ULI Greece & Cyprus held its annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Europe 2020 report presentation on Thursday, 28 November 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Athens. It was attended by more than 70 professionals from various disciplines of the Greek real estate industry, including investors, financiers, lawyers, architects, valuers and real estate consultants.
Keynote speaker Andrea Carpenter (Women Talk Real Estate) presented the findings of the 2020 report, which was based on interviews with, and surveys from, more than 900 of the most influential leaders in the real estate industry. In her presentation Andrea Carpenter noted that the 2020 survey responses reflected Europe’s property leaders’ faith in real estate as an attractive and in-demand investment class, despite strong political and economic headwinds. With interest rates set to stay lower for longer and bond yields in many European countries in negative territory, real estate income retains its broad appeal to investors, especially in comparison to other asset classes. At the same time market participants are careful how they deploy capital with focus on cities that offer liquidity and stability.
There is also greater awareness of climate risks and the impact of environmental issues on the real estate business. In terms of sectors, interviewees regard investing in residential and logistics as a positive move, because they benefit from long term trends in demographics, urbanisation and technology. Andrea concluded that investors are thinking strategically about the bigger investment picture in which mixed-use, smart mobility, density and greater use of technology are all integral to the success of locations in which they invest.
In her presentation with the title “Death of the retail or retail renaissance”, Eri Mitsostergiou, Director of European Research Savills London, highlighted the challenges faced by the retail industry due to demographic and technological changes, but also the opportunities created through redevelopment and repurposing of retail assets. Eri discussed how the emergence of e-commerce and other structural shifts have changed the way we want to spend our time and money, focusing more on experiences and how this impacts retail destinations. Over-spaced retail markets, where the growth in online penetration is forecast to be significant, are expected to be the most exposed to these changes. However, she also emphasised the importance of physical stores for retailers. Effectively, in order to enhance the attractiveness of retail destinations, a greater focus on experience and intensification of uses that attracts more people will be key.
In his closing remarks, ULI Greece & Cyprus Chair, Tassos Kotzanastassis mentioned ULI Greece & Cyprus’ activities throughout the past three years and announced the end of his service as Chair. He had the opportunity to present at a glance the various tasks that have been completed through the initiatives that have been undertaken. He also thanked the ULI Greece & Cyprus Executive Committee, the Advisory Board and Vasiliki Koutsafti, Coordinator ULI Greece & Cyprus.
Photos from the event can be found on the ULI Europe Flickr page.