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A key talking point at this year’s MIPIM event has been the increasing prevalence of technology in the property sector, and more importantly, how we now have an opportunity and a responsibility to utilise technology to plan for the cities of the future.
With MIPIM now in full swing, what is already clearly evident is the strong appetite for international investment in major cities across the North West.
Monday at MIPIM seems to have become a really productive work day over the last few years. Perhaps that owes something to the early flight out of Liverpool which has become increasingly popular.
So what’s to look forward to this year at MIPIM?
Shopping centres account for nearly 15% of total retail floorspace in the UK. Costar estimates that there are more than 1,400 shopping centres across the UK of which only 276 are classified as “Prime” or “Major Urban”. While representing less than 20% of shopping centres by number, these dominant schemes account for nearly 50% of total shopping centre floor space on their database. The space that remains is spread across more than 1,100 schemes which are variously defined as “Urban”, “District” or “Neighbourhood” but all of which, in investment parlance, might be labelled “Secondary” or even “Tertiary” shopping centres. Many of these secondary schemes are now dated and visibly starting to struggle. The logic that led to their initial development is increasingly undermined by the growth of online sales and the preference of consumers for more convenient retail parks on the edge of town centres.
Technological advances remain as captivating and disruptive as ever for the real estate, infrastructure and construction industries; digital disruption is shaping our future. This disruption will be driven by both changes to the needs of the consumer and also changes to how work is carried out within the real estate, infrastructure and construction industries.
The first lesson my fellow undergraduate coursemates and I were taught at university was that ‘planners do not plan towns’. A useful clarification, but what followed was arguably more noteworthy. It was explained that we had picked an exciting time to be involved in planning, even if we were not to be gifted a blank slate on which to design new settlements.
Crane Surveys 2018
Backed by significant investor confidence, strong business communities and an influx of new talent, the latest Regional Crane Surveys show an unparalleled scale and volume of development.
The Mayor of London has published his draft London Plan, which is open for consultation until 2 March 2018. In a briefing on the plan last Friday, Deputy Mayor for Planning Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe said that the plan already carries “material weight”. From our discussions with GLA officers, it seems that the GLA will be using it in planning decisions from now on.
Sadiq Khan has published the final version of his affordable housing and viability supplementary planning guidance (SPG). This was consulted on earlier in the year. The final document has remained very similar to the draft but with a number of subtle differences. It sets out the Mayor’s approach to strategic applications that are referred to him, noting that Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are encouraged to follow the same approach for all schemes providing 10 or more homes.
A brief introduction to the loan portfolio market today
The international loan portfolio market has seen significant growth and continued innovation in recent years, as lenders bundle up and offload risk from their balance sheets. Large scale portfolio transactions are often key to stabilising the positions of ‘problem’ lenders; as we write, details are emerging on recently rescued Spanish lender Banco Popular’s €30bn non-performing loan portfolio.