During MIPIM, an overall impressive international property event hosted in Cannes for the 25th consecutive year last week, what struck me the most was a statement by one of Bearing’s partners who works with real estate development since the mid 80s. This sole event, he said, is enough to provide him with a year’s worth of work.
I visited the event together with my colleague Jorgen Eriksson and for me it it was the first time.
Hosted by Reed MIDEM and held annually in March, MIPIM brings together all the key actors of the real estate business, including city Mayors, regional and municipal governments, investors, property developers, and service providers, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide.
It is one of the largest real estate shows, including an exhibition area, networking events and expert-led conference sessions. Investors, developers, end-users, architects, hotel groups, public authorities, and property associations meet in Cannes for an intense week of networking, matchmaking and development of international business relations.
Figure 1 – MIPIM- Interaction of Key Actors
MIPIM is a place for exploration of the most rewarding development projects worldwide from 93 countries and gaining insight into the latest trends from leading industry experts. Presence of 2,225 exhibiting companies provides visitors with opportunity to make new contacts and identify potential partners from over 1,280 developers and 300 local authorities. It is also a place of unparalleled opportunity to promote one’s business on a global stage, gain international exposure for projects and showcase solutions to 21,000 professionals, including 4,500 investors, 3,000 CEOs and chairmen, and 430 attending journalists. Its 200+ key industry speakers come from some of the world’s prominent institutions and organisations such as the OECD, The European Commission, Harvard Business School, Eurocities, Allianz, Axa Real Estate, GDF Suez, Amundi, American Bar Association, RICS and many others.
Figure 2.- Participating Countries
MIPIM is not only an international marketplace for creating dialogue between a variety of real estate professionals, generating new ideas and sealing contracts and partnerships, but also an indicator of global market trends. As the world changes, the real estate industry is entering a new era and facing major contemporary challenges such as: the shift of geographical powers, acceleration of time, tensions on financial markets, increasing empowerment of world citizens and growing environmental regulations.
At this year’s event in Cannes, Dr. Mahdi Mokrane, Head of Research & Strategy with LaSalle Investment Management, has presented main challenges and opportunities to look out for in 2014. The challenges include economic growth below capacity, normalization of monetary policies, high prices and low yields in gateway cities, and rising flows of debt and equity. On the other hand, the opportunities include harvest gains from core assets, improving fundamentals, and NOI growth.
Erwan Quintin was at MIPIM this year with his team of students from the University of Wisconsin, to present a segment in the final Wrap up. After several days of participant and exhibitor interviews, the students clearly witnessed a marked shift in market perception over the past year. There is a visible and “distinct rise in optimism” since 2013. There is also a growing appetite for risk, increased attention for secondary and non-traditional markets, and a growing trend towards using local expertise in cross border investments. Regardless of certain fears and long term risks associated with the large debt held by Western nations, it was universally evident that the property market is “back in business.”