Romania ranks third in Central and Eastern Europe after the Czech Republic and Poland by foreign property investments in 2007.
Romania last year upstaged most countries in the region with a growth of 144 pct in real estate investments that reached a total of 2.2 billion euro, some 20 pct of the amount directed to the region, reads a report by provider of real estate services Jones Lang LaSalle.
The 2.2 billion euro represent one third (31.4 pct) of total foreign direct investments in Romania, that stood in 2007 slightly above seven billion euro.
The previous year marked a record for European property investments that exceeded 92 billion euro. The growth against the previous year was 16 pct.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INS), investments in Romanian economy – materialised in new construction works, investments in plant and other outlays – totalled 11.8 billion euro.
"The 2.2 billion euro in foreign property investments is a high figure compared to aggregate foreign direct investments in the same interval. Yet the turmoil on financial markets might also affect the real estate market, with less property transactions in the first period of 2008," said Radu Zilisteanu, of the Romanian Realtors Association.
According to the Jones Lang LaSalle report, the retail segment accounted for almost half of Romanian property transactions, office buildings – for 34 pct, hotels and industrial space – for 8 pct each.
Analysts estimate for the first half of 2008 a lower amount of property transactions in the region in comparison with the year before, due to the investors’ indecision for selling or buying.