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It is not a secret for anybody in Ashgabat that at first the apartments in residential houses of high comfort erected in the main highways of the Turkmen capital were not in great demand among people who wanted to buy them. Understandably, new apartments were much expensive than those in the so-called secondary housing stock.

However, mortgage crediting and support of ministries and associations that acted as principals of construction of these highrisers for their employees came for help. According to information of the Turkmen state news agency (TSNA) over 600 apartments in new residential houses of high comfort and improved design were sold at the Ashgabat real estate exchange in 2003. An overwhelming majority of the capital's residents bought them using mortgage credits, having simply made the first installment amounting to 20-30% of the total cost. According to a method of crediting of newly moved-in people approved by country's president Saparmurat Niyazov the remaining part is to be paid during next 5-15 years.

At the moment the real estate exchange offers the Ashgabat residents tens of elite apartments both in residential houses ordered by capital's administration and by ministries and associations for purchase on the basis of compensation of construction expenditures. Interestingly, three and four room apartments are best sold. Moreover, potential newly moved-in people have already bought low-level apartments in houses still under construction in the main highways of the capital.

The population's mortgage crediting is provided by the state commercial banks as Turkmenbank, Turkmenbashibank and Khalkbank at an average annual rate of 10-13% or against a purchased apartment. As before, workers of ministries and associations that built residential houses of "new design" for their employees make up a major part of newly moved-in people who purchase them through the real estate exchange. In accordance with a decree of the head of state they are to pay only 50% of the apartment's cost using the same crediting system.

The cost of 1 m2 in new houses differs from 2,2 to 5 mln manat. Thus, one half the cost of a 120 m2 three room apartment at a price of 3 mln manat for 1 m2 will stand at 180 mln manat (or less than $9,000 at a market rate). Considering the first installment and credit interest an apartment's owner will have to pay a bank around 1 mln manat per month for 15 years. Owing to a recent significant rise in living standards, regular increase in wages and pensions many Turkmen citizens can afford such a load to a family budget.

An annual sale of apartments at the primary housing stock have increased one fold over four years of the capital's real estate exchange existence. According to specialists it will increase considerably in the future. Construction of 30 new projects of "highrisers" have started quite recently that will not only embellish the city but will become a new address for many Ashgabat's families who will move in elite apartments.


(Based on Turkmen mass media reports)

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