USA Conference 2022

Post Conference Report

This USA Conference 2022 was held at the Grand Hotel Falkenstein after the pre-event on June 28, 2022. For European investors, their own continent still plays the main role for new investments. But beyond that, investor favoritism has continued to shift over the past few decades. For example, interest in Asian markets jumped with the start of the 2000s and China's tumultuous growth. However, since the red dragon has been showing signs of weakness, many investors are once again increasingly turning to the world's largest real estate market - the USA.

Exogenous shocks such as the Ukraine war, the impact of the pandemic on the economy, but also the far above-average inflation mean that the economy is anything but sailing in calm waters. Stable and comparatively reliable markets are in demand, and this is precisely where the U.S. ranks high in investors' favor for non-European real estate investments. Interest in the FondsForum's USA Conference was correspondingly high. Around 90 institutional investors, fund providers, real estate service providers and project developers attended on site and online. The conference thus once again lived up to its position as the leading industry event for institutional investors on the U.S. real estate markets.

Once again, most of the nearly 20 speakers and panelists came directly from the U.S., with David Rückel of PIA Pontis again masterfully moderating the day. Many of the presentations focused on the economic framework conditions. Here, the USA is currently more than able to shine. Economic growth is very dynamic, the unemployment rate continues to fall and the economic slump caused by the pandemic has already been almost completely offset. Only the very high inflation is a cause for concern, although the Fed has already taken massive interest rate steps to ensure that, unlike the ECB, no countries with high debt need to be taken into account.

Pure facts often count more than fine words: With a nominal gross domestic product of over 23 trillion euros, the United States is the strongest country in the world economically. The U.S. dollar is also the reserve currency of the global economy thanks to the oil trade, which takes place in the same currency. Of the 20 largest companies, almost half are headquartered in the USA.

Other topics included the various real estate sectors and their developments. Retail remains a difficult topic and the details depend on the subcategory. Mega-malls, small district utilities, specialty markets, high-street, etc. The biggest question mark still exists about the future of office space. Initial responses from companies, however, indicated that companies are bringing their employees back from the home office entirely. However, it is not yet clear whether the demand for space will return to pre-pandemic levels.

Special segments such as data center, industrial, self-storage and life science were also discussed intensively. However, the largest space this year was taken up by the US residential real estate markets. In particular, the multifamily residential markets, which are of particular interest to institutional investors, were expertly discussed by several speakers. In any case, the trend towards multifamily is increasing from year to year, and the demand has been hard to meet for a long time. 

The conclusion to this year's USA Conference was again consistently positive. The speakers not only spoke about the US markets, but they are all market participants, most of them even on site. In this respect, expertise and on-site experience came together. The outlook for the U.S. real estate markets remains very positive according to everyone and investors should definitely consider the United States for their new investments.

Author

Dietmar Müller
Managing Partner
www.dafko.de