ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

Leading Sustainable and Innovative Real Estate Development in Romania

Top regional cities for renting modern offices

Top regional cities for renting modern offices 1600 1068 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

 

Nicolae Ciobanu, Partner at Fortim Trusted Advisors

Outside Bucharest, companies leased less than a fifth of the total traded area in Bucharest, according to a study conducted by Fortim Trusted Advisors, a member of the BNP Paribas Real Estate Alliance. In total, the companies leased new modern spaces, at regional level, with a total area of 37,441 sqm, which represents 18% of the volume registered in Bucharest, at the level of 2023.

This volume is down from the previous year, 2022, with some of the large deals under negotiation being postponed to this year. The largest volume of new office space was traded in Cluj-Napoca, 33% of all new rentals across all regional centers. On the next places are the cities of Timișoara and Iasi.

“In the first quarter of 2024, several lease transactions for office space in Cluj-Napoca are in the final negotiation phase. Recently, there has been an increased demand for spaces with an advanced level of arrangement, capable of ensuring a quick move. Supply remains limited, despite a substantial number of projects under development. The opportunity to accelerate the completion of these projects could be generated by the interest of an anchor company to pre-lease a significant area in an office building scheduled for completion between 2025 and 2026”, said Nicolae Ciobanu, Managing Partner – Head of Advisory at Fortim Trusted Advisors, member on the BNP Paribas Real Estate Alliance.

Cluj-Napoca managed to attract the newest tenants, with the largest area, of 12,202 sqm, of spaces rented by companies looking for new offices. Among the new tenants are Sensience, Principal33, Viking Romania, Datanet Systems. Timisoara ranks second in terms of renting new spaces, among the companies that rented new spaces being Access Group Ericsson, SomProduct, HUF.  On the other hand, the city of Timisoara registered the highest volume of rentals, together with regional renegotiations of spaces where current tenants remained: over 15,000 sqm. In third place was the city of Iasi, with a total of 9,043 sqm. Among the companies that have moved into new spaces in this city are IBM, Cognizant, BRD, Infineon and RINF. Brasov, although in 2023 it gathered a total area of only 5% of the total, has premises to take revenge in 2024-2025, due to the fact that several new office buildings will be put into use here, in the Coresi Campus project, Phase 4 – U1, with a total of 9,350 sqm.

Regarding the fields of activity of office tenants in regional cities, most of them are in the IT&C sector, 61%. The vacancy rate of office space is lower in regional cities than in Bucharest.

The lowest vacancy rate is found in Iasi, where in 2023 the largest office project delivered at regional level, formerly Palas Campus, in Iasi, with an area of 60,000 sqm, was put into use, but which had many pre-lease contracts signed a year or two before, from 2021-2022. In 2024 we will no longer have such large deliveries in a regional hub.

 

M Core Introduces Joint Venture Management Platform for Romanian Portfolio

M Core Introduces Joint Venture Management Platform for Romanian Portfolio 2048 1535 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

26.03.2024

M Park

M Core announces the launch of ‘Square 7 part of M Core’, a strategic joint venture between M Core and Square 7 Properties, to establish a new management platform for the M Core portfolio of 25 retail parks across Romania. Co-CEOs of M Core Romania, Sebastian Macdonald-Hall and James Fife led the initiative with Clemens Petschnikar of Square 7 Properties to form ‘Square 7 part of M Core’.

Led by Romanian real estate industry veteran, Clemens Petschnikar, ‘Square 7 part of M Core’ brings over two decades of experience in development management in Romanian retail real estate.

As Romania’s largest owner of retail parks, M Core boasts a strategically located portfolio of 25 properties, all fully leased and BREEAM certified, underscoring our commitment to quality and sustainability.

The next move will be the rebranding of all 25 properties under the M Park brand. The M Park brand is dedicated to retail parks and medium-sized retail properties, with leasing spaces of up to 20,000 square meters. Strategically positioned in smaller and medium-sized cities, each M Park is meant for a catchment area of at least 300,000 individuals within a 30-minute drive. The tenant mix of M Parks consists of national anchor tenants alongside local service providers and food operators.

