The volume of commercial land sales in Romania excluding the industrial segment fell by less than 10% to €450 million during 2023 compared to the previous year, according to a Colliers report.
The agency notes that overall demand for new deals fell compared to previous year, but the 2023 result was supported by some transactions that were closed after extensive negotiations.
Around 70% of the land plots were traded in Bucharest and its metropolitan area, with half of the transactions being closed by residential developers. A quarter of the transactions were for retail projects and the rest from various types of investors in the office, educational and the medical fields. In the rest of the country, residential also accounted for about half of the volumes, with retail covering most of the difference.
The most active buyers were One United Properties, Speedwell and Kaufland, while the Romanian state also made certain strategic acquisitions in Brașov, Sibiu and Iași.
“Due to the general context, with some landlords feeling some pressure to sell or fearing for future prospects, the market saw a solid offer. This, alongside the general context with high interest rates and a slowing economy, prompted a slight drop in the average land price versus previous years, though if we were to estimate it on a like-for-like basis, it would be in the single digit territory. However, not all sellers felt the pinch and price cuts were not at all handed out for very good land plots which are likely to see robust interest from a variety of buyers. Meanwhile, some investors are also not rushing to purchase new plots as they feel there is no rush to start development and furthermore, they feel that time may be running in their favor,” says Sinziana Oprea, Director Land Agency at Colliers Romania.
Speaking about 2024, Oprea said that it might actually be a good year to conclude land purchases if one believes in the longer-term prospects of the market.
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