”The advantages of a resort city are air, water, sun, a quiet lifestyle, a mingling of history with the modern architecture


Comments on trends in development of new projects and creating a living environment in Jurmala, along with prospects for further development and the best examples given by Liga Kohtanena (Līga Kohtanena), “Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty” sales team leader.

Distinctive Charm and Unique Features
The distinctive charm of Jurmala makes it one of the most desired places of residence in Latvia. Natural assets: pine stands and the clean, fresh air, white silica sand on the beach, old traditions of a resort city, the unhurried, recreation-oriented lifestyle of a resort city, as well as the cultural and historical heritage of the city: wooden buildings in the Classicism, Neoclassicism and Historicism styles blended with modern architecture, — all are aspects that those, who have chosen the city, which is just a couple scores of minutes ride from the capital city of Riga and the airport, as their place of residence or as the location for their holiday home, would mention as their motivation. Jurmala is surrounded by water on two sides – the southern part of the city borders on river Lielupe for over 30 kilometres and is cut in the middle by the railway, the northern edge of the city — on the Gulf of Riga for 24 kilometres. Real estate on the first two lines of streets nearest to the sea has always been more expensive and more in demand. This part of the city is also referred to as “the golden mile” of Jurmala — it includes the central parts of the resort city in Bulduri (one of the most densely populated areas of Jurmala) or in Dzintari – one of districts of Jurmala with well preserved historical layout and wooden housing. The so called budget class buyer, on the other hand, looks for real estate property closer to the railway or on the other side of it and in neighbourhoods of Jurmala from Asari to Vaivari.

”Wooden holiday homes built at the beginning of the past century successfully coexist with the modern architecture in Jurmala. 

Who is Interested in Acquiring Real Estate in Jurmala?
Several years in a row real estate market trends in Jurmala were dictated by foreigners, mainly from the Eastern Europe, the lion’s share (around 90%) — from Russia. Jurmala was a desired target during the times of the Soviet rule as well: although a part of the USSR, it was at the same time a beautiful resort at the Baltic Sea with a Western touch, where one could communicate in Russian. Nostalgic memories have incited many of these investors to choose a real estate property in Jurmala, which had the added value of advantages offered by the Schengen area and the European Union.Considering the latest geopolitical events (the relationship between Ukraine and Russia, stringent requirements of Russia regarding the exit of capital, Brexit, numerous changes to the residence permit programme of Latvia etc.) the interest from foreigners, who made up the largest part of buyers of real estate in the resort city and whose demand kept the prices high, has dwindled and influenced the market activity in general, especially in the market segment with prices from 250 000 to 550 000 Euro – the so called business and premium real estate segment. Based on the State Unified Computerized Land Register data in 2014 159 transactions took place in that segment in Jurmala, over half of them performed by foreign buyers. In 2015 the number of transactions dropped by a half — to 79, of which 55 were made by foreign buyers. During the first seven months of 2016 57 transactions took place (in the segment with prices from 250 thousand Euro to 550 thousand Euro), 36 performed by foreign buyers.

The local buyer chooses real estate in Jurmala from a practical point of view and based on his economic circumstances. Such a buyer mostly looks for a comfortable dwelling with good layout and access to infrastructure and services. Price also plays an important part in the process. The local buyer looks for real estate located as close as possible to the sea, real estate properties on the other side of the railway and in areas with a less dense housing and green environment are also popular.  Districts from Asari to Vaivari are popular. 85 real estate purchase transactions have taken place this year in the segment of prices from 100 to 250 thousand Euro. Remote neighbourhoods like Sloka, Kauguri, Kemeri are not very popular due to lack of new projects and still present traits of the Soviet time in the environment: standard apartment blocks, which remind one of boxes of matches, or untidy or uninviting environment (for example, in Kemeri). The locals especially like Melluzi and Pumpuri due to the relative proximity to the sea, the presence of stores, market, schools and convenient public transportation. Other remote neighbourhoods might also gain value in the eyes of a local buyer, if developers were able to offer new projects for affordable prices. Taking into account the fact that banks have become more cautious after the crisis with crediting and have set stricter conditions (the downpayment etc.), the local buyer in transactions in Jurmala in the majority of instances chooses to use his savings. Lease-purchase is also gaining in popularity in Latvia and in real estate transactions in Jurmala. Those who are not able to save sufficient amount of money and are refused a loan from a bank rent a dwelling. Presently the local buyers are hoping for a further decrease in real estate prices, although the wait could take some time. If investors and developers fail to see increasing interest on the part of buyers there will be no transactions: development of new projects could come to a standstill in addition to projects already in the market.The local buyers accentuate the lack of good new projects at a good location for a reasonable price and with a well-considered layout as the greatest problem. Regardless of the fact that around 650 – 700 apartments in the projects built during the last three-four years are not sold, their prices are unattainable for the local buyer, but the so called  luxury buyer often would prefer higher comfort, functionality etc. for the price. Market trends forecast: Since the centre of Jurmala is rather densely populated, one can safely predict that local buyers will be more interested in dwellings with medium comfort and convenience level, and the neighbourhoods from Pumpuri to Vaivari will develop, a promising location will be the territory from the railway to Lielupe — Melluzi, Asari. Since presently no family/terraced houses are on the available in the market, a promising offer in the private sector could be 150-250 m² houses with adjoining land for the amount of 200-350 thousand Euro.

