The 2007-2008 period is probably the reference point for Romanian real estate just like this booming period is relevant for the entire European continent as well. With the financial crisis that followed the level of transactions fell sharply, but in the last two years this market segment seems to have picked up consistently. Thus, if in 2015 the total volume of real estate investments in Romania was EUR 663 million, in 2016 the amount rose by approximately 35%, to a total of EUR 890 million, according to real estate consultancy firm JLL.
Investments in the country were obviously concentrated in Bucharest, where approximately 70% of the transactions occurred, but the percentage is lower than in 2015, a sign that movements started to happen in the province as well. Moreover, about 45% of the 2016 transactions concerned office spaces, thus implying a high demand for educated workforce in Romania.
Also, if we look at the fact that the retail and industrial segments each cumulated about 26% of the total investments, then we can conclude that the Romanian economy looked good in 2016 and that its growth prospects should remain steady in 2017 as well (a prediction confirmed by the European Commission, which estimated a 4.4% economic growth rate for the country this year).
Before we get too excited about these figures, we must realize that this growth rate is part of a general trend felt throughout the entire Central and Eastern Europe. Here, the volume of investments in 2016 exceeded EUR 12.5 billion, up 42% from 2015 and thus marking the highest level recorded since 2007 (EUR 15.81 billion). The top of the region sees Romania only in 4th place, the country managing to attract 8% of investments from this area, being relatively far from the podium amounts, which saw Poland as the undisputed leader with over 36% of investments attracted, followed by the Czech Republic with 29 % and Hungary with 13%.
What we realize from these statistics is that things seem to be going in the right direction both for Romania and for the region it is part of, but the former still has a lot of ground to recover before it could actually consider itself as a major player on the regional market.