Back in 2010 to rent a good furnished one-room apartment near the subway in Minsk (long term) cost about $300 USD a month plus utilities. By the end of 2011 because of the currency shortage and growth of exchange rate rental prices fell to $200-250. But in August of 2012 situation cardinally change, prices greatly increased. Realtors used to say that such situation takes place every year when nonresident students return to Minsk, so there was nothing to worry about.
But rental prices have not fallen, either in October or in November. One-bedroom apartments are now for at least $450 and those who have managed to grab are happy for such variant. Considering that the average salary in Minsk is about $650, far not everyone can afford to rent an apartment. Both tenants and realtors are at a loss, and no one knows exactly what could cause such a problem. Experts have some ideas on this problem, but probably answer consists of the whole complex of factors.
There’s a version of a great amount of property owners who are afraid of leasing apartments which were built using low preferential credit (government support). Belarusian president once told that it’s necessary to take away such property if it is used for rent! But a small percentage of owners who kicked out their tenants could not provoke a double prices increase.
Among other potential crisis causes are population growth, citizens’ income increase, and unavailable loans on property. Lending legislation changed after the crisis in 2011, now commercial loans are available units, preferential – only certain categories of citizens such as forces and large families. To save up on one bedroom flat it needs 10 years of strict economy. That’s way thousands young families lost hope for an own apartment and have to rent it.
Experts are sure that prices won’t decrease and people have to become used to pay more for the rent. The situation is really abnormal, but nevertheless a demand on renting apartments doesn’t decrease either. Day after day life in Belarus continues to become more expensive.