Investment grade property however is standing up for itself relative to traditionally less volatile ‘gilt edged’ asset classes.

In the UK shores property life carries on albeit with fears from the Eurozone fallout and some expectation of an interrupted summer from the Olympic and Jubilee celebrations. The UK has for the last 4 plus years been a market of two regions, an active London and Southeast versus an inactive UK regional market. Activity levels are starting to merge with institutional money concerned about London values, albeit understanding of their resilience, but looking to the core regional markets for growth. This has balanced things out and given renewed energy to cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Mainland European markets are showing varying signs of activity with Scandinavia, Germany and CEE looking active while Southern Europe and to an extent France feeling the cool winds from Brussels. Albeit some international funds are finding it difficult to transact in the illiquid French market. We are already seeing a number of French based candidates sending us their CVs due to the nerves that have emanated from the recent French elections.

From a recruitment perspective we see a direct correlation with property market activity and see pockets of activity across the board. The summer slowdown we encounter each year will no doubt be apparent but it is possible that with the slight upwards shift in momentum as businesses will be keen to keep their ear to the ground both to seek out opportunities and to ensure they are on top of portfolios in case of renewed financial strain.

The market is moving and there certainly is not the intransigence that we saw in 2009, although there is caution in the air from both candidates and employers and can only wait to see what the European summer brings, be it sunshine…or rain…

Timothy Rowe
Managing Director, Cobalt Recruitment