Investors invested almost €500 million into commercial real estate in Slovakia during the first half of 2018. This almost equals investments for the whole year of 2017, which amounted to €535 million, the data of the real estate consultancy company JLL indicates.
“This is a result of several medium-sized transactions carried out on the threshold of 2017 and 2018,” said Rudolf Nemec from the JLL investment consultancy department, as cited in a press release. “The increased liquidity and strong investment activity, which we see on the Slovak real estate market during last few quarters, also equally helped.”
During the first half of 2018, 17 investment transactions took place in Slovakia. The retail sector dominated, followed by offices. The industrial real estate sector brought only one more significant investment. This is a consequence of a lack of investment opportunities and strong activity over the last three years.
Investors are highly interested in retail real estate, i.e. shopping centres, according to JLL. They are not looking only for first-class centres, but also smaller retail schemes, whose offer is starting to be limited as there are not many smaller retail schemes.
In terms of concrete deals, the Romanian-Polish-South African investor NEPI Rockcastle increased its market share when it acquired the premium shopping centre Mlyny in Nitra from a local developer in the beginning of 2018. Another significant retail transaction was the sale of the project City Aréna in Trnava of Vladimír Poór, acquired by a Slovak private investor.
On the Bratislava office market, JLL registered strong activity and interest from quickly growing central-European investor Wood & Company. During the second quarter of 2018 it acquired the office building Lakeside Park (27,000 square metres) from the developer TriGranit with AT&T as the main tenant, and Aupark Tower (33 000 square metres) from Heitman. Among Aupark Tower tenants is the cyber security company Eset.
The industrial real estate sector has been the busiest sector during the last few years. However, during the first half of 2018, this sector was relatively inactive with only one bigger transaction.
“We expect that the second half of the year will bring another €300-€330 million on the Slovak investment market, especially in office and industrial real estate sectors,” said Nemec.
The record level from 2016, when investments into commercial real estate amounted to €850 million, may be exceeded if investors manage to sign one or two large transactions this year.
“But already now we can say with certainty that the total number of transactions will be higher than during the few last years,” said Nemec.
Almost €5.93 billion invested in real estate in the CEE region during the first half of 2018 means an increase by about 6.3 percent y/y. The Polish market accounted for more than one half (54 percent), followed by the Czech Republic (18 percent), Hungary, Slovakia and Balkan countries (8 percent each) and Romania (3 percent).
At the end of 2018, the offer of housing units in newly finished apartment buildings in Bratislava hit a low since 2002-2005, when this market started developing in Slovakia. This resulted in an increase of average prices of apartments.
The iconic building of the British retail chain Tesco department store in the centre of Bratislava has changed hands. The new owner of the building is the Mirage Shopping Center company of Žilina-based businessman George Trabelssie. Since 2016 the retail chain Tesco has sold five department stores across Slovakia. Trabelssie, who is close to former chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS) Ján Slota, acquired Tesco department stores also in Nitra and Žilina, the Hospodárske Noviny business daily reported. Tesco will continue to operate in the building on Kamenné Square as it will rent the premises.
The reconstruction of the Park Inn by Radisson Danube hotel in Bratislava has become the ugliest new building constructed between the years 2011 and 2018. As much as almost one third of 1002 participants in a survey organised by the website Trend Reality of the economic weekly Trend voted for it. The weekly launched the survey in early December. Its goal was to start a discussion and hold up a kind of mirror to developers.
Prices of apartments grew at a two-digit pace in Slovakia in 2018. The average price of an apartment increased from €1,479 per square metre to €1,655 per square metre during the first 11 months of 2018. This means an increase of €176 per square metre or 11.9 percent, Vladimír Kubrický, analyst with the Real Estate Union, told the TASR newswire.
Bratislava’s Old Town has gotten a new square. It is part of a new office-residential complex called Blumental, built by the development company Corwin. It is flanked by streets Mýtna and Radlinského and interconnects with them. It was named after mediaeval King Matthias Corvinus, Matej Korvín Square.
Bratislava is scheduled to get a new landmark within a few years. The developer J&T Real Estate (JLRE) has obtained a development permit for the project of extending Eurovea on the Danube embankment. Included is the 168-metre high Eurovea Tower, the first building in Bratislava that meets the latest criteria for being called a skyscraper, i.e. higher than 150 metres. The residence tower will have 47 storeys and have almost more than 380 residential units. The project will add 84,000 square metres of retail premises to the existing ones in the first phase of Eurovea, the Hospodárske Noviny wrote.
The Saudi-Arabian company Sisban has started building a brand new logistics park near the village Chocholná-Velčice in the Trenčín Region. Sihoť Park will spread over 160,000 square metres, while investments are projected at €50 million. This is the company’s first investment in Slovakia, the TASR newswire reported.