A buyer of luxury real estate looking for a real estate property in Jurmala pays special attention to the central part of the city, where real estate is located in the direct vicinity of the sea (the so called neighbourhood of “the golden mile”). These buyers wish to invest in a high quality, original product with added value (provides high quality of life): a property with an interesting architectural design, a spacious layout (more than 150 m²), convenient functionality, accessible service, developed local infrastructure etc. Thus during the last years such buyers have mostly been interested in low-rise housing characteristic of Jurmala – projects in which architects had been able to integrate the old, historical, previously degraded buildings with modern, original architectural solutions providing an added value. Market trends forecast: Lielupe, Dzintari and Bulduri will continue to hold the TOP 3 positions as the preferred locations of real estate property: that includes private houses and low-rise housing. Taking into account that these localities does not have much space left for new projects, it is good news for developers: the competition will not be significant.

”The environment of Jurmala will be characterised by low-rise buildings (3-4 floors at the most) in the future as well. Such environment creates a homely atmosphere.

Contribution of the Municipality
Changes take place in Jurmala itself: the municipality has applied a lot of effort and invested resources in attaining its goal to become the leading resort city by the Baltic Sea, ensure high quality of life, attract more tourists as well as those who would choose the city as their permanent place of residence. Extensive reconstruction of pavement, water management reconstruction works to ensure high quality of drinking water for the inhabitants and guests of the city, widening of the range of sports, entertainment and cultural events: world-class sporting events (for example, beach volleyball etc.), an opportunity to enjoy concerts at the renovated Small Hall of Dzintari Concert Hall with great acoustics built 80 years ago in the winter season as well. The reconstruction of Dzintari Concert Hall popular among the locals and tourists during the summer concert season is planned in the nearest future. The aim of the reconstruction is to increase its comfort for the audience. The municipality has given attention to developing a more accessible beach infrastructure, business owners set up outdoor cafes on the seashore, an illuminated promenade has been constructed and other improvements made.

”Projects, which reflect a deep understanding by the developer of his customer, are the most successful.

Architecture: do with Conviction, do to the Highest Quality Standards
Upon evaluation of the new projects on offer one may notice, how developers in cooperation with local and foreign architects exploit the distinctive charm of Jurmala: they create a tasteful and respectful interplay between the buildings and the nature and the old wooden architecture, intrinsic to the newly built housing. The current experience shows that only architecture and projects with a special message, idea or philosophy, with attention to detail and knowledge of the lifestyle of the potential customer, aimed at creating an environment for restoration of one’s resources, comfort, quality recreation has any future prospects.

The Best Examples Projects that Fit in Ideally with the Environment of Jurmala and Offer an Added Value

The upper – luxury segment


An outstanding example of world-class luxury residences, successfully integrating the old housing with the new, modern, created by the local architectural bureau “Silis, Zabergs un Klava”. With Zane Tetere (Zane Tetere) as the author of the interior for the common areas. “Legend” at 17/19 Bulduru Avenue is located on the first line nearest to the sea and encompasses an entire quarter with private infrastructure. It consists of 5 buildings: three apartment buildings “Villa Churchill”, “Villa Hepburn”, “Villa Dietrich”. The private villa “Villa Hemingway” and the club house with a restaurant-wine shop “Villa Tiffany” are architectural monuments assimilated with the modern buildings. The project’s attraction is also increased by the availability of many different services: in addition to a restaurant, an outdoor playset, a SPA complex unique to the Baltic states is made available to the inhabitants of “Legend”. In summer members of the club may attend the nearby “Legend” club with especially advantageous conditions. An excellent place for those who wish to return to a relaxed environment with extensive possibilities for high quality recreation after a dynamic work day.

