Over 40,000 apartments are empty in Tirana, neither for sale nor for rent

2023-09-18 18:28:03Biznes SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
Buildings in Tirana

With the government's decision to change the property reference prices, apartments in Tirana will have higher prices than they are today. The change can affect the real estate market, not only in the value of housing, but also in the increase in taxation of properties, including unoccupied ones. For experts, the new reference prices increase costs for builders, who pass it on to the final buyer.

"What has happened with the reference prices is that it has increased the costs of the builders, so now they will pay more taxes and therefore they will charge these costs to the buyer. But we are in a market where prices have gone very high and we don't know if the market will accept another increase in prices or if it will start to cool down", said Armando Shkëmbi, real estate agent during the interview for "Euronews Albania".

With an unstoppable demand, new buildings are added year after year, while there are still many vacant apartments, which are not being used, creating an imbalance in the market. "Our market is actually inexplicable. In reality, there is demand in Tirana, but on the other hand, in Tirana we have an oblique development: we have many empty apartments. There are about 40,000 or 50,000 empty apartments that are not on the market either for rent or for sale, which then create this increased demand," he emphasized.

According to the expert, the taxation of unused apartments would bring an increase in the amount of properties available on the market, and therefore the prices on the market would harmonize, creating an offer of cheaper properties. "In my view, the solution is taxation. In the West, properties are taxed so that they do not remain empty. In Albania, despite the fact that we complain a lot about taxes, they are actually low. Since they are not taxed, they are stuck in the market. If they are taxed more, they will gradually enter the market, and we would have lower rents, of course, and lower sales prices" - he added, among other things.

The prices are very high but on the other hand the demand continues to grow, the expert claims that there is an increase in demand also for investment reasons.

“Në Tiranë blejnë nga të gjitha anët. Blejnë emigrantët rreth 15% e apartamenteve të reja që ndërtohen. 35% janë të pronarëve të tokës dhe zakonisht ata nuk I shesin, kështu që në shitje dalin rreth 50% të apartamenteve të reja. Emigrantët, prindërit nga rrethet për fëmijët, ata që kanë ardhur në Tiranë profesionist të rinj por dhe investitorët për shtëpi që duan ti japin me qira. Janë ata që janë mësuar me Air B&B kanë parë përfitimet e kësaj qasje, marrin 2 3 4 shtëpia për ti dhënë me AirB&B”, -përfundoi ai. Por kur do të ndalë ky rreth vicioz? Eksperti thotë se tregu tashmë ka arritur kulmin e kapacitetit, dhe me këtë sasi të madhe pronash në treg, mund të presim vetëm një ulje graduale të çmimeve.

"The analyzes show that the price increase has come to an end. Prices have stabilized. The question is whether they will fall or not. Since we have many new buildings on the market, we can potentially achieve a cooling of prices, but on the other hand, sooner or later the demand will fall. My prediction is until the next 6 months or so the prices can be reduced.". According to the decision of VKM on reference prices, for the 32 cadastral areas of Tirana, the taxable reference value per square meter has increased from 5 to 76%.