The Business Year

Chris Bond

AZERBAIJAN - Real Estate & Construction

The Right Pad

Head of Real Estate, Qaya Emlak

Bio

Chris Bond has worked in international real estate for over 12 years, specializing in worldwide investment and development markets. His experience includes five years on the City of London agency desk at Knight Frank, and five years with Savills LLP’s International Agency. He became Head of Real Estate at UEI Holding in 2009. His areas of expertise are leasing, sales, and the development of both commercial and residential prime real estate.

How has the rapid influx of international companies and expatriates influenced the real estate market? This is a positive thing for both the Azerbaijani community and those who are lucky […]

How has the rapid influx of international companies and expatriates influenced the real estate market?

This is a positive thing for both the Azerbaijani community and those who are lucky enough to work in Azerbaijan. The demand and success of business in Baku and elsewhere has created a market where developers and agencies, such as Qaya Emlak, can operate in the high-end property market, which is beneficial for both residents and landlords.

What trends can you identify in the local real estate market?

After the construction boom, deluxe and A-class properties became the main sector of both residential and commercial construction. Those properties are being prepared to serve both the local and expatriate community. Customers today are willing to pay, but they are looking for superior service. Today’s market requires professional real estate in the general, commercial, and residential spheres with high standards of property management. Qaya Emlak is investigating the current situation to integrate a property management system through the major developers it is working with.

Which sectors of the real estate market have seen the most growth?

Baku is a city that is evolving quickly; however, in a sensible and strategic way. I expect that we will see an increase across all sectors of real estate over the coming years in residential, office, and hotels. Offices are of particular interest to us as there is room for some iconic headquarter buildings on Baku’s skyline. I know these are under construction, and I am looking forward to seeing them succeed. Qaya Emlak as a business operates in all these areas of real estate, and it will seek to add value to both buyers and sellers.

“Today’s market requires professional real estate in the general, commercial, and residential spheres.”

Who is your target market and what is your rental/purchase breakdown?

Qaya Emlak was set up a few years ago to provide professional real estate services to local and international communities within Azerbaijan. Our target market is all social groups, but we mainly plan to set up long-term business relations with major developers. Qaya Emlak as a company will evolve according to the demands of our customers. If we see an increase in the requirements for rental properties among both the international and local communities, then we will inform our landlord contacts and attempt to make mutually beneficial deals. As of now, our main business is the sale of residential units.

What initiatives is Qaya Emlak taking to allow increased access to housing?

In order to allow increased access to housing, Qaya Emlak offers long-term credit options for its customers from the exclusive portfolios of various developers. As a team whose main target is customer satisfaction, we also consider various payment options for our lower-income customers.

How is Qaya Emlak capitalizing on the burgeoning tourism sector?

Qaya Emlak is a business specifically set up to work with both international and local people. The tourism boom will continue to increase greatly over the next few years, allowing us to advise landlords how to enhance their properties to take advantage of this. For example, having shops that tourists wish to visit on the lower floors of their buildings can be an excellent source of income—often far more lucrative than selling the space as apartments.

What is the outlook for Azerbaijani real estate in the medium term?

Azerbaijan is expecting improvements in social loans and an increase in the mortgage budget. Investments and new projects are being implemented, which will increase our portfolio and create new areas in Baku city. Also, an increase in the number of mortgages will help young working- class people gain access to housing.

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