The biggest obstacle to buy an apartment is the down payment the banks require in order to qualify for a loan, Anna and Hrant say.
“Today I am the only one who works in our family. At the same time we pay rent. We can’t manage to save 10 percent for the down payment. We are already considering leaving Armenia. If we succeed, we will apply to buy an apartment and pay back the loan from the salaries we earn abroad,” Hrant says.
In 2010 the Armenian government adopted the “Affordable housing for young families” state project. Under the project, the state pays for 2 percent of the loan’s interest. In a separate project adopted by the government in 2017, eligible individuals can receive income tax deductions that are sufficient to cover the interest of his/her mortgage loan. This is an additional stimulus for young families to separate from their parents and buy their own home.
Social anthropologist Aghasi Tadevosyan believes that the growing desire for personal space is tied to the rising levels of education in the country.
“If we look at the beneficiaries of the state housing program, we can see that most of them are people with higher education. Some were even educated abroad. They have a strong sense of individualism and they reject the ‘dynasty’ model of family. They want to have their own space, first of all for their personal comfort, which is common in Western culture,” Aghasi says.
Husband and wife Sanasar Davtyan and Sona Arazyan qualified for the government affordable housing program. They lived with Sanasar’s parents for several years after they got married but then decided to buy their own place. Their new apartment, one of the many built as part of the Eraz residential district, is almost ready for them to move in.