Industry Day a PRRES 2009 Highlight
A key highlight at PRRES 2009 was Industry Day. This event aims to bring together high-powered industry researchers and thought leaders to share their knowledge about current industry events shaping the property investment world.
The opening address was provided by Peter Verwer (CEO of PCA) who touched on the role of government policy in supporting the property sector. The keynote address was provided by Barry Brakey (Head of Property at Future Fund) who provided a comprehensive overview of the property investment sector and focused on how the state of the sector had changed markedly with the onset of the global financial crisis (GFC). Particular attention was given to the changing profile of risk and the subsequent the impact on asset valuations.
This year Industry Day focused on three themes: the outlook for property markets; the future for property investment (both listed and unlisted); as well as the sustainability of the property market.
With regards to property sector markets, the short-term outlook was unfavourable due to weakening space market fundamentals, especially demand in line with a global slowdown in economic activity and deteriorating labour markets. A sharp contrast to the relatively tight space market conditions faced over 12 months ago!
Both the REIT and unlisted investment property markets are also being adversely impacted by the GFC as an upward re-rating of risk has seen A-REIT prices tumble, yields soften across all sectors, access to finance constrained and transactional activity dry up. The big issue facing the sector will be whether unlisted property investments will experience similar falls in capital returns as did REITs or truly provide some degree of diversification from their listed counterparts.
The final session of the day provided a different tone, focusing on sustainability; an area which is embracing all aspects of property. Speakers discussed the role and impact of sustainability from various perspectives: at the property asset level in terms of property management, design aspects at the construction phase, and the motivation for investors.
In all, Industry day proved to be very successful with a strong audience, high quality speakers and interesting and relevant topics. We look forward to Industry Day 2010!
Anthony De Francesco
Chair and Co-ordinator of Industry Day