• 26,800 delegates from all sectors of the international property industry attended the four-day conference from more than 100 countries:
    • This comprised 560 political leaders, 4,800 developers, and 5,400 investors (with institutional investors representing $700 billion AUM)
    • While definitive figures have not yet been released regarding attendance breakdown by country, it is estimated that the UK once again had the largest number of delegates
  • This marks the 30th edition of MIPIM, with the overarching theme of ‘Engaging the Future’–how the next generation will live and work in increasingly populated urban environments; other key takeaways included the residential and logistics sectors heating up
  • Ban Ki-moon, eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, gave the highly anticipated opening keynote address, issuing a sobering call to future proof cities against the impacts of climate change


Despite any global geopolitical and economic uncertainty, on the ground it was clear that the spirit and intent of MIPIM continue to flourish. The overwhelming feedback is that MIPIM is still the place to meet – it brings people together on a platform of collaboration and enables discussions to progress

With Brexit negotiations still ongoing, the general mood was optimistic, though cautiously so, and the prevailing attitude was one of ‘wait and see’. Investment appetite has certainly not disappeared. It was remarked that uncertainty is the new normal and presents opportunities

Certain investors are bucking the trend for caution by integrating a level of risk into their strategies and carrying on (as one investor told us: “when everyone is looking right it often pays to look left”). Companies eschewed making definitive statements, and there were fewer news scoops. There was also much debate on whether the property market is at the mature end of the cycle and for how long.

General trends

  • Ban Ki-moon stressed that implementing new models now is vital to ensuring sustainability and the future of cities (given world population growth predictions) and urged the real estate industry to play its part and incorporate environmental factors into decision-making
  • Views were expressed that the real estate sector should embrace tech and innovation to address current challenges. Proptech solutions are helping landlords to engage with occupiers (dedicated tenant apps, etc), and the ‘property as a service’ philosophy is gaining momentum
  • MIPIM also increased efforts to encourage younger talent from diverse backgrounds into the industry, as part of delivering the future. This year featured the inaugural Young Leaders Summit
  • Taking place a week immediately after International Women’s Day, MIPIM was a platform from which the industry could continue its efforts to address gender diversity. This was done through greater representation at panels, events, and speaker slots.   The launch of a new book by CBRE’s Amanda Clack and RICS’ Judith Gabler, entitled “Managing Diversity and Inclusion in the Real Estate Sector”, was the source of some wide ranging discussion

Sector trends

  • Macro global trends around urbanisation, changing demographics and globalisation meant asset classes often referred to simply as ‘beds’ were a central topic of conversation (i.e. hotels, build to rent, student and senior living residential) and garnered enormous interest. JLL commented that investment volumes for Europe’s residential sector will surpass those of retail in 2019
  • Another dominant theme that emerged was the industrial and distribution sector, set to be a top performer again this year. Well-documented headwinds in retail, including the surge in e-commerce, have impacted stores. Retailers are rethinking their supply chains. This has bolstered the industrials space and funds are targeting the sector to temper any retail uncertainty
  • The ongoing rise in online retail – attributed to shifting consumer behaviour and demands, as well as city living (over 600 million more people worldwide expected to live in urban environments by 2030), together with the advent of new technologies. This means that retailers must adapt their supply chains accordingly to the changing and competitive retail environment, driving up demand for logistics assets. This was echoed by those attending the Shedmasters event at MIPIM, who shared their concerns and views about retail supply chains (an area where both Next and M&S are currently investing heavily)
  • The move away from traditional retail also creates many opportunities, and retailers understand that they need to take an ‘omnichannel’ approach (such as Amazon, which is extending its offering across online and physical stores) to cater to the modern consumer


  • A number of leading reports were released at MIPIM, and ‘Emerging Trends in Real Estate’ (Urban Land Institute and PwC) reveals that any slowdown will be balanced by the pause in interest rate increases, lower levels of debt financing, lower asset supply, and the appetite for alternatives
  • Transactions in UK commercial real estate for the first two months of 2019 amounted to £5 billion (a like-for-like decrease of 84 per cent) – but according to Colliers International data, it is still the country of choice for ‘disciplined’ investors, and global interest will continue
  • Further afield, Cushman & Wakefield expects European real estate investment volumes to exceed €300 billion in 2019. There has been more diversification into alternative, non-cyclical, opportunities (e.g. student accommodation, data centres and healthcare)
  • The UK property market has shown underlying stability despite the referendum, and the big message from the London stands was that we are very much open for business. There was a strong showing by ministers and council leaders, with housing top of the agenda

UK regions

  • Housing minister Kit Malthouse was unable to attend at the last minute due to the unfolding Westminster negotiations
  • The West Midlands’ Mayor Andy Street unveiled a £10 billion pipeline of investment opportunities in the region
  • Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, called for greater autonomy for regional cities to avoid being damaged by the focus on Brexit, and for cities to partner with one another
  • Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of Homes England, was at MIPIM to support ‘ambitious local areas’ in redressing the housing crisis, and speaking with potential like-minded partners and overseas investors
  • Meanwhile, Derek Mackay, the Scottish finance secretary, championed a pro-business and pro-development message and reiterated that Scotland’s real estate market offers a considerable investment opportunity

International markets

  • Germany’s ‘premium B’ cities are attracting attention, as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt are considered overheated. PwC notes that Berlin and Munich have the highest values and lowest yield but are still drawing in institutional investors
  • In the Nordics, although city centre residential has slowed, this has caused an uptick in the office market. Sweden dominates the region with half of the total activity, and Oslo used MIPIM to discuss its target to cut emissions by 95 per cent by 2030
  • In Asia, in spite of challenges, market fundamentals have remained compelling. A great deal was said about Korean capital – in 2018, €6.8 billion of Korean investments flowed into Europe
  • Japan shared the positive message that the country’s real estate industry is becoming more global and represents a safe, robust investment choice with high yields
  • In Central and Eastern Europe, investment activity has been growing across all asset classes but logistics is a clear winner
  • Poland is most active in the region in terms of investment volume, with heightened demand for office space and construction
  • Overseas investment into the Spanish real estate market is at a five-year high (amounting to €7.3 billion out of a total €10.8 billion)
  • Although Italy is experiencing an economic downturn, Milan is proving an exception and has not seen a slowdown foreign investment
  • Turkey’s property market is undergoing expansion, and demand is booming, and Dubai now boasts one of the strongest global real estate markets, a trend likely to continue