„Park Rezidence”
A compound of three buildings with four stories and 66 apartments, with area ranging from 96,5 m² to 135,5 m², located in the green area, nearby a park. It was created by the local architectural bureau “Kubs”. The well-developed infrastructure at the location ensures a comfortable and easy access to cultural sites and trading venues of the city, but the inhabitants of the compound have a popular place for relaxation and recreation at their disposal. An outstanding location – alongside Dzintari Park. The coastline is also suited for leisure activities and is located less than a five minutes walk from the compound.

The medium: comfort and business segment

„Muižas nami”
A project of a unique concept unprecedented not only in Latvia, but also in the Baltic States is being implemented in Jurmala, Bulduri, 19 Muizas Street, in the district between Rigas Street and Rezeknes Pulka Street: the first wellness residence, residential complex “Muižas Nami” where the comfortable, elegant residences are designed focusing on human health, quality of life and promotion of well-being. The complex consists of three buildings, where two buildings are restored wooden architectural monuments, while the third one is an example of modern architecture. Synthesis of the modern building and the wooden architecture of days gone creates a contemporary living environment. To facilitate an active and healthy life, residents are offered an outdoor gym, where they can enjoy  physical activities and functional training. An interactive Wellness Concept Store, including a Super Food Bar and Comfort Zone Beaty Corner will be located in one of the buildings on the premises, where  residents and guests will be offered services and products  for the body, mind and soul.
The project is implemented by its owner – the company “Inbalans Group” in partnership with the exclusive property company “Baltic Sotheby International Realty.” The complex architecture – “Veisberga group”.

„Sky garden”
A good example of developing a low-rise housing quarter characteristic of Jurmala with attractive architecture fitting in well with the wooden buildings of Jurmala and the rest of the environment. The project developer – “Amber Pines” company has created a multi-functional compound of houses with 13 apartment buildings with 300 apartments. The territory is divided in five smaller compounds or the so called “clubs” connected by internal roads and common public infrastructure – a town within a town. Its inhabitants have a grocery shop, restaurant, holiday market, children’s room, dentistry, physician’s office, fitness court and children’s playground along with a SPA on the territory of the compound at their disposal. Green thinking along with high ecological criteria gives one the satisfaction of living in accord with the nature: nice small backyards, roof-gardens – roof-terraces with greenery. The concept of the project is based upon the advantages offered by the historical environment and the nature, enabled by the synergy of the character of the resort city and the possibilities the design provides.

A good example from earlier years as up-to-date as ever:

Brilliant architecture that is still up-to-date after the passage of 15 years. “Bellevue” (Beautiful sights) house was built in 2001 and is a work of the great German designer and world-famous architect Meinhard von Gerkan. The project is located in a quiet, exclusive and unique place in Jurmala, not far from the sea, surrounded by hundred-year-old pines. The house has three stories and comprises seven apartments with one penthouse apartment on the building’s upper floor. The basement houses parking lots and a swimming pool illuminated by daylight from the garden located near it. The house is constructed as a circle overlaid by a rectangular structure. The chosen materials: reinforced concrete, glass, steel and wood, of course. The exterior of the building is dominated by recessed balconies and terraces which duplicate the building corridors in their form. A common framework for the differentiated composition is provided by the white plastered walls, which define the character of the building and present a contrast to the large widows. Each apartment has a different layout related to the surrounding landscape. The exclusive furnishings of apartments reflect the high demands of the inhabitants. Each apartment is provided with a large living and dining room and each has two levels.

Compact, low-rise buildings that prevent the project from becoming “heavy” and do not stand out from their background, but blend in instead. Customer references are positive since the project characterises well the contemporary Jurmala. It is the wooden architecture of Jurmala from a modern perspective. Layouts – reasonable and convenient. Location – in the heart of the city, not far from the sea.

Information about Jurmala:

Useful links:

Real estate in Jurmala (in Latvian, Russian and English): balticsothebysrealty.com

BSIR Jurmala info horizontals