Vilnius homeowners unafraid of seven-digit numbers

  • 2004-09-22
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - The property market in Lithuania has undergone such a boom over the past year that sellers do not run the risk of scaring off potential buyers if they ask for a million litas (290,000 euros) or more for a one-family house, the daily Lietuvos Rytas reported this week.

Currently almost all new houses in Vilnius' prestigious neighborhoods cost at least 1 million litas, the paper claimed.

"Any resident of Valakampiai [a wealthy residential neighborhood of Vilnius] would ask at least 2 million litas for a well-equipped modern house," said Marius Rainys, CEO of the real estate agency Faulana. "Today the location, not the house itself, is the most valuable asset."

The most expensive house that Faulana has been hired to sell so far cost almost 4 million litas.

Vytas Zabilius, CEO of the Ober-Haus real estate agency, said that they have received requests from Vilnius homeowners to help them sell houses for up to 6 million litas.

"People who want to sell such property do not advertise themselves. People are no longer surprised when they are told that a house costs several million litas. They look at the situation realistically. Even seven-room semi-detached houses now cost a million litas or even more," he was quoted as saying.

Real property experts say that buyers of very expensive properties typically are top executives of profitable companies.

"Lithuanians buy expensive homes more often than foreigners," Zabilius said. Buyers of expensive homes include former expatriates returning to their homeland and athletes who have made money abroad.