Immobel Home, from landbanking to turnkey dwelling builder

Spotted in @trends.levif

For more than 40 years, Immobel, through its subsidiary Lotinvest, has been acquiring substantial amounts of land in order to be able to resell it to individuals who wish to build their homes with the architect of their choice. A landbanking policy that has proved its worth.

Today the abundant supply of mid-size homes built and sold turnkey has shifted demand towards this type of purchase. According to Trends magazine, which interviewed Eric Shartz, head of Immobel Home, over the coming years the company is preparing to build nearly 2,800 homes: detached houses and apartments (45%). Immobel Home will therefore compete in the field of activity of major players such as Matexi, Thomas Piron, T Palm and Durabrik.

With more than 326 hectares of building land in its portfolio (two thirds of which is located in Wallonia), Immobel has constituted a real war chest. Eric Schartz (former director of Matexi for Walloon Brabant and appointed head of Immobel Home in February 2020) and his team have scrutinized this landbank to select those locations suitable for the balanced development of new neighborhoods. The selection was made, among other things, on the basis of 25 criteria from the Walloon ‘sustainable neighborhood’ benchmark and on the location of plots close to shops, schools and public transport. Another selection criterion: the area to be developed has to enable a low density of 20 dwellings per hectare.

The majority of development areas selected for the establishment of new neighborhoods are located in Tielt, Deinze, Ghent, Beveren, Nivelles, Wavre, Chaumont-Gistoux, Eghezée, Ciney, Verviers, Eupen, Blégny and Chaudfontaine. The remainder of around 200 hectares is more than likely to be sold in the coming months.

In his interview Eric Schartz details the Immobel Home offering on the residential market and its positioning: “Our core business is residential developments focused on single-family houses and small apartment buildings located in peri-urban areas or in the outskirts of small towns. We have the ambition to position ourselves on the more qualitative side of the market, both in terms of construction and town planning. We are targeting the middle class who are looking for more green spaces, quality public facilities and good accessibility”.

Read more in the report of Trends [ Direction les quartiers périurbains: la poule aux oeufs d'or d'Immobel ]