OptylonKrea, a Pan-Mediterranean real estate development and investment management company focused on the Residency and Citizenship by Investment (R&CBI) and Branded Residence markets since its first investment in Portugal back in 2015, is looking to the horizon and sees a promising next couple of years with many investment opportunities arising from the post-covid economic recovery.
”We believe that the number of progressive nomads are increasing around the world and they are not attached to a location but to common values. We decided to reposition our brand, to serve not just travelers but expats and locals looking for co-living and co-working at the same time” mentioned Hakan Kodal, Chairman of OptylonKrea. ”The pandemic hit particularly hard the hospitality industry since 2020, but our Prima Collection serviced-apartment brand has proved to be much more resilient compared to hotel brands”. he concluded. In comparison, 2020 occupation rates for Prima Collection apartments in Lisbon reached 78.56% vs. circa 21% for hotels.
The pandemic and the popularization of remote working will clearly have long-term impacts on consumers’ travelling habits, as guests will prioritize larger spaces with a fully equipped kitchen and a designated workspace. Furthermore, the pandemic has contributed to the growing interest of people looking at retirement destinations which can provide good healthcare infrastructures. Portugal as well as other Mediterranean countries surely will benefited from this trend.
Studies have shown that branded residence market worldwide grew by 236% over the last 10 years and is expected to maintain a relentless growth in the coming 10 years. This real estate segment which can achieve a premium of up to 31% compared to non-branded residences, will experience a surge in market shares for key Mediterranean countries in the coming years, expected to reach 50% of the European market and close to 10% of the global market, supported mostly by Portugal, Turkey and Spain’s aggressive project pipelines.
The branded residence segment has revealed to be well equipped to serve post-Covid customer preferences in tourism-oriented markets. In this new era, the upscale and midscale segments will outgrow the dominating Luxury segment, as Savills acknowledged a market democratisation caused by a sudden increasing demand for more affordable luxury and 4-star products aiming Millennials and families. Besides, recent research revealed new design trends in the market such as a growing popularity for private terraces and gardens, additional bedrooms with flexibility to use as office or home gym, and new technologies to facilitate in room personalized services.
At the dawn of this new post-Covid era, OptylonKrea seized the opportunity to review its serviced-apartment brand Prima Collection, born in Lisbon, and adapt it to new market’s specificities, just in time for its expansion to other Mediterranean markets (targeting to reach 25 locations in the next 5 years). Prima Collection is redefining itself as ”a new genre in co-living” with an exciting collision of a lifestyle premise, serviced apartments, local touch, and cultural immersion. The brand, repositioned under the consultancy of Servotel, is now being redesigned by award winning creative and design agencies Blacksheep and AvroKo, as the life companion with tailor-made services curated around business, leisure and lifestyle.
Residence & Citizenship by investment (R&CBI) has been experiencing an intense growth in key Mediterranean countries (Portugal, Greece, Spain and Turkey) over the past 8 years with their shares multiplying by ten, reaching 20% of the global market. Looking closer into the Portuguese Golden Visa program, the Real estate class has been in constant evolution since 2013, while we have seen an increasing trend towards lower-size investments; €350,000 real estate and VC/investment fund options in the past 2-3 years. With the upcoming regulatory changes in the program’s eligible asset classes and minimum investment requirements, branded residences will most definitely gain further traction on the market.
With its undeniable success as Fund advisor to 3 regulated funds and true pioneer in the Portuguese Golden Visa Fund route since 2017, OptylonKrea is now looking to leverage on its position as a branded residence market leading player, with the help of a new and unique Fund product, *managed by Stag Fund Management; Prima Europe a 2-tranche venture capital investment fund, dedicated to the R&CBI market, investing in Prima Collection brand and its developments in the Mediterranean.