“Our customers appreciate the value of personal time”
An article from Ziarul Financiar mentioned: "Constructions sector has a complicated year in 2016. Withdrawal of government support from all investments has had a significant impact. For 2016, the general consolidated budget spent on investments was 29.5 billion lei, with almost 12 billion lei below the 2015 level. This was felt in the volume of engineering construction works, which decreased by over 11% in 2016. At the same time, the non-residential sector (construction of school and hospitals) grew by only 1%, the only one with a significant 12% growth being the residential sector. The first month of 2017 resembles 2016, under the circumstances: the residential sector has grown and the infrastructure sector is shrinking. It is not clear where the upturn will come this year."
With this quote in mind I interviewed Tudor Cobâlas, Sales Manager "CATTED Residences", on the real estate projects developed in Romania during this period.
How do you think the upturn of the residential sector will happen? How do you estimate the evolution of this market in 2017, starting with the end of March?
Tudor Cobâlas: The residential sector has always been growing because of people’s constant need to improve their lifestyle, often manifested by a new home. Like any industry, the real estate sector has experienced cycles of both growth and decline. Currently we have an upward trend, where the delivery time depends on the degree of risk assumed by the developers. Since 2016 we witnessed a continuous delivery of new projects that have smoothed the demand, however we believe this trend will stop by the end of 2017. Besides, the sector also benefited from government grant through the "First Home" Government Scheme, as well as the low interest rates of the banking sector that promoted new home acquisitions.
For 2017 we anticipate that developers with completed homes for immediate sales will be the most successful. While those who start new projects with a delivery deadline of 2018-2019 assume a high risk because of market stagnation perspectives.
What does it mean to be a real estate developer in Romania these years? What are the biggest challenges, shortcomings, but also the main satisfaction attained with this activity?
T.C.: The market is demanding more and more optimized projects, available not only with the package location - surface - finishes, but also with other facilities, for persuading customers to buy. The challenges lie in the balance between the speed of development and the delivered quality, the lack of qualified workforce at an affordable price and innovative ideas for attracting customers to the project you develop at a reasonable cost. Being a small developer, we are focused on optimizations on every level.
The most important satisfaction comes from the acknowledgement of our clients when they decide to buy a house in our real estate complex, to the detriment of the market offer.
The project you are developing now is CATTED Residences. How would you describe this whole assembly to someone who cannot enter the project site and see the projects out there?
T.C.: CATTED Residences is a real estate complex that helps residents optimize their time in the proximity of Bucharest's new business area - Pipera area - Aurel Vlaicu. In addition to being only 400 m from Pipera Plaza, Lidl supermarket, 2 fitness halls, 3 gas stations and the famous OMV roundabout, from where you can quickly reach Promenada Mall or Baneasa Shopping City, we develop a neighborhood of 43 houses and one park with playground over 1,200 sq m, a kind of community with controlled access that is becoming popular.
CATTED Residences is a residential complex in which the house responds to the dynamics of a family through its 3-level optimal space, with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, living room, kitchen and 2 parking spaces. In addition, each house has a backyard of at least 50 sq m, which will only consume you 2 hours for maintenance. Thus, one can notice the difference from living in an apartment.
CATTED Residences is a district with Scandinavian-inspired design, where minimalism highlights the natural materials we've used for the finishes: three-layer oak floorboard, travertine and wood as ceramic tile.
And what sets CATTED Residences apart from other residential projects is the focus on how a community of residents could thrive, interact, have intimacy in an area close to the city. By having sidewalks and clearly separating the road, we increase safety in the neighborhood for residents, so we can eliminate the risk of unpleasant moments from the start. The fact that we have controlled access brings added comfort for residents.
Have you noticed lately a common demand for homeowners, a trend or a fashion?
T.C.: More and more people want to have a house with all the facilities and optimum surface, with a price of an apartment in the northern area of Bucharest. Our customers appreciate the value of personal time and have a clear vision of their family dynamics over the next 10 to 15 years, thus appreciating the design and the materials we use to win the battle of time.
You are 30 years old. How long do you work in the field and what do you think are the features that define the work of a real estate developer? Is aging an advantage in the context of most young people looking for a home?
T.C.: Behind our project is a team where experience has defined the details of the real estate project CATTED Residences. One of the issues is the team's balanced age that has led to some decisions about the chosen layout and solutions. But it is definitely the experience we have in this area as a team.
What are your plans in this area for 2017 and for the near future, taking into account the data and market projection available right now?
T.C.: The year 2017 is a very big year for us, because CATTED Residences is developing in 3 stages, and now we are in schedule for completing phase 1 and starting phase 2 and 3 at the same time. For 2018 we will have the final plan in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Tudor Cobâlaș, Sales Manager ”CATTED Residences”
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