For 2019, Ukraine has both the #1 performing currency and sovereign bond market globally.
Average monthly wage in Kyiv is now $660, according to a statement by Economic Minister Timofei Milovanov today. Due to continuing favorable economic factors, salaries measured in local currency have increased +9.6% while the Hrvnia itself has appreciated+15% against the USD since January 2019.
From the low in February 2015 at the peak of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian average wages are now up +300% but still well below neighboring capital cities such as Warsaw ($1050/monthly) or Budapest ($1313/monthly).
For 2019 the Ukrainian Hrvnia has grabbed the #1 spot in terms of increased strength. Ukraine’s sovereign bond market has also taken first place globally as emerging market funds begin to come back to the country.
At the time of this writing USD/UAH rate is 24.03, a rate not seen since 2016.
In terms of robbery statistics, the city of Kyiv is now safer than Berlin.
Kyiv City Administration’s Yuri Nazarov is citing the improvement in city safety largely on the implementation of city-wide surveillance cameras. Other factors such as economic and employment improvement are probably contributing.
“Statistics confirm positive trends for urban security after the implementation of the system. According to the National Police, in 2016 there were an average of 16-17 robberies daily, and in 2019 – already 5, ”Nazarov said.
Considering the population of around 3.3 million, Kyiv is rapidly becoming one of the safest cities in Europe in terms of both volume and on a per capita basis. Citing Bundeskriminalamt’s official German crime statistics, Berlin’s (population 3.3 million) 4,242 reported robberies vs Kyiv’s 1825 is no comparison.
The video surveillance system in the capital has about 7000 cameras. They are installed on streets, entrances and exits from the city, near social facilities, shopping areas and architectural monuments.
The process for non-residents to buy property in Ukraine is easier than any other country in Europe and MUCH easier than in North America. Here is a simple step by step guide.
#1 Choose a Broker
Unless you’re going direct to seller, you’ll need a real estate agent to show you several properties. Assuming here that you are in either Kyiv or Odessa there are basically 4 reputable agencies. All these will charge a commission as a percentage of sales price. Standard is 5% but this can usually be negotiated down to 3-4%.
Blagovist www.blagovist.com/en – Blagovist has about 50% overall market share, hundreds of agents and offices located throughout the city. They have English speakers on staff.
Park Lane https://parklane.ua/eng – Owned now by Blagovist, offices throughout city, also with English speakers on staff.
Bring passport, notarized copy of your passport which can be had at any notary for about $10, proof of address in Ukraine which is simply a letter from your hotel or AirBnB stating that you have accommodation.
Wait 3-4 days and you will be given a tax identification document. Take this to a large bank of your choice and open an account. To do this you’ll again need passport, notarized copy of passport and the same accommodation letter you used previously for the tax ID. Send your purchase funds to this account from abroad.
#3 The Purchase
The day of the purchase you will meet the real estate agent, seller and notary at your bank. You’ll either transfer funds to sellers bank account as documents are signed or most commonly the seller will prefer cash on site.
Taxes and fees are minimal in comparison to Western countries. There is a 1% pension fund tax, paid by seller and a 1.5% military tax. Normally these are split between buyer and seller. They might try to stick you with the whole thing assuming your ignorant of this fact. Don’t let that happen. The notary will need about $100-200 depending on purchase price. Your name is then registered into the registration database and you leave with your documents.
Recurring annual taxes are minimal and apply only if you own combined over 60 meters across as many properties that you may own, around $1.50/year per meter.
Things in the secondary market are getting interesting.
The drop in secondary market inventory for Kyiv residential apartments continues to show in prices which are currently up +15.2% YOY. With current inventory of listings down another -37% this trend will likely only increase in severity, continuing to push prices up.
Down from a peak of over 22,400 in March 2017, we are now sitting at 10,860 active listings with this year’s average monthly reduction being 516 units. If this trajectory continues, we are looking at a -50% inventory reduction for 2020. This can only be very price positive.