Kaunas – an unrivalled leader of the average home size
The fact that Kaunas residents not only like, but also can live more spaciously, is evidenced by the size of the average home in the city, judged by which, Kaunas annually surpasses all other major cities in the country. Housing size is one of the indicators of quality of life, the changes of which are determined by socio-economic factors, so experts note that the growth of this indicator reliably reflects the trends of change in the city itself.
According to the Department of Statistics, the average size of housing in Kaunas is the largest in Lithuania. In 2019 it was 64.5 square meters. This rate has been increasing steadily over the last five years: from 63.1 m2 in 2015, 63.4 m2 in 2016, to 64.0 m2 in 2017, and in 2018 it reached 64.3 m2.
Among the reasons that determined Kaunas’s leadership in terms of the average home size, Mindaugas Kulbokas, Head of Strategic Analysis at Newsec, first of all, mentions the geographical location and the desire of Kaunas residents to live more spaciously.
“Kaunas, as you know, is in a very geographically convenient place. The industry is being established there as well as an increasing number of service businesses. Why are industry and business centers directly related to apartments and their sizes? Because people receive visibly higher sustainable income where the stable business is operating and expanding. Family units with higher incomes naturally look for more comfortable housing and have the opportunity to buy larger apartments,” real estate specialist speaks about the current market trends.
According to experts, another reason for the increasing size of homes was determined by the development cycle of Kaunas city: for some time, development prevailed on the outskirts of the city. “This meant a relatively cheaper price per square meter, which, in turn, meant that there was a possibility to buy a larger home for the same amount of money. And that’s what people did!” M. Kulbokas says.
According to the data of the Department of Statistics, a stable growth rate has been observed in all Lithuanian cities for several years. In 2019 the following average housing sizes were recorded in cities: 63.4 m2 in Vilnius, 57.4 m2 in Klaipėda, 59.7 m2 in Panevėžys, and Šiauliai with an average housing area of 59.6 m2 is just behind it.
According to Justinas Kisieliauskas, who has a PhD in Economics, when assessing housing area indicators, one should first look at the wider, European, and global context and see what kind of housing the residents of other countries have.
“Answering the question of how little is too little, we can recall the famous London Plan, which outlines the city’s development strategy and sets standards for newly constructed apartments. It states that housing for one person should be at least 37 m2, for two persons at least 50 m2, and for three at least 61 m2, ” the economist says.
According to J. Kisieliauskas, so far, the size of the average Lithuanian home is about 30 m2 lower than the EU average of 89 m2, so the increase in the average housing size in the country’s largest cities – Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda – is a really nice indicator. “Despite the appearance of various projects in the market, offering extremely small homes, housing is becoming an increasingly important factor of personal well-being in terms of work and home, and the highest indicator in Kaunas is a very good sign, showing that people are beginning to understand the difference between a life with dignity and a life of mere existence,” J. Kisieliauskas says.
Kaunas IN business department information and illustration.