Realcast: Convent conversions, retail in the hot seat, France on top, timber BTR houses in NL

In the spotlight this week:

While Canadian-owned Cadillac Fairview acquired a 25% stake in UK developer Stanhope, Swiss family office Larfa Properties announced it is investing €77 million in the revitalisation of the Beato Quarter in Lisbon, which includes a €50 million repositioning of a former convent building.

On the retail front, Savills research on European retail reveals that, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, retail is set to be the most resilient asset class of 2022 despite the fact that prime high street rents are down about 34% on the pre-pandemic peak. Investment into discounted retailers has already doubled year on year and grocery stores account for about a third of all retail investment activity in Europe.

At the recent MAPIC retail real estate show in Cannes, Warner Brothers announced it will partner with Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven) to bring a purpose-built indoor adventure centre to the kingdom. And, Daria Gate Development Authority signed a deal to open up Timeout Market Riyadh following the opening of Timeout Market Dubai last year.

At Real Asset Media’s European Outlook 2023 Focus on France event, the consensus was that France is weathering the crisis much better than other European countries. Among the explanations was the depth and liquidity of the market and the strong presence of domestic investors as well as the significance of capital from the US and Middle East in particular. Off-market inter-fund deals are fending off a crash and keeping distress in check.

In Milan, Coima has unveiled more details about its latest project, Porta Romana, which will host the athlete’s village for the Winter Olympics of 2026.

And, in the ‘living’ sector, retailer John Lewis and fund manager Aberdeen have formed a joint venture to create 1,000 BTR homes in three UK projects in London and the South East.

Patrizia is developing a BTR community in The Netherlands making extensive use of cross-laminated timber and Axa IM Alts has announced its first investment in the Japanese care home market with a €156 million portfolio acquisition.

Knight Frank’s 2022 UK Care Homes Trading Performance Review revealed that the occupancy levels are improving and some homes are already trading at pre-pandemic levels although there are headwinds due to inflation, rising energy costs and staffing shortages.

Click on the video to see the full discussion or listen to the podcast below.