30/07/2020 Lora Petrova Gallery

Medium-term rentals are increasingly braver in entering the market

WHAT HAS PREDETERMINED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MEDIUM-TERM RENTALS SERVICE?

This service is ever more boldly entering the market, mostly in corporate environments. Unique Estates is actively working for promotion of the short-term and medium-term rental segments, namely the renting of properties for a period between 1 and 6 months. We provide assistance to our tenants and landlords for maintenance, servicing and auxiliary services in favour of the parties. These are mainly targeted at landlords who do not live in the country but would like their properties to be cared for, and tenants for whom the contact with a single person taking care of all their obligations is a great benefit. Unique Estates has a specially established unit ‘Property and Project Management’, for services in this direction, headed by an experienced manager in the face of Nadya Dragomirova.

HOW HAS THE LUXURY AND CORPORATE RENTALS MARKET CHANGE DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY?

Real estate market, just as every other industry was taken by surprised at the sudden occurrence of the state of emergency. Despite the initial shocking situation, many customers on both sides remained active on the market. At the beginning, visual inspections were virtual due to the general market uncertainty. The restricted possibilities for travelling temporarily delayed the market dynamics, especially among corporate clients.

Although on-the-spot inspections were limited, the interest in the real estate market has not disappeared. Now, some of the current transactions were initiated during the pandemic and are the result of the constant interest and joint efforts of all actors on the market. What is interesting is that it recovered almost instantly, now it is stabilizing and returning almost to its original levels. Business properties, in particular office spaces, were most affected. I expect the interest in them to grow in the long-term perspective. There is an increasing interest in rentals by customers who are selling their property and need to relocate until buying a new one.

We expect the unique luxury properties which are well-positioned in terms of pricing to generate considerable interest. Rental market remains in strong positions.

WHAT TYPE OF PROPERTIES ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS LOOKING FOR?

We have observed a higher quality of the properties offered in the country. In a situation where a more limited demand was expected, proactive landlords started improving the quality of their properties, especially in competition with those intended for short-term rent, via online booking platforms, some of whom are now reorienting.

Since people spent a long time at their home, it has become a real focus on comfort. A demand has started for properties that can provide it, even at higher price levels, rent of houses, larger apartments, with terraces, greenery, park areas, houses with swimming pools. There is an increasing interest in renting houses for a medium-term at higher price levels, with a requirement for short-term rent, compensating the income of landlords at the expense of the duration of contract.

Increasing demand is observed for rented properties for Bulgarians returning from abroad, as well as rented properties in the holiday-making segment.

WHAT TENANTS EXPECT AND WHAT ARE THE COMPROMISEs THAT LANDLORDS ARE WILLING TO MAKE?

The requirements of tenants vary, depending on personal needs and priorities, as well as home and comfort-related requirements. Mutual contractual relations are always a key factor for the relationship established between a tenant and a landlord. Here the role of the experienced consultant is to balance these relations at the core. I recommend the use of a consultant when leasing or renting a property, both for the building of this balance and for the correct assessment of the customers on the demand and supply side, respectively. The consultant has a broad view of the market, processes, etc. and can always be of a benefit for both parties.

DID THE RENTAL PRICE LEVELS CHANGE? HOW?

There was initially a trend for decrease in rental price levels, mostly by people who decided to benefit from the situation and renegotiate their current rental price levels. Some of the landlords were willing to make compromises at that time, and with loosening the measures and resumption of the possibility to travel the market got active again.

HOW ARE VISUAL INSPECTIONS CONDUCTED TODAY? HAVE VIRTUAL TOURS PENETRATED ENOUGH OR PEOPLE STILL PREFER TO VIEW THE PROPERTY IN REAL, WITH THE NECESSARY MEASURES?

Digital marketing became a key tool. We actively use Viber, Face Time, Zoom meetings, virtual tours, filming of video tours for the properties to support visual inspections and meetings. Nothing can replace the on-the-spot inspection, and now, with the removal of the restrictive measures the activization of the market is evident. The requirements for social distancing imposed some new rules in the making of on-the-spot inspections, for example as regards piling of people in indoor premises. Of course, all these requirements are complied with for the safety of brokers and customers.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN THIS SEGMENT?

It is difficult to forecast how the pandemic would affect the market in a longer-term perspective. However, as a direct player, I am presently optimistic for the real estate market. The market of real properties in the country is in one of its strongest periods for the last decade, and a large part of the energy, demand and supply is still active. With the final dismissal of the measures the activities intensify. Real estates have always been the safe approach for investors in conditions of uncertainty, as well as the desire for and feeling of home have never been more important than now. No doubt that „Cash is the king “– the people with investment resources or having access to financing will be in a rather good position to negotiate a favourable deal. For those who have decided to postpone their investment until the end of the pandemic, the competition on the demand side will increase. The investment in real estates is a good alternative to the stock market.

Investments suggest an asset that could be used and generate income in a different way – holding, sale, renting out or dwelling – depending on personal needs. One thing is for sure – people will always need a place to live, create memories and make their dreams come true. We are here for them.

 

Zara Koteva
Manager Luxury and Corporate Clients
zkoteva@ues.bg    |   +359 885 331 148

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