MIPIM has been and gone for 2017 and there was much to take away from this year’s offering in Cannes including a few burnt foreheads. Under the clear skies, there was a strong sense of optimism in the wider market and our consultants were kept extremely busy informing their clients of the latest market trends but also taking on a number of new and exciting briefs. So what was there to take away other than a heavy head and sunburn? Our attendees share their insights.
One of the biggest success stories of the week has to be the Manchester stand. Taken out of the bunker and placed on the edge of the sand, Manchester really made their presence at MIPIM felt this year with a wide array of positive articles following the event. The stand was a hub of activity and was packed out for the insightful but unusual farewell to Howard Bernstein which included a Q&A from a rising force in the Manchester real estate market, Gary Neville. Aside from the football questions during that final hour, Manchester really did show that it is not only open for further investment but it is a rising force to not only leave Birmingham looking over its shoulder but London too.
I specialise in the Planning sector and was delighted to find MIPIM so well attended by planning professionals from across the UK. It is clear that there is plenty of demand from our consultancy clients to strengthen their teams not only with leaders but also more junior staff to provide them with not only opportunities to contribute to growing workloads but to also progress their careers and help shape the future of the business. London’s stand might have played second-best to Manchester this year but there is no doubt that the city has a wide array of opportunities for Planners with roles coming in from developers, house builders and the consultancies. We expect much growth within the Planning sector in 2017 and it is great to hear the multi-disciplinary property consultancies are investing in the growth of their teams and providing exciting options.
Jason Moore, Head of Town Planning
The general sentiment was positive following a tricky second half to 2016 on the technical side of our clients' businesses. Everyone is working 50% harder for the same return than they were in 2015/16 due to the tighter market we are in. However these are the people who seem to be coming out in the market the strongest. Strong markets seem to be in the leisure & hotel, logistics, commercial office refurb work, student accommodation and PRS. Regarding residential, this is still a good area in the super prime residential with the high-end £1 - £10 mill sale still relatively cool.
John Clarkson, Head of Technical & Construction
Much was made of the UK presence and the level of optimism in Team UK at MIPIM this year. And rightly so. Having had a Brexit Referendum vote to leave the EU, a potential second Scottish Referendum and a General Election due at some stage, the mood could have been very different amongst the UK representatives.
The market sentiment seemed to be that this year would be quieter on the UK investment front but the appetite to acquire in Europe remained strong. From a recruitment point of view, European focused candidates and asset managers in the UK remain in demand.
Whilst a lot of our clients are waiting to find out more about the terms of the Brexit negotiations before committing anymore capital to the UK market, they do think this is more of a pause in activity than a decline in the market. That said, a recurring theme was that it will be harder to make money this year and that a harder, better work ethic was definitely a requirement for 2017.
Lucy Cook, Head of Real Estate
The mood was generally positive on the UK market. Capital Market clients feel that overseas investors interest in the UK, especially London will continue. There is a lot of Chinese and Asian money looking at the capital and outside of London, there is a lot of appetite from German and Middle Eastern investors. Some of the big overseas investors are also increasingly looking at how to get involved with major UK-wide development and regeneration projects. Despite a number of very big deals over the last 12 months, it is expected that transactions will likely flatten in the next quarter as the underlying general market is still short of stock. There is currently strong growth in industrial, logistics and alternatives.
Giles Bendell, Real Estate
From the Residential side the talk was still all about the PRS machine. Sentiment is strong for this and most of the major players were there. One of the main issues is that they can’t buy enough sites. PRS is in the big development stage, and those that I spoke with are excited to see what comes of all the developments as it is such a new sector. It is still hard to get the numbers to stack up for the PRS model in London, so the majority of the focus is in the regions.
Undoubtedly, our clients are looking to strengthen their residential teams, interestingly, more on the investment side which has been the first time since Brexit. Analyst and Development Managers will also be in demand with more and more developments starting.
Toby Speke, Head of Residential
Overall, we feel that MIPIM 2017 was a success for the UK with not only London displaying its opportunities for investment but the regions too. As we await the triggering of Article 50, it seems that Brexit might slow the Real Estate market but it will not be stopped. There will be no shortage of opportunities in the year ahead for those seeking a new career challenge.
Now that MIPIM is out of the way, our teams are certainly busy with new opportunities to discuss with you. Feel free to register with your CV or contact your nearest Cobalt office.
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