Phil Golding manages the acquisition and asset management functions for Cedar Capital Partners. Since the firm was founded in 2004, it has invested in hotels with a value in excess of €3 billion. Phil brings his expertise to the speaker programme for the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H)2019 and will take part in: Home is Where the Money Is: The Impact of the Residential Market on Resorts. In advance, Phil shares his thoughts on the emerging investment trends for the Mediterranean region and the risks to be mindful of when considering resort development.

1.  From your perspective, 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 consider there to be excellent investment opportunities. Opportunities exist 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 generalise 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 investors appetite for country and market risk and appetite for development opportunities exist from across the basin from Spain to Turkey.

3.  Cedar Capital Partners have 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 is also a branded residential villa component to develop in the future which 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 will always 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. We have seen in Greece in the past 12-18 months a number of sizeable 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.

Join Phil and over 400 of your industry peers to form new partnerships that could transform your business at MR&H 2019.