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Optimism has returned to real estate sector but there are fears over future prospects

Optimism has returned to the real estate sector but there are serious concerns over longer-term prospects, according to Lisette van Doorn, CEO, ULI Europe.

ULI’s new research report on emerging trends in Europe shows clearly this discrepancy. The short-term view is buoyant, with a sense that the pandemic is behind us, there are huge amounts of capital available both on the debt and equity side and forecasts of higher returns for next year. “We were quite surprised by the level of optimism, it is almost as if the pandemic never happened,” said van Doorn.

However, the picture changes when survey respondents look further ahead. “People seem to struggle with what re-starting an economy really means because nobody has any experience of that,” she said.

There are deep concerns about cyber-security but also about inflation and rising construction costs and possible increases in interest rates. There is also a deep unease about the need to transform the real estate sector but not knowing how to go about it.

“It seems that the industry hasn’t got to grips yet with what that organisational transformation means in practical terms,” said van Doorn. “There’s a strong understanding it needs to happen but people have not figured out what you need to do to successfully hire new non-traditional real estate skills or embed technology in the organisation. All these questions are still out in the open.”

Click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.