Daniela Lazea, Partner at Biriș Goran, spoke to Property Forum about Romania's advantageous position as an investment destination in the real estate sector and the growing demand seen by the law firm from clients active in the renewable energy sector. Biriș Goran’s portfolio remains consistent on residential, office and logistics projects.
This interview was first published in Property Forum’s annual listing of "The 50 most influential people on Romania’s real estate market”.
What is the outlook for Biriș Goran’s real estate portfolio this year in terms of client structure and project types?
First of all, we are happy to have a consistent client portfolio on the real estate side with a focus on residential, office and logistics. The relationship with our long-term clients is extremely important, and we consider it the clearest measure of the quality of our work at Biriș Goran. This year, in addition to the usual transactions, Biriș Goran’s real estate portfolio has numerous inquiries in the field of renewable energy projects.
We are also seeing a revival of enquiries in the hotel sector, which is something natural after the pandemic period when they were somewhat put on hold.
What were the most important projects in which you were involved last year?
The acquisition of office buildings or land for residential developments in premium locations was the most consistent part of our work. We have also had a growing number of renewable energy projects, particularly photovoltaic parks, which are now either already licensed, under construction or even operational.
Is there potential for this year’s real estate transaction market to surpass the record of nearly €1.3 billion in 2022?
Last year we correctly estimated that we would exceed the €1 billion threshold, and the results were even higher, which is why we believe that Romania still has great growth potential.
Comparative figures at the European level show Romania’s advantageous position as an investment destination in the real estate sector. The evolution of 2023 will, of course, very much depends on how Romania will be able to take advantage of the opportunities existing on the market and attract investments, including from the perspective of a predictable and clear legislative framework.
Which segments of the real estate market will see a consistent volume of transactions this year?
Certainly, renewable energy projects will be the stars of the coming period, as they will be across Europe, and, as last year, we can also expect to see large transactions whereby various investors could transfer entire portfolios to new investors.
Will we see new foreign real estate investors in Romania in the coming years?
There is certainly potential, the market can absorb it and there are opportunities for large real estate investors. But it will depend a lot on whether we have a clear and enforced economic and legislative framework. A major investor’s decision to enter a new market is based on a lot of economic, financial, legal analysis and usually looks at opportunities in several countries, so the competition to attract such investors is not only local but also regional. The increasing circulation of economic information – metrics, indicators, analysis – about Romania is to our advantage in the sense that we have become visible – for some time now – for investments of this size. It remains to continue to support the decision to choose Romania over other markets in the region.
What are the competitive points of the local real estate market in terms of legislation and taxation?
I would like to answer with a long list of competitive points but given the current situation in the area of cadastre, urban planning, the non-completion of the process of restitution of properties to former owners, the delays in issuing administrative acts and the numerous legislative changes including those in the area of taxation, I would like to hold back. As a practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in real estate, I see much more closely, in my day-to-day work, the issues that still need to be resolved. But I am optimistic that next year I will be able to come back with many positives.
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