If you are in a hurry, briefly about the material below
Hetk digital periodical recently published information about the apartment purchased by Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan in the newly built Byuregh district, expressing suspicion that its low price may be due to a corruption deal. In response, the media associated with the ruling Civil Contract Party reported that opposition figures Edgar Ghazaryan and Elinar Vardanyan also bought apartments in “Byuregh.” As a result of FIP.am’s research, it turns out that Suren Papikyan’s apartment is significantly cheaper compared to the ones bought by opposition figures, even though Papikyan bought it later, when real estate prices had increased over time.
Hetk recently wrote that Defense Minister Suren Papikyan bought a new apartment at a much lower price than the market price. According to the periodical, Papikyan bought an apartment with an area of 165 m2 in the newly built Byuregh residential district, for which he paid 69 million drams (the price for 1 m2 is about AMD 420 thousand). The mortgage loan was provided by Armeconombank belonging to the family of MP Khachatur Sukiasyan.
According to the periodical, the transaction took place in the summer of last year, on July 27.
Given the fact that at the time of Papikyan’s transaction, apartment prices in Byuregh district were significantly higher than the prices of the pre-war period (before the war of 2020, the price per square meter was equivalent to USD 1000-1200, while now it is USD 2500), Hetk raised the suspicion that Papikyan’s purchase of an apartment at the price of USD 1,019 per square meter may be the result of a corruption deal.
A few days later, the website armtimes.com belonging to the Prime Minister’s family stated in a publication that according to Jermuk Group CJSC, the developer of Byuregh district, there are 1300 apartments in the residential district, 117 of which were purchased at a cheaper price than Suren Papikyan bought and 297 residents bought an apartment at a price equivalent to USD 800-1100 per square meter.
And the price fluctuations in different periods were explained by the fact that the selling price of apartments is set lower in the earlier stages of construction implementation and it increases as the construction completion date approaches and according to the degree of real estate completion.
It turns out that according to Jermuk Group, in July 2022, Papikyan bought the 165 square meter apartment for AMD 69 million.
A few days after this publication, the pro-government media outlet civic.am made two publications with the caption “What and why did it escape the attention of Hetk” in which they informed that the deputy of Hayastan faction, Elinar Vardanyan, and the former Chief of Staff of the Constitutional Court, Edgar Ghazaryan, also bought apartments in the same district, however, “Hetq” did not address those transactions.
According to the website, Edgar Ghazaryan bought an apartment for USD 1,080, and Elinar Vardanyan for USD 1,240.
Fact Investigation Platform examined their purchase contracts for the apartments in Byuregh district and revealed that civic.am is manipulating some facts.
The website’s publications regarding the purchase of apartments are actually correct, however Edgar Ghazaryan purchased his 52.1 square meter apartment in November 2020. At the time of the transaction, the price for 1 square meter was AMD 533 thousand.
Elinar Vardanyan bought one of her apartments in December 2021. The surface area of the apartment is 68 square meters, the price is AMD 40.6 million. In other words, the price for 1 square meter is AMD 598 thousand.
Two months later, in February 2022, Vardanyan and her husband, Karen Zakaryan, bought the 82.8 square meter apartment next to the purchased apartment for AMD 50.9 million. In this case, the price for 1 square meter was AMD 615 thousand.
The total surface area of these two apartments is 150.8 square meters, and the price is AMD 91.5 million. In other words, the average price per square meter of apartments is AMD 607 thousand.
The timeline of these transactions already implies that the prices of apartments in Byuregh district (and not only) have somewhat increased.
And almost half a year later, in July 2022, Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan bought an apartment with surface area of 165 square meters, for which he paid AMD 69 million, or only AMD 418 thousand per square meter.
Thus, comparing the prices of apartments bought by three public figures, it can be stated that although Papikyan bought his apartment 1.5 years after Edgar Ghazaryan, and more than half a year after Elinar Vardanyan did, the price was significantly lower.
P.S. Certain fluctuations in apartment prices may also be due to their position and floor. Additional information received from the relevant authorities will be further presented by Fact Investigation Platform.