Local Developers Grow Confident in Romanian Real Estate Rebound

The real estate market from Romania is showing some rebound signs after six years of severe crisis, consider the investors active in the market and the consultancy companies attending at SEE Real Estate Forum. David Hay, the CEO of AFI Europe Romania, Latvia and Bulgaria, declared: “The American and European investors are interested in coming to the retail market from Romania. I am certain that there will be some transactions right from this year. Moreover, Romania is the next BPO market after Poland”. David Hay emphasized that the investors of the AFI investments fund take into consideration when selecting the real estate developments, the location and the quality of the public transportation, the possibility of expanding and the proximity to commercial centers. Along the current investments, the official of AFI also declared that the fund is planning a real estate project which will be located on Progresul Street from Bucharest, near Marriott Hotel, but is also planning the construction of Vulcan Retail Center.

“Many foreign companies from the real estate market came to us asking details and they are interested in opening a business in Romania. For example, one of our clients made a study for opening a support center in the Czech Republic. He changed his mind and will come to Romania after analyzing the rent level, which is three times larger in the Czech Republic than in Romania”, declared Marius Scuta, head of office department of Jones Lang LaSalle. He added that although Bucharest is full of real estate projects, “we still need several good investments”. The representative of JLL added that the other cities, such as Iasi or Brasov, need better advertising in order to attract investors.

“We have a program until 2010 to attract foreign investors on our retail market. Our main objective is to bring as many businesses as possible to Romania. The BPO industry is taking into account the location, the quality of the office building, the presence of subway in the area. The rent is not the most important criteria when they make a decision. Before deciding, they look at the brand and the quality of the products”, declared Razvan Lungu, director of CBRE Romania.

“We try to turn Promenada Mall into a stabile business and we believe that will take us about one year to accomplish this. The initial plans included also the construction of a movie theater, but the crisis made us abandon this idea. With this decision, we wanted to make a difference from the other malls from Bucharest”, declared Gerald Beck, director at Raiffeisen Evolution. He added that there are investors who came to him asking details about the local real estate market.

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