"After 15 years of real estate presence in the Nordic countries, we have decided to enter other markets, and Poland will be the first non-Nordic country where NREP will invest. In our market philosophy, customer orientation and sustainable approach to real estate, including the use of environmental solutions, are key. We believe that these values will be our significant advantage also for Polish partners and clients" - says Claus Mathisen, CEO and partner of NREP. "At the same time, a key element in our business approach is having strong local teams that share our philosophy and ethics. An important step in the implementation of this strategy will be the establishment of NREP's Warsaw office, which should be up and running in the coming weeks and reach a headcount of 8-10 people by the end of 2021." - adds NREP's CEO.
In the residential sector, the company intends to offer rental apartments, focusing in the initial phase on smaller, modern units designed for small households such as young professionals, singles or couples without children. In its first residential transaction on the Polish market, it will take over 1,000 apartments from the offer of Finnish developer YIT. Over time, it does not rule out taking on high quality multi-family residential buildings and ambitious development projects. NREP will also focus on logistics in Poland. Logicenters, a platform specialized in the warehouse segment, has 1.5 million square meters across Scandinavia and offers customer-oriented and sustainable logistics properties.
"We are the largest pan-Nordic provider of modern logistics facilities, and the Polish market is one of the key ones in Europe - in addition, it is growing four times faster than, for example, Sweden. Poland is sometimes described as the European economic tiger, with low unemployment and rising wages. However, the quality and supply of real estate lags behind its impressive growth rates. Therefore, we see an opportunity to introduce a market approach characteristic for NREP and create value for all stakeholders," Claus Mathisen explains the decision to enter our market.
Last year NREP became famous for raising, despite the ongoing pandemic, €2 billion for new investments in the "Nordic Strategies Fund IV", which invests in residential real estate for rent, nursing homes, offices, and modern logistics in Scandinavian countries, and it is this fund that is behind the acquisition of shares of the Biuro Inwestycji Kapitałowych (BIK). In addition, in March this year, NREP raised a further €900m for its new semi-open fund 'NREP Income+', which aims to make long-term investments in residential buildings, offices, modern logistics facilities and social infrastructure.
As the representatives of the investor from Scandinavia emphasize, Poland is very well assessed in terms of prospects and macroeconomic performance. In Poland there are 5 out of 20 fastest developing cities in the European Union. Warsaw in turn has a place in the top 10 largest European cities. As an example of changing trends in demand for modern apartments and space, the investor cites Helsinki, where new single-person households account for as much as 52 percent of all new units. According to data for Poland at the end of 2018, the share of single-person households in the total structure of premises was 24.1 percent, and only in Cyprus, Slovakia and Portugal was it lower. In contrast, the EU average was 32.9 percent
"Our ambition is to make real estate more innovative, environmentally friendly and resident-friendly. We note that supply in the Polish real estate market is lagging behind high and strong economic growth. Additionally, demographic processes will further increase this dissonance. Today, in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, about 30-40 percent of people rent, while in Poland this percentage is only 15. We believe that this trend will also increase in Poland. We want to help make it a transformation in which we do not forget about the customers to whom this offer will be addressed. Three out of four houses in Poland today were built before 1989. I am convinced that in Poland, the demand for high quality homes with a greater emphasis on customer needs and ecological solutions will gradually grow in the coming years, especially in the area of private renting" - adds the CEO of NREP.
"The real estate sector in Poland is developing very dynamically and it is good if this growth is realized thanks to projects which also improve the quality of life in cities in an optimal way. Entering the Polish market of such investor as NREP, who takes a long-term perspective, is a chance to gradually change our market towards solutions oriented on improvement of the mentioned quality of life as well as implementation of sustainable development strategy, coinciding with the mission of Urban Land Institute, of which NREP is a member". - says Dorota Wysokińska-Kuzdra, President of Urban Land Institute in Poland and member of ULI Europe Executive Committee.
NREP's flagship on the Scandinavian market is innovative and sustainable real estate solutions. The group's ambition is to carry out this mission also in Poland. For example, NREP has developed unique and award-winning residential projects The Resource Rows and Upcycle Studios in Copenhagen, highly technologically advanced circular buildings (realised in accordance with the idea of closed-loop economy). At Upcycle Studios, nearly 70% of the materials used in construction were recycled, contributing to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. Stockholm authorities, in turn, selected NREP through a competition to develop residential projects in Skarpnäck. The winning entry, "The Idea Factory," will create a sustainable project that focuses on recycling materials and strengthening the area's local identity. According to the developer, creating homes from reused materials contributes to influential architecture with a history and strengthens the identity of the place. The project in Skarpnäck includes just over a hundred houses and a kindergarten. In the warehouse sector, on the other hand, NREP is behind the development of the largest rooftop solar power plant project in Scandinavia. The installation in Borås, will have an area of 60,000 sqm - equal to nine football fields - and a capacity of 5 MW. Supplying buildings with energy from 100% natural sources is another goal the Nordic investor has set for itself.
Source:// Property Forum