Out-of-Prague demand driving Getberg’s East Gardens project

Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture

The developer Getberg’s residential project East Gardens in Strančice outside Prague is demonstrating that demand for living outside the capital is high. Its sales are bolstering the results of countless surveys and real estate agents who claim the pandemic has pushed consumers into fundamental lifestyle changes, and getting out of the city was one of the most popular topics.

Getberg launched sales of the project last September, a move that demonstrated the developer’s faith in the project since the Czech Republic was still under lockdown at the time. Six months later and the bet appears to be paying off as 60% of the units have been sold. The project offers 48 flats and 41 row homes (with gardens of up to 300 sqm) and are available for roughly CZK 80,000 per sqm. With real estate inflation now extending beyond Prague’s borders, affordability is proving an important factor in the pace of sales.
Located not far from the D1 motorway, Strančice is a 25-minute drive from central Prague. But Getberg is getting that its location along the prominent commuter train line that runs to Prague through Řičany will be a key attraction. People who leave the city simply have to accept the fact that they’re giving up the urban pleasures that accompany the noise and convenience such as cultural attractions and a rich nightlife. But the demographic of customers whose priorities are shifting to outdoor activities like biking, running and golf is rising, according to Getberg, as is the number of young families who have realized they want a yard for young kids to play in.

Founder Egor Khlebnikov explains how Getberg began life in 2012 as a real estate agency selling flats for other developers. He spent the next four years learning first-hand what sort of units customers would buy and what they wouldn’t. It was these early years that were in a way the most formative, says Khlebnikov. “We have a sales DNA,” he says. “Sales DNA is not just about sales, it’s about product. A lot of developers when they buy a project, they just look at the margins and from that they try to create some kind of product. “We are different. We decide what kind of product we need to create that the client will like.”

It wasn’t until 2016, when Khlebnikov says Getberg made CZK 1 billion in sales revenues for other developers, that the company bought its first piece of development land in Vysoký Újezd. “It took me a year to decide I wanted to do it,” he says. “I never had a dream I wanted to be a developer. My dream was to have a product. But you can create a lot of different products in real estate like good service.” Sensing a huge gap in supply of new residential projects and overwhelming demand, he realized that developers could easily build their own sales teams. In other words, he worried that developers would begin to have the same approach to agents as he now does. “We like to work with them, but agents should not do our work. Everything for customers must be under one roof.”

For Khlebnikov, the future for residential development is outside Prague. But even if it allows him to offer lower prices, he says that doesn’t mean he can afford to settle for a bland, generic design. So, while the company has a design architect on staff, the architects are always outsourced. “The concept for the architect has to come from the developer. We know the structure of the project, but we need the architect for the design innovation.”


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