In the first nine months, lots with a cumulated surface of more than 60 hectares have been traded in Bucharest, where about 8,000 dwellings, 180,000 square meters of office space and commercial spaces can be built. Cushman & Wakefield Echinox real estate consultancy has monitored 24 medium and large transactions between January and September with a cumulative value of approximately 170 million euros.

Like in 2017, Romanian developers were the most active, accounting for over 50% of the volume traded. Next to them, investors in Israel (AFI Europe, Hagag), Belgium (Mitiska, Speedwell), Turkey (Opus Land) or Germany (Kaufland, REWE, Lidl) have already bought land in Bucharest this year.

Among the largest transactions in 2018 are: AFI Europe takes over a four-hectares plot adjacent to the AFI Palace Cotroceni mall; the sale of the former nine-hectares Helitube from Colentina to the Belgian group Mitiska; the acquisition by One United of a land of 2,6 ha on the shores of Lake Floreasca; or the transaction by which Speedwell bought a land of 4,6 ha in the Jandarmerie – Baneasa area.

Both the area traded and value, the residential sector continues to be the main sector generating land demand. This is due, on the one hand, to the uncovered need of housing units, sustained in a significant proportion by the “Prima Casa” program, and by the reduced VAT of 5% up to the 450,000 lei threshold, and on the other part of the economic growth, wages and opening of banks to real estate financing. The office segment was also boosted by the appetite of new players on the investment market, both foreign and Romanian, so developers are still motivated to deliver new products to the market, and have secured new locations for that purpose both in the established, but very important areas, and in new areas, such as Tineretului or Pajura – Bucharest.

Developers who have secured land for new office projects include AFI Europe, Portland Trust, Globalworth, or Speedwell. As regards the retail segment, following the transactions signed this year, the development of a new retail park in Colentina, the expansion of the AFI Palace Cotroceni shopping center and the construction of a new Kaufland hypermarket in the north of the capital, a smaller area covered by the German retailer.

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