Some small green shoots, lots left to discovery

Many delegates wanted to be at Expo to swap notes and find out what others are thinking.

There are some small green shoots, examples being a possible narrowing of bid-ask spreads for some investments. Take light industrial in Germany, for instance, where a major investor notices from live transactions that multipliers have gone from 25 some eighteen months ago to 17 for a slightly under-rented property. For good offices in a CBD location, multiples are no longer 33.

The majority in Munich are still waiting for clarity, and some wonder if valuations will drop just a bit more. Plenty have dry powder; others are telling people they have no money – potentially due to the denominator effect.

There is a sense, as one investor put it, that ‘there could be a new equilibrium’. That’s the hope anyway - with multipliers going down, countries such as Germany can seem more tangible.

Banks are still reluctant - as PropertyEU has covered during Expo - and they too are trying to get a more balanced view.

But there is another thing that slightly muddies the waters – potential distress, fire sales, and motivated sellers. People are watching the French open-ended real estate funds. And there are plenty of anecdotes at Expo of other types of distress. We heard of a €500-€600 mln real estate loan book being handed over by an investor to another group that needs to be worked out. Most delegates will have any example of distress told to them in private.

So, on the one hand, there is a group waiting for a new normal. On the other hand, there are groups ready to re-involve themselves in distress and opportunistic deals which will clear properties.

For the moment, which group will be the most active remains unclear.



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