Where’s the real estate value to be found?

Having rounded off the first PropertyEU Magazine of 2018, deputy editor-in-chief Robin Marriott considers the big themes that could shape the real estate sector in the coming months. 

From PropertyEU’s perspective, here in our offices in Amsterdam and London, we are wondering if 2018 is going to continue where 2017 left off in terms of fireworks. After all, it doesn’t get much more exciting than corporate takeovers, does it? How many did we have in the final quarter of last year? At least six – two jumbo ones in the listed sector (Unibail-Rodamco/Westfield and Hammerson/Intu) and four in the private domain (Rockspring, Internos, Triuva, and Sparinvest).

What do these have in common? Well, let’s keep it simple: the acquirers are all confident in growing their business, and why? Because they believe in real estate as the enduring asset class and they know they have the wind at their backs as investors continue to demand exposure to bricks and mortar.

At the same time, are there market challenges, disruptors and coercers? Sure there are, and I would recommend discovering them in one place. The January-February edition of PropertyEU Magazine talks to 12 top CEOs about their fears, objectives, and predictions for 2018. Don’t miss it.

Speaking of M&A activity, readers will know that three takeovers mentioned above were done by one company – Patrizia. It makes sense therefore to feature the CIO of Europe’s most acquisitive company, Anne Kavanagh, in her first interview since joining in April 2017 from AXA IMRA. She embodies what real estate is all about apart from the bricks – it’s the people.

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Of course, all this money flowing into real estate means it’s hard to deploy sensibly, we know that. The answer for many is to become even more selective, seeking opportunities in less crowded spaces. For this year, we turn a mini spotlight on hotels, one of those less crowded spaces where value can be found if you know what you’re doing. Hotels are in vogue just like nearly every other type of niche sector with positive factors pushing end-user demand. Elsewhere within the magazine you have the usual diet of analysis, opinion and market intelligence, including investment briefings on the Netherlands and Central & Eastern Europe.

Readers, 2017 saw a record €286 bn transacted in Europe, up 11.6% on the previous year. It’s certainly a busy time to invest but be careful out there! Some markets are showing signs of softening and others are overheating. The task at hand throughout this year is to identify the right strategy and valuations for these conditions. Good luck.

Robin Marriott
Deputy editor-in-chief
PropertyEU