If it were only about the numbers, all signs would point to “Now” for investing in Bratislava’s property market. Booming office demand from multinational occupiers, combined with a moderate supply of new high-quality product has allowed vacancy rates to fall to historic lows in that sector. Meanwhile, the transformation of Slovakia into an automotive powerhouse has driven the entire economy even as it produces insatiable demand for new industrial space from logistics companies. Slovak assets trade at a significant discount to comparable product in Prague and Warsaw. And yet, Czech and Slovak investors have dominated the market over foreign investors. With the real estate cycle now far-advanced, is this starting to change?
This conference will feature a powerful mix of CEE and local investors and developers already active on the Slovak market as well as some of the many institutional buyers now competing for high-value assets. It will feature informative analysis of current market conditions as well as frank discussions about what’s needed to promote new growth and investment.
12th September 2019
The volume of real estate investment in the Slovak market goes hand in hand with the country’s economic performance as well as many external factors. Market observers agree that there’s still a high level of willingness to invest but there are increasing signals of a growing caution. What are the main reasons to continue investing? And what should investors watch out for? Is there still money to be made at this point in the cycle? Are there significant differences in Slovak regions?
The office sector is changing rapidly to match the way companies are doing business. Employers are creating space that encourages creativity of employees. Concepts like co-working have become the norm. Achieving sustainability certificates is now a standard part of construction process and the most pioneering developers have moved on to Well Certifications. Meanwhile, proptech innovators are trying to convince developers to install the latest applications for building management. How are all of these innovations impacting the bottom line? Do tenants in Bratislava actually demand state-of-the-art offices and are they willing to pay extra for it? Which of the new trends in office development will survive and which are only a short-term “fad”?
Many shopping centers are undergoing major reconstruction work, often because they were among the first to be built in Slovakia. How are the habits of shoppers changing and what do they need to find in a shopping center in order to give up the comfort of buying on the Internet? Is it services, movies or quality restaurants? What strategies will bring in customers? In fact, even younger shopping centers will likely have to make changes, while those centers that fail the footfall test will have to find other uses. Can they be converted into residential, logistics or other types of commercial property in a way that adds value for investors?
The newest batch of warehouses is being built to meet the needs of companies and brands that understand how to exploit the newest modes of communication, product-tracking and e-commerce. Logistics was always a key factor for suppliers and retailers, but being competitive used to mean little more than keeping costs and delivery times to a minimum. Today’s strategies assume that warehouses so technically advanced and flexible that they’re essential to the business plans of their end users. Meanwhile, the increasing push towards same-day delivery means that cities will have to work with developers and investors to create spaces and policies for effective city logistics operations.
For an increasing number of developers, the residential market is no longer just about the standard construction of apartment buildings and flats. What are the new trends? Social housing in Slovakia has been marginalized for a long time, but it’s now emerging as a submarket with real potential for growth. In addition, rental housing is beginning to be considered strongly, as prices for standard flats rise beyond the financial means of more and more people. What is motivating investors to go into these alternative forms of residential development and what are the potential problems and opportunities?
It’s nearly a year since local elections in Bratislava ushered in a new leadership regime. This has sparked profound changes at City Hall in Bratislava that are visible not just to developers but to the wider public as well. Development issues such as making the approval process more effective is a sensitive topic for the public, for developers and for city hall representatives. Of equal importance is the question of how to make changes to the master plan both faster and more transparent.
What are the hurdles faced by those who want to implement these changes and how will the city proceed in these questions? How has the city’s communication strategy with developers changed? The panel will discuss all of these matters, as well as the future role of the newly created Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava. Of particular interest will also be the hot topic of rental residential in the city, since it’s been marginalized for years. What rules will the city set for such projects and how will they influence developers?
811 09 Bratislava