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Foreign retirees and tourists increase the cost of living in the 'lungomaren' of Durrës

Foreign retirees and tourists increase the cost of living in the

The area in front of the coastal promenade in Durrës is filled with buildings up to 25 floors, mostly built after the 2000s.

The interest of residents to live in this territory increased especially in the last 5 years, when foreigners started to rent apartments or buy apartments.

"The view of the sea, which does not impress us Durrsak people, attracts foreigners more than anything," Florian Tahiri, who runs a real estate agency, told BIRN.

Then he lists a number of other facilities for the new residents of the area, such as the proximity to the city center, banking institutions, city buses, the best bars and restaurants in Durrës, as well as the promenade, which in the evening is the most frequented space.

This has greatly increased the value of apartments, garages and service premises in neighborhood No. 1, as it is officially named.

"Since 2019, the number of sales has doubled," said Floriani, according to whom the prices of apartments, both for sale and for rent, have also doubled.

Italians, especially pensioners, constitute the largest interest group, but there are also Poles, Czechs, Russians and Ukrainians, not to mention tourists, who stay for short periods on rent.

Hasan Hashuli, who together with a colleague manages two of the buildings erected 20 years ago, confirms that the number of foreigners in the neighborhood has increased significantly.

"There are 12 families of foreigners in two buildings, mostly Italians, Hasani said, according to which some other apartments have been adopted for several-day stays," he said.

"Not to mention another resident, who gives the apartment to foreigners, while he himself has moved to the suburbs, where the prices are lower," added Hashuli.

But the neighborhood is also experiencing a disproportionate increase in the prices of services and food goods.

"Fruits and vegetables in the neighborhood markets have 15-20 percent higher prices," Masimo Biz, who has been living with his family in one of the buildings by the street since he was ten years old, told BIRN.

Masimo has noticed that prices are higher on the two days of the weekend than during the week. Or, that even before the tourist season has started, the daily prices of beach umbrellas are higher than last year.

"I believe that the local residents are more harmed," said the Italian entrepreneur who works in Shkozet, while adding that the cost of living is becoming quite expensive.

According to Masimo, "this phenomenon has also happened in countries like Spain or Portugal, and I'm not surprised if another big change happens here too.

Currently, this is a residential neighborhood, where most of the residents are locals, but the massive arrival of foreign tourists may turn it into a tourist neighborhood in the future,” said the Italian entrepreneur.

"Albanian law only prevents foreigners from buying land, while there are no restrictions on buying apartments," Roland Cobani, administrator of Unit No. 1 in the coastal city, told BIRN.

He added that they are looking for - in cooperation with the Cadastre office - the establishment of correct addresses for new residents and the same for street names in this very populated area of ​​Durrës.

The life of neighborhood No. 1 is quite intense, especially in the evening, when the music of the bars sometimes exceeds the measure.

"We foreigners don't complain about the music, but about community life and the administration of the palace," said Giuseppe Palumbo, a retired Neapolitan artist who lives near the public pool.

He adds that in order to unblock the road of the building where he lives from the many vehicles of the citizens, who cannot find parking spaces, they often seek the help of the Municipal Police.

"The bad thing is that it happens often, especially in the summer," said Palumbo, who has another concern.

He said that two months ago, next to the pavement of "Taulantia" street, a new pipeline was laid to collect rainwater, in case of flooding.

"Yes, everything has remained as before, even the open wells without caps, and the unpaved canal," concluded Giuseppe Palumbo. Reporter.al

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