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International Property Shows Set Priorities

AIGROUP closed the spring exhibition season 2010 with five overseas property shows that were traditionally held at TC "Tishinka". "Bulgarian Home", Moscow International Investment Show, Moscow International Property Show, St. Petersburg International Property Show and the new exhibition Moscow Golf & Luxury Property Show, already very popular, were a great success once again. Reviewing the first results, it can be said that the year's market trends have already been exposed. At any rate, there is ample data for further forecasts about the dynamics in the overseas property segment.

"Our shows are not a shop, trading in real properties, - noted Kim Waddoup, organizer of the show and president of aigroup. - This is a meeting place for buyer and seller and precious venue for information exchange and discussions. This is why our shows do not only result in a certain number of deals but also reveal the market development trends in the nearest time." One cannot but agree with the company's top manager. The analysis of bids from the market participants, assessment of the visitors' activity and expert comments all create a rather impartial picture of the current market situation.

Talking about the predilections of buyers and investors, crowds of people gathered at the stands of different companies clearly exposed them. Bulgaria remains unrivaled followed by Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Montenegro, Egypt and Turkey. The list is quite predictable, though serious conclusions cannot be drawn from watching over the overcrowded stands. What people inquire and whether or not they are willing to buy real estate for living or investment purposes is what really matters. From this standpoint, the opinion of experts from leading companies, capable of assessing not only some narrow market segment but the general state of things as well, is of special interest.

In the opinion of Olga Wolf Yucel, Sales Director, IPC Russia, no revolutionary changes are expected on the market. The market participants have already accommodated for the new conditions. "The only surprise is the second splash of interest in Montenegro, - notes Ms. Olga Wolf Yucel, - despite the lack of any promotion of Montenegrin property as such. Reasonable prices, the country's aspiration for EC accession and kindred languages are also important factors here. Dmitry Bogatov, Managing Director, VFI Europe, paid attention to the fact that the crisis is rarer discussed now. "Those who attend the show are in full order so why talking about the crisis? The economic turmoil had a salubrious effect on those who held their grounds. Now people invest their money without hoping for a 100% return as before, and this is certainly a positive trend. As regards specific destinations, I'd note that the interest in Calabria, where we are realizing a number of projects, is getting keener. I think this can be explained, first of all, by the fact that no other region in Italy boasts such a rich choice of properties at affordable prices."

Yuliya Kravchuk, overseas property adviser for the international real estate agency Bureau DuMonde, noted, as she continued discussing popular destinations, that in Cyprus the situation is more favorable than could be expected. "Cyprus is holding out; buyers have appreciated this fact and turned their eyes to Cyprian property to the contentment of both developers and operators." Yuliya Kravchuk believes that a great number of transactions were already completed at the turn of the year, which means that their number will only keep growing during the year. The expert forecasts that the Cyprian property prices may grow 10-20% by the year's end, since most developers, far from freezing their projects, have launched new ones making bulky investments. "This is the evidence that the market is rather stable and investors are not afraid of investing their capital therein." At the same time Yuliya Kravchuk warns against elation about the market outlook: "What we experienced in 2008 will never return in any sphere. We hope that the situation will at least stabilize and people will be able to calm down and regain confidence in tomorrow, which in its turn will positively impact overseas property investments."

The growing popularity of Eastern Europe is another outcome of the spring shows. For instance, Czech Republic and Hungary have come very close to leaders in terms of frequency of requests. "When we were entering the Russian market nobody knew Hungary or thought of buying Hungarian real estate, - notes Endre Erdos, General Director, WESTINVEST. - We were literally 'catching' visitors in those days. And now people increasingly often target investments in suitable Hungarian properties." When we inquired about the reasons, Mr. Erdos pointed to good political and economic relationships between our countries and favorable legislative environment: "To begin with, a property can be registered by a natural person - you needn't form a company which will then be hanging on your neck for some 20 years. Secondly, a natural person becomes a landlord, which guarantees that city officials won't claim this land on the premise that the city is going to build a road or a high-rise on this spot. And thirdly, there are no problems with a residence permit in Hungary."

Sergey Sander, partner of Vostok-Zapad, thought it necessary to note that Bulgaria, Spain and Montenegro are not the only markets which are getting ever more popular. Strange though it may seem, the number of transactions with costly Swiss properties has radically increased of late. "While some time ago rumors were circulating that someone among the great bought a home in Switzerland, now we see representatives of Russian business legally buying Swiss real estate and transferring their money quite transparently with proper observation of all formalities. Sergey Sander pointed to the rosy trend: Russian investors are paying increasingly greater attention to large investment projects and readily invest in commercial real estate, which is another sign of the market recovery.

Given that the season of winter holidays and two last summer months are deemed dead seasons on the real estate market, one should be particularly heedful of the trends revealed at the shows conducted by aigroup as they set the pace for this year. It remains to hope that the specialists making optimistic albeit cautious forecasts are not mistaken.

© www.aigroup.ru

14-15 February 2014:
Property Show "Bulgarian Home"

8-9 February 2013:
Real Estate Exhibition "Bulgarian Home 2013" in Moscow

10-11 February 2012:
Real Estate Exhibition "Bulgarian Home 2012" in Moscow

11-12 February 2011:
Russians Take an Option on Bulgarian Property

12-13 February 2010:
At Bulgarian Home
International Property Shows Set Priorities

13-14 February 2009:
The Interest in Bulgaria Is Getting Keener