A record 300 international investors are expected to take part this year in REALTY, Belgium's real estate trade fair, when it takes place next week.
The Belgian property market is recovering strongly, with total investment volume for 2016 projected to reach €6.4 mln compared to €3.93 bn in 2015. Interest has been particularly strong in the retail, logistics and healthcare sectors.
Exhibition manager Gregory Olszewski said: 'When huge global capital flows are targeting real estate generally and Europe in particular, Belgium is standing out as offering good value compared with larger neighbouring investment markets.'
The event from 24-26 May will feature three main themes, with the opening day focusing on Smart Cities, particularly in the French-speaking regions.
On 25 May REALTY, in association with PropertyEU and partners CBRE and the European Public Real Estate Association, will present a seminar on 'Cities: Innovators of Our Future Way of Living'. Speakers include the deputy mayor of Paris, Jean Blavier, and trendwatcher Stefaan Vandist.
Pierre-Alain Franck, Director of UPSI-BVS, the Belgian real estate trade federation, said: 'Strong urbanisation trends across Europe are leading to fierce international competition for investment between cities. Belgium is no different in this respect. We have to focus on economic clusters around the main centres: Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent to stand out at an international level.
'Belgium’s real estate sector is re-inventing itself, by, for example, focusing on the transformation of old office buildings into housing, sustainability and of course security -- against a background of the recent attacks in Brussels. We need Smart Cities and a robust real estate sector to have a dynamic economy.'
The spotlight on the final day will turn to trends in the Belgian retail sector, including a debate with the title: 'Retailers at a Turning Point,' organised by the Belgian Luxembourg Council of Shopping Centres and Retail Forum Belgium.
Secretary general Laurent Wille said: 'International investors have started to move from European markets further up the property cycle, like London and Paris, to others, including Brussels. Belgian retail is at a turning point and needs to invest in the shopping experience and security to retain its attraction to consumers and investors alike. The story at REALTY will be all about this transition.'
REALTY is taking place at the Tour & Taxi exhibition grounds, Brussels, from 24-26 May. For more information visit http://www.realty-brussels.com/