You’ve been involved in significant transactions in Romania’s property market. What’s your primary focus at JLL?

At JLL, my focus revolves around commercial transactions—buying and selling office, retail, hotel, and logistics buildings—and overseeing financing and consultancy matters. Our projects often exceed EUR 10 million but have a varied scope. Being part of a globally aligned company gives us an edge, allowing international connections and collaboration.

Comparing Romania to the region, how does its market attractiveness stack up?

Romania’s transactional volume and prices lag behind countries like Poland and Hungary. However, the perceived lower attractiveness is due to a few key players avoiding the market based on perceived macro-economic and political risks. Savvy investors see past these misconceptions and find opportunities.

Which reasons for avoidance do you believe are justified, and which are based on misconceptions?

Political risk, regulatory stability, and economic factors are concerns, though they’re often exaggerated. Rating agencies highlight Romania’s higher risk. However, the country boasts diverse sources of capital and saw a 30% growth in transactional volumes in 2020, unlike its counterparts. Closing this gap and achieving better liquidity and prices is a matter of time.

Is accessing capital challenging for Romania’s real estate segment?

It varies based on the project and investor profile. Capital access exists, but terms might be stricter post-crisis. Some banks are open to lending for high-risk projects at a price. Accessing capital has become less challenging compared to five years ago, with investors exploring bonds or international financing.

Which property segment do you see driving transactions post-2020?

In 2020, the office segment dominated transactions. This year might see a similar trend but more balanced. Industrial properties are on a definite rise in the medium term. Logistics properties remain unsold, dominated by key players unwilling to sell. Hotels and retail might see a comeback by 2022-2023. Residential property is growing, potentially appealing to institutional investors.

Will retail return to pre-pandemic levels soon despite its challenges?

Retail was changing even before the pandemic, but it’s highly dynamic. Malls will endure, but certain retail projects might become obsolete. Adaptation is key here. New retail projects won’t surface soon, except for smaller, proximity-based shops.

Have you noticed increased collaboration between the private and public sectors for urban revitalization?

Absolutely! Public authorities are increasingly open to collaboration with consultants like us. In other countries, JLL even has specialized divisions for the public sphere.

Any message for potential investors eyeing Romania’s markets?

Don’t just observe—visit! Businesses are often pleasantly surprised by Romania’s potential and how things are managed here. Real estate often follows trends, but sometimes veering off the beaten path uncovers great opportunities. Embrace novelty for genuine prospects.

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