House prices up 3.42% during the year to Q3 2020

Lithuania’s housing market remains robust, with the five major cities’ apartment price index (covering Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys) rising by 3.42% y-o-y in Q3 2020 (inflation-adjusted) – slightly lower than the y-o-y rise of 4.05% seen in Q3 2019. Quarter-on-quarter, house prices increased slightly by 0.64% in Q3 2020.

Demand and supply weakening

In 2019, the overall number of transactions for houses and apartments in Lithuania rose by 9% from a year earlier, according to the Ober Haus. In Vilnius, apartment sales increased 8% while house sales rose by almost 15% last year. In terms of value, residential transactions in Vilnius reached €1.1 billion in 2019, up 15% from a year earlier.

Then in Q3 2020, nationwide sales transactions surged by 51% q-o-q for apartments and 52% for houses, according to Ober Haus, following a temporary halt in Q2 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Compared to the previous year, sales of apartments were down by 3% in Q3 while sales of houses were up 16%. 

Yet residential construction activity is mixed. In the first three quarters of 2020, dwelling permits fell by 8.8% y-o-y to 10,577 units while dwelling completions rose by 3.6% to 9,464 units, according to Statistics Lithuania. 

Rents, rental yields: rental yields are good at 5.39%Vilnius apartment costs are very low at around €2,163 per sq. m. 

Lithuania: typical city centre apartment buying price, monthly rent (120 sq. m)
  Buying price Rate per month Yield
Vilnius € 259,560 € 1,166 5.39%

Recent news. Lithuania’s economy contracted only slightly by 0.1% in Q3 2020 from a year earlier, a sharp improvement from the previous quarter’s 4.6% fall, according to Statistics Lithuania. In a quarterly basis, the economy expanded by 3.7% in Q3 2020, following a downwardly revised 5.9% drop in Q2. As such, the European Commission recently revised upwards its 2020 economic forecast for Lithuania to a modest contraction of 2.2%, a sharp improvement from its earlier projection of a 7.1% decline.