Saturday, June 22, 2024
Real Estate

Montenegro Properties – The Rise and Rise of Experiential Luxury


Miodrag Spahić - May 17, 2024

Interview with Aleksandra Drašković, Founder & CEO of Montenegro Properties


Tell us about your history, experience and expertise in your respective market including why sellers and buyers should choose you as their preferred partner?

Montenegro Properties has started its business in Montenegro in 2006, focusing on top-quality residential and mixed real estate, foreign investments and development. Since then, we have been operating successfully in the real estate market, while also playing an important role in presenting Montenegro as an emerging destination to the world. Back in 2009, we took part in MIPIM in Cannes, together with the Montenegrin Investment Promotion Agency (MIPA), which was very successful. We are proud of any opportunity we had which meant supporting investments and development in Montenegro. We are also proud that on the list of our clients with whom we had a big pleasure to cooperate with there are HNWI.

Montenegro Properties is also the winner of three awards handed out by the International Property Awards, the world’s most famous accreditation house which hands out awards as a sign of excellence to professionals in the field of real estate. Among others, the jury features members of the U.K. Parliament. The first award we got from them was for the best website, then we got the acknowledgment for the best real estate agent, and last year, we got the best real estate marketing award.

In 2022, we had the opportunity to present Montenegro at EXPO 2020 in Dubai, where we held the presentation titled “Montenegro: Unlocking Potential for Growth”. Montenegro Properties is a member of British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce. Also, we have established very close ties with Arab communities in London, with beautifully appointed office in Mayfair, which we also occasionally use for our meetings with international investors. This year, we are organising a Montenegro-focused event, where we are going to present interesting investment opportunities in Montenegro to Arab communities in London. We combine our passion for property with social responsibility, as we understand that charity donations are actually giving back to the society. Our integrity, professionalism, client-oriented and focused-on-results approach, along with honest advice is what gives our clients the confidence to works with us. We are passionate about providing professional assistance to our clients on their personal property journeys, from understanding their criteria and requirements to opening doors to some of the finest properties in Montenegro. We always go ‘the extra mile’ to meet our clients’ objectives, thus extending far beyond what a conventional real estate agency offers. Also, we never believe in the pressure tactic, so our clients are never pressurised to buy a property.

Our commitment to acting honestly, with integrity, and always with clients’ best interests at heart, is fundamental to everything we do. Also, we have established a cooperation with experienced law firms with strong background and long experience in providing legal protection in Montenegro.

How do you foresee your market in 2024 and beyond? what is the probable price growth, arrival of new projects, buyer profile and nationality changes, etc?

Even if it is never easy to foresee the property market ahead, as it depends on many factors, there are some trends which are prevailing. We believe that luxury property sector will be on the up having in mind the growing community of HNWI. Luxury property sector has proved resiliency in economic turmoil times. It is also true that luxury real estate is much more immune to price fluctuations than lower-end properties. While non-luxury property market can be hit by slumps in prices, luxury property sector retains its desirability – a luxury property very often keeps its value even when the economy around it declines. One of the key advantages that also creates stability in the luxury real estate market is scarcity and again – exclusivity: as a rule, there is always only a limited number of luxury properties that are on the market, which means that their prices are not likely to fall due to limited availability. More luxury listings will temper price growth as the year goes on. Overall, that’s a good thing for the high-end market. Sellers will still fetch high prices, luxury clientele will have more to choose from and sales should go up. We think that luxury property sector can act as a hedge against inflation, providing an appreciating asset that can withstand market fluctuations and protect wealth. Interestingly, challenging market conditions did not stop luxury real estate sector from thriving in 2023 and there is a high probability it will keep that way in 2024 and beyond. Luxury is no longer confined to material possessions. It has evolved into a blend of experiences, values, and lifestyle in general. The property acquisition isn’t just a transaction anymore – it is an investment in a lifestyle that expresses the true essence of luxury. Regarding Adriatic region, we think that true luxury should arise from authenticity. In Montenegro, projects like Lustica Bay, which are being built in harmony with the Mediterranean and local authenticity define what luxury is, at its core. What I would also like to emphasize is the importance of investment migration. Namely, even if Citizenship by Investment Program is unfortunately closed now, Montenegrin Residency Program should also be regarded as an asset, in a world where luxury is evolving beyond the materialism, as these kind of programs stand as an epitome of experiential luxury and they have for sure redefined the concept of luxury itself. We hope this residency program in Montenegro will be more liberalised in terms of stay length restrictions.

As for the nationality changes, in the coming period as well, Montenegro Properties will be actively working on attracting investors from the Middle East. In the first quarter of 2024, we plan to present the investment possibilities of Montenegro in Riyadh, with the help of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce. Also, new golf course and golf residences might attract new clientele, these residences that we have presented recently in London to the Scottish golf community might initiate a new wave of clients from that part of the world.

