The Private Housing Market in Eastern Europe and the CIS

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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Date Published 2005
Primary Author Jose Palacin, Robert C. Shelburne
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This study provides a broad overview of the private housing market in central and eastern Europe and some of the CIS – its history, current conditions and implications for the overall economy. It highlights regional differences, describes the different policy choices that have been made, and evaluates potential problem areas and the policy options for addressing them. The paper begins with a description of housing in these countries before and during their transition phase to market economies. The current state of the housing market in this region is then examined with an emphasis on its institutional development and size. A major objective is to ascertain the extent to which these markets are now similar to those observed in more developed western economies. For the observed differences, an attempt is made to determine to what extent these are due to their being emerging markets or to their socialist past and the complications that arose from the economic crisis that accompanied their transition to market economies. The implications for the housing market resulting from the further integration of these countries into the global financial system are also explored.

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