‘A V-shaped recovery is possible’
Contrary to some reports, the real estate market has not fallen off a cliff because of the coronavirus crisis, experts agreed at Real Asset Media’s ‘COVID-19: Implications, Scenarios & Outlook for Real Estate’ briefing, the first to be held online with a panel of speakers and a live audience.
‘Unlike in Asia, investment volumes in Europe so far have not fallen back compared to 2019 or 2018 and notable deals are still being completed, despite the ongoing lockdown in the UK and in most other large European economies,’ said Tom Leahy, Director of Market Analysis, EMEA, Real Capital Analytics (RCA).
However, there is no doubt that the number and value of European commercial property transactions in March will be low in comparison to recent years and the forecast is of a further slowing throughout April as the lockdowns remain in place, denting economic and financial activities.
The crisis will be deep but the recovery could be surprisingly quick. ‘It is important not to get into a the-world-is-ending mode,’ said Hans Vrensen, European head of research & strategy, AEW Europe. ‘The good economic fundamentals at the outset could signal a V-shaped recovery’.
The month of March has seen a massive correction, with the stock market and the oil price declining steeply. In such a fast-moving situation it is impossible to predict now how deep the plunge will be, but looking at the market fundamentals and at the policies that are being implemented there are reasons to be positive.
‘Markets will recover much more quickly than they did after the Great Financial Crisis, when we saw many consecutive quarters of decline’, said Andrew Burrell, Chief Property Economist, Capital Economics. ‘We’re quite optimistic, but we also need to be cautious because this situation is unprecedented’.