Commercial real estate investment volume in Bulgaria amounted to almost € 100 million from the beginning of the year through the end of September, said consultancy company Forton, a Member of the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance in Sofia and Skopje. Land and office space were the most dynamic segments with strong investor interest also reported in retail and hotel real estate.

“The investment market is recovering at accelerated pace,” said Michaela Lashova, MRICS, Managing Partner of Forton. “Capital flows have increased and we hope to see some large-asset transactions in the coming months.”

Deals totaling €98.7 million were reported, 60% above the volume from same period in 2013 (€61.9 million). “We have recorded more than twice the number of transactions to date, said Michaela Lashova. Chances are that the market exceeds our forecast of €130 million at the end of the year. ”

Demand for office buildings intensifies

The third quarter brought new evidence of demand for quality offices. Bulgarian Real Estate Fund REIT acquired a second property in Business Park Sofia and the market has a few good buildings that are targeted by potential buyers, “said Yavor Kostov, Capital Markets Manager at Forton.

Investor expectations for office yields decreased from 9.25% to 9.00% in the third quarter due to an evidential recovery of the rental market and the availability of top buildings with full occupancy. “The yield compression was a result of decreased risk expectations, Kostov said. Buyers base pricing on the high occupancy in top properties and the potential for revenue increases with tenant replacements and lease renewals. I think that the first deals with large high-quality office buildings might see yields evenl below 9%. ”

Land market uplift

Forton reported an increase in transactions across all real estate types, but the uplift was most noticeable in the development land sites – a total of 13 transactions worth €29.1 million or 30% of the reported volume. The largest sale was the former Forum Sofia shopping center plot on the Sofia ring-road for €12.6 million. Furthermore, several smaller sales in prestigious district such as  Ivan Vazov, Iztok and Lozenets contributed to the higher number.

“Developers are back on the market since the beginning of the year,” said Vladimir Gurdjieff Logistics, Industrial and Land Manager at Forton. “This is a significant difference from 2013. But besides them, the corporate segment also remains active – primarily on the part of retailers and logistics operators looking for land for their own stores and warehouses.”

In Bulgaria and Macedonia Forton is leading provider of commercial real estate services for investors, corporates and banks. Forton is an independently owned and operated member of the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance in the two countries and part of AG Capital, the largest Bulgarian real estate service group which also includes Address, Facility Optimum, BLD and Unique Estates, among others. Forton offers end to end solutions for office, retail and logistics developments, hotels, resorts, residential and specialized projects and properties. Its experts can help with investment planning and consultancy, leasing of office, retail and industrial space, sales and acquisitions, business consulting, valuation, property and asset management. As a company regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Forton works in accordance with the highest international real estate service standards. Its partnership with Cushman & Wakefield allows it to serve as a gateway between the Bulgarian and the global economy.

Cushman & Wakefield is the world’s largest privately-held commercial real estate services firm. The company advises and represents clients on all aspects of property occupancy and investment, and has established a preeminent position in the world’s major markets, as evidenced by its frequent involvement in many of the most significant property leases, sales and assignments. Founded in 1917, it has 253 offices in 60 countries and more than 14,000 employees. It offers a complete range of services for all property types, including leasing, sales and acquisitions, equity, debt and structured finance, corporate finance and investment banking, corporate services, property management, facilities management, project management, consulting and appraisal. The firm has more than $4 billion in assets under management globally. A recognized leader in local and global real estate research, the firm publishes its market information and studies online at



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