Student accommodation, logistics properties and the Dutch market feature high on investors’ agenda for 2020, according to panellists at REFI Europe‘s latest breakfast briefing, which took place at the London office of law firm DLA Piper. Macro-economic and political uncertainty are not impacting institutional capital inflows too much, they said.

Defining the mood in the real estate private equity investment space as ‘cautiously optimistic’, the panel, led by REFI Europe editor Julie Cruz, discussed the slightly improved outlook for property, largely a result of interest rate cuts, which have pushed bond yields lower and kept property yields stable. Dennis Schoenmaker, senior quantitative real estate market analyst at pan-European investor AEW, said: “If we take a step back and see where we were last year, we basically saw a tightening cycle last year, we saw interest rates being raised.”

Student accommodation

Holland is one of the more mature continental European markets when it comes to student housing. Stefan Kolibar, head of marketing at Bonard, called it “a role model” for other markets when it comes to accommodation for students.

For Kolibar’s firm, Iberia — Spain and Portugal — are regions where student housing opportunities are most appealing, and they will continue to be in 2020. “As an asset class, student housing in the UK has been booming for the last five to seven years, and now the big boom is in continental Europe. Germany, and right now, institutional investors are looking at Iberia, predominantly Spain, cities like Seville, and also Italy, like Milan, as well as France and Brussels,” he said.


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