By Shakeh Avoyan
Housing prices in Yerevan soared by ten percent last month and will likely continue to growth in the months to come, the Armenian government agency registering real estate deals said on Monday. Officials there attributed the more buoyant market to an improved macroeconomic situation and a greater influx of capital from Armenians working abroad.
“There is a fairly strong growth in the number of transactions that affect the whole market,” said Arshak Khachatrian, a senior official at the government’s Real Estate Registry. “Demand is definitely higher than supply at the moment. This is why we are witnessing a continuing increase in prices.”
Figures released by the agency show that the number of real property transactions across Armenia increased by 17 percent last year. The number of apartment rents shot up by 50 percent, according to the government data.
Khachatrian said this year will see an acceleration of last year’s trends. “We are predicting a 20-25 percent rise in prices in the first half of the year,” he said.
Vartan Avagian of the private real estate agency Bars agreed, saying: “The rise in prices has been going on for about one and a half years. I think it will continue.”
The Armenian housing market is still reeling from the Russian economic crisis of 1998. The flow of vital money remittances from Russia and other former Soviet republics practically dried up, pushing the prices down dramatically.