Expert panellists at EuropaProperty’s CEO Investment Forum agreed that the investment markets of the CEE region are performing well and are in good condition despite the pandemic. At present, the best-performing markets are the warehouse and logistics sectors as well as growing interest in the private rental sector. Overall, investment volumes are expected to return to pre-covid norms.

“Poland is the main market, it’s very liquid,” said Dieter Knittel from pbb Deutsche Pfandbreifbank. “A certain product can be found in Poland that investors like. It’s a big market with many regional cities. In this way, it is similar to the German market. Exits are more attractive and there’s a broader investment base.”

Lukasz Bialecki from Bank Pekao commented: “Over the next 12 months the warehouse sector will continue to be strong. The PRS is the next best, however, there is a lack of product here. The offices will re-emerge and come back. I see the biggest problems in retail. However, the hotel sector will recover quickly. On the downside, there is crazy pricing on logistic exits which is not sustainable in the long term. Also, products are really expensive or have too much risk.”

Arvi Loumo from Blackbrook Capital, said: “We launched last year with a billion euros. We are looking for legacy assets – the ones that can ride through the market cycles the best. Also, we need to be opportunistic to make it work. Poland is proving to be an important and growing market for industrial tenants. We have a strong conviction about future growth here.”

Anna Duchnowska, Invesco, commented, “We like to work with JVs and local partners across the region. The last mile and PRS sectors are very interesting for us at the moment.”

Hubert Abt from New Work Offices, commented, “Prices across the board are rising. In my view, energy costs are a potential drawback when considering Poland and could be a hindrance to future investment strategies. ESG initiatives are playing a big role today. Green credentials are a very important element for investors with the rise of green bonds. Institutional investors may not invest in Poland because of its lack of ESG credentials. This could lead to an exit being a problem for investors.”

Arvi Loumo, concluded: “The challenge is to create a sustainable transaction – not just in terms of ESG but with good finance and good tenants etc. Using ESG audits for the benefits of products and how to improve them. What can be done for older assets? Where can savings be made to keep the cost down and help with ESG initiative directives?”