We are heading towards a perfect storm but the dust will settle agreed panellists at the 4th annual CRE Awards CEO Investment Forum organised by Europaproperty.com in Budapest, Hungary. An annual prelude to the main gala awards event.

“We are used to adapting to new situations,” said Manfred Wiltschnigg, the managing partner of Galleon Capital Management. “Opportunities and chances in our region are high and positive. There’s money to be spent, the main issue is the health of the end user. The next six months will be challenging, but we will survive.”

“ESG – the industry has to wake up to this,” commented Hubert Abt, the CEO and founder of New Work Offices. “There has never been a better time to address these issues. It’s a standard, you have to be certified and ESG-orientated. A lot of funding is now based on green funding.”

“The PRS market looks promising and could be the next big thing,” said Ariel Alejandro Ferstman, the CFO and management board member at GTC. “Poland is in a great position and could be a big winner.” He continued: “Belgrade is also a great market, it is undervalued at the moment. The big issue is liquidity. However, the office market is very strong in Serbia’s capital, there is huge demand.”

Hubert Abt, added: “there is a lot of potential for growth on the flex office side throughout the region.”

The panellists agreed that the market faces a lot of challenges. Peter Takas, a partner at Newmark VLK Hungary, said “There will be many renegotiations and rethinking of how you should approach your business. Current inflation and interest rates – are what they are – we have to get on with it. Real estate is a safe haven. Concentrate on core businesses.”

In summary, the panel concluded, “Focus on the long-term play. In the short term, there are good opportunities to deploy capital. There is huge potential in Serbia.”