08. February 2023 - PropertyEU magazine

Guest commentary: 2023 a good year-in-waiting for German family offices

by John Amram

John Amram, founder and CEO HPBA Off Market Solutions, reckons now could be a ‘ripe time’ for wealthy family offices to invest in real estate given their high affinity for direct ownership.

'From the successful founder of a tech company, through a centuries-old dynasty of entrepreneurs, to multinational mergers – the families behind the family offices active in Germany are just as diverse as their financial goals. There is scarcely any other group of investors that differs so widely in terms of size, investment style and approach. They have, however, one remarkable common feature: according to various studies by Engel + Völkers and Catella, the average real estate quota of family offices is considerably higher than that of institutional investors, whereby the precise figures fluctuate greatly.

The Engel + Völkers study also comes to the conclusion that the emphasis of many family offices is placed on value-add investments and residential real estate to a greater extent, with the focus still clearly on Germany. A survey by the consulting company Ebner Stolz at the end of 2022 confirmed that 97% of German family offices continue to set store by real estate, and in doing so above all by the inherent protection against inflation that rising rents offer.

As many family offices take a long-term approach, there is very little to indicate that these fundamental preferences will be called into question in the future. On the contrary: in view of current market developments, family offices could set the tone on the German real estate investment markets in the first six months of 2023 – above all as buyers, but possibly also as sellers. 2022 was a “wait-and-see” year.