The 22nd edition of EXPO REAL took place on 7-9 October in Munich, with this year’s event welcoming 46,747 delegates from 76 countries and 2,190 exhibitors from 45 countries, setting a new record for EXPO. Here, we give an overview of the key sentiments at the conference and what we picked up from the exhibition floor.

It was a year of firsts for the conference with new company attendees from WeWork and Aldi, but also representation from new cities including Belfast, Porto and Copenhagen and countrywide representation from Malta and Lebanon. This year also saw the very well-received debut of the NOVA3 hall, dedicated to exploring how innovative proptech can benefit the sector; 2,899 start-ups attended the conference

The mood at the conference was largely upbeat and most are expecting another strong year ahead for European real estate. However, as expected there was much discussion about macro-economic developments, including the slowdown in global GDP growth and the vast uncertainty surrounding the upcoming Brexit deadline. Further, there was debate around what stage of the property ‘super cycle’ we have reached and the ECB’s lowering of interest rates.

Nevertheless, there is substantial investor appetite, with excellent levels of liquidity and capital. The consensus was that the sector is performing well despite Brexit, and investors are cautiously optimistic but more selective. On the ground, investors spoke about the current attractiveness of real estate compared with negative yielding bonds, highlighting the significant opportunities on offer as many major European institutions are looking to increase their allocations to real estate (in some cases up to the maximum 25%, higher than ever seen before).

Talking points included housing, the undersupply and high pricing of assets, and yield compression (prime office and logistics assets are under 3% and 4%, respectively). Innovation also played a huge part this year, as a way to future-proof in a shifting real estate landscape that is demanding digitalisation.

To read more about this year’s conference, click here