Real estate professionals are glass-half-full people, which helps in the current macroeconomic climate, writes Robin Marriott.
It’s hard to effectively manage a real estate company when important variables keep changing so quickly.
That’s why the European Central Bank (ECB) decision to increase interest rates again by 0.25% to 4% in September does not help the atmosphere.
These have been frustrating times. Both the listed and private real estate sectors have been suffering. Valuations of many assets have been downgraded, yet the industry feels the market has been driven by macroeconomic factors much more than real estate fundamentals, which are basically good. By the way, I believe the ECB was not unhappy to see real estate values repriced as the bank felt the lower-for-longer rates over recent years had led to inflated prices and the danger of a bubble.
On a personal level, one can see the toll the current market is taking on people. Here in London where I am based, young real estate investment professionals are bored given the low trading volumes, plus having to manage their firm’s legacy assets. Many are wondering if they should jump ship or wait it out. The grass can sometimes look greener on the other side.
But as a bunch, real estate professionals are ebullient. Once they enter the industry, they grow to love it notwithstanding prevailing conditions. They are glass-half-full people.
So, a new question is: who will most enjoy the coming 12 months to 2 years and beyond?
Some senior professionals believe we are about to enter a golden moment for investment. For this issue, we bring you up to speed on what has been happening over the summer months (see Jane Roberts’ report on p8). And then we turn the lens on 10 firms and three advisors that industry insiders say are ‘ones to watch’. Typically, these firms are involved in both equity and debt, and right now have been super busy and productive in refinancings. If the market turns a certain way, they are expected to be even busier on fresh acquisitions (see p14 for our special report on Movers & Shakers).
Speaking of which, I have just returned from meeting movers and shakers at the Cityscape Global event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where there are mind-blowing giga projects underway (see our November edition for a report). I also attended EPRA’s annual conference in London (see p31). And, in October, I am looking forward to Expo Real in Munich alongside other members of the PropertyEU team.
So as you can see, we are doing our best to bring you not only analysis and views from Europe, but truly EMEA as a region.