Industry sentiment prior to this years MIPIM conference suggests a recovery is underway; with everything pointing to a positive year in property for 2014. Peterloo Estates Director Daniel Barker took the long road to Cannes to find out more.
MIPIM celebrated its 25 birthday this year, a milestone perhaps marked with green shoots returning to the property sector.
The talk of the conference seemed to be the ever controversial HS2 with Local Authorities such as Stoke & Staffordshire making a big push to promote the advantages of such a high-speed connection to London. Competition seems fierce however amongst west midland and north west authorities to secure a station en route in their town or city.
Those not discussing HS2 seemed to be far more upbeat on the general state of the market. Whether it be liquidity to move forward with schemes or tenant demand for new space, most delegates seemed to be encouraged about the year ahead. Not everyone was as relaxed as former England cricketer Derek Randall but it is fair to say Café Roma can't have had a bad week's trade.
"I’m just here on a jolly to play some cricket on the beach."
Again Daniel teamed up with property associates from Malcolm Hollis, Taylor Wessing, Mishcon de Reya and for the first time Manchester based DEP Landscape Architecture to make the 1,051m journey (one-way!) from Manchester to Cannes by motorbike, taking in some of the best roads in France en route.
The trip didn't get off to a great start for Team Peterloo with a rear puncture 20 miles outside London, heading to the ferry at Dover. A harsh lesson in bike prep for Daniel as he awaited a recovery truck. Whilst the tyre was being repaired he also noticed that his rear brake pads were non-existent; which are a minimum requirement for the twisty roads of the Gorges du Verdon. After a sunny day in Graves End visiting various motorcycle repair shops, Daniel finally caught up with the group in Etoges, just south of Epernay, in time for dinner.
It was breakdown free thereafter with clear skies and mild weather following the riders all the way to Cannes. Anyone interested in joining the trip next year can contact Peterloo here for further details. The video above is a taste of what you can expect, although sunshine is never guaranteed in March!