The real estate market in the Republic of Moldova has been formed since the 1990s along with the transition to the market economy as a result of the privatization of a large state-owned area of land and constructions and later following the privatization of companies from different branches of the national economy.
Currently the real estate market in the Republic of Moldova is slightly increasing in terms of the available stock (annual real estate stock) and demand (the annual number of market transactions).
This is reflected in the slow 2% average annual growth of the housing stock (from 80.2 in 2012 to 96.8 million m2 in 2021*), in the increase of the number of sale and purchase transactions in the residential sector (4.5% on average in 6 years), in a faster 4% average annual growth of the non-residential stock (from 17.2 in 2012 to 23.4 in 2021 million m2) and in an 8% average annual growth of the non-residential real estate transactions
Most of the real estate market in Moldova consists of the housing or residential real estate sector, which includes private houses, apartment buildings and those intended for the permanent living of families or individuals separately. This sector has a share of about 80% (2021) in the total real estate market. The second important sector after the housing one in the real estate market is the non-residential real estate sector. Although the non-residential market holds 20% (23.4 million m2 ), it has a higher annual growth of 4%.
The office sub-sector began to grow rapidly in 2008-2010 along with the development of the service sector (especially IT and telecommunications), opening of foreign companies’ representation offices that needed the best working conditions and appearance of large investors expecting high return from the activity of large office centres. (e.g. the business centres “Skytower” with an area of 12,000 m2 and “Le Roi” with 8,000 m2, both of which are class A offices offering high-quality spaces for rent). The office sub-sector made up 20% of the total delivered (commissioned) area of nonresidential premises in 2017 and 12% of the total stock of the existing non-residential real estate in Chișinău, Bălţi.
It is worth mentioning that the offer on the Moldovan market for class A office spaces is rather limited and is mainly available in Chisinau. On the other hand, due to incentives Moldova offers to domestic and foreign investors in IT related activities and due to multilingual population, which attracts international business processes outsourcing companies, there is a growing demand of office spaces in the capital city of Chișinău but also in the biggest municipalities in the regions like Băţi, Cahul and Comrat.
Top delivered in Chisinau • 12 units from class A with 95 thous. sq.m.; • 53 units from class B with 392 thous. sq.m.; • average age: 11 years class A, 22 years class B; • highest rental price 18 EUR/sq.m.; • occupancy rate: 82% class A, 69% class B; • big offices (>10 thous. sq.m.): Buiucani district 9 objects, Rascani – 5, Centre – 5, Botanica- 1, the largest – 38, 7 thous. sq.m. (Rascani). Top co-working spaces in Chisinau • 9 units; average daily rental price 5-10 EUR/sq.m. Top delivered in Balti, Cahul, Comrat • 20 units Balti with 75,5 thous. sq.m.; • 10 units Comrat with 92,7 thous. sq.m.; • 10 units Cahul with 30 thous. sq.m.; • average age: 9 years; • the largest – 39, 9 thous. sq.m. (Comrat). Top under construction in Chisinau • 15 units, most of them with 6 floors; 4 units have 7-8 floors; the largest – 30 floors and 17 floors; • 5 objects have a permit issued in 2018. Top under construction in Balti, Cahul, Comrat • 3 units in Balti, the largest – 13 floors; • Comrat – 5 units, Cahul – 3 units of 3-4 floors. Occupancy: • class A 70-80%, class B 60-70%. Payback period: • 7-8 years.
The offer of commercial spaces (retail facilities) in capital city of Chisinau is generous, because at the end of 2008, two large shopping centres (Shopping MallDova and Megapolis Mall) were built on the market, thus increasing the total stock by more than 100 thousand m2 and the employment rate in existing shopping centres. Most of the shopping centres and supermarkets in Chisinau Municipality are 85-90% occupied, some even have line at the rent (e.g. Gemeni, Sun City, MallDova, ZityMall) which indicates that there is a demand in developing of new shopping centres with entertainment facilities. There are currently several categories of commercial spaces in the Republic of Moldova: 1. Shopping and entertainment centres (providing complex services such as trade in food and household appliances, nonfood products (clothing, footwear, etc.), entertainment services (cinema, billiard, etc.), catering services (restaurants, cafes, etc.) that, in turn, are divided into: • large shopping centres with over 10,000 m2 ; • centres focused on clients at district and/or zone level with an area of 2,000 m2 . 2. Department stores (selling food and household appliances): • large chain stores with large areas and/or many branches; • neighbourhood stores and/or chains. The offer at such stores is relatively stable, because the demand for food products is constant and the minimum consumption basket increases. In the last period, there is a tendency to create specialised neighbourhood stores.
Top delivered in Chisinau • 26 shopping centres with 324 thous. sq.m. and average age of 14 years; • 12 supermarket chains with 117 thous. sq.m. and average age 15 years (130 branches); • the largest chains: Linella (52 branches, 28 thous. sq.m., Nr. 1 chain 27 thous. sq.m., Metro Cash&Carry with 23 thous. sq.m.). • largest shopping centres (> 15 thous. sq.m.): Shopping Malldova 82 thous. sq.m., Jumbo 45 thous. sq.m., Unic Central Department Store 37 thous. sq.m., Megapolis Mall 34 thous. sq.m., Grand Hall&Baby Hall together 26 thous. sq.m.). Top delivered in Balti, Cahul, Comrat (supermarkets) • 5 chains in Balti with 27 thous. sq.m.; • 3 chains in Comrat with 5,5 thous. sq.m.; • 3 chains in Cahul with 5,3 thous. sq.m.; • average age: 15 years; • the largest – 9,5 thous. sq.m. (Balti, Metro Cash & Carry chain). Top under construction in Chisinau • shopping centres and retail objects (9 units), the largest object is KAUFLAND hypermarket chain. Top under construction in Balti, Cahul, Comrat • 27 units in Balti (2-4 floors), and Cahul 10 objects under construction/design (2-3 floors); • Comrat – 10 objects, 2-4 floors. Occupancy: • 85-90%. Payback period: • 8-10 years.
Previously, 40% of housing sales were accounted for in the regions and smaller towns of Moldova, and 60% were in the capital.
Now, 80% of apartments and houses that are offered for sale are in Chisinau. Financial gurus explain this shift with the growing immigration flow from Moldova rather than the pandemic, but the trend has surely grown in the last years. Part of the population leaves the country, while the other part moves from other districts to Chisinau.
For investors and construction companies, this is a blessing. First, the properties in the capital are much easier to control and maintain. Secondly, it already has all the infrastructure for comfortable living, cutting the cost of making commercial spaces from scratch. And finally, since the biggest population flow is centered in Chisinau, any new accommodation will remain in high demand.
With all the lack of stability that is now on EU real estate investments markets, the tiny sanctuary of Moldova is – rather unexpectedly – on the rise. 2022 could very well break the real estate sales records
Purchases of individual houses increased by 30%
Individual houses prices rose by 10%
80% of real estate are now concentrated in Chisinau
The mortgage loan portfolio is almost 4 billion euros
83% of newly-built accommodation consists of smaller apartments
The Moldovan real estate market had proven its stability and sustainability, coming out on the other side of the pandemic of 2021 stronger than any other.
The real estate sector is a sector of major interest both for the final consumer and for all market players, construction companies, real estate companies, foreign investors, commercial banks and the state on the other hand. Greater transparency and accountability is required from everyone, so that this sector can develop according to market principles and quality standards,in order to have a modern, well-structured city in which you want to live and develop businesses.