80 construction projects across Georgia, and 2750 flats for sale – TBC Bank’s Mortgage Center, which appeared on the Georgian market in September last year, has managed to establish itself as one of the leading organisations in the real estate lending sector in the space of less than a year. Head of the Retail Loans Department at TBC Bank, Nino Kacheishvili, spoke to Property Georgia about the sector’s development prospects and the Mortgage Center’s services.
Mortgages constitute one of the most in-demand products in the banks’ portfolios, as well as for brokerage firms and companies that work on real estate sales. What advantages does TBC’s Mortgage Center have over its competitors?
The main advantage of TBC Bank’s Mortgage Center is the ‘one-window principle’ – within a single space, our customers can familiarise themselves with offers from every leading developer that is active on the market, and at the same time, receive a mortgage loan from TBC Bank at the best possible terms.
Within the quiet and calm environment of the Mortgage Center, customers can study the developers’ projects, decide on the specific requirements that ought to be met by the prospective real estate purchase, and then obtain a mortgage loan from us at favourable terms. Information about the projects is also available on our website.
In order to remain competitive on the market, we try to cooperate with as many developers as possible, whilst maintaining the principle of trustworthiness at all times.
Tbilisi, Batumi, Bakuriani, Gudauri and Marneuli – we offer our clients a choice between 80 ongoing construction projects in the capital and the aforementioned regional locations.
Is there a growing demand for newly built flats?
Judging by various studies, there is a significant growth in demand, although it must also be said that sales of ‘second-hand’ flats are dynamic as well.
What are the main factors that are taken into consideration by your customers when they make their choice?
There are numerous important aspects that people pay attention to. These include the quality and ecological characteristics of the construction materials, the property’s status as a recreational zone, and infrastructure. The demands of today’s customers are quite sophisticated, and developers are trying to supply potential buyers accordingly. Of course, this affects the price, but high quality and a comfortable environment are important factors for the tenants. It must also be noted that there is a substantial demand for fitted-out flats, although many still prefer to fit out their property in accordance with their own design.
Can your services be used by foreign nationals or Georgians living abroad?
We provide loans both to Georgians living abroad and to foreign nationals, although in such cases, the co-financing percentages are comparatively higher, and the repayment period shorter – a maximum of 4 years. This is of particular interest to Georgian emigrants:through the Mortgage Center, they can obtain competent and reliable information about the existing projects, and obtain a mortgage loan from a trustworthy bank simply by making a phone call, and without having to come to Georgia. As a result, they can save time, which is important for every one of us.
What is your target segment?
Our target segment includes every person who is interested in purchasing real estate. They can make their choice in accordance with their income level. For example, if 1 sq.m of floor space in the suburbs of Tbilisi costs $400, and we are looking for an economy-class property, then we can buy a 30 m2 flat for $12 000. In this case, co-financing would amount to approximately $3000, while the monthly loan repayment rate would be $110.
The most popular area of Tbilisi in terms of sales is Saburtalo, where m2 of living space costs $800 to $1000 on average, followed by Dighomi, Varketili and Gldani. The central areas are most expensive, with the average price in Vake amounting to $1500 to $2000 per m2.
What will your main principles be for continuing to work within a competitive environment?
We do not have any direct competitors today, although there is a multitude of brokerage firms and companies working on real estate sales and rentals. The aforementioned service is also available on various websites, where newly built flats form a separate category. This is logical since, as we have already mentioned, the demand is growing in this regard.
We are open for everyone. The Mortgage Center cannot be the only outlet for purchasing real estate, but we aim to be among the top 5 players on the consumer market.