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To buy an apartment in Kyiv Ч prices and assessments

 

In June 1992, Parliament of Ukraine passed a law which allowed the Ukrainian citizens to own their apartments, sell them, rent or will them to others. In the Soviet times, urban dwellers mostly rented apartments from the state which was the monopolistic owner of real estate. The new law abolished this monopoly.

 

Prices for apartments are a good indicator of the economic situation of a country.

Prior to 1997, the prices for apartments in Kyiv kept slowly going up, and that year, the prices jumped to a level never reached before. One of the explanations connected the growth of the prices with the influx of foreigners who came to work in Ukraine. The ratio of supply and demand was three offers per one potential customer.

Starting from 1998, this ratio tipped still further, with offers exceeding demand 5 to 10 times. The economic downturn and financial crisis brought the prices for the apartments in Kyiv down by 40-50 percent (on average, in Ukraine the prices went down by 7Ц10 percent). The apartments in the buildings built during the construction boom of the late fifties under the premiership of Khrushchev (small-sized, low-budgeted, poor workmanship) were among the cheapest.

By early 1999, the prices even for more prestigious apartments began to slide down. And that year marked the lowest point in prices for apartments in Kyiv. There were from 6 to 15 apartments offered for sale per one customer. But the next year, as the economy began to revive, the demand for apartments began to grow Ч consequently, the prices shot up 30 to 40 percent.

But the real boom began after the September 11 terrorist attack in New York, when the population of Ukraine, fearing that the position of the dollar would be undermined and it might even lose much of its value, began investing into real estate. Another factor that prompted the growth of prices was the return of many people who had emigrated in the Soviet and early post-Soviet times to Israel, back to Ukraine Ч they were escaping from the expanding Israeli-Palestine conflict. The new upsurge in prices was registered with the beginning of war in Iraq. At present, even for a one-room apartment in the least prestigious section of town can hardly be purchased for less than 10Ц12 thousand dollars.

 

The analysis of the prices for apartments in the city of Kyiv clearly shows that the main factor that affects these prices is the part of town where this or that apartment is situated. Of course, the size and the state the apartment is in influence the price, as well as closeness to the subway stations and main lines of communication.

The most prestigious Ч and most highly priced Ч are the central sections such as downtown Khreshchatyk, Leo Tolstoy Square, Maydan Nezalezhnosti, and Pechersk, Lypky in particular. Pechersk boasts sprawling parks, lots of trees and architectural and historical landmarks.

 

The suburban sections such as Borshchahivka, Svyatoshyne, Troyeshchyna Ч are not attractive to people who have money to buy better apartments. However, the affluent may want to buy private houses in the suburban areas. Among the attractive features of the suburban area are the proximity to the forests and the countryside surrounding the city, better ecological situation and considerable distance from the heavy-traffic highways.

The price situation on the left and on the right bank of Kyiv is somewhat different. The right bank of the city, hilly and scenic, is a cultural and historical centre not only of Kyiv itself but of the whole of Ukraine. By contrast, the left bank section is a flat area, closely built up with the drab Soviet-style apartments houses. It should be added here, that in recent years, more prestigious and much better apartment houses that meet all the modern requirements, are being built in the left bank section too.

 

The old right-bank parts of town with many stylish nineteenth- and early twentieth-century buildings gracing the streets have a charm of their own. Even the houses built in 1930s are not architectural eyesore. Many apartments in such buildings are spacious, with high ceilings and thick walls. Such apartments, particularly in highly prestigious sections, are in great demand among the affluent. But before going ahead with the purchase everything in old apartments should be checked, plumbing and floors in particular. It should be made certain that the frame of the house is not wooden, hidden behind layers of brick.

The least prestigious and cheapest are the apartments in the Khrushchev-time houses which were not meant to last decades, and at present the houses are in a bad state of repair. Besides, the apartments are small, the ceilings are low, the kitchens and bathrooms are tiny.

 

The housing construction in Ukraine is now on the rise and has good prospects for further development. The construction companies Ч Zhytlo-invest, TMM, Poznyakyzhylbud, Kyivmiskbud, Konsol, to name the leading ones Ч working in Kyiv build apartments which meet advanced requirements. In addition to apartments, mostly designed for the medium-income customers, these companies build luxurious apartments, using the most advanced western technologies. The quality of workmanship is very high; many of such apartments are situated on two or more levels and the decorative work corresponds to the top standards as well. The housing complexes are complete with doormen and guards, shops, drugstores, fitness centres and gyms, childrenТs playing grounds, partaking lots, and so on. The occupants are offered the services of governess, baby sitters, home doctors. The smallest apartments in such housing complexes have about 150 square meters of floor space, the price being around 2,000 dollars per square meter. The penthouses are most prestigious to buy, with the price going upwards of 3,000 dollars for a square meter of floor space. Though their popularity is growing, not too many of them are built.

 

There are all the reasons to believe that the housing construction will continue to develop at a brisk pace and the supply will be getting ever closer to meeting the demand. It is likely that the prices will eventually start going down; new incentives are being introduced Ч the customers are encouraged to buy apartments on advantageous installment plans; the quality improves, new services are offered.

 

By Olha Andrushchakevych

 

District of Kyiv Average price in US dollars (end of 2002) for:
One-room
apartment
Two-room
apartment
Three-room
apartment
Holosiyivsky 20,194 45,846 47,495
Darnytsky 21,371 30,929 38,459
Desnyansky 17,852 24,963 32,496
Dniprovsky 18,166 24,962 37,573
Obolonsky 18,850 30,010 42,328
Pechersky 31,851 63,054 96,921
Podolsky 20,747 28,817 50,217
Svyatoshynsky 16,681 27,781 36,516
Solomyansky 18,991 31,316 38,875
Shevchenkivsky 20,117 45,332 64,799
One-room, two-room, etc apartments have kitchens which
are not included in the general room count.
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