The Building Directorate of Serbia has been managing investments in construction and projects of national importance for 18 years. Its director, Nebojša Šurlan, explains that the “real estate market has registered constant growth during the past two years.”
– There are several foreign investors present, and the reason lies in legislative improvements, leading to more efficient administrative procedures and greater legal certainty in doing business for investment companies. Data indicates that during the past year the total residential fund was increased by around 5,000 apartments. So, people are building more, and they are also buying more.
The conditions for buying an apartment are currently extremely favourable, since interest rates for housing loans are nearly twice below the values from around ten years ago, so banks are offering their clients housing loans at rates of around three per cent. Regarding loans for those buying homes in the new settlement called Zemunske Kapije, built by the Directorate, fourteen banks have signed annexes with NMIC for providing loans from the zero-phase of construction, with interest rates starting as low as around 2.6%, representing a record low in interest rates for housing loans. For several years now the Directorate has been approving interest-free loans of up to 9.1% for those buying their first apartment and holding the right to VAT refunds. This represents additional support to be used by buyers to secure a down-payment for a housing loan.
We are proud of the Zemunske Kapije project, a settlement with 1,700 apartments where, in addition to our previous experience in construction, we are applying new and modern designs
Which of the Directorate’s projects would you note as above-average in success, primarily regarding aesthetics, but also regarding the use of modern technological and construction achievements?
– I would note our current project of building the Zemunske Kapije settlement. Within the area of the former “Aleksa Dundić” barracks in Zemun we are building a modern settlement, with 1,700 apartments, i.e. around 200 thousand square metres of residential-commercial space. We are making an effort to apply our past experience and lessons learned in this project, to be better and more successful. The architectural design for the complex is modern and interesting.
The settlement will gravitate towards a central square, a pedestrian zone to be equipped with active features and lighting, as well as numerous commercial units, such as restaurants, cafés and shops. We made sure to provide quality thermal and sound insulation, so we envisaged a façade sandwich wall with exceptional thermal properties.
The apartments will be connected to the district heating system, with the option of regulating the temperature within the apartments and charging for heating by use. For office spaces we planned a heating system using heat pumps. In order to raise awareness of the importance of saving energy, LED lights have been envisaged for lighting hallways, stairways and halls, powered by photo-voltage systems on the roofs of buildings. We have also worked on innovations to the security and video surveillance system etc. I believe we will be proud of this project and that Zemunske Kapije will be a beautiful and comfortable place to live.
What trends do you expect in 2017 for the construction sector and what are the Directorate’s plans for the coming year?
– For 2018, the Building Directorate of Serbia is focused on the construction of residential facilities in the Zemunske Kapije settlement, though we will complete two buildings in the Sunčana Strana settlement in Novi Sad, and we are also planning to start a new project – the construction of residential facilities in Block 63 in New Belgrade.