Clemens Petschnikar will ensure a seamless transition to the M Park brand, which will be available to over 150,000 daily visitors from Arad, Bacau, Bistrita, Baia Mare, Bucharest & Ilfov, Buzau, Braila, Caransebes, Campina, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Iasi, Medias, Medgidia, Odorheiu Secuiesc, Pascani, Resita, Giurgiu, Mioveni, Ploiesti, Sighetu Marmatiei, Slatina, Slobozia, Targu-Mures and Tulcea.

 

 

Hexing invests in 8,000 sqm facility in Timisoara

Hexing invests in 8,000 sqm facility in Timisoara 2560 1706 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

18.03.2024

Hexing invests in 8,000 sqm facility generating over 100 high value jobs in Timisoara, at Globalworth Timisoara Industrial Park I, assisted by CBRE.

The new facility of Hexing Technologies Europe SRL, a subsidiary of the Hexing Group and a leading green energy solution provider, set within the thriving Timisoara Airport Park, will serve as a hub of innovation, extending Hexing’s digital energy service footprint across Europe. As part of Hexing’s long-term vision to build a greener world, the state-of-the-art facility will serve as a center of excellence to produce advanced smart metering solutions, including intelligent electricity and water metering systems, distribution automation solutions, solar inverters, batteries, and electric vehicle chargers.

Timisoara I Industrial Park is strategically located near the international airport, and offers high-tech buildings for manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics operations. The park is part of the recent transaction between Globalworth and CTP, in which CTP bought the logistic portfolio of Globalworth from Timisoara, Arad, Oradea and Pitesti.

“Timis is probably the most sought-after market by energy players, who have reached a level of maturity which requires already production facilities, not just energy land” explained Mădălin Aresmerițoaie, Senior Consultant Industrial & Logistics Services, responsible for the West/North-West market at CBRE Romania. “The Manufacturing sector is growing, returning to the pre-pandemic trend which is a sign of Romania’s health – in 2023 we recorded 18% of total leasing activity. We are pleased that we have designed the best scenario for Hexing, helping them to identify the optimal location both in terms of current scale and expected growth in the coming years.”

The establishment of this facility aligns with the Romanian regulator ANRE’s 2019-2028 smart meter development directive, further emphasizing Hexing’s contribution to the advancement of Smart Grid 2.0. This strategic initiative underscores Hexing Europe’s commitment to becoming a leading local manufacturer within the European Union while fostering technological innovation in the region. The facility’s advanced manufacturing capabilities will ensure shorter delivery times, catering to the demands of both the local market and beyond.

Through the establishment of this facility, Hexing Europe will forge a close partnership with local partners. This collaboration will enable Hexing Technologies Europe SRL to provide enhanced pre-sales and after-sales support, contributing to the seamless integration solutions in Romania and other European Union countries. Furthermore, the facility’s advanced manufacturing capabilities will ensure shorter delivery times, catering to the demands of both the local market and beyond.

Largest regional logistics hub gathering 1.7 mln. modern sq m, the Western / North-Western sub-market accommodates through important cities such as Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca both developers and tenants internationally renowned, enjoying country’s western border proximity. Skilled labour force and the gate to Western Europe, makes the West / North-West area the most sought after regional sub-market by developers and investors.

Timis county claims the largest share of modern industrial stock region wise and hosts numerous production, logistics and storage facilities where developers capitalize on the synergy created by the strategic location, infrastructure, and skilled workforce and 87% of the modern stock is class A. Also, the West / North West part of the country is set to be the largest recipient of the future new supply, respectively 45%, followed by Bucharest with 32% and East / North East region with 14% from the total.

 

 

 

Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara and Iasi lead the top of the most attractive investment destinations for 2024

Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara and Iasi lead the top of the most attractive investment destinations for 2024 2560 1707 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

15.02.2024

 

Romania Property Club surveyed the most dynamic investors for the forces that shape the city skyline in 2024.

 


THE TRENDS FORUM 2024

The local administrations in regional areas are making an attempt in supporting real estate investment, as they’re aware of the impact on job creation and are interested in catching up in terms of development.

Our survey respondents ranked the highest achievers in terms of economic concentration and attractiveness for real estate development. Cluj-Napoca topped the list once again, which is only natural considering its world-class talent pool and entrepreneurship mindset. It is followed by Timisoara, Iasi, Brasov, and Constanta. Other newcomers on the radar are Targu-Mures and Galati-Braila, both poles benefiting from tailwind due to recent infrastructure investments. Outside of the nominated cities, we find that Craiova, Bacau, Sibiu, and Oradea have the premises to boost their contribution to the national economy in the medium to long term.

