The reopening of international travel this year has been a significant milestone in the world’s emergence from the pandemic, providing a welcome opportunity to reconnect with partners around the globe after what had effectively been two years of confinement.
In Q1 we travelled to Europe, the Middle East and MIPIM, where we met with a range of investors, financiers and other industry stakeholders. It was great to sit down in person and talk to our partners, and we felt real value in doing something that had been pretty much normal business activity before the pandemic. Here are some quick observations from those travels:
-The conversation has moved on with Brexit and Covid getting ever smaller in the rear-view mirror.
-Inflation is at the forefront of minds, both as a key risk factor for construction prices but also as an opportunity with the protection real estate can provide in an inflationary environment.
-In contrast, there was relatively little focus on rising interest rates, with investors generally comfortable with the tightening real estate spread.
-The attraction of real assets increases in times of uncertainty with a growing focus on truly core markets, particularly for offices – see our MIPIM News article here
-London has remained liquid throughout, underpinning its global gateway status and investors and lenders alike continue to increase allocations to London and the UK.
-A desire for thematic and programmatic investment is also increasing, with an emphasis on the ability to scale opportunities.
-Environmental and social sustainability were central themes – see our own ESG statement here