I know you'll all be very pleased to hear that EG special correspondent Lil Houghton has not torn her Achilles, but does have a nasty build up of liquid on the tendon. And after a week or so should be back on her bike. Fancy another trip down to Cannes anyone? I'm in if anyone else is...
Recently in 2010 Category
Well, three days in and the Manchester and Salford City Regions contingent have their tails up like never before.
Daily presentations on the Manchester stand, which have been packed with audiences hearing about the compelling attractions of relocating and investing in the conurbation, are about to wind up with Sir Howard's and Eddie Smith's jaw-dropping proposals for New East Manchester.
The relaxed mood that permeates the sun-drenched Croisette belies the focused and determined desire to develop 'Brand Manchester' and continue the renaissance of the city and its environs, which are quite the envy of the other UK regions represented here in Cannes.
As a complete MIPIM novice, I had scant idea of what to expect - especially since everyone kept kept saying it was not going to be the "Mipim of big announcements". But for a Mipim of "not big announcements", there certainly seems to me to have been a lot of things being announced.
The catalogue of schemes being showcased from across Europe shows a number of key schemes across particularly Eastern Europe getting under way, and in the UK the local authorities are still here in force on the outlook for people to carry through their dreams of development - Invest in Nottingham still even has a yacht and Manchester seems to have taken over the entire second floor of the Palais. The likes of Birmingham , Croydon and the Wirral have still been announcing new schemes and promoting new schemes.
The bunker is packed with stalls and yes, there are still lots of girls in outrageous outfits, "promoting" their country/ company - it's funny how many times male property figures seem to have to "take a shortcut" through the Russian tent, where there are some lovely looking ladies dressed in red satin. Someone is running round dressed as a squirrel and I can't figure out why (or catch up with... him? her?). And Caffe Roma is still packed and still expensive. So overall Cannes seems pretty packed and geared up to me. Nonetheless, people still stop and stare wistfully into the distance when I ask about Mipims of yesteryear, the yachts, the decadence, the parties, the raves, the champagne and the caviar.
In a show this year of making Mipim 2010 all work and no play, the London Mayor even refused to be filmed with the sea in the background, everyone is in their suits all the time, and agents have cancelled parties left right and centre to show that it's not just a jolly in the French Riviera.
But it's still the parties that everyone wants to talk about.
Got to see representatives from the cities of Manchester and Leeds standing shoulder to shoulder at a breakfast presentation and it wasn't to see who could nab the last croissant. Manchester's Sir Howard Bernstein and Jean Dent, director of development at Leeds City council were there to extol the virtues of working together as city regions.
But don't worry, a bit of champagne in the sunshine hasn't completely killed off old rivalries. Bernstein said: "There will be occasions where Leeds and Manchester have to compete."
Then it was off to the Birmingham stand for a quick interview with Leader of the Council Mike Whitby which was conducted in the back of the Jag that is on display there. It was the quietest place said the PR. You can listen to what Cllr Whitby had to say here.
• Peter Bill, late of this parish, is finding 2010 to be like the MIPIMs of old
• And Lisa spots an interesting factoid from a MIPIM announcement by Advantage West Midlands
Thirty-two billion pounds of property debt to refinance in the UK in 2010? Pah, forget about it, small beer, there's an average of €155bn of debt to roll over per year for the next three years, according to CBRE's European Commercial Real Estate Debt ViewPoint. And with many banks having lent across borders during the boom years, the problem can't be viewed on a parochial basis.
Loans needing to be refinanced in Poland have an effect on the UK market, if the capital needed to roll them is then unavailable for UK borrowers. Savills might have pointed to an increased number of lenders looking at the UK market, but general reduced levels of liquidity will persist across the Continent for several years yet.
Of the €970bn of debt secured against European real estate, €207bn is severely distressed according to CBRE. Secured against secondary property and at high levels of leverage, this debt is seriously underwater.
Regulators last week warned that banks are likely to face continued stress due to losses on commercial property loans, and it is this €207bn slug that will cause the problems. CBRE said that banks are unlikely to instigate masses of forced sales, largely as a result of government intervention.
Good news if you're a borrower trying to hang on to your assets. Bad news if you're one of the players outlined in another CBRE report, their investor survey, that thinks 2010 is the ideal time to buy.
MIPIM week is always a bit of a weird week for those of us left manning the home desks. Property bods say they've either got their heads down while the phones are quiet and everyone is away (although increasingly that's not been the case) or it's been used as a big excuse for long boozy lunches (after all that's what they're all doing out in Cannes - non?)
But there's also the big "not at MIPIM" bashes. Unsurprisingly, Drivers Jonas Deloitte is holding one of the most extravagant NICE (Not in Cannes Event).
Feels like people have got more to say compared to last year and while there aren't the big development announcements of the boom years, there is definitely a shuffling of position in readiness for a more positive market upswing.
First impressions of mipim? The sun is not really out yet, the Croisette is not really buzzing, and you have to show your badge a hell of a lot more often. I wonder why that could be?
Worried about a lack of development in London? Then the model on the London stand should help put your mind at rest.
From Nine Elms to Stratford there's evidence of plenty of activity and, as the picture shows, several beacons of light.
Odd then to be interviewing Boris later on the Paris stand....