TALLINN - There are clear signs that the months of carnage in the property market, which caused misery to homeowners and property speculators alike, may be ending.
Although the situation is still dire, experts and property analysts say that they have seen signs of recovery in the past few weeks.
"Very recently, in the last four to eight weeks, I have personally seen a change in climate. A few buyers are emerging from the woodwork," said Carl Wells, a senior international consultant at Goodson and Red, an international real estate company with offices in Tallinn and Bucharest.
Wells said international investors who invest in residential property were beginning to make their way back to the Baltic states.
"International investors are considering Estonia again. The interest is here. People are assuming that prices have hit the lowest point. There is [also] local buying. I am positive about the future," he said.
Ardi Roosimaa, managing director of Colliers International Estonia, told investors at a meeting in the British Chamber of Commerce that there was still money to be made in the property market for sophisticated investors who were in it for the long term.
In his advice for 2008, he suggested to investors that they "prepare for a longer recovery period and don't be too optimistic about project realization, look for new opportunities and don't think easier think better."
"Good offers are available," Roosimaa said at the conference.
Other analysts are cautious but expect the market to do well in certain areas of the country.
Tore Holmstorm, a Norwegian real estate investor, said he had noted some improvements in recent weeks but didn't expect the situation to last.
"I think we will see a big segregation in the market. Places will go based on location.
This will be the driving force in the market. The standards of building will have a big influence. I would guess the regions are the Old Town, the area around Pirita and the parts of town close to the sea. The market will always be interested in areas close to the sea," he said.