Russian no-show - but Mipim 2015 shows the UK property sector is back on form

 
Guy Grainger
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London eclipses New York in terms of attractiveness, dynamism and investment activity (Source: Getty)
It's that time of year again: Mipim is the European networking event and conference for global property investors. Sound dull? Well, after the film festival it's the largest event held in Cannes, with over 25,000 attendees.
Three years ago, it reached the front pages when investigators arrested the Tchenguiz brothers on board their private yacht. Needless to say, for this week in March, all eyes of the property industry are on Cannes.
It is also the barometer for the property market. After attendance dropped during the worst years of the downturn, many believe this year the event will be back to the dizzy heights and parties of 2006 as the property market reaches another peak in the cycle.
True to form, when my taxi picked me up at 6am yesterday, the driver confirmed I was already the second property person he had picked up this morning who was heading down to Cannes.
The conference centre - or Palais - is full of exhibits from cities and developers trying to attract the next major investor to new housing projects, infrastructure or business districts. London has its own huge marquee which last year was only eclipsed by the Russian Tent. This year, the Russians are a "no-show". Instead the event is being sponsored by Istanbul, which has an incredible growth story including a new airport - a reminder that some global cities are getting on with things to chase and overtake London.
Last night JLL hosted London First Welcome Drinks and heard from Sir Edward Lister, chief of staff and deputy mayor for policy and planning at the Greater London Authority. He talked about his pride in seeing London overtake New York in terms of attractiveness, dynamism and investment activity. A sign of London's success and dominance, he said, is that the capital now accounts for 22 per cent of the UK's GDP.
Today is when Mipim reaches full capacity. Property news will break, parties will get into full swing and new opportunities will be discussed. So follow me and others on Twitter to hear more #MIPIM2015 #futurecities.

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