ULI UK presented the findings of the ULI/PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2018 report in Edinburgh on 23rd January. Kindly hosted by the City of Edinburgh in its magnificent Council Chambers, the event examined how Edinburgh’s property market fared against other European cities.
Councillor Gavin Barrie, Convener of Housing and Economy, City of Edinburgh opened the event and shared insights in to the Edinburgh real estate market followed by a welcome by Michael Henderson Chairman, ULI Scotland and Partner, Shepherd & Wedderburn.
Liz Waller, Executive Director, ULI UK, provided insights into the findings of the Emerging Trends report, followed by a presentation on the European and UK macro-economic landscape from Barbara Teixeira Araujo, Economist, Moody’s Analytics.
John Forbes (John Forbes Consulting), then facilitated a panel debate with Barbara Teixeira Araujo being joined by Mark Clacy-Jones, Fund Strategist, Standard Life Investments; Paul Lawrence, Executive Director of Place, Edinburgh City Council; and Linda McAleer, Investment Research Consultant, Hymans Robertson. The wide ranging panel discussion, with extensive contribution from the audience, covered a huge spread of topics from the global drivers of long-term investment in real estate as an asset class to what changes to retailing might mean for Princes Street, with much in between. As in previous years, there was some debate as to whether statistics for Scotland were reflected in Edinburgh or not. There was consensus that the local economy is more robust than that of Scotland more broadly, but that Edinburgh also faces some unique challenges. Particularly in the centre of the city, there are difficult choices to be made as to what will be developed. The city has been very successful in attracting modern, tech-focused businesses, which led into a discussion about the workplace of the future. As the Emerging Trends report comments, “From space-as-a-service to the growing use of data analytics, disruption is all around us. The changes are ushering in new business models and heightening complexity and risk. This will be the subject of another ULI seminar in Edinburgh later in the Spring.
After the end of the formal panel discussion, the discussion continued at the drinks hosted by the council and then well into the evening at a pub around the corner