Some things about Mipim make me quite cross.

Bruce Dear

Take Pomeranian dogs. Poms. What’s the point? OK, I grant you - they are pretty. But remember, gentle reader, beauty is only fur deep.

And Poms throw away all of their winnings in life’s lottery of looks by being gratingly yappy and unimaginably stupid. “Not clever enough to walk in a straight line,” says my wife (who loves Poms).

And Cannes is the capital of Poms. Pomparis. They are everywhere. The sophisticated canine choice of the Cannois. This is because a Pom is not so much a dog as an elite accessory. It is basically a designer handbag with a digestive system.

As my train pulled into Cannes, it erupted with a chorus of squeaky yaps. The millions of Poms on the TGV had reached their spiritual home. As the doors jerked open, a huge fluff of them tumbled out and carpeted the platform.

I growled at them and stomped off in search of a sandwich, starving after 11 hours on the Eurostar. We were delayed (I kid you not) because French customs staff were on strike about possible Brexit disruption - thus causing huge amounts of disruption. Go figure - or “allez comprendre!” as Jean the customs officer would doubtless say.

Mipim 2019

All I wanted to recover was a simple sandwich. So I (quite reasonably) walked up and down Rue d’Antibes looking for one. Simple you say. Non.

I could buy anything: Rolexes, silver stiletto shoes, chiffon ball gowns, a yacht, a diamanté collar for my Pom - but not a cheese sandwich - or any food at all.

This was because it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and, as my hotel receptionist patiently explained with Gallic disdain (while looking at my belly), “Sir, in France we do not eat between meals.” It was the greatest British humiliation in France since the last one.

Don’t worry, that’s not a segue into Brexit. Apart from deploring the political uncertainty, delegates at Mipim avoided that word like it was the love child of ebola and tuberculosis.

But, as Liz Hampson made clear at the excellent Property Week Editor’s Dinner, the Mipim mood was optimistic and future-focussed. Yes, fewer people were there this year, but they were the true believers - committed to the real asset markets for the long term.

They weren’t letting their hearts be troubled by politics. Politicians squawk and pass away within a few years, like parrots in a park. But real estate endures forever. Everything that happens must happen in real estate. Where else is there? Without land there is no human life and we’d all still be amoebae in the primal ocean.

Knowing this, Mipimites were optimistic about the future and the possibilities it will bring for property. All human history is rooted in the ownership, use and exploitation of land. So all real estate professionals are uniquely placed to change the world for the better. Let’s do it.

Bruce Dear is head of London real estate at Eversheds Sutherland