Source: eKapija | Thursday, 05.12.2019.| 15:59
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Projects in Belgrade – Great competition in apartment market, office space becoming more attractive, retail property still in development

Mia Zecevic, Claus Graggaber, Katarina Gajic, Jovana Martinovic, Goran Zivkovic and Josko Pitesa (Photo: Akos Stiller)
The development of high-rise construction in Belgrade is rather obvious wherever you go and present in nearly all parts of the city. This topic primarily includes residential and business property while retail space is present to a lesser extent.

The aforementioned trends were the topic of discussion at the Booming with new projects – Belgrade development panel at the Balkans Property Forum 2019 event held at the Hilton Hotel in Belgrade.

- This year`s focus was on residential and office real estate while the retail space market is still evolving. The previous two years were aimed at investment projects in the third category. This year had been marked by the inclusion of industrial and logistic centers which will be especially interesting in the year to come, Mia Zecevic, the CEO for Novaston Real Estate Platform told eKapija.

When it comes to residential property, the buyers are quite often the citizens from diaspora (10-15 %) and foreigners who have business connections to Serbia. In the future there will be a greater demand for office space, in accordance with companies` needs while industrial projects will start development as well, thinks Goran Zivkovic, the Managing Director for CBS International Serbia. Meanwhile, Jovana Martinovic, the Deputy CEO at Merin Holdings says that their target group are mainly clients who in Serbia have a monthly revenue larger than EUR 2000.

Office buildings construction begins only after securing tenants

As Martinovic told eKapija, here investors think in a smart and conventional way. Only when they manage to secure enough tenants, do they decide to construct a building, an example of that being Sirius business complex, Usce 2 shopping center and the NCR campus.

– Our work tempo might be slower but the buildings have a long-term lease. And when it comes to the quality apartments market, the competition is enormous. Three or four years ago, the price of a square meter in A block was around EUR 1,700 including VAT and it has risen to EUR 2,700 in the space of 1,5-2 years. The prices of a square meter in New Belgrade range from EUR 2,400 with VAT to EUR 3,500, not including the West 65 Tower where the prices are much higher. Now we have a problem in differentiating products in this segment, setting a product apart from others, Jovana Martinovic said.

She wasn`t expecting for the prices to drop but she said that there would always be buyers even if the sales slowed down. According to her, the next step, which currently isn`t being talked about, are the somewhat cheaper but also quality apartments.

Balkans Property Forum 2019 at the Hilton Hotel (Photo: Akos Stiller)


Office market will be attractive in the next period as well

One of the projects that has been in the works for 12 years is Sirius business complex financed by the Erste Group. The Head of International Commercial Real Estate Clients at Erste Grou, Claus Graggaber said that the complex covers the area of 12,000 m2 while the construction is currently in phase two.

– Office market will be attractive in the next period too. We need to offer office space for both big and small enterprises and especially to IT sector. I believe industrial space will also be of interest to us, Graggaber said.

One of the panel participants was also Katarina Gajic from Delta Real Estate. She said that their business philosophy focused on choosing the right location and researching how welcome they were there and how fast they can realize a project.

– 40% of our new project, Delta House, will be set aside for our company while the rest will be offered on the market. The emphasis is on the “open space” offices, flexible conference rooms, restaurants, gyms. When it comes to Delta Planet project we wish to offer a different concept, something which hasn`t been seen before, Gajic said.

She believes than the trend for 2020 and in the next period will be mixed-use centers and anything which has something distinct to offer.

One of the other panel participants was Josko Pitesa from Immofinanz who drew attention to the development of stop shop retail parks such as those in Sremska Mitrovica and Vrsac and Vivo shopping centers, one of which is located in Jagodina.

– Belgrade has plenty of investors while the rest of Serbia has potential for growth. The focus should be on enterprises that bring success, Pitesa said, answering the question why hadn`t they centered their business around Belgrade.

Aleksandra Kekic

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