2010 Homes Overseas Russian Awards

A gala dinner and awards ceremony for the 2010 Homes Overseas Russian Awards was held on April 8 at the Marriott Grand Hotel in Moscow. Established by Homes Overseas magazine, the award is the first of its kind in Russia and is presented to the best foreign real estate projects made available to the Russian market.

The competition took place in two stages, with approximately 250 participants submitting applications from a geographically wide range of locations. They included not only such countries as Bulgaria, Montenegro, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus that have traditionally been popular among Russian real estate buyers, but also countries that are only starting to become known such as Portugal, Egypt, Malta, Chile and others.

The highly-qualified jury of market experts chose 38 projects from among those submitted for the second stage of the competition. In the second stage, the jury assessed the projects in greater detail using a variety of criteria such as the reputation of the construction company, the quality of the project, its location and infrastructure. According to those results, the finalists were given bronze, silver or gold awards.

More than 200 people gathered at the Marriott Grand Hotel on April 8 to learn the results of the awards. They included representatives of companies participating in the competition, jury members, foreign diplomats and foreign real estate market professionals. The opening remarks were given by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Montenegro to Russia Slobodan Batskovich. The ceremony was conducted by Distinguished Artist of Russia Olga Levitana and Alexander Livanov of the Hermitage Theater.

The awards were presented, one after another, in 18 categories. The results of the jury’s voting made for a number of surprises among the participants. The gold award for “Best Project in Bulgaria” was given to two projects at once – Santa Marina (Sozopol) and Grand Monastery (Pamporovo). Two gold awards were also handed out for “Best Project in Cyprus” – the Aphrodite Hills Resort and the Akamas Bay villas development in Latchi.

It was pleasantly surprising to see the high quality of the projects competing for “Best Project in Finland.” Even though only two companies presented applications and the required minimum is three entries, the projects were so good that the jury decided to hold the nomination in spite of the lack of applicants. The result was that gold awards were presented to both the YIT company and Holiday Club.

The Swiss project Du Parc Kempinski Private Residences on the shores of Lake Geneva, represented in Russia exclusively by Knight Frank, won four gold medals for “Best Apartment Complex,” “Best Luxury Real Estate Project,” “Best Ecoproject” and “Best Project Architecture.” It is not surprising that the jury recognized this project as the overall winner and awarded it the grand prize.

In the final days before the gala dinner, Internet voting was made available to everyone who visited the website of the competition. The two clear leaders in that voting were Sanvista of Montenegro and Palme Royale of Egypt. The voting was closed at noon on the day of the awards. Winning the “People’s Choice” award by a small margin was the Jauza company for its Sanvista project in Montenegro.

Leading companies in the Russian market for foreign real estate provided sponsorship for the prizes. Pafilia Property Developers of Cyprus acted as general sponsor, and the Runiga real estate agency and the foreign real estate department of Best Real Estate served as official sponsors.

It was generally agreed that the 2010 Homes Overseas Russian Awards came off exceptionally well. Almost all of the participants noted the objectivity of the jury, the well-organized gala dinner and the awards ceremony as a whole. The event has become an excellent venue for professional contacts between market participants – developers, realtors and representatives of specialized media.

Sergei Rymov, publisher and chief editor of Homes Overseas said, “We are pleased with how the first awards went. At the same time, many things could be done even better. We have a lot of work before us in analyzing the results and preparing for the next awards in 2011. We will start accepting applications as soon as September 1 of this year,” he said.

More detailed information on the results of the 2010 Homes Overseas Russian Awards is available at: www.homesoverseas.ru/awards.