7th December 2013 - Summary of 2013
2013 was a mixed but generally stronger year in the conference rental market. The year got off to a slow start with weak demand and a poorly attended MIDEM. The music industry continues to face major challenges and it is reflected in the demand for this conference. That said, demand has already been stronger for MIDEM 2014 so perhaps the industry is turning a corner. MIPIM, the real estate investment conference was as strong as I have seen it. Properties are again being booked up one year in advance and rental rates are more or less back to the pre credit crunch peak. The overall numbers attending are probably still down from the very peak in 2008 but it seems more business than ever is now being done. MIPTV was a complete non event. The shorter 3 day format seems to have discouraged people from coming to Cannes twice per year so as expected MIPCOM became the focus instead. For the first time ever we rented no apartments for a conference in Cannes, and walking around the streets of Cannes during MIPTV you would not have even known there was a conference on. It will be interesting to see next year if they try to refocus on MIPTV or allow it to slowly disappear and makes MIPCOM the one bigger media content festival. The Film Festival was as busy as ever and despite a theft and a madman attacking a live TF1 broadcast, it went well. LIONS was the star of the show in 2013. In the past it has been one of the minor conferences but this year demand was high and early. We sold out in February and could have done so several times over. So no surprise that we are already fully booked for 2014. The final conferences - MIPCOM, Tax Free and MAPIC went smoothly as ever.
In the vacation rental market, summer demand was as strong as ever in July and August with northern europeans dominating business. The allure of Cannes remains strong and as has been the recent trend, spilt well into September with temperatures remaining high and beaches busy well into early October.
The sales market in Cannes had a steady if slow year. There is no doubt buyers are returning, largely due to the overall improvement in the economic climate and renewed willingness from banks to lend. The continued low interest rate environment means that long dated fixed rate mortgages are down to historical lows of just over 3% which is quite remarkable. That said, transactions are still low compared to pre credit crunch numbers with buyers taking their time and somewhat spoilt for choice. However the french government has tried to stimulate the market by reducing the period until properties are Capital Gains Tax free from 30 to 22 years and also granting a 25% discount on Capital Gains Tax on all properties sold between now and August 2014. These moves have resulted in more properties coming onto the market which may depress prices a little between now and the end of the summer but assuming the global recovery continues I would expect prices to resume their upward trend thereafter.