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RealCast: Germany, ESG, retailing and of face-to-face events in prospect again

Nicol Dynes, Dan Innes, Giles Barrie and Richard Betts

In the spotlight this week:

During last week’s Real Asset Live online briefing focusing on Germany, panellists explained that after a not-too-bad 2020 for the country’s investment market, the first two months of this year saw volumes down. But a bounce back is expected and residential and offices are likely to continue to be the leading sectors.

At a second online event, panellists agreed that addressing ESG is no long a “nice to have” but is a “must have” and there is growing consensus that ESG will have an impact on valuations but it is difficult to quantify.

Sustainability is a consideration for shopping centre owner Capital & Regional’s whose share value increased on news that it is partnering Reef Technology which finds alternative uses for underperforming shopping centre and car parking space including kitchens, urban farms and last mile logistics.

Meanwhile, the UK government’s extention of the ban on commercial evictions for non payment of rent could be a ticking time bomb when many tenants have no good reason not to be paying rent.

As the vaccine rollouts boost morale, the resumption of face-to-face events becomes a realistic prospect: Reed MIDEM has announced a two-day MIPIM event in Cannes in September; later the same month Completely Retail Marketplace and Revo are planning a combined UK event; in the same week as  the London Real Estate Forum.

Among UK retail news, John Lewis announced that some of its department stores may never reopen, Selfridges has signed over 8,000 sq ft on Oxford Street to Hugo Boss, and M&S is to redevelop its five-storey flagship Marble Arch store with a nine storey building with only two floors of retail

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