Vincent Bechet (INOWAI):
the dynamism of Luxembourg
Vincent Bechet, Managing Director of INOWAI, discusses the positive performance of the real estate market in the Grand Duchy, its future prospects and its internationalisation. Interview.
What place does INOWAI occupy in the real estate market in Luxembourg?
Created in 1999, INOWAI is now the second largest real estate consulting firm in the Grand Duchy. The business is sub-divided by market sector: Office Agency, Retail & Industrial Agency, Capital Markets, Property Management, Project Management, Valuation, Residential Agency, Residential Property Management, Marketing. INOWAI valued assets worth €4 billion in Luxembourg last year - ; it now also includes the “project management” division which we launched in 2019. In each of these categories, INOWAI occupies first, second or third place within the market. We employ 67 people, including a decade-old team dedicated to the residential sector. However, INOWAI is not involved in the development of real estate projects and this independence enables it to work alongside partners on large-scale programmes.
“Little Luxembourg is successfully positioning itself on the radar of very large investors.”
How would you describe the market in recent years?
As in all capital cities, the real estate market in Luxembourg is characterised by its tremendous dynamism. It is divided into two parts: residential and commercial. The residential sector is keeping pace with demographic pressures and demand is constantly growing. Interest rates remain low, encouraging investors to continue to opt for this secure investment. Despite government intervention to moderate pressure on land, prices are still rising. The major projects which are currently under construction – Cloche d'Or, Kirchberg, Pulvermühl, Howald, Belval – are not sufficient to meet the current demand. This is encouraging the emergence of new lifestyles such as “co-living”, something which is particularly popular among young people who want to live in the city and are seeking alternative solutions in terms of housing. The second segment, commercial real estate, is also in excellent health. In terms of achievements in 2019, we could highlight Ferrero's new 29,500m² global headquarters and the completion of new developments for Arcelor Mittal, Auchan and the European Court of Justice. The addition of 267,000m² gross office space in 2019 combined with the sustained pace of investment demonstrates confidence in the country's stability.
Lastly, who is investing in Luxembourg?
Luxembourg attracts many investors from the European Union and elsewhere. A Belgian company bought the Deloitte building and sold it a year later to a Franco-Korean consortium. Chinese banks have been working for some years now to provide real estate financing in Europe from their Luxembourg branches. A fund linked to the Bank of China bought the BGL building on the Boulevard Royal. German and Anglo-Saxon investors are also becoming increasingly visible. Everything seems to indicate that little Luxembourg is successfully positioning itself on the radar of very large investors. Economic dynamism and legal stability are good reasons to choose the Grand Duchy.