Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 68

Photos: Paul Charpentier Real Estate Investor Day by Eversheds: ‘Cash-in-quick’ opportunities are gone – but the blue-collar investor may well be rewarded Eversheds’ Real Estate Investor Day in Helsinki attracted a good crowd of industry professionals to Restaurant Pörssi in November. As the biggest real estate law practice in Europe, Eversheds is in a solid position to evaluate where the industry is now – and where it’s going next. J ose Pellicer, Head of Research, Rockspring UK, got the ball rolling in earnest by talking about opportunities in Europe. He noted that Rockspring exited from Finland a good while back, but was eager to see if the time was ripe for a comeback. In his eyes, Helsinki is a bit different from other European capitals: “Helsinki is clearly a tenant’s market, whereas the rest of Europe is a landlord’s market,” he summed up. be that locomotive, but now China must step aside for the US.” As for the Old Continent, Pellicer noted that we’re building very little. Whether you’re talking about shopping centres or offices, the development is lagging. There are investors out there – there always are – but they don’t know what to do with their money: “There’s a chronic lack of quality real estate in Europe.” America Goes First Super Prime in Trouble According to Pellicer, Europe is a “lowgrowth zone” and will remain so for some time to come: “We’re not out of the crisis yet,” he said, adding that debt and external risks may continue to hold back growth, while America is happily back on growth path. The success of the Americans is still a good thing, since the world economy needs a strong locomotive: “For 15 years, we looked to China to Also, Pellicer noted that buyers from emerging markets are harder to find now. As oilproducing countries got stung by falling oil prices, they’re less likely to buy, say, a skyscraper – or five – in London City. It’s this super prime real estate that is now at risk, as there are not that many buyer candidates with truly deep pockets willing to pay hefty prices. “Opportunities are in the middle of the market – and this involves getting your 66 Nordicum hands dirty and delivering the asset management gains,” Pellicer said, pointing out that local knowledge is key in the European markets right now. Still, some companies are doing better than ever and investing in big shiny headquarters. Case in point: Facebook UK just purchased a 250,000 premises just off Oxford Street in London. Eversheds helped Facebook to seal the deal. Block Out the White Noise Bruce Dear, Head of Eversheds London Real Estate team, noted that the Facebook deal is a good example of high-profile new-build, but that’s only one part of the story: “There are opportunities in every phase of the cycle,” he said, warning against losing heart. With sometimes conflicting signals, it’s important to follow your own vision. “One must be able to rise above the market cycle’s white noise.” Sometimes attention turns to the wrong things. Yes, it’s true that capital value has