The end of October 2011 in St. Petersburg was traditionally marked by St. Petersburg International Property Show organized by aiGroupMore than 160 companies which worked on the property market and more than 6,500 visitors took part in the event, where offers from all over the world were presented. Traditionally popular property from Spain, Bulgaria and Turkey were accompanied with the offers from the USA, Canada, the Great Britain and other countries which were relatively new for St. Petersburg. The reason for that, probably, is in the general recovery which characterizes 2011 and which goes on the background of comparatively low prices which didn’t yet reach the before-crises level.
All the participants without exception among which are both novices and regular exhibitors mentioned not only high interest to the Property Show but a very specific demand. The representative of “North West Estate”, particularly, says: “The main feature of St. Petersburg market is in its demand. The visitors know precisely what kind of project they are looking for to invest their money and the volume of the supposed investment as well.
Generally Russian market is very promising, because Russians have so called “live” money instead of loan capital as it used to be in Europe and the US. Regarding the Property Show I have to say that we regularly participate in it, although we had to wait 1,5 year for the chance to take part in it. The waiting wasn’t vain and we’re very delighted with the Show”.
The high performance of the International Property Show was noted by other participants as well, among which the development company from Latvia “Saliena” is. Sales Director Kaspars Zukmanis said, that the collaborating with Russian market was positively effective. Established in 1999 the company in 2004 offered for sale the property in the Saliena residential, and first the target audience was Latvian citizens. Although in 2006 the demand on the local market began to decrease, and the decision to go to the Russian market was made. Since 2008 “Saliena” has cooperated with aiGroup, and takes part in every Show.
The most noticeable demand can be observed in 2011: whereas in January “Saliena” had 40 houses for sale, today there’re just 7 houses. Mr. Zukmanis considered such a big success of 2011 was mostly provoked by the changes in Immigration Policy according to which the buyers of Latvian property whose investment volume exceeded 45,000 Euro are entitled with the Latvian temporary residence permit. Another reason which favors the demand is an air connection between St Petersburg and Riga: the flight lasts just 50 minutes. “I suppose that the commuting in St Petersburg takes more time”, — Kaspars Zukmanis jokes.
Russian market became a perfect alternative market not only for “Saliena”. Eugenio Fernandez de Paz, Sales Director in Edustro S. A. U., a company from Diagonal Plaza Group (Spain) says: “We began to work with Russians in 2006. Till that time the vast majority of property owners on the Canary Islands in generally and Tenerife in particular had consisted of Britons, Germans and Spanish. According to our experience, there was no mistake in going onto the Russian market, quite the contrary: today up to 70% of the owners of the apartments built by Edustro S. A. U. are Russians. The secret of such a big success, I think, is both in the uniqueness of the Canary Islands and in the highest quality of property and services provided by our company.
In addition, in the last years there have been a lot of changes in Russia — the mentality towards the International property purchasing, the visas, the air connection between Tenerife and Russia, etc. St. Petersburg residents compared to Moscow residents are still not very good familiar to the procedure of buying the property abroad, and that’s why they ask a lot of questions. I consider it is a very good sign which indicates the readiness to invest, and St. Petersburg is strategically a very important destination”.
This optimism is rather reasonable: last year more than 500,000 Spanish property objects were sold, that is 4,5% up on the 2009. Turkish property was also widely presented during the Show. Such a large-scale participation can be easily explained by statistic, which justifies a huge demand and volume of sales.
According to it, the total number of bargains with the Turkish property in 2010 was 40% up on the previous year, and this number tends to increase. Besides property of the Anatolian coast there was a property from other Turkish regions as well. “The Infinity Homes” was the only exhibitor offered to know more about Fethiye, a region which is popular among Europeans and relatively bad familiar in Russia.
Another destination, new for St. Petersburg residents, which was presented in the International Property Show was Slovakia, the property in this country offered company Nelly & Kyrie. “I’d like to thank the organizers for such a high level of the Exhibition: everything is of a good quality.
Regarding the effectiveness of our working during the Show, I’ve to say that there’s an interest to the destination but it’s not a specific demand. I suppose the reason is in unfamiliarity Slovakia to Russians, that’s why we mostly talking to people, telling them about Slovakia in general, about the property market there, advantages of purchasing it, etc. By the way, among the advantages is a possibility of entitling with a residence permit. I’m sure the next step will be the specification of demand for Slovakian property,”— the representative of the company said.
One of the most exotic destinations in the Show was Dominican Republic. Manuel Paceko, a Director of Investments and Development Department of the Ministry of Tourism, told about his experience in the Show: “We’re for the Second time in St Petersburg. Our first visit was rather successful, and we’re expecting to consolidate that. Dominican Republic is well-known tourist destination. However, last years the tourism changed a lot.
Nowadays tourists are looking for the second home, for a place where they could spend a month or two, where they could come several times during the year. At the moment USA citizens are the leaders among the international investors in the Republic, and the reason is geographical. The other leading group of investors is Spanish, that’s explained by historical and cultural traditions. However, the number of Russians becomes more and more appreciable as well”.
Big hopes of Russian market have another exhibitor from the Western hemisphere. Jeff Gutnik, a president of Ittex LTD., came to the Show with an exclusive offer — the rooms in Trump Toronto Hotel. “Canada itself is a very strong brand, — Jeff says, — and it’s enough to attract the attention to the stand of our company. The loyal immigration policy, strong banking system, high level of life, — everything helps us in business. It’s interesting, that in spite of being obviously very promising Russian market still isn’t flood with the Canadian property companies, and I’m sort of a pioneer here offering Russians a specific property object. The investments in this sector can’t be unattractive: according to the statistic, property prices in Canada in October 2011 aroused 4.5% up on the October 2010. It’s pleasant that the majority of visitors interested in my offer are grounded in investments, and I’m sure that some of them will be our clients”.
As usual, during the International Property Show a sufficient number of seminars were organized, where the most urgent issues concerning International Property market were discussed.
Generally, St. Petersburg demonstrated itself as a very dynamic market again. Many regular participants emphasized that there were quality changes in demand, and the appearance of the novices in this Show was another proof of a high interest to St. Petersburg in the whole world.