What are some key insights and your tips of areas or property types which potential buyers should be aware of for future growth?

Areas that have performed best to date and are expected to continue the same way and where there is significant upside regarding the capital appreciation and return of investment are Tivat and Kotor Bay. As for the properties, premium residential property sector has proved remarkable resiliency amid market slowdowns. Projects like Porto Montenegro, Lustica Bay and Portonovi, with more people preferring mixed-use projects that incorporate residential, hotel and commercial spaces, reflect a desire for more comprehensive and fulfilling lifestyle experiences. Lustica Bay has started the construction of the first 18-hole golf course in the region, designed by Gary Player, a recognized name in the world of golf. The new project that Lustica Bay is developing – the construction of golf residences, will have 300 to 400 high-end units in close proximity to/right next to the golf course itself. We carried out a small survey and comparison with similar projects in Portugal, France and Spain, which has shown that, as a rule, such high-end facilities have always influenced the growth of the value of the real estate in the surroundings. The same will happen in Montenegro.

What are the most interesting and exciting properties currently in your portfolio (any history or interesting facts?

Among stunning trophy properties we have on our books, let me mention a few:

Bespoke One&Only villa on the waterfront, within Portonovi complex, a secluded private villa, which area is 463n sq m, with a private pool perfectly hidden from the outside world, with sublime views over the Adriatic Sea.

Golf Residences, Botanika Villas, we recommend a villa of 265 sq m, with exclusive usage area of 1020 sq m, available off-plan, with 4 years payment plan with 0 interest rate.

Botanika villa, total area 264.46 m2, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathroom, swimming pool 33.92 m2, exclusive usage area 1020 m2, delivery date June 2026, Price: EUR 2,571,000

Synchro Yards – Porto Montenegro, 2 bedroom-apartment, in Aurora building, within the most luxurious mixed-use complex within Porto Montenegro by far, with its sandy beach, within IVO 5* Hotel & Residences (part of Kerzner Group), area 168 m2. Price upon a request.

Synchro Yards – Porto Montenegro. Price upon a request.

Palace Tripkovic, built in the late 18th century, on eon the most impressive baroque palaces of the Boka Kotorska Bay. In 18th century family Tripković played an important part in the development of Dobrota in the field of trade, development of merchant fleet, construction and cultural development. They had 18 vessels, and during the 18th and 19th century 86 seamen from this family were recorded of which 63 masters. Tripković Palace is one of the most monumental palaces in Boka. That monumentality is stressed by its base, terrace with baroque balustrade, clear baroque conception and affluently made architectural details, as well as by the „background” of this composition consisting of rough and bare Dobrota slopes that reach the height up to 1000 m above the sea.

3 Bedroom Villa Rumija – Portonovi
Luxurious yet comfortable villa 342 m2 with a private pool, comprised of 1 living room, 3 separate bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

What are the primary challenges your agency faces in the current real estate landscape and how do you address them?

The real estate market is affected by various factors and situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical risks, supply chain disruptions, consumer preferences etc. These factors can create uncertainty and fluctuations in demand and supply, prices, and profitability for real estate companies. So, market volatility and to stay resilient in times of economic turmoil is the biggest challenge real estate agents face with. Also, one of the challenges we face with is a changing consumer behaviour. The real estate sector has to adapt to the changing preferences and expectations of consumers in the post-COVID era. The property sector has to innovate and offer services that meet new consumer needs and preferences. Regarding supply and demand imbalances, there is a disparity between supply and demand, that can lead to difficulty in finding the right balance. Undersupply of quality housing we currently face in the most sought-after areas is also pretty challenging. The new challenge we currently face with is a changing demographics and preferences. Namely, demographic shifts, such as the preferences of millennials and Generation Z, can influence the types of properties that are in demand. Preferences for urban living, sustainability, and technological integration can impact property design and location choices. The rise of Generation Z has immense implications for real estate. All of this is happening in a post-pandemic context. Mix of uses for real estate, i.e. mixed-use schemes and communities, which would be a kind of one-stopshop incorporating wide range of the amenities, are in high demand. Mixed-use projects, which combine residential, commercial and social function, offer a fulfilling lifestyle experience. Having everything on a click, at the footstep, generation Z are drawn to the cities. The ‘15-minute city’ concept is emerging as an important urban new generation model in post-pandemic cities.

Crowded cities, sophisticated communication tools and finding a balance between work and leisure mean that people are changing their daily behaviours and preferences. Mixed-use developments and resorts can complement those preferences, enabling people to work and socialise where they live. People are, at heart, social creatures, and being a part of community within these multipurpose resorts fulfils the desire to ‘live-work-entertain’ together. In response, real estate developers should think about more hospitality-type business models. That means ensuring homeowners have flexible spaces where they live, which offer work premises, meeting rooms, wellness centres, child care, event space and living units, all within the same complex.

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