At a conference held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, expert consultants from the CBS team presented the latest real estate market data for 2023 to prominent representatives of banks and also outlined trends for the upcoming period. The focus of the market movements from the previous year and the upcoming period was presented by experts from various sectors of business at CBS International: real estate valuation and market research sector, office space sector, residential property sector, retail property sector, and industrial space and land sector.

Where were we, and where are we going in 2024?

When it comes to real estate demand, the market for office space stands out, which is nearly at its peak in Belgrade, where demand exceeds supply. The greatest interest is in Class A buildings, predominantly located in New Belgrade.

During the past year, almost 160,000 square meters of office space were built. Additionally, investors continue with the realization of new projects this year, with plans to build an additional 60,000 square meters this year and an additional 120,000 square meters during the following year. Among the largest projects are Airport City Belgrade – Business Avenue, AFI City Zmaj, and Hyde Park City. Given that the population of Belgrade is constantly increasing, this area is ideal for further development and new investments in the office space market.

Also notable is the market for modern retail space in Serbia, with an offer exceeding 1,220,000 square meters. This market is in an intensive construction phase, with shopping centers in Belgrade leading the way, while the construction of retail parks contributes to the increase in the square footage of retail space. Predictions are that the trend from 2023 will continue in 2024, supported by the fact that six new retail parks are expected to open in smaller cities in Serbia.

The team of experts at CBS International dealing with residential projects emphasized that this segment of the market is among the most dynamic.

The increase in the construction of residential real estate, which was recorded two years ago, was followed by a decrease in demand in the previous year, reflected in a smaller number of buyers opting to purchase in the early stages of construction. The total decrease in the number of transactions in 2023 was 25 percent, which can also be attributed to reduced supply of new projects, or new phases of already built multifaceted projects. However, despite these indicators, the Belgrade market is perceived as a key investment opportunity.

This is evidenced by the construction of residential units in New Belgrade, as well as the increasing supply of properties in municipalities belonging to the central part of Belgrade.

The market for logistics real estate stands out as extremely active, experiencing a particular boom with the rise of online shopping. Last year, the total supply of modern warehouses and production facilities in Serbia exceeded six million square meters, and this market is expected to show a growing trend in the coming years. Highly attractive locations for expanding the industrial and logistics market near Belgrade include locations along the highways to Zagreb and Novi Sad, Pančevački put, Zrenjaninski put, and the highway to Niš (Leštane).

To this list, the increasingly popular hotel market and investment in this segment are added. Today, Belgrade has 136 hotels, with a continued shortage of luxury hotels and international hotel chains. However, 2023 was a record year for the highest number of hoteliers. In the coming period, this trend is expected to continue, especially with the contribution of Expo 2027, which is expected to attract around 2.6 million visitors.

The conference also highlighted the impressive fact that in the last few years, the volume of investment transactions in Serbia has exceeded 1.3 billion euros, with the retail space sector having the highest share, while the office space market contributed 480 million euros.

At the end of the presentation, representatives of the banking sector had the opportunity to give their opinions on current events, as well as future investments in the economy. The conclusion is that, in addition to commercial projects, it is expected that the largest investment in the next five years will be in alternative energy sources, and the event concluded with a visit to the exhibition of Nadežda Petrović.

CBS International is part of the Cushman & Wakefield group, one of the world's largest real estate consulting companies, with over 52,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. It has a portfolio of over 5,000 clients, providing exceptional service in the field of real estate valuation and development consulting, investment advice, leasing and sale of office and retail spaces, leasing and sale of residential spaces, leasing and sale of industrial facilities, land sales, market research, project management, marketing, property management, and maintenance. Additionally, it provides consulting services to property owners, investors, and tenants on every aspect of real estate-related business, whether it's construction, buying, selling, financing, leasing, valuation, or property management.

CBS International has been operating in the Serbian real estate market for a full 17 years, while according to official data, it has been the market leader for 13 years. It stands out with an impressive team of professionals of around 400 employees within the CBS Group, which operates in 5 markets. With highly successful offices in Serbia, Croatia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro, the company continues its business expansion in Austria, where an international representative office has been opened.