While real estate markets in some European countries such as Ireland and Spain have still to recover from the economic downturn the sector in Albania is looking forward to a boost when the country joins the community in 2014.
Joining the European Union has traditionally been a factor that has seen increased interest from overseas buyers. For example, property prices in Estonia trebled on entering the EU, while the Slovak Republic and Slovenia saw property prices double and Cyprus saw a 40% increase.
Forecasts by experts say that the Balkan Peninsular will start its recovery in 2011 and they are confident that it is time to invest. Activity in the private sector has recently showed an increase in merger and acquisition transactions as well as restarting property developments that had been purchased before the crisis. Experts believe that real estate will be the first sector to benefit from this recovery.
A recent poll by Arrowtrak of businesses in the region said that 37% are considering expanding into the Balkans, investing or creating a joint venture within the next year. This potential surge of investment will have the effect of increasing wealth in the relevant countries. With more overseas investment Albania will see an increase in expats moving to the area. This will benefit property prices, particularly focusing on areas where they will live and spent leisure time.
Some locations, such as the Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa, are expecting a boost. It is aiming to provide investors with five star amenities, on of the first such developments in Albania. Albania is working hard to change it’s image and is confident that by 2014, as it enters the EU that it will be considered a new era destination hot spot that will appeal to far more than just the intrepid traveller.
Albania’s Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, has pledged ‘to attract greater foreign investment and development’. He is welcoming expansion programmes such as Lalzit Bay, bringing with it jobs for local people, foreign wealth and a touch of class and sophistication that has not been seen in this country before.
European Union Ministers have said visa requirements for Albanians and Bosnians will be lifted starting in December 2010 as the two states work towards EU membership. According to Ravin Maharajah, sales director at Lalzit Bay, there is an air of optimism.