The 10 most read stories of a tumultuous H1

Our weekly lending data, insight into covid-19’s impact, and the big reveal of our awards winners attracted the most clicks in the first six months of 2020.

The halfway mark of this most unpredictable year is a good point at which to review our coverage of Europe’s real estate finance market in 2020 so far.

The year began with a degree of optimism. The question of whether the UK would leave the EU had finally been answered, bringing a modicum of certainty to Europe’s political landscape – even if the country’s future relationship with the trading bloc remained vague. Commercial real estate was high-priced and late into an elongated cycle, but trading and lending volumes remained high.

Then, covid-19 changed everything. As ever, Real Estate Capital was there to help make sense of events. Here are the 10 stories from that received the most clicks during the first half of this unprecedented year.

  1. DOWNLOAD: The latest CRE lending data The recurring, weekly update to our loans database attracted the most eyeballs on a cumulative basis. The database captures UK and continental European debt deals, making it a crucial resource for those who need to know who is lending to whom.
  2. How the coronavirus threatens real estate finance In March, as much of Europe went into lockdown, we used this comment piece to outline what we expected to be the major short- and long-term impacts on commercial real estate lending.
  3. Real Estate Capital Awards 2019: The winners revealed Also in March, we unveiled the long-awaited results of our sixth annual awards. The accolades, across 31 categories, recognised those lenders, borrowers, advisors and deals that stood out in a challenging year.
  4. Covid-19 to fuel an increase in UK property loan defaults – Cass London-based Cass Business School used the April announcement of its end-of-year 2019 data to warn that losses and write-offs on retail debt could reach £10 billion (€10.9 billion), while £22 billion of development loans faced delays due to the pandemic.
  5. REC Debt Fund 25: who are Europe’s leading debt fund managers? Our annual ranking of real estate debt fund managers is becoming a must-read for the industry. In this, our second edition, we expanded the list from 20 to 25 managers, and ranked them by the volumes of third-party capital raised for European property lending strategies in the five years to 2020.
  6. Why everyone in real estate is worried about force majeure In April, Evelyn Lee, editor of sister title PERE, tackled one of the big issues of the covid crisis – how the use of force majeure clauses in real estate contracts is impacting lenders, landlords and tenants.
  7. Covid-19 is private RE debt’s ‘first true test’, says DWS co-head of alternatives strategy In March, Simon Wallace, global co-head of alternatives research and strategy at asset management company DWS, put forward his view that the crisis will test the strength of Europe’s relatively young private real estate debt fund industry.
  8. German lenders raise pricing to deal with higher risk For several years, stiff competition among Germany’s banks has kept real estate loan pricing low. In this piece, we examined how the covid-19 crisis was changing lending terms in this key European market.
  9. Barrack: Covid-19 shutdowns could cause ‘domino effect of borrower defaults’ Early in this crisis, Colony Capital head honcho Tom Barrack warned that, unless the financial backers of the US market’s many real estate credit funds showed leniency, the crisis could result in the collapse of the country’s commercial mortgage market.
  10. Edmond de Rothschild preps debt fund launch despite covid-19 Although the onset of the crisis caused many in the lending industry to hit pause, some saw an opportunity. In this piece, the manager of a first-time European debt fund explained its decision to press on with its fundraising during lockdown. It would not be the last organisation to raise capital in anticipation of new lending opportunities.

Stay focused on in the second half of 2020 as we continue to cover the impact of the pandemic on property lending.

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