Oceans & Company’s Daniel Schmidt was a contributor at the 2019 LMA Real Estate Finance Conference in November 2019, on a panel entitled “REF Market: the outlook for the year ahead”. The panel, chaired by Dr Beda Wortmann, partner at Clifford Chance, debated the shape, trends and prospects of the German commercial real estate market. In a lively and controversial discussion, the panellists highlighted various commercial real estate asset classes, with particular emphasis on the associated finance markets. A key question was how the market climate for financing commercial real estate will develop in 2020. It became clear that office, logistics and residential assets will continue to benefit from competitive financing terms; however, banks especially will increasingly evaluate sponsors’ track records and business plans. The era of ultra-aggressive loan terms in value-add and development transactions may also have come to an end. Asset classes such as retail and hotels will come under increasing pressure. Daniel stressed that it will become more and more challenging to finance such assets on the best possible terms, and that the banking market in particular will become less homogenous in future.