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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » March 1, 2013
The Real Estate Voice
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Long-Term Potential
March 1, 2013   
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Mirosław Bednarek, country manager for developer Matexi Polska, talks to the Voice.

Tell us about Matexi.

The Matexi Group is the largest residential real estate developer in Belgium. The company was founded in 1945 and is still owned by the founding family. Matexi Group possesses the expertise and financial strength to be able to accomplish a large number of highly varied projects each year. These are concentrated in long-term investments in property projects and businesses.
More than two years ago Matexi decided to start a residential real estate development company in Warsaw as its first branch office in the CEE region.

Why Poland?

The reason Matexi chose Poland was the long-term potential that the group saw in residential development in Poland on the whole, and in Warsaw in particular. The stable political situation, constant market demand for affordable housing projects and positive economic forecasts were also very strong advantages.

What current and future projects are you undertaking?

Eight months ago Matexi Polska started construction of its first project—Górce. 142, located in Warsaw’s Bemowo district—comprising 50 apartments and three retail units. The project is located in a peaceful neighborhood, far from big-city noise.

The construction of its second project, this time in the Bielany district, will start in the coming weeks. In the building there will be 93 apartments varying from 33 sq m to 94 sq m in size and retail units and offices on the ground floor. Residents will have a two-story garage at their disposal, together with 43 storage units. Clients will be able to choose from wide range of two- and three-room apartments with balconies and terraces.

Matexi’s third project will be located in the Ursynów district. In the five- and six-story buildings there will be 120 apartments, retail units and office space with a separate reception desk and elevator. Future residents will have an underground garage at their disposal.

What’s the company’s long-term strategy in Poland?

The strategy is to concentrate Matexi’s resources on the Warsaw market. In the long term, Matexi’s strategy in Warsaw is aimed at average annual sales of about 300 units. After establishing a presence in Warsaw, Matexi is planning to look for opportunities in other cities in Poland.

All the way, Matexi will continue working with external partners including agents, architects and general contractors.

What do you expect to happen on the housing market in Warsaw in the next three years?

Although the housing market in Warsaw at the moment is very competitive, Matexi is deeply convinced that with the right product and the right price or a good location there is and will be enough interested buyers.

2013 will be quite a challenge for developers, especially small ones. Expectations linked to the new government program for future buyers, Mieszkanie dla Młodych (MdM), may cause some turbulence on the market, but the forecasts for the months and years ahead are positive and a future improvement of the economic situation is expected.

What’s the biggest barrier hindering the development of the market?

There are various challenges that developers are facing right now, and in our view the most important are:
administration processes related to applications for a building permit;
in some areas, the uncertain legal status of the ownership of land on the market; and access to funding sources, both for buyers and developers.

What’s the best way of overcoming such barriers?

With respect to the legal status of sites, we believe that this can only be solved by a law that puts an end to all the uncertainties. For the time being, our solution is due diligence as the first step in everything.

With respect to funding issues, we are a part of a financially stable group, which provides us access to capital. We also pay very close attention to the experience and professionalism of our business partners.
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