The threat of Coronavirus is beginning to make an impact in the world of property.
The Cushman & Wakefield agency announced overnight that it was no longer sending a delegation to the annual MIPIM conference, due to be held as usual in Cannes from March 10 to 13.
"With the rapidly increasing number of cases of coronavirus in Europe and the elevated industry-wide concern around attendance at large multi-national events, we have decided to withdraw from MIPIM" says C&W's statement.
Knight Frank withdrew this morning and Savills is reported to be reviewing its stance on attending.
The MIPIM event, attended by some 27,000 commercial and residential agents and developers, is still going ahead: yesterday, organisers issued a statement saying MIPIM 2020 “will be open for business” and “all clients who are not affected by national or local travel restrictions” are welcome to attend.
Organisers say increased standards of hygiene and cleanliness will operate at the venue, including hand disinfectant in all public zones and a medical team on hand.
Today the National Association of Estate Agents conference in London is going ahead; late next month the Association of Residential Letting Agents conference is scheduled, again in London.
Earlier yesterday buying agent Henry Pryor tweeted: “Viewing of a house in South London yesterday cancelled at short notice as the owner, having just returned from Italy, self-isolates himself having felt a cold coming on.”
Another buying agent, Johnny Turnbull, tweeted that such a cancellation was sensible.
Last week it was reported that agency delegates to the Guild of Property Professionals conference in central London should self-isolate if they developed Coronavirus symptoms.
This was after it was discovered that a delegate who attended a previous event at the venue the week before, went on to become a confirmed case of Coronavirus.
Last week the National Landlords Association issued guidance for the lettings sector on the threat of the virus.