Source: eKapija | Sunday, 22.03.2009.| 15:36
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From house to home – "Ultimate holdings" offers new quality of life in country

Chris Kemsley
Chris Kemsley (Photo: b)

Spacious house that is organized to your taste, modernly furnished, with wine cellar, large yard and swimming pool, surrounded by greenery and insulated from noise, and only about 30 minutes of driving away from the center of Belgrade or Novi Sad. That is how the new concept of residence, presented by English Investment Fund “Ultimate Holdings” and consulting company “Wolf&McGill” to the market in Serbia, looks like. The first few out of about 200 houses in the current portfolio will be offered to the potential buyers at the end of March.

- We plan to market small number of houses for a start – about 50 of them, and there is already a waiting list for the most attractive locations. We will mail our catalogue to few thousands of addresses in two weeks, and local businessmen are our target group in this phase. The next target group includes our returnees from abroad, and we will focus on them in May and June – the Director of "Wolf&McGill", Nikola Seneši, told eKapija.

Chris Kemsley
Chris Kemsley (Photo: b)
(Nikola Seneši)

According to his words, the acquisition process is still underway, and the plan of "Ultimate Asset“, of which adviser for the markets of Serbia and Montenegro is "Wolf&McGill", is to have about 400 houses in the portfolio.

- Some of these houses will be organized by "tailor-made" principle, that is, they will be completely adapted to suit the wishes and needs of the future owners. The other houses will be typical residential units, and we have already formed our own team of architects and building experts for the needs of refurbishment – Seneši explains.

He points out that the prices of houses range between 18,000 and 79,000 EUR.

- One can buy the house at 120 square meters, with complete infrastructure and paved approach lane, for as low as 30,000 EUR. One of the best houses in the offer is the one at 160 square meters in Dobrinci, which is situated in the building lot of 3.3 acres and has no accompanying premises, barn and wine cellar. That facility, with swimming pool, costs 51,000 EUR – says Seneši, adding that it is only 800 meters away from the access to the highway and 24 minutes of driving away from Genex suites in New Belgrade.

Seneši explains that the portfolio also includes the houses that are paid much less than they are worth, so that, according to the official appraisal of the international companies, their prices grew by 35% during the first six months.

- We expect the value of these houses to grow by about 30% during the first year, and then, when the crisis is over, their value should grow by 40% during the next two years until the growth of value stabilizes at about 20% on annual basis. In "mature phase", the value of a household in Vojvodina, which has not been refurbished, will reach the price of about 100,000 EUR – Seneši estimates.

Chris Kemsley
Chris Kemsley (Photo: b)
(Mark Holden)

Mark Holden, the Administrative Director of "Ultimate holdings", estimated that the concept of living outside the city center had been well-accepted all around the world and that Belgrade was one of rare capitals that had no developed suburbs. In all European countries, as he points out, the most beautiful and the most expensive houses are situated in the outskirts of large cities.

- So far, we have been buying houses in the vicinity of Belgrade and Novi Sad, around the Ibarska main route, in the areas around the Danube and between Ritopek and Grocka, while some of them are situated in the vicinity of future Horgoš-Požega highway. We have carried out very thorough, triple selection, and the basic parameters were quality, price and legal security. We have bought only 20% of total number of houses we found interesting. All locations have necessary infrastructure, while some of the houses in Vojvodina are even connected to the gas system – said Holden, pointing out that the company had the ten-year plan for the market of Serbia.

Chris Kemsley, the CEO of "Ultimate holdings", says that that company started to invest in Montenegro in 2003 by procuring real estates in unattractive locations whose value has significantly grown in the meantime. So far, few tens of millions of euros have been invested in Montenegro, the company owns 3,000 ha of land, and many property have already been sold.

Chris Kemsley
Chris Kemsley (Photo: b)

- At the time we entered Montenegro, everybody was interested in the coastal area and the investors were fighting to acquire properties in that part of the country. However, our strategy was to focus on the part that is 1,000 square meters away from the coast because we recognized the true value of those locations. One of good examples is the house on Luštice, which was bought for 55,000 EUR and, one year later, its price amounted to 400,000 EUR. The same thing should be expected to happen in Belgrade - Kemsley concludes.

The representatives of "Ultimate holdings" said that they believed that the current infrastructural problems in Serbia, primarily traffic network, would soon be resolved, and that "Ultimate living" concept – the living outside the city – would become dominant in the real estate market.

English "Ultimate Asset", a part of “Ultimate Holdings", which is present in Serbia for about 3.5 years, runs investment fund "Argent", while "Wolf&McGill" is the investment adviser of "Ultimate Asset" in the markets of Serbia and Montenegro.


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