“Globally, real estate market is hurt by financial crunch, and funds costs slowed down things in Europe and directed many investors to Romania. I believe that international crisis plays an important role in evolution of local real estate market, but the core factor that influences the market trend is market and demand ratio”, said Blake Horsely (photo) Investment Sales with Colliers International advisor.

In Romanian residential market is a lack of confidence, Horsley explained, but apart from what is actually happening on the market, press causes routs and influences public opinion.

“I came in Romania six months ago and I took part in several transactions, and all of them started in 2007. The confusion reigned the market in first three months, but now, funds are active again, wind of change stirring up the industry”, Colliers expat pointed out.

Horsley said investors’ confidence lowered lately, whereas he does not think the mistrust turned into fear. They implemented new strategies, because now there are new risks, and it is natural for investors to shift strategies when market poses new risks.

“As for markets in Central and Eastern Europe, when you see several investment funds that ready moves into Romania market, you must take into consideration that these funds have sought many years before investing money, and if they chose a country, it means they have previously studied that market before making a move”, Horsley explained.

Many investment funds focus on office space market in Bucharest that, according to broker’s opinion, is the most powerful segment at this point.

“In the retail market, many players wait to see what happens and I believe this crisis had a positive impact as well, because it eliminated all weak players”, Colliers specialist said, adding that industrial space stock is low compared to countries in the region, and there are still many opportunities that the sector may offer.

“As Romania reaches a more steady level, we will witness several buyouts on equity carried out by German investment funds. Many investors are now laying eyes on Russia, whereas the political climate is rather instable and this is likely to pose problems. Many of the funds exited the market because they had seen things moving to a wrong direction”, Blake Horsley said.

According to him, Ukraine is another attractive destination for investment funds, but Romania has more advantages because the demand is higher and market development phase did not end yet.

Before coming in Romania, Blake Horsley had been working at Colliers for three years in Wellington, New Zealand as investment broker. Later on, he headed the rent and sales division for metropolitan area of the city. Bogdan Georgescu, Managing Partner at Colliers Romania was the one who invited him to join Colliers team in Romania.

Blake Horsley is attending Romanian language classes and intends on remaining at Colliers Romania by the age of 30. Six months ago he chose Romania over Canada, Poland and Hungary, as he seized the market opportunities.

“Infrastructure problems changed my entire program in Romania. There is traffic jam, and I spend too much time in traffic – this was the biggest difference I had to get used to. However, you can’t leave to another country if you let yourself influenced by small things, you simply have to face them, and to take them exactly as they are,” the broker concluded.