Real estate prices in Romania and especially Bucharest will keep rising for the next two years but they will start going down shortly afterwards, Ion Radu Zilisteanu, the head of a real estate group and former president of the Romanian Association of Real Estate Agencies says in an interview for

Zilisteanu, the manager of the Intermdias group of companies, predicts real estate prices for apartments will continue to rise at a pace of 5-8% yearly in 2006 and 2007, while land prices in urban and non-urban areas will continue to rise by 25-30% this year. Agricultural land will be 35-40% more expensive by the end of this period.

He warns Romanian owners should expect a drop of prices in 2-2,5 years depending on the pace of investments in new buildings. He says he would not expect a real estate boom in Romania following the country’s accession to the European Union.

In Bucharest, the highest potential for real estate businesses is to be found in the south of the city, according to Zilisteanu, who shows prices in the area are the lowest around.

Outside Bucharest, the mountainous area Valea Prahovei, some 120 km north of Bucharest, and the Black Sea seaside have the highest development potential in the real estate field, while the region of Timisoara is most interesting in terms of deals with agricultural land.

He says the need of new apartments in Romania rises to about 1 million, but the figure is an approximation as there are no official statistics in this regard.