MIPIM 2024 Roundup: An Irish Perspective

MIPIM 2024: An Irish Perspective

MIPIM 2024, held in Cannes last week, brought together over 21,000 industry delegates from markets across the world to talk about investment opportunities and to learn about trends emerging. From an Irish perspective there was an unexpected optimism amidst challenging market conditions, however, with no official Ireland Inc. presence, there was no sense of urgency or prioritisation, as was seen with other economic regions (particularly UK, which had exceptionally strong representation).

 

iProperty Radio: Pop-up studio and stream at MIPIM 2024

Property District’s key takeaways

  • On the conference floor and, perhaps more importantly, in the eateries throughout the square, the mood was unexpectedly optimistic, marking a shift in the industry’s outlook from survival to a more hopeful anticipation of recovery (but when?). Ireland’s office sector was an interesting conversation starter for investors, whose opinions firmly differed. Thematic investing has emerged as a prominent trend, suggesting a shift toward more focused and value-driven investment strategies in real estate.

 

  • The conference also highlighted a concerning lack of diversity among attendees, pointing to the critical need for the industry to embrace ethnic and gender diversity at decision-making levels in order to leverage innovation and bring fresh perspectives to the fore.

 

  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) was high on the agenda, with social inclusion featuring much more than in previous years. More on this below!

 

  • Much to the dismay of proptech and construction tech exhibitors in the basement, this is no longer seen as a standalone topic, which is actually good news for the wider industry. The integration of technology, particularly AI and data, into broader real estate discussions signaled a positive progression towards tech adoption within the industry. 

 

Ireland Inc.

The most notable point of criticism was the absence of official Irish representation at the event, a glaring and unacceptable oversight given the platform’s role in attracting investment and showcasing the nation’s real estate opportunities. Despite a strong presence from the Irish property industry, the challenge of accessing capital, especially for housing developments, was evident, highlighting the urgent need for support and visibility in such international forums. The contrast between the UK’s strong presence and Ireland’s official absence raised questions about missed opportunities for Ireland to more effectively engage with international investors.

Looking ahead, the lessons for Ireland from MIPIM 2024 are clear: there is an urgent need for enhanced government support and representation on international stages, a call for greater diversity within the industry, and an opportunity to capitalise on investor interest and technological advancements. The Irish property market is at a critical point, we need to pull the right levers and take every opportunity to position ourselves strategically and commercially; unfortunately, this was not done in Cannes this week. 

 

ESG Awards

As official media partner to the inaugural Global ESG Awards 2024, which took place at MIPIM 2024, the iProperty Radio team brought their pop-up studio and streaming technology from Connemara to Cannes to capture this momentous initiative for the industry (and for the planet!). You can read more about the competition and the award winners here: https://ipropertyradio.com/winners-of-the-inaugural-global-esg-awards-announced/

 

Sanna Marin 

 “Not hopeless, but it is hard…”

Sanna Marin, the former Prime Minister of Finland, delivered a compelling address on the current environmental challenges facing the global community, with a particular focus on the real estate sector’s role in ecological transition. Marin highlighted the alarming fact that carbon emissions are at an all-time high, yet she maintained a cautiously optimistic outlook, acknowledging the difficulty of the situation but emphasising that it is not without hope.

Marin pointed out that the European Union, contributing only 7% to global greenhouse emissions, acts as a global leader in setting high environmental standards. This leadership position, she argued, influences the pace at which the rest of the world addresses environmental issues: “It’s smart to be a front runner…” [frankly, Ireland is not a frontrunner].

Focusing on the real estate sector, Marin described it as being on the frontlines of the ecological transition, facing significant challenges but also possessing the potential to drive meaningful change. She stressed the importance of inclusivity in this process, particularly the need to involve women in decision-making roles. Marin criticised the real estate and construction industries’ underuse and under-representation of women (which was undeniable at this conference of 21,000+ delegates), emphasising that overlooking the talents and perspectives of over half the population is a luxury the industry cannot afford, especially in the context of the environmental crisis.

 

MIPIM Awards 

The overall MIPIM awards this year unveiled a list of truly stunning and innovative projects across various categories, celebrating exceptional architectural and developmental achievements. The winners span a diverse range of functionalities and aesthetics, from cultural hubs to industrial complexes.

The Best Cultural, Sports & Education Project was awarded to the Esbjerg Maritime Center, designed by WERK & Snøhetta and developed by Esbjerg Municipality.  In the Best Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Project category, ATMOSPHERE by Krallerhof, conceptualised by architect HADI TEHERANI and developed by Hotel Krallerhof Altenberger GmbH, took the prize. The ESR Higashi Ogishima Distribution Centre stood out in the Best Industrial & Logistics Project category, with architecture by TOKYU CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD., Takato Tamagami Architectural Design, and Watanabe Mio Design Office, developed by ESR Group. Royale Belge clinched the Best Mixed-Use Project award, a collaborative effort by Caruso St John Architects Llp, Bovenbouw Architectuur, DDS+, Ma², EOLE Atelier d’Architecture des JARDINS et du PAYSAGE, and developed by APE, CORES Development, Foresite, and Urbicoon.

For Best Office & Business Project, St. John’s Terminal by COOKFOX Architects and developed by Oxford Properties Group was the winner. The same project, Royale Belge, also won the Best Conversion Project, showcasing its multifaceted excellence. Living Places Copenhagen was named Best Residential Project, a vision brought to life by architect EFFEKT and developer VELUX.

The Best Urban Regeneration Project went to BASSIN 7, with architectural design by SLETH, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, GEHL, and development by Anpartsselskabet Kilden & Mortensen, Bassin 7 Erhverv ApS, and Bassin 7 Bolig ApS. Casa BFF was awarded Best New Development, designed by OBR Open Building Research and developed by BFF Banking Group. The Best New Mega Development was given to The Ellinikon Commercial Hub, with Aedas as the architect and LAMDA Development S.A. as the developer.

Interestingly, the Special Jury Award was also presented to the ESR Higashi Ogishima Distribution Centre, further recognising its architectural and developmental significance.

*Finally, as mentioned above, the lack of official presence by Ireland was keenly felt by every Irish (and many non-Irish) delegates to whom we spoke. This is just not acceptable so Property District has already started the outreach to rectify this. If you/your company would like to get involved in MIPIM 2025 and have projects that you would like to see featured in a national and/or regional showcase, email carol@propertydistrict.ie get involved or to stay informed about this Irish drive.

SUNDAY PROPERTY ROUND-UP

Sign up to receive Property District's weekly  Sunday Property Round-Up, for all the latest construction, property and proptech news straight to your inbox.