If you want to sell overseas properties in Belarus, you will find the information in this article very useful, as we discuss the real estate trends in this Eastern European nation. In Belarus, the real estate market is still at an early stage of its development as the country is yet to take off economically since it became an independent nation following the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Most of the real estate transactions in Belarus have happened in the secondary real estate market. The capital of Belarus, Minsk, saw most of the real estate sales in the country. The real estate market here is growing fast, but probably not as fast as some would want it to. Last year, there were around 12,000 real estate transactions in Belarus, with over 55% of them happening in Minsk.
The government of Belarus has worked hard to promote real estate in the country. In fact, Prime Minister Myasnikovich has announced several initiatives to make real estate attractive in Belarus, such as reducing the interest rates on housing loans from 16% to 14%.
Francis Delay, who heads the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development in Belarus talks about how Belarus has changed over the last few years: “Belarus compared to other countries in the region is at an early stage of its development of a full market economy but the country is already a consumer society and there is no way of going back.”
Apartments in the city of Minsk are quite cheap and only cost $1500 per sq. metre, which is pretty low by European standards. It is believed that the property market in Belarus will pick up once multinationals and foreign brands show more interest in the country. What Belarus also lacks is a visible consumerist culture, which means less there less money to go around. As Denis Chetverikov, Associate Director at Colliers International in Belarus explains “From the point of view of international brands, most of the existing retail space is not really attractive in terms of the size or available area. Only a few malls in Minsk meet the requirements of international retailers. The lack of high quality retail space is the main barrier for growth but developers are gradually solving this problem. At the moment projects like Palazo Mall, Green City, Galleria Minsk and Dana Mall are under construction.
Chetverikov adds, “All of them will meet the requirements of international chains and, hopefully, they will attract many of them, Since 2012 the retail space market in smaller cities is developing even more rapidly than in Minsk. The most important markets are Brest, Witebsk and other regional and local centres with a population exceeding 100 thousand inhabitants. Of course, everything is interconnected — if Minsk cannot attract too many big brands, it is even harder to expect it from the regional centres.”
There is a strong demand from Russians for overseas properties for sale in Belarus. Russians have historical and cultural ties with Belarus which goes back to the days of the Soviet Union. Belarus also has a large Russian population. Russians in Belarus have been investing heavily in Minsk, Vitebsk and Grodno.