Rīga remains most affordable of Baltic capitals for housing

Rīga retained its place as the most affordable of the three Baltic capitals when it comes to the cost of housing, according to the latest Housing Affordability Index (HAI) from Swedbank.

In the first quarter of the year, housing became more affordable "as brisk wage growth and a decline in interest rates surpassed an increase in apartment prices," Swedbank said.

"The time needed to save for a down payment decreased by a month and three weeks in Tallinn, by around two months in Riga, and by three weeks in Vilnius, to 28.5, 23.6, and 34.4 months, respectively," the report said.

In the first quarter of 2018, growth in annual apartment transaction prices gained pace in Vilnius but eased in Tallinn and Riga. Slower price growth in Soviet-era apartments determined moderate average price growth in Riga. Yet, the slowdown in the Soviet-era apartment price growth is likely only temporary, Swedbank predicted.

While mortgage interest rates increased in Estonia and Lithuania on an annual basis, interest rates in Latvia decreased.

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