Posted by: Jon Neale
Head of Research – UK
Jones Lang LaSalle
I feel almost embarrassed to admit that this is the first time I have visited MIPIM. My excitement and interest in being here – and my enjoyment of the distinctly sunny, spring-like weather – is tempered by a slight sense of guilt. Apparently in below-zero Sussex, schools are closed and my wife is trapped inside with two under-5s.
The exhibition halls at Cannes provide ample evidence for a central argument made by Jones Lang LaSalle’s research teams: the property market is increasingly about competition between cities rather than countries. It is like an EasyJet itinerary of European cities: Gothenburg. Dusseldorf. Toulouse. Edinburgh. Poznan. Milan.
The hierarchies of European city-regions are also apparent. London and Paris have large tents outside the main hall – although admittedly the largest such structure belongs to the Russians. The fact that Turkey is the ‘country of honour’ – and that there are many conversations about the growing appeal of Istanbul – further demonstrates how the economic power of Europe’s eastern fringe is growing.
As head of UK research, though, my main interest is in how British cities try to grasp the opportunities presented by MIPIM. London, a case apart for obvious reasons, has no problems in grabbing the limelight; for what seems like several hours photographers and journalists appear to be circling Boris Johnson. Meanwhile, its tent is bursting with opportunities and initiatives, from Nine Elms and Crossrail to Hounslow High Street and Ealing. How the regional centres fare, though, will be the subject of my next blog.