Birmingham's 'Alternative' MIPIM 'do' held on Wednesday this week managed to combine two timely high profile events - MIPIM, naturally, and tonight's charity gag-fest Comic Relief.
Tables in Andersons Bar & Grill in the city's Jewellery Quarter were adorned with red noses for all guests to wear and talk on the day centred around MIPIM and most importantly market sentiment.
Sentiment out in Cannes was a tad more optimistic this year and I have to say that this was also reflected by the 100 property folk that attended the French-themed lunch too.
Enquiries are up, and people are starting to seriously look to the regions again to take advantage of the price differential when striking deals. Yes, deals are of course still hard to pin down and money remains tight, but more occupiers are looking at their options now than have been in years and people feel a market recovery, however fragile at this stage, is not as distant a dream as it was this time last year.
One well known Brummie resi developer told me that he'd had the best January- March sales this year, than in the last five years. Generally, the mood does feel lighter but it is cautious optimism that is buoying people. Let's not get ahead of ourselves...
The Alternative MIPIM event is a great idea. This was its fourth year. Borne out the market downturn, those who had usually gone to MIPIM still wanted that valuable networking opportunity. And doing that over moules marinieres, bourgignon (a slightly odd twist on this latter dish this year using fish instead of beef) and classic French cheeses all washed down with a bottle or five of Sauvignon and/or Merlot makes it all the more pleasant.
A big thank you must go to Mike Hargreaves of Coltham Developments, Eddie Morse of EM Consultants and Jilly Cosgrove of Barques Design for setting up the event. The icing on the tarte tatin was the £758 raised for Comic Relief on the day.
No doubt, seeds of deals will have been sown here, as well as over in Cannes, which after all, is what it's all about...
(Picture caption: Adrian Willet, CBRE; Tim Andrews, Hollywood Monster; Martin Guest, CBRE; John Nolan, Nolan Associates; Scott Rutherford, Cushman & Wakefield; Ashley Hancox, CBRE)