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Lively discussions in the new NOVA3 Forum. Credit: Expo Real

EXPO REAL 2019 and real estate – strong showing by both

2,190 exhibitors from 45 countries, more than 46,000 participants from 76 countries, and an additional exhibition hall: 2019 EXPO REAL was bigger and more international than ever.

Despite all the talk about a possible downturn, the international real estate sector is expecting 2019 to be another successful year. And it has turned out in even greater numbers at this year´s EXPO REAL, to push ahead with future real estate projects. One engine for growth at the show are technology companies, and a central theme is affordable housing.

“2,190 exhibitors from 45 countries, more than 46,000 participants from 76 countries, and an additional exhibition hall: In 2019 EXPO REAL was bigger and more international than ever,” reported Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München. “The strong participation reflects the upbeat expectations of the real estate sector for this year.” The sector is also concentrating closely on innovations aimed at simplifying processes and on presenting new market solutions. With the newly opened hall NOVA3, EXPO REAL has created a central platform for this. “We are impressed at how well this new offering was received.”

Credit: Expo Real

Digitalization picks up speed

“Digitalization strategies are no longer something for the future. They are now a clear component in company budgets,” said Christian Schulz-Wulkow, Sector Leader Real Estate, Hospitality & Construction Sector in Germany, Switzerland and Austria at EY. His company presented a report on this at the show. He added: “We need even more courage to push ahead with digitalization. Top priorities right now are standardization of data, collaboration and data exchange, so that the data can be analyzed intelligently and the findings put to profitable use.”

Anyone wanting to go down the road of digital transformation “will find just the right place in the NOVA3 hall”, said Claudia Boymanns, Exhibition Director of EXPO REAL. “More than 60 start-ups and lots of other young technology companies with solutions all along the value chain are putting on presentations here. We are confident that this innovations platform will again be a big attraction at EXPO REAL in the years to come.”

Economic prospects and affordable housing

In many different forums and at the exhibitors´ booths there was intense discussion about the future development of the real estate market. One who does not fear a downturn is Professor Gabriel Felbermayr, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. “We are in a recession but it is not one we need to very worried about.” The real estate sector is one of the few sectors that benefits from uncertainty, he said. “In a phase like that, people buy property, so uncertainty coming from the White House or from London is actually helpful to this sector; of course it must not be overdone.” Not even Brexit is seriously worrying the real estate sector: “It will be the UK that is really hit by the consequences,” says Dr Ulrich Kater, Chief Economist at DekaBank. In the future, London will still be an international hub, “although it will in part have to earn back its reputation after Brexit.”

The subject of affordable housing was also a major topic at EXPO REAL. In many forums there was discussion, some of it quite heated, about cooperation between government authorities and the real estate sector and about measures ranging from rent caps to increasing the density of development in in urban areas. “The real estate sector is not expecting to see any further changes by government to tenancy law. The investors need planning certainty and not further tightening of regulations every four weeks,” commented Jürgen Michael Schick, president of the real estate association, IVD.

EXPO REAL 2019 in figures

46,747 participants from 76 countries (2018: 45,058 / 73) came to EXPO REAL in Munich, an increase of 3,8 percent. The total number of participants can be divided into 22,065 trade visitors (2018: 22,029) and 24,682 company representatives (2018: 23,029). The top ten countries of origin among the visitors were (after Germany): United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the US and Spain.

The 2,190 exhibitors (a rise of 4.5 percent compared to 2,095 in 2018) came from 45 countries. The top ten countries of origin among the exhibitors were (after Germany): Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, UK, France, Romania, US, Czech Republic and Luxembourg.