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ASHGABAT (TCA) — Apartments are now being sold in new residential houses located in the Olympic village in Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat, and Turkmen government officials and wealthy entrepreneurs are buying this elite residential property in an attempt to save their capitals by investing in real estate amid the ongoing depreciation of the national currency, the manat, the independent foreign-based news website Chronicles of Turkmenistan reports.

Apartments cost from 780 thousand to 1.3 million manats ($223–$376 thousand using the official rate or $39–$66 thousand at the black market rate).

Thirty-year mortgage loans are allocated to purchase apartments but 10% of the total amount needs to be paid straightaway.

The website ATN reports that the priority is given to families with many children who share apartments with other families as well as residents who have dependent disabled relatives. Yet, according to the estimates of the news outlet, depending on the loan terms and conditions, an employee will have to make a monthly payment of about 2900 manats. With the average monthly salary of 1000-1500 manats, the majority of Turkmenistan’s population cannot afford to purchase the aforementioned accommodation.

However, according to correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan apartments are selling quite quickly. As of late October, 22 apartments out of 118 have been left in one of the apartment blocks.

Turkmenistan’s officials and wealthy entrepreneurs are reported to be buying elite residential property not only for themselves, but for their children, grandchildren and even close family members. Moreover, many purchase the accommodation with manats, which are depreciating in their value, in an attempt to save their capitals by investing in real estate and for this reason the majority of apartments in elite houses are vacant.

Apart from apartments in high-rise buildings, standard two-story cottages are sold in the suburbs. For instance, a new section of cottages located in the village of Choganly is under construction for the time being. These cottages cost much cheaper – 412 thousand manats ($118 thousand using the official rate or $20.6 thousand at the black market rate).

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