Most expensive flats in Skopje and Stip, cheapest in Kumanovo
Inbox 7 analyzed how many years of life should a Macedonian worker spend to buy a flat of fifty square meters. It will be much harder for citizens of Stip to get an apartment, than citizens of Skopje, as the price in the city center has increased for more than 1,000 Euros per square meter
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A worker with average salary for a new flat of 50 square meters in Stip needs to work 17 years and nine months, in Ohrid 14 years, in Skopje 12 years and five months, 11 years in Strumica, 10 years and seven months in Bitola. Inbox 7 found this data in a survey carried out in seven towns in the country. We analyzed the prices of flats in Stip, Ohrid, Skopje, Strumica, Bitola, Kavadarci, Kumanovo and the purchasing power of citizens with average salary.
There are no such prices of flats even in Belgrade, briefly commented Goran Apostolov, coming out from a real estate agency in Stip.
“I want to buy an apartment of 50 square meters and they ask 55,000 Euros. I live in an old house, six members in the family. For quite some time I have wanted to buy an apartment in the city center, but it is too expensive for me”, complains Apostolov.
He and his wife are employed in textile industry and have about 15,000 denars salary.
These prices are confirmed by the real estate agency “Florida Impex” from Stip.
“The average price of new buildings in the center of Stip is over 1,000 Euros per square meter, depending on the size of the flat”, says Sonja Katarova from “Florida Impex”.
She adds that in the eastern region, new flats are sold in Kocani, Vinica and Berovo, but there prices are around 600 to 700 Euros per square meter.
For Dragan Ristov, PR in the Municipality of Stip, the reasons for the high prices lie in the development of the town, which in future is to become a regional center of Eastern Macedonia.
“Several regional institutions are set in Stip like the University Goce Delchev, Clinical Hospital, Appellate Court, military barracks, the free economic zone in which workers are now working from Eastern Macedonia and thus it results in expansion of the town”, says Ristov.
For the same flat, 50 square meters in the city center, cheapest will be for the inhabitants of Kumanovo. A worker with average salary there should work nine years and 10 months to pay for an apartment.
Repayment period of a new flat of 50 square meters in the city center
Town Average salary (MKD) Price of flats (MKD) Repayment period Shtip 15.131 52.500 17 years and 9 months Ohrid 18.500 50.000 13 years and 10 months Skopje 24.700 60.000 12 years and 5 months Strumica 16.200 35.000 11 years Bitola 19.300 40.000 10 years and 7 months Kavadarci 16.100 33.000 10 years and 5 months Kumanovo 17.000 33.000 9 years and 10 months Macedonia 20.847 43.000 10 years and 6 months
-State Statistical Office
– Real Estate Agency Florida Impex Shtip
– Real Estate Agency Capital Ohrid
– Real Estate Agency Atlas 2002 Skopje
– Real Estate Agency Megja Strumica
– Real Estate Agency Strelec Bitola
– Real Estate Agency Jata Kavadarci
– Real Estate Agency Premium Lux Kumanovo
Migrant workers buy and pay cash
Payment of flats in the country is mostly in cash. Clients who buy flats are fellow countrymen living abroad.
“Most often buyers of flats are clients from other parts of Macedonia or our immigrants in order to have their own place for rest and relaxation or residence after retirement. Next are citizens of Ohrid who buy houses for living”, says Natasha Spaseska Cvetkoska from the Real Estate Agency “Capital” from Ohrid.
In Kumanovo are also happy with migrant workers. There are two real estate agencies, and most frequent clients are returnees from crisis regions.
“The main buyers of flats in Kumanovo are our workers from Iraq and Afghanistan. They come here and pay in cash”, says Viktor Velickovski from the real estate agency “Premium Lux”.
In Kumanovo there are about 6,000 returnees from crisis areas in Africa and Asia, but they mostly buy houses, so in Kumanovo there is a whole neighborhood called Afghan, says Aleksandar Denkovski.
Unlike Kumanovo and Ohrid, in Gevgelija most common buyers are locals, says Andon Hadzi-Nikolov, owner of the real estate agency “Devomak”.
“Buyers of flats are mainly our fellow citizens. Although a frontier place, Greek neighbors now have no interest in real estate in Gevgelija”, says Hadzi-Nikolov.
For apartment loans you pay double
For those who do not have the money to pay in cash for the flat, there are two options for buying with a loan, the first is through a bank, where interest rates range from 4.75% in Ohrid Bank to 11, 25% in Sparkasse Bank.
For Gjorgji Jordanovski this was the only option to get his own home in Skopje.
“I have bought an apartment in the settlement Gjorce Petrov on credit. It was my most profitable option. Instead of paying rents, I will pay monthly installments and after 20 years will have my own home”, says Jordanovski.
He adds that the bank where he had taken the loan had no agreement with the state and he could not apply for the project “Buy a House, buy a Flat”.
A person from Bitola, who wanted to remain anonymous, had more luck. He was among the first to have applied for an apartment of this project and thanks to the good solvency he had with his wife, he fulfilled the conditions required by the project to subsidize houses by the state.
“Through “Buy a House, buy a Flat”, I bought an apartment of 40 square meters in Bitola for 28,000 Euros. We have a state subsidy in the first five years, it covers half of the monthly installment. My monthly installment is around 9,000 denars. For five years the state will give me a subsidy of 4,000 Euros, or 10 percent of the value of the flat and interests”, says our source.
According to our interlocutors’ calculations, if you get a loan with 20 years, you will have to return twice as much money.
Few have profited from the project “Buy a House, buy a Flat”
So far it is uncertain how many people have used government subsidies of the “Buy a House, buy a Flat” project. We asked the Ministry of Finance for a response, but until the publication of the text no data was received.
In real estate agencies across the country they say that the interest was initially high but conditions prevented many young people to buy their own home.
“For the project “Buy a House, Buy a Flat” there was interest from young people, but they could not meet the requirements requested by the government and banks. Through our agency we sold only two flats”, says Snezana Nastevska, owner of “Strelec” from Bitola.
We got similar response from real estate agents in Skopje.
“Through our real estate agencies only two or three families have bought real estate and they usually buy in the suburbs where it is cheaper and where they can meet the requirements for getting such flat”, said Zlatko Gornjevski from the real estate agency “Atlas 2002” in Skopje.
Of contacted real estate agents, most flats sold of this project are through “Devomak” from Gevgelija – four and none in Kumanovo.
Editor: Stojanka Mitreska