The last deal – Dursupe Estate in Talsi Region – was registered with the Land Register last year. Experts atBaltic Sotheby’s International Realty believe these products are and always will be piece goods. They are rarely used as a speculation object and intended only for those with a certain lifestyle. Therefore, the future demand for them will not exceed 1-2 objects a year.

 Theoretically, in Latvia all real estate objects labelled market niche goods may be divided into several groups. On the one hand those are castles and estates considered to be cultural and historic heritage, on the other hand – hunting grounds both new and renovated. Another group includes the so-called “transformers” or objects currently used as a place of residence but formerly functioning as something else entirely. Those include, for instance, windmills or an artificial island once made for purification works and now turned into an exclusive place for living with its own aquatoriums and quaysides.

 “When a buyer comes to us, he usually knows exactly what he wants”, comments Vestards Rozenbergs, Chairman of the Board of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty. “Either to use the object as a personal place of living or to develop additional business, for instance, breed certain animal species or hunt. Besides Latvian farming and forestry traditions allow that. There has not been one case when a buyer would not find what he needed.”

According to him, in Latvia foreigners are not subject to restrictions on buying historic properties as opposed to, say, Finland. Foreign buyers are only subject to Protection Zone Law. “Moreover, buyers should take into account maintenance and management issues. Objects such as these are usually located far beyond the urban infrastructure. Therefore, a whole property management system should be taken care of beforehand”, points out V. Rozenbergs.

Speaking of the price, it is individual and subjective as it is for any niche goods. “There are only a few objects of this class on the market – around 50, and 1-2 deals maximum are closed every year”, says Ilze Mazurenko, co-owner of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty. “The object is one of a kind and that makes it unique. And such rare sales do not let us use the standard valuation comparison method in our work.”

Portrayal of market prices of non-typical real estate

Castles – 3.5 to 5 mln euro.

Hunting grounds – ~1.5 mln euro.

Estates – 90 thousand to 5 mln euro.