Romania's Rising Real Estate Landscape: A Beacon of Growth in Europe

Romania, a rapidly developing EU and NATO member, has achieved remarkable milestones in recent years. With a 2019 promotion to the High-income group of countries by the World Bank and a projected 5.1% GDP growth rate for 2021 by the European Commission, Romania stands as an economic success story. This upward trajectory is set to continue, driven by substantial EU investments totaling nearly EUR 80 billion from 2021 to 2027.

Economic prosperity has translated into improved purchasing power for the local population, with average net wages surging by nearly 43% from 2016 to 2020, reaching EUR 750. International companies have played a pivotal role in this transformation, establishing offices and production facilities in Romania.

Romania’s commercial real estate market offers a spectrum of opportunities across all segments, attracting interest from both local and international developers. Key players in various sectors, such as Globalworth, Skanska, NEPI, CTP, and more, have contributed to the market’s vibrancy.

Offices: Romania’s workforce, renowned for its foreign language skills, coupled with competitive office pricing, has attracted multinational corporations. Bucharest boasts a substantial office stock of approximately 4 million sqm, with nearly 3 million sqm concentrated in the capital. IT&C companies, including Microsoft, IBM, and Siemens, have fueled demand, despite a temporary setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As companies adapt to post-pandemic realities, the office market in Bucharest is undergoing a recovery process.

An exciting development in 2020 was the selection of Bucharest as the future location for the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology, and Research Competence Center. This decision is poised to attract IT and cybersecurity companies from across Europe, further boosting the office market.

The regional cities of Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, and Brasov, collectively housing around one million sqm of modern offices, offer expansion opportunities for businesses.

Retail: The modern retail market in Romania has evolved, with shopping centers and retail parks totaling almost 3.7 million sqm, including 1.2 million sqm in Bucharest. Over the past five years, 720,000 sqm of new retail spaces were delivered, with 80% in regional cities. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the sector in 2020, leading to temporary closures and fluctuating footfall. Developers have shifted focus from shopping centers to smaller retail parks, particularly in secondary cities. Major food retail chains displayed resilience by opening over 400 supermarkets and hypermarkets during the pandemic.

Industrial: Romania’s industrial real estate market experienced remarkable growth over the last five years, increasing by 2.5 million sqm to surpass 5 million sqm by the end of 2020. In addition to leased stock, there is a significant owner-occupied industrial stock, notably in production facilities, contributing over 4 million sqm. Industrial and logistics developments have closely followed improvements in transport infrastructure, granting accessibility to suppliers, clients, and export markets. With substantial EU funding earmarked for transport infrastructure projects from 2021 to 2027, Romania’s industrial real estate market is poised for further expansion and success.

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