Short interview with Michel Vauclair, Chairman, OPG Commercial RE Europe

Michel VauclairGiven the current mix of low interest rates and wall of cash: what is your outlook for European Real Estate over the next 12 – 24 months?
The traditional markets such as London and Paris have indeed become very challenging in terms of pricing and the ‘’wall of cash’’ is certainly a factor influencing the pricing in these two cities. On the other hand, the rest of the European capital cities and the regional UK and French markets remain accessible.

Which countries in Europe will provide the best investment opportunities in 2015, and why?
There is no direct answer to the question as most investors first define their investment strategies which as a consequence define the countries/markets  where they invest.  However, It remains true that in order to catch the best investment opportunities, market intelligence, speed and execution proven track record are key factors.

Direct vs indirect investing: Is there a clear advantage to either and is finding the right partners creating the most value?
Both are good as direct investments means full control of the asset strategy but is limited by in-house competencies while indirect allows broader horizon and diversification but brings constraints in strategical decisions. I consider that the choice of competent asset investor/managers is adequate.

With bank lending still constrained, what significance does alternative lending play?
Currently in most European markets, I do not see bank lending constraints.

On another note, whom are you looking forward to meet at GRI Europe Summit this year?
Like-minded long term investors in order to consider larger tickets in selected markets.
Michel will be attending GRI Europe Summit 2015 next 10-11 September in Paris, see full program here.

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