The construction boom in the capital has been accompanied by an increase in the number of businesses operating as real estate agencies. Their number in 2018 was 847, an increase of 15 percent compared to the previous year according to data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT). According to Moneyval, which assesses the high-risk real estate sector in terms of money laundering, only 8 percent of transactions go through real estate agencies.
In fact, the number of enterprises operating in real estate has been growing steadily since 2013. Since then, their number has increased by 86 percent. Their performance has been in proportion with the progress of building permits. According to INSTAT, a total of 245 building permits were approved for new buildings in the first quarter of 2019, out of 221 approved permits in the first quarter of 2018, marking an increase of 10.9 percent. The area of building permits approved for new buildings, in the first quarter of 2019 is about 581,236 square meters, out of about 200,944 square meters approved in the first quarter of 2018, marking an increase of about 2.9 times.
Over the past two years the construction permits have increased markedly in the capital. During 2018 were granted permits with a total area of 940 thousand square meters, from 521 thousand the previous year, an increase of 80 percent. Only in the fourth quarter were granted permission for a construction area of 456 thousand square meters, or 70 percent of the total land area in the country for construction permits for this period. The high pace of the fourth quarter 2018 continued in January-March this year. Tirana as an economic and university center draws young people in the capital year after year, who mainly supply demand on the rental market.
Some of the major agencies in the country are concerned that the high number of real-estate agencies is having a negative impact. According to them, most do not have the experience in providing real estate services and evaluating the properties listed in the agency. Klajdi Memajdini who is a Sales Manager at the DevInf agency, explained that many new agencies to enrich the database set unrealistic prices to attract clients. This has brought a crash on the market, as owners receiving services from these agencies do not have accurate information about the market. This has also affected individuals who seek to buy because they do not receive the correct information about both the property they are buying and the entire procedure that accompanies the purchase. According to Memajdini, incorrect service delivery is ruining the image of individuals for agencies.