Tenants in Armenia’s capital are starting to feel the effects of the war in Ukraine on their rent, as they are now competing with a flow of Russians that have made Yerevan their new home.
Since the war started, hundreds of thousands of Russians fled their country, and Armenia was one of their top destinations.
Many Russians moved to Armenia because their language is widely spoken in the country, and they can travel to it without visas or passports.
But this increase has caused rent to surge.
According to Vage Daniyelian, a real estate agency manager in Yerevan, "We've had many clients coming from Russia starting from March. Ukraine and Belarus as well, but the main wave is from Russia."
“They started renting apartments, and the rates started going up. The rent prices are now 30 to 40% more than before."
Prices nearly double, now comparable to the Russian market
Some owners are even terminating existing contracts with their tenants to try to rent out their apartments for a higher price.
"If I wanted to rent an apartment on approximately a €600 budget three months ago, I could find a nice one-bedroom apartment in the centre,” said Nina Gulambarian, a local resident in Yerevan. “And now, the same apartment will cost about €1,200."
The change in prices has also impacted Russian renters. Daniil Bolshakov, a 22-year-old journalist from St Petersburg, told AFP that the cost to rent an apartment in his home city is now comparable to Yerevan.
"We're waiting for a friend to come from St Petersburg, so there will be three of us renting the place," he said.
“Our apartment costs 300,000 drams, which is a bit less than 50,000 roubles (about €800-900)."
"I believe you can rent a decent two-, three-bedroom apartment for 50,000 roubles in St Petersburg, and it will probably be nicer than this one."
The cost of purchasing a property is also increasing. Compared to last year, the price to buy an apartment has increased by 20%, while the number of sales went up by 10%.