Hegedüš views consolidation in the commercial real estate sector as one of the main characteristics of last year in Slovakia, noting that some players were forced from the market and only larger players remain.
“The real estate market has become a safe harbour for investments, as it registered healthy growth,” Hegedüš stated, as quoted by the SITA newswire. He added that investment activity revived last year after suffering from several weak years and this helped to stabilise prices of real estate in all sectors.
Hegedüš said two of the most important transactions last year were the sale of a 50-percent stake in the Aupark Shopping Center Bratislava by HB Reavis, the property’s developer, to Unibal-Romanco SE, which now owns 100 percent of the shopping centre, as well as the sale of the Aupark Tower office building to the Heitman group. A Czech investment group, CPI, was also very active in the Slovak market last year when it acquired several properties in the retail trade and industrial sectors, Hegedüš said, adding that Sekyra Group also sold its portfolio to Hamilton Group.
Oliver Galata, responsible for the office sector at CBRE, said that Slovakia is becoming more and more appealing to investors, noting that among central European countries, the most significant interest is in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and that current turbulence in Hungary reduces the interest there and that neither Romania nor Bulgaria are very interesting for investors because they had not met pre-crisis expectations.
Galata added that large concerns such as IBM, AT&T, SwissRe and Hewlett Packard have preferred Slovakia for their branches in central and eastern Europe because of past experiences here and no problems in finding appropriate employees.
“Because Slovakia belongs among countries with high levels of unemployment for young people, there are still enough human resources from which to recruit new staff,” Galata stated, as quoted by SITA.
Caption: Aupark Shopping Center Bratislava is now 100-percent owned by Unibal-Romanco SE.
Photo: Sme – Peter Žákovič