2 October 2017 – Expansión
After years of drought, the residential real estate market is starting to show signs of recovery, with a significant increase both in investment in land as well as in the construction of new developments. In this new phase, international investment funds have become a major player, with more than €1,000 million invested in the Spanish residential sector and thousands of homes under construction. “Interest from these types of funds in the residential property development market is the result of the recovery that the segment is experiencing, as a consequence of a clear improvement in the underlying macroeconomic indicators”, says Borja Ortega, Director of Capital Markets at JLL.
For its investments in Spain, large international funds such as Värde, Castlelake, Lone Star and Morgan Stanley have opted for alliances with local operators (…). “This formula (…) is very beneficial for the market as it combines access to capital and international sources of financing with knowledge and experience of the local real estate development sector”, says Ortega.
“In most cases, the international fund provides the bulk of the capital, whilst the local partner participates in each project with a smaller percentage investment, but bringing to the table its expertise in terms of the acquisition of land and the construction of developments”, highlights Samuel Población, National Director of Residential and Land at CBRE España.
Lone Star stands out amongst the major investors. The fund, led in Spain by Juan Pepa, has invested more than €1,000 million in launching Neinor Homes, the first property developer to debut on the stock market in almost a decade. Another key player, Castlelake, is willing to spend a similar figure on the creation of another real estate giant, in this case, