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MIPIM: Improved perception of Hungary in Cannes

International interest in this country was evident at Europeʼs largest annual property conference, which featured an official Hungarian stand for the first time in years.

Various experts from Budapest’s real estate world participate in a round-table discussion at the Budapest stand in Cannes.

International sentiment towards Hungary is seen to be improving as the country was represented with an official stand for the first time in years at the 27th MIPIM in Cannes, held March 15-18. 

The biggest commercial property expo in Europe attracted more than 23,000 delegates from the commercial property, investment and related sectors – representing 90 countries at the four-day event in the Palais des Festivals according to Reed Midem, the organizers of MIPIM. The expo is a good barometer of the state of the real estate markets in various countries and the direction of the flow of international investment capital.

That is why it was heartening for the delegates from Hungary to report a renewed interest in their market. CBRE’S 2016 EMEA Investor Intentions Survey, released at MIPIM, reported a big uplift in interest in the region. According to the research, CEE saw its proportion of preferences from investors rise from 6% in 2015 to 23% for this year. At the city level, Budapest featured in the top ten EMEA countries in which to make a property investment purchase. “We can already feel the intensified interest towards Hungary here in Cannes and we are delighted to take part in our capital’s appearance at MIPIM,” commented Lóránt Varga, CEO of CBRE Hungary.

Budapest was promoted by a series of project presentations, roundtable discussions and cocktail receptions at the Budapest stand, organized by the Budapest Municipality, the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) and the Roundtable Association for Real Estate Developers. Biggeorege Property, Futureal, Horizon Development, Wing, CBRE, JLL, Infogroup and HB Reavis sponsored the stand.

Many property professionals have argued for some time that Hungary needs to promote itself better at major international property and investment fairs such as MIPIM and Expo Real in Munich in order to capitalize on its growing perception as a good investment destination. In contrast to its Polish and Czech neighbors, Hungary has had no official stand in recent years to promote the country despite the perceived need to close the gap between Hungary and its leading regional peers as CEE favored investment destinations.

“We come here to communicate with the market. Within two-to-three days we can get a very intensive picture of the position of the markets and at the same time present Hungary and ourselves to a wider audience,” said Noah Steinberg, CEO & chairman of Hungarian real estate firm Wing. “There are a lot of senior decision makers I can meet who I otherwise would have to go to London or Frankfurt to see. It is very good that we have a stand, as for years an official Hungarian presence has been lacking at the largest property event in Europe. I think that there is a widening recognition among more players in the market that Budapest is now an attractive destination for investment and development, although Hungary is still difficult sell to people who have not been there yet.”