Troubles lurking ahead for the global real estate
What the representatives of the largest investment companies reported during MIRIM in Cannes.
The troubled office market, the inability to raise funds, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, rising interest rates and the collapse of banks dominated the... table of discussions during this year's MIRIM exhibition held this week in Cannes.
Entitled "Wait and see" Alex Lukesh, head of Madison International Realty's London office, best captures the atmosphere at the Palais des Festival de Cannes.
Some version of "wait and see" was repeated in panels and discussions as the real estate industry tries to fully understand what the day ahead will look like and whether another moment of uncertainty is in store after the collapse of the Silicon Valley bank.
"Nobody has a clear idea of what their balance sheet looks like," said Shawn Lese, chief investment officer at U.S.-based Nuveen Real Estate, "or what's going to happen with interest rates, before they invest, and Nuveen is not the only one.” Lese said his firm was waiting for interest rates to level out — something that is unlikely to happen even with the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank.
"We're all adjusting to really high interest rates," said Steve McCarthy, head of North American investment firm AXA. "Only people who have to sell sell." Henning Koch, CEO of Commerz Real, agreed with the general theme, but put it "crudely" for his European compatriots compared to American real estate players.
"People are still in a wait-and-see mode," Koch said. "Everyone is still hoping that the party will go on again, but I think the hard times are ahead. But what sets the United States - and the United Kingdom - apart from Europe is that they are quite radical. "Okay, there is a crisis, we have to fix the prices they say. They do it and keep going" he added.
"But in Europe, most markets and people have a culture of waiting and hoping, and then it takes much, much longer [for the market to recover]," added the head of Commerz Real.