation Service in Latvia