The EPS Residential Index indicates that in the first quarter of 2014 residential prices at national level declined by 2% versus the previous quarter (q-o-q), following the prior positive quarterly growth. As compared to the first quarter of 2013, prices fell by -0.6% (y-o-y), indicating a stabilised market especially taking into account the seasonal tendency for reduced prices in the winter quarter. Since the peak of the market recorded in the second quarter of 2008 , national residential prices fell by an average annual rate of -8.5% and a cumulative decrease of 41%, with the current prices lying at the level of the second and third quarter of 2006, just before the surge of prices.
Prices of Central Bucharest have remained stable in the last quarter following a fluctuation of the index in the previous quarters and registered a growth of 2.5% as compared to the first quarter of 2013 (y-o-y), establishing a rising trend of the nationally leading market for over a year. On the other hand, prices of Bucharest Ring continued sliding at steeper than the national rates, falling by -2.3% year-on-year. In a similar manner residential prices in Ilfov have reduced by -2.1% against the first quarter of 2013 (y-o-y).
The leading position in residential price growth amongst the national divisions of EPS Residential Index is now conveniently being claimed by North Division with a quarter-on-quarter price growth of 2%, a year-on-year growth of 5.6% and a consistent growth trend since the middle of 2012. North is the division with the lowest residential prices nationally and its leadership may be attributed to the fact that the rationalisation of prices has been completed prior to other divisions.
In Centre prices also grew by 2% year-on-year, without significant fluctuations of the index. Moldova and Muntenia have also followed a consistently stable price pattern for several quarters. The steepest year-on-year price falls have been recorded by West (-3.8%), followed by South and Bucharest & Ilfov. The remaining divisions present moderate price reduction patters of the index.
From the large regional cities of Romania, the residential prices of Ploiesti have recorded the leading residential price growth, with a 7.5% rate y-o-y, followed by Brasov, Constanta and Galati. The steepest price reductions in the same period have been recorded in Braila, Oradea and Craiova, although in case of the former two cities it seems that the index has been affected by random fluctuations, while the remaining cities present stable prices.
Amongst the property types covered by the EPS Residential Index, flats have underperformed the national average, both in Bucharest and nationally, versus the same quarter of the last year. New properties in Bucharest remained rather stable during the last 4 quarters, whereas at national level new properties have been affected more severely as compared to the overall national index.