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Armenian Home Sales Surge After Lengthy Decline

David Harutiunian
David Harutiunian
YEREVAN -- The number of real estate transactions in Armenia jumped by 36 percent in June after months of steep decline during the international economic crisis, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

David Harutiunian, a top aide to Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian who oversees the government's anticrisis measures, told RFE/RL that the increase in transactions reported by the State Cadastre Committee bodes well for Armenia's emergence from its worst economic recession since the early 1990s.

Harutiunian said the "increased activity in the market" is a "significant indicator which shows that the [real estate] market is slowly recovering and that we have passed the stage of [price] fluctuations."

The rise in apartment and house sales was confirmed by private developers.

Armen Mkoyan, director general of the Elite Group construction company, said apartments are selling now. He added that the situation is "stabilizing" and sales are increasing. He told RFE/RL that "we have seen positive dynamics in the last two months."

Harutiunian attributed increased housing sales to the June establishment of a state-owned mortgage fund that is supposed to make housing loans cheaper and more accessible.

The National Mortgage Company has an authorized capital of 22 billion drams ($58.3 million) and is expected to receive 20 million euros ($28 million) in additional funding from the German government.