As for asset classes, the performance expectation is slightly different than for Bucharest. Industrial & logistics makes its way to the first spot; however, retail is believed to fare better than residential in regional hubs, followed by residential, mixed-use, office and hotels.

In terms of short-to-medium terms growth factors, our respondents indicated infrastructure development as one of the main drivers. The main infrastructure projects with an impact on real estate development, highlighted by our respondents:

  • Contracting and start of the execution of the A7 highway – Ploiesti – Pascani sections.
  • Section build on A1, up to Ramnicu Valcea.
  • Craiova express road to A1 is closing its final loop in the next 24 months.
  • Caransebes – Timisoara – Arad rail update to increase goods transportation speed to 120 km/hour.
  • Timisoara ring road under construction, connecting the city to the highway.
  • Rail and road around the Constanta County ports.
  • The third largest suspended bridge in Europe, crossing the Danube in Braila and the express road to Galati.
  • The express road from Oradea to the Hungarian border.

 

 

 

2024 Trends with Tinu Sebesanu, CEO, Impact Developer & Contractor

2024 Trends with Tinu Sebesanu, CEO, Impact Developer & Contractor 2048 1365 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

RPC Talks to Tinu Sebesanu

CEO, Impact Developer & Contractor

“In 2024, we anticipate an increase in demand for housing units, supported by the general need for new quality homes as the majority part of the actual stock is outdated nationwide.“

With over three decades of experience in the hospitality industry and real-estate, Tinu has occupied various high-level management positions. During this time, he successfully executed numerous impactful projects, leaving a significant imprint on the industry. As CEO of IMPACT Developer & Contractor, Tinu Sebesanu is determined to increase the company’s worth by placing a strong emphasis on sustainability principles throughout the development of all projects.

Top 3 trends you foresee in 2024 for the real estate market?

In 2024, we anticipate an increase in demand for housing units, supported by the general need for new quality homes as the majority part of the actual stock is outdated nationwide. The accessibility was declining the last 2 years due to the high costs of mortgage financing, but the anticipated decrease of interest rates and expected wages growth can bounce back the solvable demand.

While the construction costs had increased and several changes in tax incentives for the industry and other regulations had come in force, recently a surge in construction prices is observed. In Bucharest, to these factors influencing the future increase in new dwellings prices we need to add the envisaged downfall of supply for the next 5 years due to the lack of new zoning plans and consequently the issuance of new permits.

At the same time, the decrease in affordability will cause an increase in demand for the rental market, fueled also by the shift of preference of the new generations towards flexibility, debt aversion and accessibility, which brings new opportunities for investors seeking a fixed income and attractive yields.

2024 Trends with Cristian Simon, Managing Partner, Simon, Iuga & Partners, Cluj-Napoca

2024 Trends with Cristian Simon, Managing Partner, Simon, Iuga & Partners, Cluj-Napoca 1080 810 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

RPC Talks to Cristian Simon

Managing Partner, Simon, Iuga & Partners, Cluj-Napoca

“Retail market will continue its development, being the single sector which can offer short term yields of over 12%“

Cristian Simon has over 19 years’ worth of experience in the real estate brokerage industry and is the founder and managing partner of Simon, Iuga & Partners Real Estate Advisors, a company from Cluj-Napoca, with a presence in Bucharest as well.

Top 3 trends you foresee in 2024 for the real estate market?

Retail market will continue its development, being the single sector which can offer short term yields of over 12%

Residential market will suffer a contraction in terms of new deliveries, generating an impact towards price sales. We will probably witness a decrease in prices for od homes towards Q3.

Industrial sector is expected to stagnate with no significant deliveries, but we will se an upward trend for rents. We will see some interesting relocations generated by PSI standard updates.

Office market is expected to have a similar evolution as in 2023, landlords are the ones who will have to come towards tenants with new incentives for contracts extension.

Main challenges and opportunities in 2024?

Troubled times will bring new challenges, which agents will have to face. We will create opportunities by using other players’ lack of attention from.

What are your company’s business targets in 2024?

We continue to focus on developing the skills of our team members, also looking for new colleagues to join.

Romanian Airports Growth: 25 million passengers in 2023

Romanian Airports Growth: 25 million passengers in 2023 2046 1293 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

22.01.2024

The Romanian Airports Association announced that nearly 25 million passengers were recorded at Romanian airports throughout the last year, marking a significant milestone by remarkable pre-pandemic levels.

