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All Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Blackstone & Santander Rescue Popular's Marina d'Or Fiasco

11 June 2019 - Expansión

Quasar, the company created by Blackstone (51%) and Banco Santander (49%) to take over the management of Popular’s property portfolio, has injected €101 million into the company Platja Amplaries, which owns the Marina d’Or group’s apartments, parking spaces and land, to avoid its dissolution.

Platja Amplaries had run up losses of €170 million but Quasar’s cash injection has increased the company’s share capital to €108.3 million. The company’s assets were reportedly worth €285 million when it was created in 2011, but their value had fallen to just €85 million by the time Quasar took ownership two years ago.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

 
Sareb Offers the Contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat & Solvia to its Rivals

17 June 2019 - El Confidencial

Sareb is on a mission to change its course. According to market sources, the bad bank chaired by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured below) has decided to put its contracts with Altamira (owned by doBank), Servihabitat (Lone Star) and Solvia (Intrum) out to tender two years before their scheduled renewal.

Even though the contracts are not due to expire until the end of 2021, Sareb is putting them out to tender alongside that of Haya Real Estate, which is due to expire at the end of 2019. This represents a boost for Cerberus’s servicer, given that its competitors will now also have to focus on retaining their own contracts rather than just bidding for Haya’s.

In the event that Sareb awards the contracts of Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia to other entities, it will have to compensate the servicers since their contracts clearly establish early termination clauses.

Altogether, Sareb is looking at putting out to tender the management of €34 billion in loans and properties that it still has left in its portfolio. The four will have to submit their bids in the next few months, specifying which assets they want to manage and what commissions they will charge.

The largest mandate is that of Haya, which manages assets proceeding from Bankia, which accounted for 37% of the bad bank’s original assets. It is followed by Altamira, which manages the assets proceeding from Catalunya Banc, BMN and Caja 3 (29% of the total); Servihabitat, which manages the assets from NCG Banco, Liberbank and Banco de Valencia (19%); and Solvia,  which manages assets from Bankia (foreclosed), Banco Gallego and Ceiss (15%). Clearly, there is a lot at stake for these servicers.

Original story: El Confidencial (by J. Zuloaga & R. Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

 
JLL: Foreign Investment in Catalan Real Estate Rose by 137% in 2018

15 June 2019 - La Vanguardia

According to data published by the real estate consultancy JLL, overseas investment in the Catalan real estate sector rose by 137% during 2018, despite the fact that total investment fell from €1.13 billion in 2017 to €995 million in 2018.

In fact, domestic investment plummeted by 85% to €363 million from €859 million, but almost all of that decrease was offset by the arrival of funds from overseas. Of those, investment funds deposited 57% YoY more in 2018 (€574 million) and Socimis invested 47% YoY more (€326 million).

Having overcome the political uncertainty seen in 2017, international investors showed their commitment to Cataluña in general and Barcelona in particular, not least because the city has been declared as one of the world’s influencer cities by JLL.

In the business context, the city is particularly attractive for investment in the office, logistics and commercial sectors, ranking in first place in all 3 markets when compared with its European counterparts.

Specifically, the Catalan capital's offices generate yields of 3.75%, whereby outperforming Milan (3.6%), London, Madrid and Stockholm (all 3.5%). Its logistics assets generate returns of 5.10%, compared with 5% in Madrid, and its shops in central locations generated yields of 3.25% in Q1 2019, compared with Madrid (3.15%) and Paris (2.75%).

All of this is welcome news for the region that has been hit hard by the political uncertainty of recent years.

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Pilar Blázquez)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake