Brexit ‘the cream on top’ for Germany

Even now that the economy is slowing down, investors do not doubt Germanys resilience or stability.

Brexit is just the ‘cream on top’ as there are other drivers behind Germany’s rising appeal in investors’ eyes, experts agreed at Real Asset Media’s Germany Investment briefing, which was held at the International Investors’ Lounge at EXPO REAL last week.

‘Brexit has been an advantage for Germany and has led directly to an increase in demand and in prices, but it is just the cream on top,’ said Rainer Schorr, Founder & Owner, PRS Family Trust. ‘There are other factors at play, notably low interest rates and the safety issue. For pension funds and family offices all over the world Germany is a safe haven, not just in Europe but on earth. Their number one objective is capital preservation’.

Even now that the economy is slowing down, investors do not doubt its resilience or stability.

‘Stability used to be boring but at a time of insecurity it becomes an important asset,’ said Sven Henkes, CEO, ZIEGERT Bank und Immobilienconsulting. ‘Add to that a transparent market, great liquidity, clear regulations so that investors know exactly what they can and they cannot do, and you get the current situation where supply cannot keep up with demand and prices keep rising.

The residential sector is a safe haven within the safe haven, he said, because of the supply/demand gap, particularly in Germany’s main cities.

‘We see a very positive future for the residential sector in Germany,’ said Henkes. ‘Our new report focuses on Germany’s top 8 cities and it shows they are all developing strongly and growing faster than the rest of the country’. 

International investors’ interest is such that sometimes domestic capital chooses to take a step back. ‘In Germany often local investors will not compete with foreign investors,’ said Tobias Schulteiß, Managing Partner, Blackbird Real Estate. ‘The locals know the issues and the problems and they don’t want to pay too high a price, but foreign investors want to be in Germany at all costs and they are prepared to pay’.

They tend to stick to the main cities they know, but ‘in Germany there are many regional cities they have never heard of that actually deliver better returns,’ he said.


Expo Real: ‘Capital is being re-focused on offices’

After a high volume of transactions in 2018, this year saw a significant slowdown in the first few months as fears of a late cycle and higher interest rates took hold.

Offices in Europe’s winning cities are still top of investors’ wish lists, delegates heard at Real Asset Media’s European Office Investment briefing, which was held at the International Investors’ Lounge at EXPO REAL last week.

After a high volume of transactions in 2018, this year saw a significant slowdown in the first few months as fears of a late cycle and higher interest rates took hold. Over the course of 2019 the tables have turned again.

‘In the lower for longer context, capital is being re-focused and investors are ready to deploy capital and make significant investments,’ said John Mulqueen, Head of Offices EMEA, CBRE Global Investors. ‘If you invest for the long term, you can fix very low levels of interest for long periods of time’.

Activity is picking up again and concentrating on the same top five countries, but in a different order. ‘The rankings have changed,’ said William Matthews, Partner, Global Capital Markets Research, Knight Frank. ‘Germany has overtaken the UK and is now the number one destination for office investment’.

What has not changed is the focus on the main cities that attract talent as well as capital.

Investors should look at cities with young populations, good universities and good prospects, said Andrew Westbrook, Partner, RSM: ‘Ask yourself where the workforce of tomorrow will want to be. The answer is that cities like Berlin, Munich, Paris and London will go from strength to strength’.

The demand for good quality buildings in those cities is already strong and will intensify further, said Boudewijn Ruitenburg, COO, EDGE Technologies: ‘The future is winning cities and losing regions, because talent is concentrating in a few areas’.

Start-ups and tech companies are flocking to Berlin, where ‘rents have gone up but are still half of those of London or Paris so from our point of view it still has a long way to go,’ said Mulqueen.

Follow the growth of tech to determine a city’s attractiveness, said Ruitenburg: ‘The tech sector can produce double digit numbers with no correlation to the country’s GDP, so that is what we look at rather than the cycle. It is true in Berlin and it is true in London, where the banks may be down but tech is still going up and up’.


‘Food retail properties in Germany are a sure bet’

Generate income by focusing on micro-locations across the country, as German food retailers are financially strong

John Wilkinson, CEO, Greenman, tells The Real Estate Day that as a buy and hold fund they believe they can generate income for their investors by focusing on micro-locations across the country, as German food retailers are financially strong and online shopping in this sector has not taken off

John Wilkinson, CEO, Greenman


‘EXPO REAL is a great success for us’

Onno Adriaansens, Head Real Estate, RSM Netherlands

Onno Adriaansens, Head Real Estate, RSM Netherlands

Onno Adriaansens, Head Real Estate, RSM Netherlands, tells The Real Estate Day that they have attended the trade fair in Munich for the second year, have been impressed by the number of participants and have had many meetings and productive conversations with clients


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‘Auf Wiedersehen to EXPO REAL’

Real Asset Media’s International Investors’ Lounge was placed right in the middle of the new hall, which had a particular buzz about it.

