For those attending MIPIM this year, despite the rain on the parade on Thursday, and feeling more subdued than before, there is an overarching sense of cautious optimism. That is not to say optimism that the market will grow fast or boom, rather, optimism that the market will not crash.
On return to the snow and ice in the UK, institutional investors are no doubt pleased that their risk teams' attitude to MIPIM has thawed - the sensationalist headlines predicted by some failing to materialize. Perhaps the fear of incurring the wrath of the FT calmed things down a little, perhaps the sense of uncertainty in the market was also a factor.
No-one wants to talk about Brexit (never mix politics with rosé), but there is no doubt that the French, Germans, Italians and other (non UK) Europeans seemed to have more of a swagger on La Croisette than the Brits this year, but so far as the UK is concerned, the mood seems to be more about the regions than ever before. Birmingham is now trendy, Manchester already is, and Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool and other major cities are all making their case. Ultimately, in the long term, diversification of investment in CRE in the UK has to be good – therefore, is the market now really all about the trains? The UK government will need to deliver on Hs2, or there will be a lot of sad faces in the real estate industry. Hold tight, we are in for a fun ride!
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