Speculation about MIPIM, one of the two major international real estate conferences, has been rife over the past few months. Are you going? Are we going? Is it going to be worth it? Well, here we are, along with an estimated 17,000 other people according to the organisers.
So much has happened over the past two years that it’s hard to comprehend. First there was Covid, now the war in Ukraine and of course the conspicuous absence at this event of the lavish Russian stands that used to adorn the external areas of the Palais des Festivals.
To think, we used to worry about the impact of proptech and the sector’s slow uptake of new technologies. Today, we’re facing a more brutal set of economic challenges, the likes of which we’ve perhaps not seen since the 70s. How will investors and occupiers cope with the looming energy crisis, rising interest rates and inflation at 8% or more?
It almost feels as though we’re at a major juncture where investors who’ve been busy evaluating their allocations during the pandemic and shuffling them into sectors likely to be long-term winners are being forced to reassess everything against a rapidly deteriorating outlook. With the Ukraine crisis only a few weeks old, it’s going to be hard to draw any conclusions so soon.
Will rising inflation still be a short-term, transitory phenomenon as most central banks were hoping? Indeed, it’s highly likely these will be among the major topics of conversation being discussed over a glass of Château Minuty Rosé (some things will never change) on the yachts and in the hotel suites along La Croisette.
Unfortunately the internet wasn’t around in the 70s, so we can’t search the online media to see the headlines and how the industry coped back then, but we do have a recent proxy for how we’ve managed to cope with unanticipated shocks to the system. Covid, providing it doesn’t make another resurgence, demonstrated how resilient we and the industry can be. Amazing things are possible when everyone pulls together. Hopefully the same will be true for the latest crisis and the invasion of Ukraine.