Real Estate Prespectives for 2012 – interview with Horia Halmagi, real estate agent Coldwell Banker


           Question: How did 2012 start for the residential market in Brasov?

           HH: The start of 2012 brought a decrese in prices, especially for the old apartment segment, caused by the owners’ need for cash, because of different spending requirements, especially during the colder months (higher utilities prices) and, at the same time, because of the banking credits engaged.

The New Year has also brought a relatively big demand, from people that have disposable cash and are “hunting” for opportunities because they recognize the ideal periods to make acquisitions.

At the same time, Brasov, being a tourist town, has attracted many foreign tourists, during the winter holidays, many of which were interested in buying a property that, to our surprise, does not have a second home destination but correctly priced properties that can generate an immediate income, by renting them for short periods of time in order to cover the investment.

As far as inquiries and finalized transactions, 2012 has started out well, the main cause of this being the high number of people that come to this area during the winter holidays and also in the month of January.    

Question:   2011 started out with a high level of interest but few transactions. How did the market evolve in the past year?

HH: From our point of view, 2011 started out well, with many transaction for properties with values between 100.000 and 250.000 euro, especially for apartments in the central area, that have maintained their value, even if the market registered a downward trend for the other areas, with less advantages compared to the center of the city.

2011 offered many „surprises”, both pleasant and less so, especially towards the middle of the year, during July-October, when the demand was very low. The reason for this was that the real estate market is directly linked to the economic evolution with investors waiting, especially because of the events within the Euro Zone and, also, those in the USA. Starting with October, the number of transactions increased by 10% compared to the previous month, the same trend being registered in November as well. In the last month of 2011, the demand for real estate acquisitions doubled compared to the same period of 2010.

Question: What area do you cover and how does it compare to the rest of Brasov?

HH: In time, I developed a portfolio of properties focused on the central area. At this point in time, the market in this area has an atypical status, different from the other areas of the city. This is due to an increased interest from investors, particulary because of the annual generated yield, of aproximately 7-8% and, also, because the properties in this area maintain their value in time and, as such, are considered secure investments.

So, in 2011, there has been a constant number of transactions for this area, a part of which focused on investments. The security of obtaining this yield, through rentals, is due also to the fact that in the Brasov area there are a lot of multinational companies, mostly related to the industrial production segment and this generates a constant flow of demands for premium housing in the central area, for renting purposes, especially for employees coming from other countries, that work at middle and top management level. 

Question: Opinions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the affiliation to a francize are mixed. What is your opinion?

HH: As consultants affiliated to the Coldwell Banker network, we have at our disposal 36 offices spread throughout the country. This way we can promote a property located in Brasov on the local market but also in Bucuresti, Cluj-Napoca and other cities in the country. This kind of promotion can give great results especially for second-home housing. Added to that, there are properties that are promoted at an international level, through our colleagues in the United States.

Also there are situations when clients approach us in order to extend their business to a national level, through our network.

Last but certainly not least, we have a strong brand baking us, recognized at an international level, this being the reason why a part of our clientele, especially foreigners, choose to enlist our services as opposed to other colleagues active on the market.


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