Macedonia, Montenegro May Be the New Las Vegas, Monte Carlo?

Macedonia, Montenegro May Be the New Las Vegas, Monte Carlo?

Macedonia and Montenegro may be the next Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, according to the participants in the early panel discussion of the second day of the Balkan Real Estate Conference (BalREc), taking place in Sofia's Kempinski Hotel Zografski.

The smaller the country the better for the real estate property market, George Bobvos of TriGranit Development said. A sensible policy, however, is also necessary for the success, Bobvos added.

There is a small number of projects underway in Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania, which hikes the prices to levels close to these in the Central and Eastern European countries, Bobvos said.

The office space in Albania stands at just 28,000 m2 but new 60,000 m2 of class A office space is under construction at present, Stella Dami of Colliers Albania said. There are only two large-scale commercial sites in Tirana. One of the buildings has 25,000 m2 of commercial space and was constructed by a local company, while the other was built by Italy's Casa Italia.

”The construction works on the first business park have already been launched near the airport in Albania's capital, while the areas near Tirana and Durres have potential to become industrial zones”, Dami added.

Residential property prices stand at 500-850 euros per m2 for in outskirts of Tirana and at 1000-1500 euros per m2 in the downtown areas. The office space is rented for between 17 and 23 euros/m2 per month.

The project for the first shopping mall in Montenegro will be completed by the end of the year. The rents for commercial space in the country range between 35 and 60 euro/m2 per month, while the rents for office space stand at 20-27 euro/m2.

The prices on the market are high while the quality is low. There is no office space even for foreign embassies in the country, according to George Bobvos.

There are good prospects before Ohrid and the ski resorts, Borijan Borozanov of Invest Macedonia said. There is still lack of class A office space in the Macedonia, but the areas in proximity to the border with Greece are shaping up as casono centres, Borozanov added.

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