A changing landscape for property
Tuesday 11 April 2017
The annual MIPIM exhibition is the world’s leading property event, bringing together the most influential people in the sector.
This was the event’s 28th anniversary and took place in Cannes from 14–17 March. Among the delegation of Equiom’s real estate experts who attended the event was Equiom’s Director of Corporate and Real Estate Services, Nina Johnston. She reflects on her experience at the four-day event and discusses the current mood in the sector.
Surrounded by more than 23,000 property specialists from across the real estate sector at the Cote D’Azur, myself, Jim Leavey, Michael McHale and Glenn Cassidy found ourselves busier than ever. The aim of the event is to facilitate real estate business between investors, corporate end-users, local authorities and a wealth of professional intermediaries through a series of networking events and conferences, and it did not disappoint.
Equiom has been attending MIPIM since 2007 and this was our most successful year. We recorded our highest number of meetings yet and our afternoon reception, hosted for a number of the firm’s key contacts within the industry, was a great success.
One of the main themes of this year’s event was collaboration and exploring the roles and responsibilities between real estate stakeholders. The impact of Brexit was surprisingly off the agenda for most of our meetings with investors and intermediaries, although in the Exhibition Centre (the Palais des Fesivals) many of the European countries represented used the uncertainty to promote investment in their regional cities rather than into London.
The most common recurring theme in our discussions was the impact of the changes in relation to Inheritance Tax (IHT) in respect of UK residential property ownership and the last-minute rush from investors to restructure. The introduction of increased rates of stamp duty can be directly correlated to the downward trend in residential transaction values, with the market being described as ‘challenging’ by Savills. However, the commercial market remains active particularly for foreign investors taking advantage of the weaker pound.
This has been our busiest MIPIM despite some market challenges, and the team has worked extremely hard to identify new opportunities for Equiom, the Isle of Man and the other jurisdictions in which we operate. We have received some very positive feedback about our ability to structure complex cross border ownership and banking arrangements and execute transactions efficiently and professionally.
The substantial number of attendees at this year’s show is a clear indicator of the importance of this sector albeit it in a changing environment. Given our vast experience we are well placed to provide bespoke solutions through our global network to this sector.