Europe’s real estate industry expects more and better in 2014. Europe’s economy is growing, and political uncertainty over its future declining. Ireland is seen to be improving; Southern Europe is thought to be past the worst. Equity is flowing in, and debt is becoming easier to find – though how much easier depends on where and for what.
Risk, too, is no longer a dirty word. As Europe’s economy improves, the real estate industry is venturing out of its bunker. It is moving into areas that last year would have been regarded as no-go: Spain, Tier 2 cities, less-than prime buildings in Tier 1 cities, development and adventurous alternatives, such as student housing, data centres and real estate debt.
This movement is partly down to the battle for prime assets. Global capital is flowing into Europe and competition for the best buildings in the best locations of its gateway cities is intense. The time has come to look further afield, to other markets where prices and lot sizes are more digestible.