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Almost two years after Paref was taken over by Chinese conglomerate Fosun, Antoine Castro takes us through the company’s roadmap for 2019.
Leaders League. What sort of year will 2019 be for the European real-estate market?
Antoine Castro. Without wishing to sound too downbeat, we are approaching the year with a significant amount of prudence because of the gathering geopolitical and macroeconomic storms. Of course, the current downward trend in the real estate company index has whetted the investors’ appetite because of the drop in value.
What’s more the stock of properties remains unchanged and this has led to a higher level of competition between investors, which in turn is driving up prices.
Given these conditions, we prefer to remain cautious and prefer to turn down offers which would not meet the expected returns of our shareholders. We anticipated the current state of the market some time ago, thanks to our team of experts who allow us to create value in our portfolio thanks to an asset management policy that is pro-active; to innovate; to remain agile and, so, be resilient in a volatile market.
What will be the hot markets in 2019?
Managing and developing property with value-added is in Paref’s DNA, as well as responding to the needs of clients who put their trust in us.
Our strategy rests on three principal pillers. The first of these is office property in major European cities, such as Paris, through its listed company.
Concerning the activity of Paref Gestion, our second pillar is launching vehicles dedicated to specific types of assets. These funds can invest internationally, as we have seen over the years with Novapierre Germany.
Finally, we are pursuing our development through Paref Investment Management, a newly created company which allows institutional investors to benefit from the Paref’s array of quality investment services in terms of acquisitions, asset management, property management and facility management, among others.
In addition, our clients have the added benefit of having access to the real estate expertise of our majority shareholder, Fosun.
Talk us through the UK and Spanish markets
Those property and asset markets in difficulty in 2019 are precisely the ones which will create the best opportunities. In light of this fact, we have the financial wherewithal to capitalize on opportunities there, and could make investments in the UK property market.
As regards Spain, it interests us in the same way that other countries in the Mediterranean basin do, because of the tourist sector. We have confidence in the robustness of the hotel property sector in this area.