EXPERT REVIEW
Is housing in Armenia affordable?
Similar to the race for sustainability of the 2000s' and 2010s', the third decade of 21st century seems to be marked by the catch-all term "affordable". Even though both terms are context-dependent (what would be deemed sustainable and/or affordable in one environment does not always function as such in another), the topic of housing is a highly political one being perceived as a matter of basic rights on a par with healthcare and basic education.
EXPERT REVIEW
Is housing in Armenia affordable?
Similar to the race for sustainability of the 2000s' and 2010s', the third decade of 21st century seems to be marked by the catch-all term "affordable". Even though both terms are context-dependent (what would be deemed sustainable and/or affordable in one environment does not always function as such in another), the topic of housing is a highly political one being perceived as a matter of basic rights on a par with healthcare and basic education.

Heghine Pilosyan
architect-urbanist
Throwing resources into designing a brick-and-mortar envelope that is below market value, without the national umbrella system organizing the full chain of housing provision, is only a localized palliative solution. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the housing system is designed and consciously maintained to afford livable dwelling units to most of the population. If left to its own devices, the unfettered housing market naturally tends towards inflated speculative prices unattainable for most first-time homebuyers.

The global trend of growing house costs has affected the Armenian market as well, despite the long-lasting effects of the Covid 19 crisis and the war of 2020. In March of 2022, the prices have seen an unpredicted spike in increase due to another war which drove tens of thousands of temporary migrants from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to reside in Armenia. The event rattled the local housing market – with landlords doubling rental prices and forcing previous tenants out and going on a selling spree in the hopes to offload beat-up properties for well above their true asking price.


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