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Barometer of Opinion

1,880 participants of Europe’s biggest property trade fair took part in the third EXPO REAL barometer of opinion and paint a true picture of the mood in the real estate industry. Apart from Brexit, interest rate policy and housing, the topics also include amounts invested, major influencing factors and popular investment locations.

“As yet, the real estate industry won’t be unsettled by discussions about international tariffs and debt—for 2018 and 2019, EXPO REAL’s participants still remain optimistic," explains Klaus Dittrich, Chairman & CEO of Messe München. “A large proportion of the respondents even reckon on increasing amounts to be invested in Germany, they accordingly see a lot of potential in niche segments like city logistics or healthcare and care properties." As for digital transformation, there’s a spirit of optimism: “The greatest potential is seen in the areas of "Manage & Operate", "Plan & Build" and "Market"."

79 percent of respondents expect a rather good result for their companies in 2019, 14 percent even anticipate a record year.

Germany is still regarded as a safe haven. For the most part, the property professionals think the amounts invested here will continue to rise (55%) or remain the same (38%). With regard to the EU (excluding Germany), 44% still reckon with a further increase and 47% with the same level. Only for the UK does the pendulum swing in the other direction: 62% of respondents assume the amounts invested there will drop, 29% reckon with the same amounts.

The chaos of Brexit is clearly making itself felt in the real estate industry.

19% of the property professionals surveyed feel the chaos of Brexit in their business, around one third have adjusted their investment strategy. 20% reckon with massive consequences for their business in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The evidently permanent policy of low interest rates polarizes opinion: one half of the respondents regard this development as a blessing, one half as a curse.

The respondents assess these influencing factors as particularly decisive for the real estate sector in Europe: affordable housing (57%), interest rate policy (53%), shortage of space (49%), shortage of skilled labor (45%), digitization (39%), big liquidity squeeze among international investors (38%) and climate change/protection (37%).

Affordable housing is right at the top of the agenda in the real estate industry and politics. 52% of respondents think the market and private companies are less and less capable of solving societal problems. 75% recommend cooperating more intensively with local authorities and politics. As many as 39% would support expedient regulation in this area—and 7% will be investing more strongly in office property because of the heavy regulation for residential property.

In the respondents’ opinion, these are the top “B” locations for future investment in office property in Germany: Leipzig (21%), Nuremberg (18%), Hanover (17%), Dresden (16%) and Wiesbaden (15%).

At the same time, 49% indicated that they do not want to invest more strongly in “B” locations.

What types of property use will keep gaining in importance in Germany?

Healthcare and care properties collected an especially large share of opinions (64%) followed by housing (56%), mixed-use property (55%), micro living (50%) and logistics property (45%).

German investors are investing more strongly abroad. The most popular target markets are Austria/Switzerland (30%), BeNeLux (14%), USA (14%), Northern Europe (12%) and France, which is on a par with Central & Eastern Europe (11%).

At the same time, 49 percent indicated that they continue to invest only in Germany.

The graphic for the top 7 influencing factors as a video

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For the online survey, EXPO REAL commissioned the independent opinion research institute IfaD. 1,380 EXPO REAL 2017 from Germany and abroad took part in the survey conducted in July 2018.

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