UK Government Backs British Real Estate at MIPIM UK

London, 20 October, 2017 – Government ministers Rona Fairhead and Jake Berry voiced their confidence in the British real estate sector as they addressed industry leaders attending the fourth edition of MIPIM UK, the largest property event for real estate companies working in the British market. Their support came against a background of uncertainty linked to the on-going Brexit negotiations.

This year the two-day event attracted 3,000 delegates from 45 countries. Keynote speaker António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, addressed the conference on the future global economy.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) had strong presence again this year, signalling the Government’s ongoing commitment to UK property and infrastructure as key economic drivers. Rona Fairhead, Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, launched the DIT stand and spoke of the importance of both inward investment and exporting expertise. She said “Our success at the DIT has been based on being an international economic department which relies on outreach and relies on partnership. The spirit of collaboration is something the Department and I particularly want to encourage. We have senior figures from across the country talking about how they work with government, with businesses and with investors to attract overseas investment to our regions towns and communities.”

Mark Garnier, Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade, announced a £1.3 billion Northern Ireland investment portfolio of 7 projects across the housing, office, retail and leisure sectors. While visiting the show, Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, described the North as “a land of opportunity”, with great potential to attract investment as a regional centre for industry, technology and innovation.

The investor community showed up in force, with over 300 delegates from nearly 200 investment companies and financial institutions from the UK and abroad. This continued appetite for investment opportunities in the UK market demonstrates that there is still interest and belief in the UK as a good long-term investment. Speaking at the Investors Summit, Martijn Vos of APG Asset Management said that “As a pension fund, interest rates are a big issue but the fundamentals of real estate remain more important than inflation.”

The Innovation forum presented the latest trends in the burgeoning PropTech sector, with Greg Williams, Editor of WIRED UK, tackling digitalisation and how technology and the internet of things are changing the world around us. Sahar Hashemi, Co-Founder of Coffee Republic and Co-Chair of the UK Government’s Scale-Up Taskforce, delivered a rousing keynote speech to introduce the Startup Competition where she advised entrepreneurs to “Always act like a start-up and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.” She later concluded by saying “The energy of startups is what keeps the industry thriving.” The teams of Physee, Grid Edge and Disruptive Tech won the UK round of the Startup Competition and will be heading to the final in Cannes in March 2018.

Housing was again a major topic of debate amongst the conference panels, with a particular focus on succesful partnerships between the public and private sector that go beyond simply fulfilling housing need to creating the places that will serve our communities in the future. Much of the debate focused around the Private Rented Sector (PRS) as well as modular housing and innovative methods of construction. Bill Hughes, Head of Real Assets at Legal & General Investment Management, said that “Modular must be the future of Build to Rent, with high quality and lower cost.”

The London Stand, in association with Pipers, brought together some of the most influential figures in British and European cities, local government and the private sector including James Murray who said “We want to play a much more interventionist role in the land market in London and in the coming years you will see the GLA playing a much more active role.” Jules Pipe announced “The new London Plan will set out a new approach to growth and making London a better place to live, with six areas of focus including building strong, inclusive communities, growing a good economy, creative intensification, affordable housing, creating a healthier city and increasing efficiency and resilience.”

Ronan Vaspart, MIPIM Director concluded “It’s been an incredible two days with so much to learn and such variety of people from all stakeholders of the real estate industry. The UK is still the top ranking destination in Europe for foreign direct investment and we are proud that MIPIM UK provides a platform for partnerships to be forged. It’s important that the key issues of the day are discussed here, from working to solve the UK housing crisis, to the future of the workplace and the rapid developments in technology that are effecting how real estate business is carried out. These are interesting times and we look forward to reconvening in Cannes next March for MIPIM 2018.” 

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About MIPIM UK:
MIPIM UK – is the largest domestic exhibition and conference for property professionals, providing a marketplace for UK players and international investors to meet, discuss projects and opportunities and to do business. The two-day event takes place at Olympia from 18th-19rd October 2017.
MIPIM – the world’s property market is the leading and largest global property event.  The four day event takes place annually in Cannes every March. 24,200 delegates attended in 2017 with 5,000 investors, and 100 different countries being represented.

                                                                                                               

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