The increase could be seen as early as the beginning of the year, due to a modification of the Fiscal Code, so that the average price per square metre went up by some 4% since late December.
"Under the new fiscal code, the tax the buyer paid was transferred to the owner," said Gabriel Dragomir, senior broker with the Indoors Real Estate Group agency, whose business reached about 120,000 euros last year.
A tax is now levied on the sale of a flat as of January 1, 2007, if the flat in question was bought less than three years before the sale.
Other reasons that drove prices up are the integration into the European Union, the appreciation of the RON against the euro and the relaxation of the lending policies.
The representatives of the real estate agencies say that the biggest growth was recorded for the three-room flats.
"According to the data we analysed in Titan, Balta Alba and Dristor districts, the price of the studios went up 13%, the price of the two-room flats rose by 16%, while three-room and four-room flats became 24% and 22% more expensive. Prices increased the most for three-room flats because people are starting to go by the surface area and the price per square metre is generally lower for larger flats," Dragomir added.
For instance, a 30 square metre studio in Dristor costs at least 50,000 euros, according to the anuntul.ro website, so that the price per square metre exceeds 1,600 euros, while the average price per square metre for a three-room flat stands at 1,400 euros in the same area.
The representatives of Romania Real Estate Agency in turn have noticed a rise in prices in the first six months. "Whereas a square metre cost 1,300 euros in central areas in December, it has now reached 2,000 euros. At the same time, in the areas in the outskirts of the city, the price per square metre has gone up from 600-700 euros to about 1,300 euros," said Clara Nicoara, general manager of Romania Real Estate Agency.
The rise in prices could be noticed not only in Bucharest but also in other cities of the country.
"Prices in Cluj Napoca went up by about 10-20%. Now, that the lending policy has changed and the down payment is no longer required, this percentage may very well be higher," said Adela Aldea, marketing manager of EDIL real estate agency of Cluj-Napoca.
In other words, prices will not calm down in the coming period, but instead continue to go up, as a result of the relaxation of the lending policy, representatives of the real estate market say.
"Prices will go up by about 10-15% until the end of the year. The significant increase, however, will not occur any sooner than mid September, when people return from the holidays," Dragomir said.