The total amount of investments in projects managed and planned by the group currently exceeds EUR 370 million, with around EUR 131 million to be invested in 2022. In 2021, almost EUR 36 million will be invested in EIKA-managed projects. Portfolio diversification remains a priority for the group, with investments in solar energy and its first object abroad. Notably, the group’s performance is will also be reviewed against sustainability criteria starting from 2022.
Looking to 2022 – a new reality for the construction sector
According to Domas Dargis, CEO of EIKA, the most important trend in the real estate sector in 2021 is the constant pursuit of fair prices. “Not only homebuyers but also developers were trying to cope with rising prices in 2021 due to unpredictable disruptions in material supply chains and the cost of construction works and materials. In addition, the unexpectedly prolonged and complicated project coordination procedure in Vilnius in 2021 became a particularly significant component of the house price increase. The delay in project permission process has also substantially impacted the speed of our investments, therefore several projects or project phases under our management were postponed and starting in 2022.
Smart technologies are coming to apartments
In 2021, the EIKA Group sold 409 apartments (351 apartments in 2020) worth almost EUR 49 million. Two projects sold more than 80 apartments each: 87 apartments in Mėlyni Vilkai and 84 apartments in Šv. Stepono Baltas Lapas. “This year, we have introduced the Eika Smart Lab project to the market, the first product of which is the “Smart Apartment” in the Mindaugo Baltas Lapas project. We aimed to show that smart technologies for apartment maintenance, upkeep or personal comfort are already available to everyone, even in a small apartment in the city centre. Judging by the interest we have generated and how quickly we sold this apartment with all the technology, we can see that there is already a massive demand for smart technologies in our daily lives, so we will continue to experiment in our “smart lab”,” says D. Dargis.
In 2021, EIKA offered housing in 8 projects, of which an entire four have sold their last apartments. In 2022, EIKA plans to provide almost 650 apartments in 7 projects. By the beginning of the summer, it is planned to complete the building permit procedures in the projects Mėlyni Vilkai (Phase II), Bajorų Alėjos (Phase III), Mindaugo Baltas Lapas (Phase IV) and a new project in Visoriai, Vilnius.
Diversification – conventional objects and innovations
In 2021, more than EUR 13 million was invested in non-residential projects. Construction has started on the 15,000 sqm Flow business centre in Vilnius’ central business district and on the 270-room co-living project in Šv. Stepono Street. Also, in an incredibly short time – 5 months – a store was built and opened in Pilaitė for the food retailer IKI. In addition, the group managed Eika Real Estate Fund acquired Audi and Volkswagen car dealership buildings in Vilnius and designed and prepared a new logistics centre for the BENU pharmacies manager Tamro in Kaunas FEZ and commenced the construction of a DHL express terminal in Vilnius Airport.
The beginning of 2022 was marked by the first investment abroad with the acquisition of a 50% stake in a 15,000 sqm business centre in Košice, Slovakia. Further investments abroad are planned, with more than EUR 30 million planned for 2022. This year will also see the launch of the first public project – the construction of a military site in Šiauliai.
Another equally important strategic direction is the implementation of the sustainability directions, which were established in 2021. To reduce its CO2 footprint, the EIKA Group will build a 5-megawatt solar power plant in the Klaipėda region in the third quarter of 2022. From 2023 onwards, this plant will supply around 85% of the Eika Group’s electricity needs. It will be the most powerful single-site solar power plant built in Lithuania for a single private sector company.
“In 2021, we also invested in Movewise, a UK start-up developing a housing sales platform, and improved our customer service platform MANO.EIKA.LT, which is a continuous result of our innovation activities. Both start-ups and innovation in the real estate sector and renewable energy will continue to be important priorities for us,” D. Dargis reveals the group’s strategic directions.