Fog on the horizon

Did you go to Cannes hoping for some answers (or at least a few hints) and then come back even more confused? Because, apart from the official optimism that we’ve already become accustomed to and are even a little fed up with, it’s possible that you might have taken away a dizzying array of contradictory reactions and impressions from MIPIM

Evidently, there were noticeably fewer visitors and exhibitors at this year’s fair, but some of those attending actually saw this as a positive – that the event is becoming more specialised, and it’s better without those that shouldn’t be there as they only take up valuable time with fruitless meetings and add to the queues to the toilet. While others, with a rather irritating air of cynicism, took this as their cue to proclaim that “MIPIM is dying!” and with a sinister snigger went on to argue that the format of meeting up in one of Europe’s most expensive cities on the Côte d’Azur has had its day – especially at a time when we’re all tightening our belts. Another set of opinion makers, the army of optimists, compare the present market to a sports car with a revving engine but with the handbrake on. All we have to do is wait for the driver to lift the brake-handle and then we’ll all surge forward into a brighter future. Others (let’s call them realists) believe that there’s no point in waiting for that, because this is actually what the reality is now. They are the types who ask wryly: “Did you really think that the queue of potential anchor tenants and all the cheap money would go on forever?” One way or another, the list of exhibitors and the conference schedule illustrated two clear areas of the market that are still in a dynamic growth phase – ESG and proptech. The only question remaining is, when will we actually be able to fully go green and digitise?

Once again, the topic of ESG is well covered in our April issue. We will be checking on how developers have been taking on board the management of rainwater and examining the importance of the coffee machine in the life of each tenant. We will also be taking a look at the data centre sector and whether the advances in AI are all good news. You will also be finding out how much truth there is in the forecasts that the transportation and logistics sector is slowing down, which some say could impact the fortunes of a warehouse segment that’s already feeling the strain. As well as our report from Cannes, we will also be taking a trip abroad to our immediate southern neighbours to admire the superb modernisation and conversion project for a historic abattoir complex in Ostrava. And we will be looking back at the exploits of the players who took part in the second Eurobuild Winter Doubles Tennis Tournament.

Since you will be reading this April issue after Easter, please allow me to wish you instead all the best for the May Day holiday. May it be filled with the warmth and hope that spring brings with it!