Recap: ULI Greece & Cyprus Annual Conference 2022
ULI Greece & Cyprus successfully held its Annual Conference titled "Real Estate Resilience in an Uncertain Word" on 27th September 2022.
November 29, 2022
ULI Greece & Cyprus launched the annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe report on Thursday, 24 November 2022, 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. The event was held at the Eurobank HQ in Athens.
Keynote speaker Sophie Chick, Vice President, Research & Advisory Services, ULI Europe, presented the findings of the 2022 report which was based on interviews and surveys from influential leaders in the real estate industry. In her presentation Sophie Chick highlighted that the outbreak of war in Ukraine has cast a long shadow on Europe and real estate. 7 out of 10 survey respondents believe that Europe will move into a recession before 2023 and concerns are evident around inflation, interest rate movements and construction costs. It is also believed that a potential materialization of a recession within the next months would lead to a decrease in development activity and real estate investment volumes. On the capital side, the view for 2023 is that whether it is equity or debt, the availability of resources will decrease for new investments and refinancing or for development.
New energy infrastructure was on the top of the sector rankings for the second consecutive year, reflecting energy crisis concerns but also investors’ appetite towards alternative sectors that will benefit from the megatrends of demographics, climate change and technology. Interestingly enough, various forms of housing dominate half of the top 10 sector rankings showing that the residential market is still considered a good investment with further development prospects.
At the end of the presentation, Sophie Chick presented the expected catalysts of change in real estate over the coming 20 years. An overwhelming 93% of respondents view that running an environmentally and socially sustainable business is the most important factor for successful organisational transformation over the next 2 decades. The ESG agenda, climate change and decarbonisation all featured in the top 5 expected drivers of change for real estate.
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion, as well as a short Q&A session, with the panel consisting of key players in the local real estate investment community, including, Mr. Paul Gomopoulos, Senior Managing Director and Country Head, Hines Greece, Mr. Aris Karytinos, CEO of Prodea Investments, Mr. Nikos Vettas, General Director, Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research – IOBE (Professor, Athens University of Economics and Business), Mr. Nikos Dimtsas, CIO of Dimand and Mr. Marinos Giannopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece.
During the panel discussion, we heard views on Greece’s current economic situation and outlook and it was mentioned that Greece has established itself as an innovation and data hub center in Europe with foreign investors still showing significant interest in the logistics sector. On the top list of investment sectors, foreign investors are interested on rank tourism, logistics and marinas. The increase of interest rates was highlighted as well as the need for real estate companies to identify new strategies to deal with the inflationary movements such us hedging and deleverage through asset sales. On the topic of investment values, we heard the belief that to the extent that developers continue to offer and deliver high quality buildings in prime locations, the value of such assets should not be affected. Lastly, it was noted that there is demand for the Private Renter Sector (PRS) in the residential market in Greece. However, the lack of track record for such transactions in the country makes it difficult for investors to predict exit values and yields.
Click here to access the report.
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