Iasi Airport

According to the association’s data, the figures for 2023 revealed a remarkable 17% increase compared to 2022 and an impressive nearly 6% rise over the numbers recorded in 2019 (23,234.580 people). David Ciceo, the president of the Romanian Airports Association, expressed optimism, highlighting that air traffic across Europe is expected to reach 2019 levels by the end of the current year.

In Iasi, authorities recently inaugurated a new terminal, following a historic year with a traffic of 2.3 million passengers, making it the third most transited Romanian city, after Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca.

The aviation sector in Romania experienced contrasting trends in 2023. The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs saw a robust 5.6% increase, reaching 233,027, showcasing the resilience of the industry. In contrast, air cargo traffic witnessed a 5.7% decline, with 50,786 tons transported, down from 53,877 in 2022. Despite the decrease in cargo activity, the spotlight remained on the significant rebound in passenger traffic, emphasizing the sector’s overall adaptability and recovery.

Ciceo attributed the passenger rebound to substantial investments in airport infrastructure, including new terminals, expansions, and modernizations. Expressing optimism, he stated, “We expect traffic values to grow steadily, and we estimate that in 2040, Romanian airports will exceed 50 million passengers.” This positive trajectory highlights the resilience of the Romanian aviation sector in overcoming challenges.

Residential market still weak in offers for Romania’s third city

Residential market still weak in offers for Romania’s third city 2560 2560 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

30.11.2023

Iasi represents Romania’s third city in terms of population, with strong local universities that nurture over 55,000 students annually. With those figures, the city is still weak in terms of new, modern housing units.

Iasi

Data collected by RPC from imobiliare.ro show that offers for the first three quarters in 2023 total 1,275 apartments, of which the new units listed count for 410, a minus of 18% as compared to the same period of the previous year.

The two major new residential projects in Iasi are developed by investors with national track record: Impact Developer & Contractor and Prime Kapital. Impact obtained the building permit for a major scheme totaling 1,062 apartments on Copou hill. Prime Kapital is developing a mixed-use scheme on the former Teba industrial platform. The new project has an important residential component, totaling 1,549 apartments to be delivered in different stages of construction. The first stage should be delivered by year end according to previous announcements from the developer, while construction for the second phase is underway. Each construction phase comprises approximately 300 units.

In terms of demand for both new and old units the figures for the third trimester show a plus of 4% as compared to the same period of 2022, while the figures for Q1-Q3 of the current year show a minus of 3% as compared to Q1-Q3 of the previous year.

Transactions for the first three quarters total 4,489 for the entire county, according to data from Cadaster Office – ANCPI. The figure represents a minus of 18% as compared to the previous year.

Regarding the rental residential units, there are increases for both first three quarters – a plus of 11%- and for the third quarter – a plus of 2%. The total offers indicate a minus of 31% as compared to the previous year and another minus of 16% for new listings on the market. The rents have seen an increase of 12% in Q3 2023 vs Q3 2022.

20,000 sqm to be added to the 170,000 sqm of modern retail stock

20,000 sqm to be added to the 170,000 sqm of modern retail stock 2048 1365 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

29.11.2023

Iulius Group pioneered modern retail in Iasi when it developed the first shopping center outside Bucharest – Iulius Mall, in 2000. Initially a 19,000 sqm development, the retail scheme doubled GLA through subsequent expansions. Today, it hosts over 180 shops, a cinema, a Carrefour hypermarket, and a food court.

Iulius Mall, Iasi

However, the primary shopping destination for Iasi and the broader Northeast region is Palas Iasi, developed by the same visionary investor. Palas Iasi is part of Romania’s most significant urban regeneration projects. It features the renovation of the iconic Palace of Culture, seven United Business Center office buildings, a hotel, an events expo, an open-air theatre, and a 62,000 sqm shopping center. Probably the crown jewel of the Northeast region, the total investment in Palas Iasi stood at 310 million EUR and served as essential infrastructure for the overall economic development. Increasing living standards by offering modern retail, office, and entertainment options, Iasi attracted the second youngest workforce after Bucharest. In addition, a steady number of multinational companies provided training and an increased average income, making Iasi a desirable destination not just for university studies but for permanent living.

