Final report

Amid uncertainty: EXPO REAL 2023 offers the industry room for reorientation

October 6, 2023

  • 1,856 exhibitors from 36 countries
  • More than 40,000 participants from 70 countries
  • Industry rises to the challenges

Quo Vadis, real estate industry? This is clearly one of the questions to which visitors at this year's EXPO REAL were looking for answers—and found them. From October 4 to 6, 2023, a total of 1,856 exhibitors from 36 countries (2022: 1,887 / 33) and more than 40,000 participants from 70 countries (2022: 39,932 / 74) came to Munich for Europe's largest trade fair for real estate and investments. The total number of participants was divided into approximately 20,000 trade visitors (2022: 19,434) and 20,312 company representatives (2022: 20,498).

“This year in particular, EXPO REAL has again proven to be the industry's working trade fair, providing the platform to discuss existing challenges, solutions and opportunities,” says Stefan Rummel, CEO of Messe München. “The real estate industry finds itself facing one of the toughest times it has seen in a long time. Increasing interest rates, stagnating construction projects, inflation—the problems are many. These are precisely the reasons why the participants spent three days here in Munich exchanging ideas and talking.”

The highly frequented conference program featured partly critical discussions not only on ESG, digitalization, urban development or demographic change, but also on topics such as housing construction or (re)financing—indicating just how great the need for discussion was.

Industry rises to the challenges

Dr. Gertrud R. Traud, Managing Director and Chief Economist at Helaba, confirms this: “This year’s topics were interest rates, sustainability, demographics and digitalization. EXPO REAL highlighted that market participants are aware of these challenges and are addressing them.” Sascha Klaus, CEO at Berlin hyp AG, sees “this year's EXPO REAL as an indicator of the current challenges facing our industry. It has once again been shown how important exchange and networking is, especially in difficult times. After all, that's the only way we can work together to find solutions and seize opportunities.”

Cautious optimism

However, despite the difficult omens, the industry also sent out a signal of confidence at EXPO REAL, as Dieter Becken, Managing Partner at Becken Holding GmbH, confirms: “Drawing on my personal experience from the past four crises, I am confident that we can overcome these challenges together. For me personally and for my employees, EXPO REAL is the appropriate platform to engage in constructive exchange with other market participants and to drive forward potential solutions.”

Prof. Dr. Tobias Just, Managing Director and Scientific Director at IREBS Immobilienakademie GmbH, gets to the heart of the situation: “A cocktail of rising interest rates, high construction costs and political back-and-forth abruptly brought to an end a long upswing in the industry. And yet the image of the ‘perfect storm’ is wrong, as user demand is intact in many segments, construction and land costs will ease again, and legislators are backpedaling at least a little. It remains uncertain if this will be enough for a recovery as early as 2024, but it's not all bad news, and a working fair like EXPO REAL can be a good indicator of that as well.”

The next EXPO REAL will take place from October 7 to 9, 2024.

Related images

More than 40,000 participants from 70 countries came to Munich for Europe's largest trade fair for real estate and investments
The panels in conference program were highly frequented
There was a lively need for conversation and discussion at the stands
Also this year EXPO REAL was the platform to discuss existing challenges, solutions and opportunities