Property News

The Saint Petersburg International Exhibition of Foreign Property

The Saint Petersburg International Exhibition of Foreign PropertyThe VI International Exhibition of Foreign Property – the St. Petersburg International Property Show took place on 1-2 April in the northern capital. The organisers were Aigroup, the company that traditionally runs the exhibition.

160 companies took part in the spring exhibition, offering a catalogue that encompassed propositions in over 35 countries. Approximately 13% of these companies were newcomers to the exhibition. Their interest in Russian consumers is easily explained.

Russia is becoming an increasingly evident player on the global property market, the volume of deals in which Russian individuals or legal entities are investors is growing annually. According to certain analytical data, more than 50 thousand such deals were made in 2009.

Moreover, approximately 40% of these were attributable to Saint Petersburg residents and those of the surrounding Leningrad region.

A distinguishing feature of the exhibition was the Bulgaria Property section, a country whose market has been experiencing a steady demand amongst Russians in general and Saint Petersburg inhabitants in particular over the past few years. Companies representing real estate on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, as well as in its big cities, constituted 20% of the aggregate volume of the show’s exhibitors.

Another destination widely represented at the last exhibition was Spain. In the words of Lyubov Sobinova of the company AG-2 Asesores, this was unexpected, but very positive. “The great many participants from Spain lend credence to the fact that Russian interest in Spain is extremely high. Indeed, our decision to take part in the show is based on monitoring and research in current demand and a little healthy business competition is never a bad thing.”

Olga Volf from IPC Russia agrees with the opinion of her colleagues: “From the 20 countries in which our company represents property, we choose five on which to work at the exhibition, those that were, in our opinion, the most interesting and in demand. These included Spain, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Bulgaria. I have to say, we made the right decision. The demand is, in fact, very high, moreover, more often than not people arrived already prepared to make a deal. They knew exactly what region and what type of property interests them.”

Traditionally for Saint Petersburg, great interest was shown towards the company stands displaying property in Scandinavia, and in particular in Finland. Visitors to the exhibition were also offered the chance to familiarise themselves with investment opportunities in exotic locations, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the Caribbean.

Visitor numbers at the show were high. The second day of the exhibition fell on a weekend and many Petersburg residents maximised the opportunity to use it wisely, visiting LenExpo in which the St. Petersburg International Property Show was taking place. In total the number of people who attended the show reached around the 7000 mark.

The organisers were even approached with the request to extend the event from 2 to 3 days in order to include a second day of the weekend, Sunday, a move that participants felt would attract still greater visitor figures. However, Kim Vaddup, president of AI Group, the event organisers, believes that the two-day format is optimum in terms of duration and the concentration of visitor flow. Mostly B2B clients attend the event on a Friday, whereas on Saturdays exhibitors are able to focus exclusively on interacting with private clients.

The show’s organisers and participants are satisfied with both this approach and the results delivered by the exhibition, remaining strong in their conviction that future events will only add to that significant success.

In addition to negotiating with partners, working with potential clients, and general familiarisation with the catalogue of propositions, exhibitors and visitors actively participated in the seminars organised within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Property Show. These seminars tackled issues focused on the most relevant questions facing business today, as well as discussing topics related to working in particular areas.

The last Saint Petersburg exhibition demonstrated several trends – the stable growth of the mutual interest of participants in foreign property, and secondly, the widening of the geographical interests of Petersburg consumers.