Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Feeling Begins

Dates are all set: movers are coming on 31st January and we are flying on 9th February. I expect furniture to arrive mid April. Good news is that we can "house sit" apartment next to Jelena's sister until April.

I had a look at local property market and feeling is that prices doubled in last 4 years (I did not have a look at any hard market data). Mortgage market looks quite buoyant: Euro denominated loans and 20% government guarantee take out most of the risk from lenders. Interest rates and payments are relatively low (still out of reach for general population). You can find interesting payment calculator here: fields from top are mortgage amount, deposit, monthly income, term.

Some analysts point out to discrepancies between supply (3,500 apartments per year) and demand (apparently 50,000 apartments) as a key reason for price increase and believe that with return of larger construction companies prices should drop. I would not hold my breath for that - good example how far market can go is Zagreb. Croatia has much higher per capita GDP (USD 8,000 vs. USD 3,200 for Serbia) but salaries in Serbia are increasing on much faster pace than GDP. It is also a question of market segmentation, exclusive property in Belgrade can be more expensive than equivalent in Auckland, NZ.

Serbian parliamentary elections are due to start in few hours. Politics is a source of great frustration (for a reason) for anyone from these parts. Focus of these elections was more on economy and issues that affect everyday life than on politics of people of heaven (see Lazar of Serbia: Aftermath and Myth). After reading Serbian newspapers and websites I struggled to go to sleep for hours. It looks like Serbia is moving away from abyss but you can still get vertigo if you dare to look over the edge.

I'm not looking forward to prospect of going to winter. This winter in Europe looks particularly mild which takes away excuse that we could catch up with some winter sports activities.

No comments: