How much, on average, is the price of one square meter of the useful surface of a home?

The real estate market represents all transactions involving ownership or use rights over land and buildings. The real estate transaction means the permanent or temporary transfer of a right from one party to another in exchange for a price, which is usually a sum of money. As in any market, the transaction price is determined, first of all, by the interaction between demand and supply.

In a report published by Deloitte, Romania has among the cheapest houses in Europe, but despite this, prices have increased every year, a fact that arises as a result of demand, Romania being one of the countries with the most owners. According to an analysis by Deloitte National Office, Romanians with a gross salary of over 7000 lei must work 6 years and 3 months to buy a house with an area of 70 m2. The required amount amounts to approximately 100,000 euros. By comparison, the Belgians manage to buy a house in 4 years and 4 months and the Norwegians in 4 years. 

In most countries the price of housing has increased in recent years, for example in Austria a m2 of construction is sold for 4,995 euros, in France for 4,700 euros and in Germany for 4,800 euros. Romania is the second country in the European Union with the lowest prices on the European real estate market, a m2 of construction costs on average 417 euros, more than 200 euros more than 2 years ago.

If we consider the counties in our country, we can see that Cluj leads the way in terms of price increases. Cluj is the city with the most expensive prices both for sale and for rent. A m2 of construction costs 2,200 euros or is rented for almost 9 euros/m2 per month. On the other hand, in Bucharest, the asking price for the sale of a new apartment in July of this year was 1,522 euros/m2, the price for an old apartment was 1,639 euros/m2.

Higher increases for new apartments, of 9% year-on-year, were recorded on the Brașov market, where sellers asked for an average price of 1,949 euros/sqm. In July, old apartments had an average asking price of 1,576 euros/sqm, 4% higher than last year.

Craiova had 5% increases for old apartments, in July 2023 compared to July 2022: 1,455 euros/sqm. The difference is not big for new apartments, where the owners ask 1,489 euros/sqm,

In Alba, the average price for a m2 of useful surface is sold starting from 800 euros/m2 and can reach up to 1100 euros/m2. On the other hand, in Mureș County, in the central area, the price for one square meter of usable area is on average 1438 euros/square meter. In Sibiu, the average price for a square meter of usable area of an apartment is 1,350 euros.

In Miercurea-Ciuc the average price is 1,351 euros, in Sfântu Gheorghe up to an average of 1,300 euros per square meter. In Bacău, the average price for a sqm of useful surface is 1031 euros.

These prices are some averages because each apartment sold or bought is differentin terms of positioning, composition, infrastructure etc, which determines the complexity of this market and division according to area and the purpose for which the property will be used.

În our county, in Gheorgheni the price sqm for un apartment with an area of 66 sqm is around 911 euros/ sqm. In Miercurea Ciuc, the county seat, the prices for sqm are around 1351 euros, in Odorheiu Secuiesc the price for sqm for an apartment with an area of 40 sqm starts approximately from 1370 euros. In Cristuru Secuiesc, a sqm of an apartment sells from 628 euros.

Factors influencing the real estate market in 2023

It should be noted that, as can be seen from the market data mentioned above, the number of transactions and offers is extremely low, for all types of properties, in all localities in Harghita county, refer to https://investinhargita.ro/news /108 . According to the statistics published on the ANCPI website, in the first 7 months of 2023, a small number of transactions were registered in Harghita county. We also identified that there is a great diversity of prices, even in the same locality, depending on the area, type of property, type of transaction.

Due to the lack of transparency of the market, the non-existence of an official real estate index, as well as the absence of much statistical information, the diversity and complexity of the object of the study (buildings and land of any kind, located in all the localities of the county), the minimum values presented are general. Housing prices differ greatly from county to county depending on the area, the condition of the building, access to public transport, schools, parks, shops. 

In the case of our county, we can say that only Miercurea Ciuc and Odorheiul Secuiesc have high prices per m2 of an apartment, at the same level as Bacău. These high prices are the effect of the principle of demand and supply, an extremely important factor in setting prices on the real estate market is demand, which in Harghita county, and especially in Miercurea Ciuc and Odorheiu Secuiesc, is high compared to the existing supply. On the other hand, the economic fluctuations generated by insecurity (Sars-Cov 2 Pandemic, the Ukrainian War, inflation, the increase of interest rates by the NBR but also as a precaution by the banks, the increase in energy prices) in recent years have led to an increase in the costs of materials of constructions.

In conclusion, the real estate market in Romania is in a stabilization phase in terms of housing prices, and buyers show a more cautious attitude, which leads to a decrease in the number of transactions. However, there are all the prerequisites for future development. With the reduction of inflation and interest rates for mortgage loans, as well as with the development and improvement of the housing stock in Romania, favorable opportunities are emerging, especially for investors with an agile spirit, attentive to the key moments in the development of this segment.