Thomas & Piron Launch Eklozio To Respond To Housing And Energy Crisis

Marc Tebaldi, managing director of Eklozio (Photo © Fanny Krackenberger)

Present in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for 35 years, the Belgian developer and builder splits its B2B and B2C activities and launches Eklozio, a brand dedicated to the renovation of single-family homes, and small commercial and service areas.

Thomas & Piron, the Belgian construction, real estate development and civil engineering group based in Luxembourg, reorganizes its renovation activity and splits its subsidiary TP Rénovation into two distinct branches: Eklozio, a new entity dedicated to private individuals and TP Rénovation Bâtiment, its renovation and transformation branch of major public or private projects.

B2B, B2C renovation

Created in the 90s, TP Rénovation was initially dedicated to the renovation of single-family homes. The restructuring will allow the construction group to specialize even more in its two renovation segments, and to respond in a more tailored way to the expectations of its B2B and B2C customers.

Eklozio offers solutions for the renovation of single-family homes, house extensions, and energy renovation projects. Retirees in Belgium, and young first-time buyers in Luxembourg, are some of its main targets. The entity will also take care of requests from small commercial or service areas, such as pharmacies. 

“We are convinced that the renovation market in Luxembourg will grow rapidly in the coming years because land for sale is scarce, building permits are difficult to obtain and the prices of new properties are too high for some prospective buyers”, says Marc Tebaldi, managing director of Eklozio.

A strategic shift

This strategic shift by the group emerges in a context of housing crisis. In the Grand Duchy, “the residential real estate and land markets activity remained in Q4 2023 at levels much lower than those recorded in previous years in all segments,” the Statec explains. 

“However, it is on the market for the sale of apartments under construction (sale in the future state of completion, VEFA) that the reduction in activity is the most significant compared to Q4 2022 (-72.8%) and compared to pre-covid crisis levels,” continues the national institute of statistics and economic studies.

In Q4 2023, the number of transactions reached 106 sales, 8 times lower than the average of the years before the COVID crisis (860 sales).

The Statec sees a threefold cause for this fall: the first reason is the decline in the attractiveness of new housing for rental investors, following the rise in interest rates, “which makes real estate investment more expensive, and at the same time certain alternative investments that are relatively more profitable”.

“Renovations to improve the energy performance of buildings will have the wind in their sails to meet the regulatory requirements of the European Union, which aims for carbon neutrality by 2050.”

François Piron, group administrator of Thomas & Piron

The second is the decline in the purchasing capacity of first-time buyers, due to the rise in interest rates, which forces them to postpone their projects or refocus on other options.

The last is the uncertainties about the future price of a home purchased off-plan, due to the indexation to construction prices, which may have encouraged some buyers to switch to the existing housing segment. However, many developers have decided to change their pricing system, for a final price set for the buyer in the off-plan contract.

The number of mainly existing home sales also saw a sharp decline (21.2% compared to the same quarter of 2022). Only 508 existing home sales took place in Q4 2023, compared to an average of 1,050 Q4 home sales over the years 2017 – 2019. 

“The financial volume associated with these transactions has fallen significantly more sharply (-35.8% compared to Q4 2022), which reflects a fairly clear drop in house sale prices,” the Statec adds.

New energy renovation targets

Thomas & Piron is therefore counting on renovation needs to compensate for the construction crisis and the sluggish real estate market.

“Renovations to improve the energy performance of buildings will have the wind in their sails to meet the regulatory requirements of the European Union, which aims for carbon neutrality by 2050,” explains François Piron, group administrator of Thomas & Piron.

“It is very complicated for an individual to find a skilled workforce and to coordinate trades. It takes knowledge, time and energy. Eklozio’s concept is, therefore, to offer extremely personalized and comprehensive support, including administrative procedures related to bonuses, in particular to bring them up to new energy standards, to free customers from this burden.” 

As an example of optimizing premiums, François-Xavier GILEN (sales manager of Thomas & Piron) cites the case of Mr. Schmitt, a resident of Redange, whose premiums had reached 20% of the budget for bringing his house up to energy standards. 

“The renovation included the renewal and insulation of the roof, the external insulation of the facades and the replacement of the frames. In this case, the premiums were €144/m² for the roof, €90/m² for the façade and €111/m² for the frames. Out of the total renovation budget of around €128,000, Mr. Schmitt will be able to receive around €25,000 in premiums,” he says.

With Eklozio, Thomas & Piron expects to achieve a turnover of €14 million in 2024 and €50 million with TP Rénovation Bâtiment. By 2028, the group aims to reach €25 million for Eklozio and €60 million for TP Rénovation Bâtiment.

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