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Latvia Property Investment For Sale

 

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The Republic of Latvia is one of the “Baltic Tiger” states, along with Lithuania and Estonia which grew at break neck speed after gaining independence from Soviet rule in the 1990’s. A member of the EU and World Trade Organisation, Latvia like the other Baltic States witnessed one the most spectacular growths in its real estate markets at the beginning of the millennium followed by one of the most dramatic crashes.

Latvia has a rich and vibrant history with strong German and Russian influences and with almost half of its landmass covered with woodland and forests, a large timber and wood-processing industry.  The country is also home to numerous lakes and rivers and due to its position on the Baltic Sea has highly-developed transit services as well as strong agriculture and food production, machinery and electronics industries.

As a result of one of the biggest rises in property prices ever seen – 700% between 2000 and 2007 and rapid inflation, when the housing bubble burst Latvia’s whole economy shrank by 25%, making it the deepest depression recorded worldwide at the time. With a surge in unemployment and the economy on the verge of collapse the government introduced rigid austerity measures and as a result the economy has now recovered once again and house prices have stabilised.
 

Country Guide

Geography

Latvia is located in Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia also shares boundaries with Russia in the east and Belarus in the south east. Blessed with a temperate climate most of Latvia is less than 100 m above sea level and is composed of lowland plains, small hills and verdent forests. Latvia has the 4th highest proportion of land covered by forests in the EU after Finland, Sweden and Slovenia.

Government

In Latvia, the government comprises a 100 sear unicameral parliament. The Prime Minister is the head of government and the president holds a primarily ceremonial role as Head of State. 

Language

The official state language in Latvia is Latvian, often referred to as Lettish. Latvians' closest relation language is Lithuanian. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two remaining Baltic languages and although from the same Eastern Language Baltic Sub-Group, differ greatly in vocabulary.

Official statistics show that 58.2% of the population speak Latvian, 37.5% speak Russian and 4% speak Lithuanian.

Standard of Living

The standard of living in Latvia is low when compared with European standards and still doesn't meet the same standards as Lithuania or Estonia. 

Country Economy

Latvia's economy has been highly dependent on manufacturing and services and until recently was strongly linked to the Russian economy. However, since joining the EU, Latvia has been committed to turning its state-run economy, inherited from years as a soviet republic, to a market economy. The country is encouraging foreign investment to boost its market further.

As a result of one of the biggest rises in property prices ever seen – 700% between 2000 and 2007 and rapid inflation, when the housing bubble burst Latvia’s whole economy shrank by 25%, making it the deepest depression recorded worldwide at the time. With a surge in unemployment and the economy on the verge of collapse the government introduced rigid austerity measures and as a result the economy has now recovered once again and house prices have stabilised

Key industries:

Important major exports from Latvia are textiles, foodstuffs, wood products, machinery and equipment. The country's major export partners are Lithuania, Estonia and Russia.

 

 

Hotspots

Riga

The largest and most cosmopolitan city in the Baltic States, Latvia's capital Riga offers the liveliest night life, along with beautiful architecture dating back to the 11th century. It is also home to a wealth of churches and merchants' houses in the idyllic Old Town. 

 

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