Dxpat.com

Housing website for Albania

www.mongabay.com/history/albania/albania-housing.html

Albania-Housing from the Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program.

www.unece.org/hlm/documents/2002/ece/hbp/ece.hbp.130.e.pdf

Country Profile will prove useful to all those with an interest in Albania’s housing sector – policy makers and legislators, government officials, …

www.nationsencyclopedia.com

Housing was generally primitive in rural areas and poor elsewhere. After the war, housing continued to be a problem for a variety of reasons: primary emphasis …

www.globalpropertyguide.com

A look at real estate investment in Albania from the perspective of property income, taxes and Albanian investment prospects.

www.sublet.com/state_rentals/albania_rentals.asp

Rent Albania apartments, sublets and houses. Search furnished, unfurnished apartment rentals and rooms in Albania. Temporary housing and long term rentals.

Official sources indicated that, between 1945 and 1985, nearly 165,000 apartments were built by the state and more than 232,000 houses were constructed by individuals with state assistance. Nevertheless, living quarters became increasingly overcrowded because of rapid population growth. Families of four or more persons often lived in a single room. Newlyweds seeking a private home faced waiting periods of up to ten years. War and natural catastrophes added to the burden. During World War II, some 35,000 dwellings had been destroyed. About 10,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by earthquakes in 1967 and 1969, and a powerful earthquake in 1979 demolished about 18,000 buildings and left 100,000 people homeless.

Rural houses were small, sparsely furnished, and simply constructed of natural rock or stone. Most had one or two rooms, and a hearth or sometimes a stove for heating and cooking. Urban houses and apartments usually were small; many lacked central heating. Kitchens and toilet facilities in apartments had to be shared by three or four families.

During World II, about 61,000 buildings of all types were destroyed, including 35,400 dwellings. Housing was generally primitive in rural areas and poor elsewhere. After the war, housing continued to be a problem for a variety of reasons: primary emphasis on industrial construction, shortages of materials and skilled labor, and lack of or inadequate assistance for private building. Moreover, the increase of urban population worsened an already desperate situation. Consequently, new housing construction was concentrated in Tiranë, Vlorë, Elbasan, Shkodër, Durrës, and Korçë, as well as in other industrial and mining sites.

Nearly 29% of all housing currently available was built during the period from 1961-1980. According to the preliminary results of a 2001 census, there were about 520,936 residential buildings in the country containing about 783,640 dwellings. About 30% of the dwelling spaces were block flats constructed and owned by the government during the Communist era. Most public housing was privatized during the period from 1992–93. A 1998 Household Living Condition survey indicated that about 74% of rural households did not have an indoor toilet and 54% did not have access to running water. In comparison, 18% of urban households were without an indoor toilet and 5% lacked running water. The most common form of housing construction is a concrete frame filled with brick or block in-fill.

Albania is the property market’s latest darling. It has miles and miles of beautiful and pristine coasts along the Adriatic Sea. Tirana, the capital, is in the midst of a construction boom with the airport set for a major upgrading.

Times Online calls it “Europe’s last frontier.” Thisismoney.com points to Albania as one of 2008’s property hotspots. Colliers confidently predicts a housing boom. Themovechannel.com cites Albania as the second hottest investment destination in Europe.

Since no official house price figures exist, market players and speculators alike make different estimates of how much house prices have risen and will likely rise in the future.

Property prices have risen 200% in the most sought-after places, with an overall increase of 20% annually, according to Obelisk, a leading European real estate firm.

Prices are expected to go up by 10 to 15% annually, “perhaps even rising to 30 percent when Albania enters the EU,” says David Stanley Redfern, Ltd., an overseas property specialist.

Property prices surged 107% between 2002 and 2006, and by more than 300% from 1996 to 2006, according to a study by INF 93, a Tirana-based real estate agency.

Some reports say that prices of city-centre apartments have quadrupled over the past six years.

There are no restrictions on the purchase of private residential property by foreigners, except for agricultural land.

Property prices in Albania are among the lowest in Europe, although real estate agent’s estimates vary. Vacant land can be bought for as low as €40 – €150. Prices of newly built apartments in Tirana are around €500 to €800 per sq. m.. Luxurious units in the city centre are priced at around €1,000 per sq. m.

Rental yields estimates are quite low, at around 5% to 7% per annum. Property buyers are counting more on capital appreciation than on rental income for a return on their investment.

Roundtrip transaction costs are very low, ranging from 3% to 3.75%. The bulk of the cost is the 3% real estate agent’s commission, of which 2% is paid by the seller and 1% by the buyer. Other costs are the notary and legal fees which are very low.

The government is still in the process of returning properties to their pre-Communist period owners. Buyers should be wary of fake title deeds and properties with multiple owners. Several buildings and new constructions lack appropriate building permits.

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