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Novaston Discusses the Real Estate Market in Serbia

Serbia is experiencing a construction boom with investments in office, retail, and residential space reaching record levels. 

The main takeaway from a panel discussion, held in March 2020 at Kopaonik Business Forum, was that the Serbian real estate sector offers many opportunities for developers.

Kopaonik_Business_Forum_Novaston_retailsee_group

Mia Zečević, CEO of the Novostan Real Estate Management Platform, stated:

There has never been a greater need for professional management services to help investors realize their goals. In the beginning, foreign investors in Serbia felt that they could do it all themselves and, very soon, they realized that they need local partners for their projects. They benefit from the local management expertise that combines local know-how and international experience. That is the reason we created the Novostan platform, which comprises of four companies – Asset management, Project management, Facility management, and Marketing consultancy.

RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL SPACE ON THE RISE

Serbia’s real estate market is still underdeveloped compared to other countries in the region, and this makes it an attractive location for investors. 

The construction industry is flourishing across all sectors – residential, retail, office, and logistics.

Despite rising prices, demand for residential properties has been growing steadily in recent years. In the country’s capital, the business district New Belgrade has become the epicenter for new residential development.

Mia said that rents for commercial space in Serbia have soared to all-time highs. 

In Belgrade, the supply of modern office space reached 800,000 sqm of class A space. The current vacancy rate of below 5% is projected to increase to around 6-9% as a result of new construction. With the expansion of office space, rents in premium projects are expected to drop in the coming period.

SHOPPING CENTER DEVELOPMENT 

In the past two years, Serbia’s shopping center market expanded with two large projects: Promenada Novi Sad (50,000 sqm) and ADA MALL (34,000 sqm). However, Serbia still has the lowest supply of shopping center space in the region. 

ADA MALL Retail SEE Group

In Belgrade, there is about 200 sqm of shopping center space per 1,000 inhabitants. The density of shopping centers is low compared to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, which has 600 sqm per 1,000 inhabitants. 

Two large shopping centers are set to open in Belgrade in 2020, BW Galerija, developed by Eagle Hills, and Beo Shopping Center developed by MPC Properties. 

beo_shopping_center_retailsee_group

According to the Mia retail investment is likely to slow down after a period of strong growth. 

With an additional 80 sqm of space per 1,000 inhabitants in Belgrade, we expect a period of absorption. At the moment, Serbia has the highest yields in the region (8% for shopping centers and 8,5 for retail parks), while the average rent fee per square meter is 27-29 EUR in prime shopping centers.  

GROWTH OF RETAIL PARKS 

In Serbia, retail parks are becoming increasingly popular with developers investing in new projects across the country. 

Mia Zečević highlighted at the panel discussion that the expansion of retail parks is likely to continue in the future.

CREATING VALUE IN CHANGING TIMES 

Speaking at a panel discussion titled “Construction Industry – the main driver of growth,” Mia emphasized the importance of developing workforce talent to add value. 

We are on the cusp of the 5th Industrial Revolution, bringing together humans and robots. With a focus on personalization, the new age puts human creativity at the forefront. Essentially, we are transitioning towards an automated world where digital industrial processes open up opportunities for creativity and innovation.  

She explained that Industry 5.0 is centred around value creation. 

Adding value to products and services is vital in all industries, including real estate. Applying new technologies and a personalized approach to each client is key to adding value.

Novaston CEO Mia Zečević attended the panel at Kopaonik Business Forum alongside Robert Yahav, CEO of BIG CEE, and Peđa Petronijević, CEO of GTC. The panel was moderated by Nebojša Nešovanović, Senior Director and Head of Valuation SEE at CBRE.

ABOUT NOVASTON

Novaston is a unique real estate management and marketing platform offering a portfolio of integrated services in the areas of asset and property management, project management, facility management, marketing, corporate communications and digital. 

Through its deep expertise, strategic vision, and continuous innovations, Novaston helps its clients to apply world-leading standards and maximize the value of their assets. 

The company’s clients and partners include IMMOFINANZ, NEPI Rockcastle, Rajićeva Shopping Center, IKEA, ADA MALL, VIVO! Shopping Park and CCC Shoes & Bags. 

Novaston Marketing Consultancy is a leading marketing platform working with real estate and retail professionals in Serbia and the region.

The company has experience in below-the-line (BTL), above-the-line (ATL), and through-the-line (TTL) initiatives and best practices, complemented by its broad network of digital marketing partners.

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