Total transaction volume in the first quarter in Belgrade was €537 million, which represents a decrease of around 5 % compared to the overall amount of €563 million which was registered in the first quarter of 2022, but the overall amount spent is still extremely high, real estate agency Cordon reports.
There are a few explanations for the drop in transaction volume:
- The number of credit buyers has gone down, due to high interest rates, as the total amount of outstanding loans has gone up only by 1.3% for the first three months of this year, compared to December of the previous year.
- After the record-breaking fourth quarter of last year when the amount spent on apartments was €826 million, it is logical that there will be some kind of a drop in activity. The amount of newcomers from Russia and Ukraine has also stabilized, as did the asking rents, which are still high, but not enough to continue with the record-breaking pace.
- The apartment market in Belgrade is not relying heavily on credit buyers, which is why the drop in their activity is not causing a huge overall drop in the market.
- The average loan amount for apartment buyers in Serbia is only around €31,000, while the default rate is only 0.6 percent, so regardless of what the perception might be, this is an extremely stable market.
- 77% of all transactions were made in cash while 23% were credit buyers. This statistic is showing the drop in credit buyers' activity.
- In order to accurately track the apartment market, three elements should be considered: volume of transactions, pace of new construction, and sale prices. Cordon has identified over 60 projects, but there are more than that, where the prices are over €3000/sqm and there is no drop in sales prices within those projects.
- The next quarter will inevitably show another drop in activity compared to the second quarter of the previous year when we had a record-breaking €712 million of transactions as a result of the Ukrainian war. If the sales continue at the same pace as the first quarter of this year, we will still have over €2 billion worth of transactions, which is an extremely high figure.