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Affordable price is the key

JFH Real Estate entered the Slovak real estate market at the top of the crisis. So far they aredoing well. What makes the difference?

Alexander Zavacký, Manager for Slovakia, JFH Real Estate Alexander Zavacký, Manager for Slovakia, JFH Real Estate

JFH Real Estate entered the Slovak real estate market at the top of the crisis. So far they are
doing well. What makes the difference?

A new investor in real estate at the peak of the crisis. Is that sane?
As a group, for several years, we have been active in neighbouring Czech Republic and Poland. Slovakia is a natural expansion. The crisis has just helped the expansion as it has put the market at a more sustainable level for long term investors such as us. The continuously growing expectations of values in real estate created a bubble which needed to burst. We are back to fundamentals: what can clients really pay.

So, in two years, what have you done in Slovakia?
We have started slowly but surely, as it is one of our core mottos. We have identified a good business opportunity in northern Slovakia – Cadca. For many people this was a surprising step but we decided after seeing the parameters of the project: a skilled and down-to-earth local construction company and serious business partner; good standards considering the location and price of the project.

What about Bratislava??
Last year we acquired a „raw construction“ in the center of Bratislava which we decided to
finish. This project – Hamilton House – should fill a gap in the office space market which we
identified 2 years ago and which we consider still needs to be dealt with.

Is there still demand for office space?
We think that for this kind of office space - yes. When we started our business in Slovakia we found it difficult to find a small office of 70 sqm in a prime location for adequate prices – and more importantly – with parking. Our project in Rajská street should fulfill all those demands. Equally important to note, the building will be designed as a typical classical late 19th century Parisian building.

What about other projects?
As I said we are selective and cautious. However, things seem to be accelerating as we are finalizing the acquisition of a middle-sized office building which is fully rented and fits our small office target. Bigger projects I believe are on the horizon.

Is the company oriented just on real estate?
JFHRE is managed by its internal management company Hamilton & Co. The group is involved in asset management, accounting, bookkeeping, real estate agency, engineering and design. We are also actively developing our residential property management company, Domus. In addition, we are active in agriculture through Hamilton & Co Agri-Business and Hamilton Farms.

What is the biggest problem regarding real estate in Slovakia?
Banks sometimes, client trust ... and unrealistic expectations...

Unrealistic expectations?
Yes. We have to remember what our clients can really afford to pay for a flat or pay as rent.
Our job is to meet this reality not fit our expectations of profit and market values...

For more information visit www.jfhrealestate.eu

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