European real estate has changed considerably since the Great Financial Crisis. Consider the expansion of special accounts and non-bank lending or private and public bond issuance. Capital has gravitated to large managers. Housing affordability is a crisis in core cities. The rhetoric of co-working platforms has verged on the absurd. And so on. The composition of real estate markets change from one cycle to the next. But when a narrative comes to the fore that “It’s Different This Time”, the end of a cycle is always near. This has always been an inherent attribute of the asset class and remains so today. Market imbalances are never indefinitely sustainable. The invisible hand of the market will inevitably take its course, eventually. The consequences of a long expansionary cycle will be the same as always. With down-market real estate cycles there is no escaping, unavoidable capital destruction. Will this force of destiny ever change for real estate? Yes, it will. Digital, technological and financial innovations, in the passage of time, will smooth out market imperfections. But it’s not different this time.

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