A brief look at the real estate rental market in Bucharest cca. 2019

December 31, 2019 by Lucian Mogosanu

If for some reason you want to move to this rural backwater shithole, then you'll almost certainly find this useful. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, but if you do, please do write in, I'm mildly curious. In any case, if no one else then I'm sure the alien anthropologists will find it interesting.

So as I was saying, I recently looked for a new apartment to rent in Bucharest, mainly because I wanted a bigger place to sex, sleep, eat, drink, dream in1. And since describing how I managed to do that would be excruciatingly boring, I will instead give the reader an account of the peculiarities of the experience and the market (as far as I understood it, at least) and so on. I'll even make a list of the layers as I peeled them, but since I ran all out of bullets, I'll have to make this a list of... paragraphs, or whatever.

So, for the first: real estate rental sites are worse than useless, which is why I won't even link any here. Just to make sure we understand each other: they're worse than useless, in that they're a complete waste of time, just like the anecdotal shop where they don't have fish: you won't find any apartments to rent there -- I'd know, I've scouted the damn platforms all the way from September to December --, they're all either fake or they'll have been somehow magically taken just before you called to ask. Also, if you're naive enough to think that the broker you've just called will give you some useful alternatives, or any alternatives at all, then you're wrong. The announcements on "imobiliare punct ro" or what have you are all bait so that the broker can then feed you with shittier and more expensive locations2, none of which fit the initial spec, except who knows, maybe you're stupid enough to take one of them.

I don't know whether this rampant charlatanism is specific to Romanians or if it's already spread all throughout the Western world, but anyway. Just in case you're wondering, no, I didn't find any helpful broker on any of these sites, all of the people I've worked with I've acquired through my meat WoT.

For the second layer: mobility among the Romanian bipedal monkeys goes in two separate directions, the first being Western Europe, and the second being the country's couple of "big cities", i.e. (in no particular order) Bucharest and Cluj. Bucharest's network effect is amplified by the inflation of office buildings -- what they call "industry" nowadays, I suppose -- on one hand and by universities on the other. Thus the prices are somewhat volatile, with the highs occuring between September and December and the lows between the end of January and June.

So at first I got unlucky, I guess, since I aimed to get my rent in mid-December, when the supply is rather low and the demand still somewhere above average. Which means that the prices were still quite high for this shitty town, some dudes rented their (average) apartments for 550 to 600 euros per month, which is insane3. Speaking of which...

For the third layer: the vast majority of apartment owners are quite fucked in the head; they don't like pets, nor kids, nor smoking, nor fucking, nor who knows what other things you might feel like doing while using their property on your own dime. In fact, I suppose in their view it'd be ideal to pay for the thing without using it at all, because seriously, the thing isn't there to be used, or what? Yes, I get it, Bucharest is full of vagabond orcs who like to rent an apartment for the purpose of shitting in the living room, pissing on the neighbour's flowers and listening to manele all night long, but on what fucking grounds do they judge I'm one of those cocalari? Oh well!

Not to mention that the same owners who seem so in love with their property won't so much as even move a finger when you notice that e.g. their furniture's broken. Thankfully it's clearly visible to the trained eye whether the guy cares or doesn't, but if you're not from around the parts you might wanna interview them and be extra careful about what contract you're signing with them.

There's other minor stuff there: say, the fact that euros are very fashionable4, or that there's so-called "luxury apartment" offers in buildings that'll fall apart next time some kid starts dancing5. I won't dwell on these aspects, suffice it to say that I found something at a decent price in what looks like a decent new neighbourhood and all that was required to get this was a lot of patience and time dedicated to the task.

  1. Oh come one, you gotta admit, Adrian and company's bit is pretty neat. Yes I get it, pop music has little to no value, but I'm entirely unconvinced that these guys can be thrown into the "pop" crock, along with the Biebers and the Madonnas.

    Anyways, I like 'em and de star trek nu te iei, mkay? 

  2. Since we're here, let's rant on this angloism for a bit: the Romanian for "location" isn't "locație", it's "loc", which is shorter, yet less used nowadays among the local orcs -- because they're all fucking 'tem'lectchuls who've learned English from Cartoon Network, or whatever the fuck. No, the Romanian "locație" comes from the French "location", which means "rental" or "booking".

    As a consequence of this senseless butchering of a language which I happen to like, I've given myself the license to use "location" to mean "rental" this one time. And I'll give myself the same license whenever I want and you'll have no idea whether I meant this or that, because fuck your shitty language already. 

  3. Lemme tell you how I lived six months in Lausanne, in two shitty studios, for seven hundred francs/six hundred and something euros per month. One of them in particular was a thirty square meter coteț with a shared bathroom and kitchen, which probably makes you wonder who the hell would pay for that shit.

    Well, on one hand, Lausanne is not Bucharest. A decent apartment there went over a thousand francs per month in 2015, and you could say goodbye to it if you didn't have a residence permit, which means that you could say goodbye if your employer didn't help you find a place somehow. Furthermore, you need to demonstrate that your income is at least three times the rent, otherwise no rental agency will give you as much as a glance -- and even then, they'll look at you like you've just dropped out of the sky, especially if you're from one of those countries. Damn Swiss, they know how to protect their land, don't they?

    On the other hand, the demand there is fucking insane, on account of the EPFL dumb fucks accepting everyone to attend their university -- including yours truly, heh. And all for what -- supporting pantsuit dreams and ideals and all that, which fakery is incidentally what initially got me into reading TMSR logs. Funny how these things work, isn't it? 

  4. Most likely because the owner bought the apartment on a credit negotiated in euros, so they don't wanna lose if the euro/leu rate goes up. It's been doing that steadily for the last year, which makes one wonder why the fuck does BNR bother printing local currency anymore -- the way I see it the whole thing's a very elaborate scam, wherein locals get paid in local currency while paying for stuff in euros. But I'm not well-versed in these matters, so this superficial view might be very naive. 

  5. Likbez for the unacquainted with Romanian geography: Bucharest is very close to Vrancea, which is a seismic region generating on occasion high-depth and high-magnitude earthquakes. The last earthquake worth the mention was in 1990, causing some losses; that one being preceded by the 1986 earthquake, itself coming after the infamous March 4 1977 earthquake, which still lingers in collective memory. This last one brought most major buildings in Bucharest to the ground and killed over a thousand folks, which at the time prompted a major revision in the way buildings got erected.

    Sadly, the town and especially the centre is full of shaky pre-77 buildings, which means that the next disaster is expected to bring more casualties than previously, especially in light of this network effect the town's experiencing. 

Filed under: olds.
RSS 2.0 feed. Comment. Send trackback.

One Response to “A brief look at the real estate rental market in Bucharest cca. 2019”

  1. [...] tour of Bucharest; in today's issue: Lacul Morii; Bucharest, part zwei: Herăstrău, Cotroceni; A brief look at the real estate rental market in Bucharest cca. 2019; Linguistic ruminations on the connection between dead relatives and how "the people" aren't worth [...]

Leave a Reply