The decreasing trend is expected to continue for the next two years. “We came to this conclusion by analyzing the activities of our 14 operating offices in Romania. We will see prices growing again when the international market settles,” said Gabriel Alexandru, vice-president of Century 21 Romania. The major cause of the drop in prices and slowdown of transactions with old apartments locally was the rising cost of credit and the decreasing demand for loans, according to Alexandru. The number of transactions targeting second-hand apartments was visibly lower in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period of last year.
Century 21 Romania has been active on the local market since last year. The company has signed 14 franchising contracts so far in Romania and plans to reach a franchising network of 140 offices by 2012 targeting every city with a population exceeding 50,000 inhabitants, according to Thomas Ludin, president of the local operation. By the end of 2009, the company plans to hold 10 percent of the Bucharest-based real estate market. The franchising tax for a Century 21 agency is EUR 24,000 and will be set at EUR 15,000 when the firm reaches 21 franchised offices.