Realcast from EXPO Real: Optimism on the up, repricing reprised, reality intervenes

EXPO Real was, as ever, a great opportunity to gauge the mood of the market and discover at first hand what are real estate experts’ current preoccupations.

While there is acceptance that transactions are fewer, there are signs that this is beginning to change and there was a somewhat surprising level of optimism around the stands and in the aisles at EXPO.

As Faro Capital Partners’ Guillaume Turcas said: “Everyone has accepted that what we’ve been living through for the last four or five years was a complete anomaly. Welcome back to reality where money has a price and there’s risks in real estate.”

But don’t expect transaction levels to increase until later 2024 or even 2025.

EXPO Day journalist Judi Seebus pointed out that repricing still has some way to go.

“On the whole I think people expect the market to come back but there are different views on when exactly.” Some say 2024, others 2025. “Almost everybody agrees it’s not going to happen in this quarter.”

There was a big focus on ESG but the debate has shifted from decarbonisation to social impact, pointed out Ron Van Bloois of Impact and the SHHA.

“One big challenge is how we can measure [the social elements] and what we are measuring and at what level,” he said. Gaining a valuation perspective could be the game changer there.

The increasing role of proptech was also apparent at EXPO. “Corona was really a driver,” said Sander Verseput of Chainels. “There was really an urgency in the market to do things differently and this year you really noticed that ESG is high up the agenda, so there’s really another compelling reason for real estate companies to start with innovation.”