It was Auf Wiedersehen to EXPO REAL yesterday, as the big real estate fair in Munich closed its doors after three very busy days. The stalls were crowded and the halls were packed, including the Innovation and Proptech Hall, a brand new feature at EXPO REAL this year that recognised the growing importance of technology in all sectors of real estate. 

A very busy International Investors Lounge (Nova A3.312) running a session on Senior Living

Real Asset Media’s International Investors’ Lounge was placed right in the middle of the new hall, which had a particular buzz about it. On the last day the Lounge hosted a panel discussion on “The big picture – taking a diverse view”, hearing the views of four women with different roles and experiences in the real estate sector. 

They agreed that much has been done to make the industry more equal, diverse, fair and sustainable, but there is a long way to go. The positive development is that companies now take a more serious strategic approach to ESG and no longer just do a box-ticking exercise. There is also more awareness of the need for flexibility across the board, in the working environment as well as in the living sphere, which was originally a demand that came from women but now benefits everyone regardless of sex, age and position. The real change, the panellists agreed, comes from younger generations who actively choose to work for companies that are sustainable and offer diversity and flexibility. 

A very successful fair ended quite appropriately with a get-together and a celebration, as Real Asset Media hosted a networking lunch at the International Investors’ Lounge. See you in Munich next year, or better still, at one of the many Investment Briefings that we organise over the next few months.

I’ll be back – Hasta La vista!


Sustainability: investors need to take an authentic approach

Felicity Beasley, Client Capital & Investor Relations, CAIN INTERNATIONAL

Felicity Beasley, Client Capital & Investor Relations, CAIN INTERNATIONAL

Collaboration from all sides in the real estate industry, from the tenants and investors through to city leaders and policy makers to ‘really move forward and work together on creating sutainable buildings and environments’ recognising that it is important for productivity and the sustainability of the building as an investment. Sustainability is ‘not just a tick-box exercise any more, we’ve got to be authentic in that approach’ Felicity Beasley, Client Capital & Investor Relations, CAIN INTERNATIONAL Interview filmed at EXPO Real 2019 by Real Asset Media


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‘EXPO REAL closes its doors today’

Real Asset Media’s International Investors’ Lounge was very busy yesterday, with 8 different events attended by a crowd of industry professionals, analysts and media.

EXPO REAL closes its doors today after three intense days of meetings, networking, presentation and events. Real Asset Media’s International Investors’ Lounge was very busy yesterday, with 8 different events attended by a crowd of industry professionals, analysts and media.

A very busy International Investors Lounge (Nova A3.312) running a session on Senior Living

Market experts on the first panel explained that Europe is still attracting considerable capital flows from Asia and North America, which tend to focus on the continent’s winning cities.

At the Student housing, Micro-living and co-living event the panellists agreed that the current boundaries between these asset classes will disappear soon and they will all merge into one big living asset class which will continue to attract investors’ interest.

Things got technical at the Valuation of Carbon Performance panel, where experts discussed the importance of standardisation across Europe, so that the rules will be clear and buildings can be judged objectively.

Logistics has been the success story of the last few years, but the experts on the panel yesterday agreed that its run is by no means over, as investors’ appetite is still strong across Europe and the ‘lower for longer’ interest rate environment is pushing even more capital into the sector.

EXPO REAL’s host country was the focus of the Germany Investment briefing. In these uncertain times capital preservation is the priority and Germany’s safe haven status is valued by investors, who are more than willing to pay high prices just to be in the country’s leading cities.

Well-being, ESG and Sustainable Investment was the focus of the last event, which discussed the importance of the circular economy and how finally sustainability is now on all investors’ radar screens. The International Investors’ Lounge is set to host more events today.

Come and join the discussion!

‘How to grasp the opportunities that digitalisation offers’

Kyrill Radev, CEO, EverEstate

Kyrill Radev, CEO, EverEstate

Kyrill Radev, CEO, EverEstate, tells The Real Estate Day that while some in the industry have an inexplicable fear of sharing data, the most professional players now understand the importance of cooperation and sharing data and the value of transparency


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