Each March, MIPIM, (Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier) the world’s leading property market holds a conference in Cannes that brings together global industry leaders over a period of 4 days.

MIPIM, as always is a great opportunity to meet industry friend’s old and new while checking out what’s fresh in the bunker and discussing the market and its opportunities.  If you missed out this year, below are our notes on some of the hot topics that were debated specifically in relation to the European corporate real estate market.

Market Strength
There were a lot of discussions around the state of the UK market and whether it can continue the bullish rise we’ve all seen since mid-2013.  The last 6 months have seen talk of instability due to real or perceived political, economic and financial concerns. However, in general most people felt that the current strength of the UK economy and occupier momentum lends itself to an encouraging outlook. The consensus being that the industry needs to stay positive and avoid talking itself into a potential recession and that the optimistic market prospects in the medium term should be embraced.

Brexit/LDN Mayor/Upcoming Elections  
No those are not our beach bar suggestions to check out on the Croisette.  They are the talking points on everyone’s lips this year.    Brexit, or Britain departing from the European Union, was a key discussion across many a lunch table with most people keeping their persuasion close to their chests but most were in agreement that the referendum was causing a number of pauses in the market and that a resolution, either way, was required as soon as possible in order that appropriate measures could be implemented.

The absence of Grade A office space, particularly in Central London, was a cause for concern, and many people citing examples of clients struggling to find appropriate building stock.  One statistic mentioned was that London’s Grade A ‘on site‘ stock will be 100% pre-let before practical completion.  Pretty staggering when you look at the amount of tower cranes currently dragging Grade A space out of the ground around the capital. Is this a contributing factor in the emergence and growth of Greater London and Regional Cities? Or are they facing the same issues?

Big Data
One of the most popular topics was “Big Data,” however with varying definitions of the term we weren’t completely sure that everyone knew what this meant.  So what is Big Data? The formal definition is: “extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.” Or rather, the amount of information is so large and complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate, so you must use an advanced method to take away the information you actually need to make informed confident decision.

What does this mean for companies? Make sure you are tapping into  the right data, get meaningful insights and then use that information to your advantage, big or small.

Agility, flexibility, activity based working and all the other new ways of working are always on everyone’s mind. At MIPIM it has practically been a menu staple. However, this year we got the feeling that the industry has now fully embraced this approach and understands how intrinsic it is to real estate strategy and not just another office of the future workplace solution, which in our opinion is a good thing.

So what comes next? HLW Strategy and Discovery team are leading the way in research – watch this space!

Growth of New London Neighbourhoods

People were generally excited by the London development opportunities that regeneration of areas such as Stratford, Old Oak Common and Croydon will offer.  Yep even Croydon. Check out London Opportunity areas. Companies are restructuring and relocating. What does this mean to current plans of other London infrastructure such as transport, digital connectivity, sustainability etc.? Our market is diversifying and we are having to be very clever on how to advise our clients to masterplan their real-estate strategy, with particular attention to  cost benefits vs staff attraction and retention. Do people really want to move out of London? A tricky one in the next few years!

fin tech.jpg

Fin Tech, Ed Tech, Prop Tech. Discourse on these so called new sectors ‘’ were still a hot topic this year. Our belief is that tech is now pervasive across all industry sectors and the definition of a corporate workplace is becoming ever more blurred with corporates behaving  in whichever way suits their mission and culture. The UK is emerging as an incubator for all types of start-ups. Why? We believe it’s because London and the UK have the core ingredients, infrastructure , intelligence , language and time zone, as well as world leading support services in terms of  banking, legal, insurance,  creatives and of course property.

Giving back
We are big fans of MIPIM and it’s a great opportunity for our team to meet and to learn, this year however we got to thinking about how the event could give back globally.  There are fantastic events such as the amazing effort that the 125 property professionals put in for Cycle to MIPIM to support the incredible work that Coram and the MIPIM Tennis Classic for LandAid; but we thought that when you look around and see the amount of impact, resources, power, intellect, money and wealth that MIPIM captures every year is this really enough? With so many discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility it seems like we are missing an opportunity to give back globally and make a larger impact.

And finally…The Weeks Weather
A must have conversation for us Brits!  Tuesday was bright and breezy, Wednesday dark, stormy and wet, Thursday was on the up and Friday was a glorious day. Maybe those highs and lows are a good allegory for the property sector over the coming months, with the hope that the sunshine will prevail.

In sum, it was another great year at MIPIM! At HLW, we are big fans of the annual event and feel it’s a great opportunity for our team to meet other industry leaders and share our collective knowledge on the global real estate trends and market. The amount of impact, resources, power and intellect that MIPIM gather in Cannes each year is impressive and we are looking forward to seeing you all there in 2017!

MIPIM, (Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier) is the world’s leading property market and brings together the most influential players from all international property sectors - office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide. Each year, global industry leaders gather in Cannes, France over a period of 4 days, for networking event and conference sessions. With the aim to facilitate business between investors, corporate end-users, local authorities, hospitality professionals, industrial and logistics players and other real estate professionals.