Editor's letter October: The Champions League of real estate

The analogy of the Champions League of real estate was provided to me recently, a propos of the recent mammoth residential deal between Akelius and Heimstaden Bostad.

At PropertyEU, we are privileged to cover the biggest and best real estate companies investing in Europe.

So many of them are subscribers. Or, if they are not, they seem happy to allow us access as we report on the latest trends and developments.

The analogy of the Champions League of real estate was provided to me recently. It was in the context of that €9.1 bn sale of 28,766 homes (599 properties) by Akelius to Heimstaden Bostad in late September.

To use football parlance, according to those intimately involved in the process, Heimstaden played an ‘absolute blinder’ – a perfect game. Heimstaden was apparently one of a group of potential buyers approached in May this year. Though keen, it first wanted to gauge the level of interest before taking to the pitch – check out the competition in other words. Once that became clear, the firm sailed through the group stages and easily won its knock-out rounds with a display of ruthless professionalism. The deal was done incredibly quickly.

Smooth operators
Heimstaden had operated like Bayern Munich in 2020 or Barcelona in 2010. Our congratulations to Heimstaden and indeed the seller, Akelius, for assembling such a good portfolio in Germany, Sweden and Denmark over so many years of dedication, and to CBRE and Pangea Property Partners for their roles as advisors.

Talking of smooth operators, that is the theme of our October issue, as we delve into what constitutes ‘operational’ real estate – the definition of which is shifting as we speak. It seems many large successful real estate companies are regarding all property asset classes as needing specialised, hands-on management, including offices. This differs from the past when it used to be just niche assets such as healthcare or hotels that were regarded as being ‘operational’.

End-users are demanding better service and flexibility from landlords. Covid and technology are stretching this further. At the same time, investors are wondering how they can drive returns from real estate – witness Hines buying Helix to expand management services and operations under ex-WeWork’s Ronen Journo.

Top100 investors
Elsewhere in the magazine, you will find our annual ranking of the Top 100 firms by AUM. This gives you a clear indication of the top ‘teams’ playing in Europe.

Finally, we bring you briefings from Germany and the Netherlands where our reporters have been hosting events and getting insights on the latest market dynamics. We hope you enjoy the issue and salute those playing at the highest level in this arena.

Robin Marriott Editor-in-chief

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