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From Industry to Property Investment Clusters: ERES 2021 Presentation

On June 3, 2021, I presented my ongoing work on new avenues in regional economic analysis at the 27th Annual Conference of the European Real Estate Society (ERES). My research is generously supported by the European Spatial Planning Observation Network ESPON: I won a competition for early career researchers and am now contracted by the ESPON EGTC to promote the uptake of ESPON territorial evidence within the scientific community. My presentation at the ERES conference focused on the rationale and methodology of my current work.

Investments into built environments have become a major economic driver, and throughout Europe, regions compete to attract (international) investment capital. The meteoric rise of residential property transactions in recent years, for instance, has turned residential investments into one of Europe’s largest investment sectors.

Over decades, regional economic analysts have explored and theorized processes of change to adequately plan for regional development. I argued that changes connected to financialized property markets, however, challenge some of the most fundamental assumptions and principles of regional economic analysis: when the built environment is considered as a tradable investment asset, and liquid capital only temporarily fixes in land and property as a by-product, prominent spatial models and theories that centre for example around the role of industry clusters and the locational choices of firms for regional economies, become largely uninstructive.

I called for new avenues in regional economic analysis that incorporate financialized property markets and presented my interdisciplinary approach combining territorial evidence, commercial property investment transaction data, and in-depth insights into property market actors decision-making processes in regional investment decisions.

I ended my presentation by stressing the importance of bridging planning and real estate studies i) for planning scholars to better grasp the complexity of regional property markets; ii) for real estate scholars to improve regional territorial insights; iii) and to provide knowledge and perspectives for evidence-based policymaking, specifically to regulate residential property investment markets and actors.

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