Realcast: Rate rise woe, science space shortage, office return study, Sephora back in London

In the headlines this week:

The focus returns to interest rates where the picture from the ECB is a little bleaker than previously expected. While a 50 basis point rise was envisaged for 16 March as a final hike for a while, more rises now look likely.

As Nuveen head of European property research Stefan Wundrak pointed out in a recent interview with us, the market needs to change its expectations.

Investment manager Mark demonstrated the scope of alternative lenders in the last week announcing it had obtained loans worth a total of £381 against two London assets.

Meanwhile, research by Colliers and the European Science Park Group indicates a severe shortage of supply in Germany’s life sciences and technology property sector by 2025. JLL research on the back-to-the-office trend explains why Asians are the most enthusiastic about returning to the office, followed by Europeans, and why Americans are the most reluctant and city centres like New York are suffering as a result.

A Coima market update revealed a sharp slowing in the Italian market, but highlighted that repricing and potential distress open up opportunities for cash-rich investors. However, there is a clear polarisation between property that is ESG compliant and that which is not.

Elsewhere, company Reinvest has acquired southern Europe’s most sustainable office development which is in Barcelona’s 22@ district. BNP Paribas REIM has acquired five healthcare properties in Belgium, its first such assets in the country.

In the Nordics, DEAS Group has acquired IQ energy Nordic to drive its digital transformation with an energy data management system that will aid sustainability.

In a week that included International Women’s Day (8 March) Bloomberg launched a gender equality index which looked at 484 companies in 45 different countries and found that only 41 of those companies have a female CEO – just over 8%, so still room for improvement.

In the UK, while US firm Newmark has acquired consultant Gerald Eve, Singaporean City Developments has completed its acquisition of Blackstone’s St Katherine Docks, Landsec has obtained planning consent for a 230,000 sq ft offices and retail project.

In the retail market, while luxury electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors has opened its first Scandinavian store in Oslo’s Promenaden district Sephora has returned to bricks and mortar in London, opening a 6,000 sq ft flagship store at Westfield London.

Next up: Mipim. Real Asset Media will be there in force so if you are too, don’t miss our series of briefing sessions in the Club Cannes or our Mipim Investment Track sessions in the Palais des Festivals.

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