Top 10: Property debt stories that helped to make sense of an unprecedented crisis in 2020

Real Estate Capital’s 10 most-read articles this year show a sector contending with the pandemic but continuing to function.

Despite the major disruption brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, real estate investors and lenders kept on doing business during 2020.

It has also been a busy year for the editorial team at Real Estate Capital, as we covered the biggest crisis to hit Europe’s property debt sector since the 2007 global financial crisis. Through countless hours of online video calls, we continued to speak to leading industry figures, report on the key trends and produce the content that you, our readers, have come to expect from us.

As well as our ever-popular lists and rankings, the articles that received the most views in 2020 were those in which we helped our readers to make sense of the turmoil covid-19 was causing across the sector. Here are the 10 most-read articles of the year on

  1. DOWNLOAD: The latest CRE lending data Our database of the most important commercial real estate debt deals, updated on our website every Monday, was the most popular item of this year’s coverage, as readers kept up with who was closing deals.
  2. How the coronavirus threatens real estate finance In this March opinion piece, we made early observations on how covid-19 would impact Europe’s property credit markets, after a decade of benign market conditions. For many new entrants to the sector, covid-19 was the first real test of their businesses.
  3. REC Debt Fund 25: Who are Europe’s leading debt fund managers? If you wanted to find out Europe’s leading private property debt managers by the volume of capital raised from investors between 2015 and 2019 inclusive, you needed to look no further than the second edition of our signature debt fund manager ranking. To reflect the growing role of non-bank lenders, we expanded our ranking from 20 in 2019 to 25 this year.
  4. Real Estate Capital Awards 2019: The winners revealed Our annual awards provide a snapshot of the best organisations and deals in Europe’s real estate lending market. For those of you who missed our 2019 winners, this article, from March, reveals all. For this year’s awards, you can still have your say.
  5. Europe’s Top 40 Lenders 2020: The Banks, Part 1 Our list of the lenders we see as having made the greatest impact on Europe’s real estate markets in the preceding 12 months tends to pique the interest of our readers. In November, in four instalments, we profiled the organisations that continued to provide liquidity in Europe’s property markets, in a year full of disruption.
  6. Covid-19 to fuel an increase in UK property loan defaults – Cass In April, The Business School – formerly Cass Business School – unveiled its full-year 2019 data, which showed the value of loans in default increased by 36 percent in the UK that year, concentrated in the retail and development parts of the market. The report contained a stark warning that covid-19 would result in a further increase in loan defaults.
  7. Europe’s Top 40 Lenders 2020 –The Non-Bank Lenders, Part 3 The third instalment of our 2020 edition of Europe’s Top 40 Lenders highlighted the non-bank lenders that made their mark amid market dislocation during this year of crisis. With many banks exercising caution due to the pandemic, some alternative lenders saw an opportunity to grow their loan books.
  8. Brookfield’s ambitions in European debt The Canadian property giant demonstrated its plans to grow its European lending business with the hire of industry veteran Martin Farinola in June. In this August interview, Farinola spoke to Real Estate Capital about his outlook on the market.
  9. Roundtable: French real estate counts the covid cost Four market participants joined our first virtual roundtable to discuss how deeply the pandemic would damage investor appetite for French real estate. In June, we published coverage of the discussion, including predictions of a repricing of debt.
  10. Covid-19 will test banks’ appetite for commercial real estate lending In June, in a piece that appeared in our summer print edition, we examined how growing pressures on Europe’s banks due to the pandemic could hinder their capacity to lend against commercial property.

This is the last Weekly Digest of 2020. The editorial team at Real Estate Capital wishes you a restful festive period and we look forward to providing you with more insight and analysis of Europe’s real estate credit markets in 2021.

If you have not done so already, please take the time to recognise the organisations and deals that moved the needle this year by voting in our REC Awards 2020.