“Talks with German investors here are short, sharp and about investing”
From technology-oriented construction solutions to the next version of business hotels, it’s a place where the seeds are sown for deals that may blossom months or even years down the line. “It’s not like a trade fair where you sell products and get a response a few days later,” says Burger King Deutschland’s Andreas Brinkmann. “Here it’s a long way to success.” Glasgow is just one of the cities repre – sented at the fair. It’s looking for help to redevelop its faded waterfront and this is an ideal opportunity to pitch itself at a high level.
Anne Murray, who has been coming for seven years, says Expo Real is the staid Teutonic sibling to Mipim, Cannes’ annual real-estate extravaganza – and that’s why she likes it. “Mipim is more razzmatazz. Talks with German investors here are short and sharp,” says Murray who, as the city’s inward-investment manager, decided to expand the size of its booth this year. “Expo Real is taken more seriously. People come here to do business.”
“Because of all the chaos in the world, Germany is, more than ever, a safe haven”
And there’s plenty of business to be done. More than 44,000 people came to Munich in 2018 – its biggest crowd yet – drawn by years of strong growth in the European realestate market, fuelled in part by a decade of cheap credit and uncertainty elsewhere in the world. This meant that in the first half of 2018, global real-estate markets turned in their strongest performance since 2007, according to investment management-com – pany JLL. In a pre-fair survey, 66 per cent of respondents were upbeat about the conditions facing the sector.
It helps that Expo Real is heavily focused on the German market, with ample repre – sentation from neighbours such as Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands, all nations with strong, growing economies and com – parative political stability. “Because of all the chaos in the world, Germany is, more than ever, a safe haven,” says Matthias Pink, Savills’ Germany’s head of research, who says that sure things such as logistics hubs – warehouses and distribution centres located close to major population centres – are particularly hot right now. “There’s a lot of insecurity in the global market and investors are risk-averse. The fundamentals are very good at the moment. There’s a lot of money looking for opportunities – and opportunities to invest are rare.”