In the past year, the number of apartments purchased from own funds has increased, which tells us that investing in real estate is still an excellent way to save money and its value. Renting currently brings much higher income than savings account interest, and if we take, for example, an apartment in Belgrade Waterfront, the average rent and prices per square meter, we come to the conclusion that it is an investment that pays for itself in just 13 years. . Milovan Savic, Sales Manager of Belgrade Waterfront, talks about the current state of the real estate market in Serbia and why buying an apartment in this prestigious location is a decision that should not be postponed.
From the quarterly reports of the Republic Geodetic Authority, we see that Belgrade Waterfront still holds primacy regarding customer interest. What, in your opinion, are the main reasons for that trend?
By building the most modern settlement in Serbia on the right bank of the Sava, Belgrade Waterfront brought to the real estate market not only top-quality apartments but also a unique concept of modern housing that is not available anywhere else in the rest of the country and region. Conceived as a “city within a city, ” it allows residents to complete most daily tasks in just a few minutes’ walk. In the immediate vicinity of the entrance to their buildings, there are spacious green areas, landscaped parks, Sava Promenada, Belgrade’s favourite promenade, then Galerija as the largest shopping mall in the region, but also Kula Belgrade, the new symbol of the Serbian capital. In addition to the observation deck with a spectacular view on the 41st floor and an exclusive restaurant on the 42nd floor, it will also house the renowned New York hotel chain, St. Regis, with its first branded residences in Southeast Europe – The Residences at The St. Regis Belgrade. This concept is a great environment for everyday life but also for investing, as evidenced by the fact that in July, we marked the sale of the jubilee 6,000th apartment.
How interesting is Belgrade Waterfront to buyers as an investment?
Investing in real estate is, in a way, part of our culture. People have always bought apartments because they consider them a safe investment that brings a certain income over time. In other words, it is the visible invested money. In the case of Belgrade Waterfront, the value of the apartment increases over time due to additional amenities that raise real estate prices everywhere in the world. I will mention only a few of them: the exclusive location by the river, which has become the new city centre, the availability of landscaped green areas, the proximity of kindergartens and elementary schools, excellent traffic connections within the settlement and with the rest of the city, including the future metro stations near Lozionica and in the hinterland of Sava Square, behind the future Historical Museum of Serbia. Data show that the value of real estate grew as the project developed and expanded, so, for example, buyers of the first apartments in the BW Vista and BW Parkview buildings paid between EUR 2,200 and EUR 2,600 per square meter. Today, the price of those apartments on the market is between EUR 3,700 and EUR 4,100 per square meter.
What influenced the increase in the interest of buyers in new construction?
Prices in new buildings are slightly higher than in old apartments, which is one reason why market demand has turned more towards new buildings. In addition, new construction often better meets the needs of the modern buyer because it has a garage, new elevators, a separate yard, etc. The increase in the price of materials should also be considered, as well as the difficulties in finding adequate workers if we talk about old buildings and apartments that need to be renovated. When everything is put on paper and the line drawn, new construction is certainly more profitable, especially if the apartments are bought while they are still under construction. For example, real estate in Belgrade Waterfront brings profit to the owners even before they take the keys to the apartment because the value of the square meter increases from five to seven per cent annually, parallel to the project’s development. This means that they have the opportunity to earn about 20 per cent already during the construction period.
We have all witnessed that there has been a great growth in the demand for renting and, therefore, the growth of prices of apartments in this segment. What are the rental prices in Belgrade Waterfront?
The rent of apartments at us at the moment is around EUR 22 per square meter. There are various rental prices on the market, but in Belgrade, the rent for apartments located in buildings of a similar level and with similar contents ranges from EUR 12 to EUR 18 per square meter. That is up to EUR 10 more per square meter. So, a simple calculation shows that an apartment in this neighbourhood is an investment that pays for itself in just 13 years. This is a real benefit that our customers realize, not to mention the high standard of housing and privileges that come with living in such a prestigious location where everything is a few minutes’ walk away.
What advice would you give to buyers unsure whether now is the right time to buy real estate?
My advice is to invest in real estate and not wait for “better times”. We cannot influence economic flows, but we can take a good look at our financial situation and be well-informed to make the best decision for a safe future. I strongly believe that Belgrade Waterfront is the best decision for buyers, regardless of whether their goal is renting or housing. With the apartment, they also buy an unparalleled lifestyle in a neighbourhood becoming the epicentre of social life in the Serbian capital. And that will always come at a price.