Capital flows and city rankings will always attract the headlines, but this year Emerging Trends Europe shines a spotlight on fundamental changes at the business end of the real estate industry. It reveals an industry trying to come to terms with the needs of occupiers and the disruptive forces of technology, demographics, social change and rapid urbanisation.
These ground-level disruptions are permeating through the entire real estate value chain. Investors are focused on cities and assets rather than countries. They also favour alternative, more operational assets for accessing outperformance, with 41 percent of respondents against 28 percent last year considering taking the plunge into alternatives. Healthcare, hotels, student accommodation and data centres are all expected to shine as sectors benefiting from urbanisation and long term demographic trends.
According to Emerging Trends Europe, the five leading cities for investment prospects in 2016 are Berlin at Number 1, followed by Hamburg, Dublin, Madrid and Copenhagen. Many interviewees back the German capital to thrive well beyond 2016, based on its young population and its growing reputation as a technology centre, as well as the land available for development.