Iulius Group brought two other concepts to the market. The first one is Family Market, two strip centers located in Iasi’s most dynamic suburban areas (Miroslava and Bucium). The second is the 6,000 sqm commercial area in Palas Campus, a destination for F&B and services to serve the 5,000 employees in the business center.

Other retail schemes in Iasi include Era Shopping Park, a 50,000 sqm retail park located towards the exit to Bucharest. Inaugurated in 2008, Era Shopping Park is anchored by key retailers such as Carrefour, Mobexpert, Rovere Mobili, Brico Depot, Altex, Decathlon, JYSK, Sportisimo, Pepco, Kenvelo, etc. Shopping Park Iasi, opened in 2014 by Square 7, spans 11,000 sqm leased by Flanco, MaxiPet, JYSK, and Kik. In addition, the 10,000 sqm commercial area in the Silk District that developed in five subsequent phases shall enrich the modern retail offering of the city.

Thus, the total stock of modern retail surpasses the 170,000 sqm threshold. The c.a. 20,000 sqm of modern retail expected on the market should increase the retail density  (retail space to 1,000 inhabitants) to 650, an indicator lower than in most other cities in Romania — the number signals room for growth, pending continuous economic development and wage increase. Iasi’s prime shopping center rent is 55 Eur/sqm, whereas retail park rent ranges between 7 to 12 Eur /sqm.

However, there is encouraging news that places faith in the city’s economic prospects. IKEA most recently announced a 24,000 sqm store, its fourth in Romania, opening in Era Shopping Park in 2024. This step confirms that there is a critical mass of young families looking to buy or update property, with an income level matching Western standard.

Iasi office market capitalizes on the talent pool nurtured by the seven universities in the city

Iasi office market capitalizes on the talent pool nurtured by the seven universities in the city 2560 2560 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

27.11.2023

The vision of building the first modern office building in Iasi was the crux of the city’s development. Traditionally, blue-collar jobs set the premises for developing more sophisticated services that require modern infrastructure. However, in the case of Iasi, the pioneering led by the Iulius Group set the premise for the city’s economic development. The group transformed the central area through one of the most significant mixed-use urban regeneration projects in Romania.

Palace Campus, Iasi

Following the bold vision of “build, and they shall come,” Iulius developed the first class A office building in Iasi, United Business Center I – a shy 7,000 sqm in 2010, 15 years later than the first modern Class A office buildings delivered in Bucharest. Fast-forward a decade plus later, Iulius developed 130,000 sqm, representing 50% of the total office stock in Iasi and more than two-thirds of the Class A stock. Its most recent portfolio addition is Palas Campus, a 120 million EUR investment spanning over 54,000 sqm of offices and 6,000 sqm of commercial areas. It is home to Amazon, Microsoft, Cognizant, Expeleo, AMD, Hella, and many others. These reputable companies joined a group of over 70 multinationals that decided to capitalize on the talent pool nurtured by the seven universities in the city.

In addition to the United Business Center and Campus buildings, there are two other notable office developments in Iasi. Moldova Center, the reconversion of a former department store into a functional office building, added 16,000 sqm of GLA in the center of the city. It was fully leased by companies such as Webhelp, Conduent, 3Pillar, and HCL. Tester Group built Ideo Centro (later rebranded as Tester Technology Park), a 25,000 sqm business park hosting KPMG, Tata Technologies, Oracle, and Conduent, among others.

In Iasi, the asking rents range from 12 to 15 EUR/sqm, and the vacancy rate is still in the single-digit range, with a preference to work from the office, as the commute is not as burdening as in Bucharest and the workforce requires more in-person time for training and collaboration. Moreover, people enjoy the modern facilities and sense of community provided by the integrated commercial–office schemes and the apprenticeship that comes from shadowing. However, the low vacancy rate and the limited competition of class A office buildings lead to lower tenant incentive packages than in Bucharest.

Prime Kapital is the second prominent investor who took a leap of faith and embarked on a large mixed-use urban regeneration project in Iasi. Silk District is a large-scale residential and office scheme complimented by 10,000 sqm commercial spaces and a 4 ha private park to serve residents and the neighboring area. The first phase of the BREEAM Outstanding office park (c.a. 104,000 sqm at maturity, 5 buildings) is scheduled for delivery in Q4 2023, after a slight delay from its announced target date. Communication concerning the future tenants is pending.