Even beginning last year, an increased interest towards real estate was felt in Romania, both in residential and office space investments, as well as luxury buildings, and this growing trend will continue in 2015, real estate experts claim.
A confirmation of the foreign investors’ interest in the Romanian real estate market comes from Pătrascu Constantin Octavian, business developer, who, 2 year ago, concluded such a transaction. The real estate market has entered, since 2014, in a new state of normality, as real estate experts unanimously claim, in the sense that it started to grow slightly, but in a sustainable manner. This is the reason why the ascending trend, which was felt in particular as of the second half of 2014, is expected to continue this year. Thus, real estate consultants claim that the number of buyers who make purchases for investment purposes will rise and that they understand that the prices are rising and this is the best moment to buy luxury real estate products.
The economic growth and political stability, as well as the difference in the level of return in profit between the Romanian and western markets have determined new investors to consider more carefully the investment possibilities in Romania, in 2014, in particular foreign investors. Institutional funds that, some years ago, did not view Romania as a viable market, are now actively looking for properties that generate profit. A factor that has contributed to this growth is the large volume of capital available on western markets. An example that might be used is the purchase of the building located at 70-72 Dionisie Lupu Street by Israeli investors that hold real estate portfolios worldwide. The building was bought a few years ago, and this year refurbishment works were initiated. Built in 1884 by the architect I. I. Rosnovanu, the building is located in the vicinity of another building included in the national patrimony. I. I. Rosnovanu was renowned among the architects of his time. He was, in fact, one of the first Romanian architects to have studied at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and an important representative of the French style in the Romanian architecture at the end of the 19th century. The transaction was concluded thanks to Octavian Patrascu, a young business developer passionate about architecture and old buildings, who convinced the investors about the value of this building and was convinced, at the same time that the building will thus be in good hands. More precisely, the role of Patrascu Octavian Constantin in this transaction was, mainly, the one of mediator.
In other words, Patrascu Octavian facilitated the communication in this deal. The building is being refurbished and, even though no longer included in state patrimony, represents a “side” of Romanian architectural beauty that every passer-by can enjoy, insists Patrascu Constantin Octavian. The new owners intend to lease the house, which will be used for public purposes, as required by the law of patrimony, Octavian Patrascu explains. “The law provides a series of restrictions and, besides the preservation and restoration of same parts of the building – declared as areas, architectural elements or decoration of significant cultural value, and the transfer of stylistic qualities to elements of average cultural value – a public function must be provided for the building (trading, services, accommodations, etc.), at least for those parts of the building which are registered as having a significant cultural value of areas, architectural elements, decorations”. Patrascu Octavian Constantin’s passion for old buildings lead to his involvement in such transactions. Furthermore, he mediated another similar transaction, this time for a natural person buyer, concerning the building located at 115 Calea Grivitei. Constantin Octavian Patrascu says that, by getting involved in this type of business, he gains assurance that these types of buildings have trustworthy new owners. “It is the best way to make sure that they will not eventually collapse”, says Octavian Patrascu. And this building is filled with history since before 1870. “That year, the owners of the house were Greek traders, and in 1895 the house was bought by Dumitru Petrescu, the son of a trader from Slanic Prahova, former apprentice of the Greek owners”, recalls Patrascu Octavian. Lucian Petrescu, one of today’s heirs of the building, decided to sell it.
The last seller was a Dutch investor, and Patrascu Constantin together with two other investors, found the right buyer, and thus at the present the investment plan for restoration is being prepared this way, real value and the chance to continue on an interrupted historical path were given to this building, as well as the building in Dionisie Lupu. In 2014, the investment market grew from a volume of 300 million euros in 2013 to approximately 1.2 billion euros, according to data provided by the real estate company DTZ Echinox. These numbers lead to the real estate experts’ belief in an ascending trend that will continue in 2015. For Constantin Octavian Patrascu this could also open the perspective to mediate other real estate transactions in the near future.