As 20,000 property professionals departed Cannes following the close of MIPIM 2013, the mood that accompanied them on their journey home was one of growing optimism. Throughout the four day annual event the talk in the conference halls, the hotels and along the Croisette had been of recovery and, while there may still be some way to go, it appears the market may finally be emerging from the doldrums of the past few years.
Last year commercial property investment in London was at its highest level since the onset of the global financial crisis confirming its status as a safe haven. London Mayor Boris Johnson urged against complacency but was nevertheless bullish about the capital’s prospects over the coming year.
“When you’re an international investor, and wondering where to put your money, you know that London is a banker. You know that it’s going to be safe.
“I think the time for sitting it all out is over. There are still problems, there are still anxieties, but it’s more positive than I’ve seen it,” he said.
Now, with signs that the banks are finally relaxing lending restrictions, there are hopes that this confidence will slowly trickle down to the regional markets. Many of the UK’s largest cities were represented at MIPIM seeking to persuade investors and developers to look further afield than London.
The delegation from Manchester was keen to promote the potential of Airport City where construction begins next month. Speaking about the project new boss Karen Campbell said that it will draw international businesses to the region attracted by the benefits of its Enterprise Zone status.
The deputation from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire was also busy raising the profile of the area and returned home from the French Riviera with positive news regarding possible inward investment.
John Betty, the interim director of regeneration, told the Sentinel; “People were surprised about the amount of work going on in Stoke-on-Trent.
“(They) were generally pleased and they now realise there’s more opportunity here than they have given us credit for.
“I think we managed to achieve a lot in terms of what in retail you’d call brand recognition.”
The team had a stand promoting the area at MIPIM and hosted two receptions for the area as well as holding in the region of 100 face to face meetings.
City Councillor Mark Meredith added that attending the event had enabled the team to promote specific sites available for development and to highlight the opportunities for investment which might otherwise go elsewhere.
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