That Cannes-do spirit

23,000 delegates representing 90 countries gathered on the French Riviera on March 14-17th, for MIPIM – the international event that brings together political leaders and the real estate community to find solutions to the challenges facing the built environment

The numbers of visitors and exhibitors at the 32nd MIPIM real estate fair in Cannes were up by 15 pct on last year’s figures, largely due to bigger delegations from France, the UK, Germany and Italy. And the ranks of these European representatives were swelled by their counterparts from Japan, Canada, the US, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among others, reflecting the fact that the convention is now a truly global event. The cities and countries in attendance had the opportunity to showcase their pioneering urban planning strategies and novel approaches aimed at greater sustainability and prosperity.

Nicolas Kozubek, MIPIM’s director, commented: “In an uncertain global environment, MIPIM can act as a catalyst for innovation and a focal point for the transformation of real estate. More than ever before, we could feel the incredible energy from political leaders, investors and the wider real estate community, who are collaborating to create better, more sustainable buildings and places. With the decarbonisation of cities foremost on the agenda this year, MIPIM has signed up to the Road to Zero Alliance together with fellow real estate leaders to affirm our sustainability commitments. We’re excited that we will be able to continue these endeavours at MIPIM New York in November.”

Senior political, economic and environmental leaders, including American economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, Christophe Béchu, the French Minister for Ecological Transition and Cohesion of the Territories, Olivier Klein, the French Minister Delegate for Cities and Housing, Cristina Gamboa, the CEO of the World Green Building Council, and Lord Dominic Johnson, the UK’s Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade, gave their own speeches to the world’s real estate community, providing unique insights into the global challenges we face and their plans for tackling them.

Lord Dominic Johnson remarked that: “With the majority of the UK’s real estate capital coming from overseas, it’s vital that we remind global investors of the UK’s leading position as an investment destination. MIPIM is the perfect place to source such investment.”

76 of the world’s top 100 investment managers, acting as advisors for assets worth a combined EUR 4 tln, took part in an impressive new format, involving exhibitions, discussions and panel talks. These included Isabelle Scemama, the global head at investment manager AXA IM Alts, as well as Commerz Real’s CEO Henning Koch.

The focus of the new ‘Road to Zero’ zone – 400 sqm of exhibition, networking and conference space – was on the latest methods developed to decarbonise the real estate sector. As part of this ongoing decarbonisation journey, MIPIM has signed up to the Road to Zero Alliance of high-profile businesses, such as PWC and real estate investment trust Icade, to take faster, more effective action.

MIPIM 2023 also saw the launch of the Co-Liv Summit in response to the growth in alternative ways of living. The new Infrastructure Stage highlighted the urgent need to consider every aspect of the urban environment in a holistic way, addressing the impact of water, energy, data centres and transport in terms of property development.

These vital discussions will continue at MIPIM Asia on December 5–6th in Hong Kong and the recently launched MIPIM New York (MIPIM NY) on November 29–30th. Organised in partnership with MetaProp, MIPIM NY will be a complementary event to MIPIM, focused on sustainability, data ethics, urban planning, ESG, innovation and many other topics.

MIPIM returns to the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on March 12–15th, 2024. Tomasz Cudowski


The expert’s eye

Michał M. Styś

A market expert in asset management, property development and proptech at OPG Property Professionals and the Polish Association of Developers (PZFD)

As always, this year’s MIPIM provided many opportunities to discuss and reflect upon the global real estate market. A number of take-aways emerged this year:

- the days of “free money” are over

- there is less talk about a possible recession in Europe and more of a “soft landing”

- the high cost of money is slowing down transaction speeds and volumes

- a devaluation in real estate has just begun, so there will be more negotiations between banks and project investors

- home working is impacting office rents and vacancy in and around city centres, with this being most evident in US cities

- flexibility for tenants is becoming ever more important, so the length of leases will be shorter; flex office providers will therefore benefit from the shift in how office work is now being done

- amenities are of key importance in attracting talent to work in office buildings

- building repositioning will become increasingly prevalent, especially from the office to the residential market

- ESG has become even more important than ever before as energy costs soar

- high-street retail is still suffering post-pandemic due to the drop in footfall and fewer people coming into city centres

- prime real estate is now the main product on the radar for top institutional investors

- mixed-use projects are better at generating stable cash-flows than single-use buildings

- cash is king once again

- due to the above pressures and market challenges, this year new and interesting investment opportunities will open up for professional and adaptable investors