As a co-founder of Alesonor, could you detail the circumstances that led to the company’s inception and the current vision you’re pursuing?

Back in 2003, my associates and I ventured from Greece to Romania, captivated by the intriguing, challenging, and promising real estate market. Witnessing a shift in demand towards residential projects outside urban centers intrigued us, especially noting that in Warsaw, 43% of residents lived in the suburbs while in Bucharest, it was merely 9%. The pandemic further boosted the housing market’s interest in homes with expansive green spaces and generous backyards, diverging from city-center apartments.

Alesonor’s focus on high-quality luxury projects is evident. What stands out as the most notable one, and how do you plan to continue this trend?

Amber Gardens stands as Romania’s first housing project certified Green Home. Utilizing bioclimatic design and cutting-edge technologies like water collection systems and photovoltaic panels, our homes consume 90% less energy than their counterparts. The project spanned five hectares, successfully developed and sold, echoing the market’s appetite for intelligent, sustainable residential projects. We are now aiming to exceed expectations in this sector.

You’ve mentioned Amber Forest. Can you elaborate on this new development and its unique aspects?

Amber Forest is our focus, spanning 31 hectares with 85% open area and 15% built area. This complete suburb features green homes and apartments, emphasizing community-building. Offering access to a forest, a substantial park, educational institutions, a supermarket, restaurants, medical facilities, sports amenities, and an office hub, Amber Forest aims to cater to all aspects of a thriving community.

What do you perceive as the primary driver of demand in the current residential space?

Over 95% of our house sales were to end-users seeking long-term residence rather than investors. We tailor our projects to align with market demands, ensuring we don’t overdevelop. People seek a lifestyle when investing in a house, leading us to prioritize community building and cost-cutting through sustainable solutions, resulting in benefits like reduced utility costs, tax discounts, and accessible green mortgages.

Speaking of green mortgages, does the financing climate favor eco-friendly buildings?

Absolutely. In countries like Hungary and Poland, mortgage ratios per GDP per capita are substantially higher than in Romania. This trend is expected to grow here as well, particularly benefiting green home-certified properties like Amber Gardens and Amber Forest. Banks offer reduced interest rates for green mortgages, trusting that reduced bills and overall client satisfaction will ensure loan repayment.

Have you faced any challenges navigating the Romanian market?

Initially, authorities and banks lacked awareness about green homes and their benefits. However, with time and the adoption of NZEB regulations in Romania, the market became more informed. Additionally, the way neighborhoods were developed posed a challenge. We transformed this into an opportunity by designing communities with ample green spaces, privacy, and essential facilities to counteract overcrowding issues.

How did the pandemic impact the real estate sector, particularly the residential segment?

The pandemic prompted a substantial shift in workspace dynamics, with only 8% willing to return to pre-COVID office setups. The trend favors hybrid work models, with increased emphasis on work-from-home setups. Design trends are evolving similarly to post-Spanish Flu eras, favoring minimalist designs and larger windows for a more spacious feel.

Looking ahead, what’s in store for Alesonor in the next two-three years?

We’ve closely observed market dynamics, especially the impact of the pandemic, shaping our strategy. Our long-standing focus on residential projects and sustainable communities aligns perfectly with the trend catalyzed by recent events. Thus, we’re committed to crafting safe, healthy neighborhoods where amenities are within a 15-minute walk, fostering everyday living and community well-being.

You may also be interested in...