Romania prepares for a property revolution
If you’re considering a move abroad either as a fresh start or for your retirement, Romania probably isn’t going to be top of your list.
The former Eastern Bloc nation has had a pretty hard time since emerging from behind the Iron Curtain and overcoming the legacy of the Ceausescu family.
For example, there has been little to change the perception or prejudice left by grim stories of orphanages crammed with children barely cared for under the old regime back in the early 1990’s.
Even the nation’s acceptance more recently as a member of the EU hasn’t been enough to lift its image a great deal and many will still be unaware of the modern government’s attempts to rejuvenate the economy and carve a new niche for the country 30 years on from its darkest hour.
From Iron Curtain to EU State
So, at Keyholders International we were both intrigued and delighted to be invited to speak as experts at a conference on property in Bucharest earlier this year and our overseas managing director Gurol Gurses joined delegates from across the globe to advise the Romanians on steps which could be taken to energise the market and attract more overseas investment.
Gurol was able to outline lessons learned from Turkey, Portugal, Greece and Spain who have already realised it’s not just a case of “if you build them, they will come”. As well as his extensive experience in overseas property markets, Gurol also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Housing Studies from The University of Glasgow and for many years, his career saw him working with local government in the UK, helping to improve communities and housing provision. This experience makes him ideally placed to advise up and coming regions on the subject of infrastructure.
Wealthy investors from Europe and the Middle East – or even from as far away as China or the USA – are looking for much more than bricks and mortar.
They want to be able to sell a lifestyle choice and that means the Romanian government will probably need to consider inward investment in amenities like schools and hospitals, and to encourage more retail and leisure development close to any location being considered for new homes.
Turkey has also seen a spike in immigration since it offered citizenship to anyone investing $250,000 or more in property while Portugal, Spain and Greece operate a Golden Visa scheme, which gives foreign nationals the right of residency and allows them to apply for citizenship after a set period.
Gurol’s presentation to the Romanian government underlined the importance of laying foundations on which new communities could grow before inviting investment from luxury property developers – and it’s a theme they want to learn more about.
The result is that it seems likely we’ll be missing our overseas managing director for a few more days later in the year when he returns to Bucharest to elaborate on the theme.
We don’t yet have properties to offer in Romania but, if the government remains open to advice and continues to be progressive in its thinking, it may not be too long before we can add homes from the nation to our portfolio and perhaps take a little satisfaction from a small part played in opening a new market to the world.
In the meantime, though, we’re here if you need us for advice on property investment in Portugal, Spain, Turkey or Greece. If there’s anything else you think we might be able to help with, why not have a browse through earlier blog posts or feel free to get in touch.
In the meantime, you may be able to find what you’re looking for on other pages of our website where you can read advice on how to obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal, a Golden Visa in Spain, how to qualify for citizenship in Turkey or to obtain a Golden Visa in Greece. Also, if you enjoyed this post and think others might find it useful, please feel free to pass it on.