Phil Golding, who manages the acquisition and asset management functions for hotel investment firm Cedar Capital Partners, which has invested more than €3 billion in hotels worldwide, is slated to take part in the "Home is Where the Money Is: The Impact of the Residential Market on Resorts" panel at the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H) 2019, to be held October 29-31 in Athens, Greece.
Ahead of the forum, Golding shared his thoughts on the emerging investment trends for the Mediterranean region and the risks to be aware of when considering resort development.
1. How do you feel the hospitality- and leisure-investment climate is across the Mediterranean at the moment?
We believe the resort market across Europe remains at a very early stage of its development cycle. However, [we] consider there to be excellent investment opportunities...due to the highly fragmented ownership structures and we see more opportunities being driven through generational changes of ownership.
2. Which specific areas of the Mediterranean are currently attractive to the investment community?
It is tough to generalize and we think more about the opportunity as opposed to a specific geographical location. There are great opportunities across the Mediterranean region at large. Depending on an investor's appetite for country and market risk and appetite for development, opportunities exist from across the basin from Spain to Turkey.
3. Cedar Capital Partners recently invested in the Angsana Resort & Spa in Corfu. What made this proposition appealing?
The investment was compelling for a number of reasons. For us, it was about the local partner, the fact the resort was close to completion and a large piece of the development risk was mitigated and we think there is the opportunity in the market to be the first international standard 365-days-a-year destination with the correct facilities and services. There also is a branded residential villa component to develop in the future we think will cement the resort as a leading mixed-use scheme.
4. What shifts/trends do you see emerging for the region over the next 6–12 months?
The region always will be of strong interest to domestic and regional players. We believe increasing investor appetite will come from international investors as opportunities in more obvious Western European locations are tough and investors are seeking risk-adjusted returns and see an interesting arbitrage in returns across the Mediterranean region. In Greece, we have seen in the past 12-18 months a number of sizable investments by foreign investors in individual properties and portfolios and we think this is set to continue.
5. Have you seen a change in the profile of buyers and sellers in the past few years?
The liquidity in the region is still very low and we don’t think the profile of the seller has really changed. The ownership profile generally remains independent and family controlled in nature. We think the buyer pool will broaden and more foreign investors and private equity investors will enter the space.
6. What are the main risks currently with investing in hospitality real estate in Europe?
A whole thesis could be written on this! For us, it remains the key fundamentals which can be grouped as an investment partner, hotel brand or operator, the location and critically the accessibility for resort destinations.
7. What are you most looking forward to at MR&H 2019?
For us, it’s about developing a larger network to build partnerships and sourcing more investment opportunities. We are keen to invest more in the region and the sector.
Phil Golding and more than 450 industry leaders will attend MR&H 2019. Attendees can register here. MR&H is presented by Questex, parent company of Hotel Management magazine.