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Focus sectors – MEC Real Estate – Italy

Expertise in strategic sectors

MEC’s experience comprises diverse areas of specialisation in specific asset classes, in which the company has consolidated expertise based on market knowledge and an extensive range of contacts amongst investors, managers, property fund managers, and developers.

Student Housing

Historic universities, state-of-the-art technical colleges and prestigious business-oriented institutes: these are the points of strength of the Italian university system, capable of fuelling the economy. In the 2018/2019 academic year, the Italian territory comprised 1,797,862 university students (source: USTAT), even without considering the ever-larger presence of students from abroad. The “Student Housing” market is a sector in the initial stages of development for institutional investors, and it offers considerable growth potential in Italy, considering the lack of availability of accommodation when compared to the demand from students studying at universities far from their home addresses.

The area of student housing has become a fundamental lever in the development of the Residential sector. MEC had already identified this demand some years ago, developing specific technical expertise in this area and creating an international network of specialist developers, managers and investors.

Residential

To date, the residential sector represents the principal, often the only, form of investment pursued by Italian families. This is confirmed by the growth in the property market in 2018, for the fifth consecutive year, with a 6.5% increase with respect to the previous year, for a total of almost 580,000 transactions and a turnover of over 94 billion euro. The affordability index was also positive: this parameter indicates families’ purchasing power, as assessed by ABI (Italian Banking Association), describing the trend of an average family’s possibility of purchasing a home at average market value by taking out a mortgage.

In this favourable growth context, MEC operates by matching the most advanced property projects offered in Italy with demand from foreign investors interested in the Residential sector and its potential.

Retirement/Healthcare

The Italian population is destined to age, as shown by demographic forecasts looking ahead to a horizon of 2065. Eurostat data referring to the last 10 years reveals a 14.7% increase in the number of over-65s in Europe, and a 21.4% increase in Italy. Health and residential services for the old-aged population, both self-sufficient and non-self-sufficient, therefore represent one of the potentially most dynamic markets, on course for constant, certain growth at a global level (source: “World Population Prospects”).

This data describes interesting future scenarios and infinite possibilities for the healthcare and retirement property market over the coming years. More specifically, MEC provides support for project promoters in this sector, in the search for property managers and investors interested in the development of “communities” for old-aged people, not just structures providing physical assistance, but locations where the guests can feel genuinely “at home”.

Hospitality

In 2018, Italy was in third place in Europe for the number of visitors to hospitality structures, with a 13.6% market share and a powerful increase in the number of resident customers, in addition to tourists from abroad (source: Istat, year: 2019). In recent years, we have seen an exponential increase in investments in this sector, arriving predominantly (70%) from abroad. Often, these investors are interested in creating new hospitality structures, and not just in the purchase of existing ones.

MEC has developed consolidated experience in the Hospitality sector, and has expert knowledge of the market, its stakeholders and its trends. Over the years, it has worked on detailed studies, business relations and careful scouting, in order to match the availability of hospitality structures in Italy with the demand arriving from large international hotel groups, creating beneficial synergies and generating profits.

Logistics

In recent years, the logistics sector has enjoyed powerful growth, and according to forecasts, over the next few years it will be the sector capable of creating the largest number of jobs. This is shown by the figures published in 2019 by Fondazione Itl – Istituto sui Trasporti e Logistica (Itl Foundation – Institute for Transport and Logistics), which reveal a growth from 503,000 employees in 2011 to 634,000 at the end of 2018, with a 26% increase. The sector is developing rapidly, with turnover showing a constant growth trend and a future focused on Logistics 4.0, based on the automated management of warehousing and transportation, a transition that will require massive investments into technology, means of transport and infrastructure.

MEC is constantly engaged in the expansion of its network of contacts, comprising international developers, fund managers and investors operating in the Logistics & Warehousing sector, interested not only in income-generating property, but also property development projects.

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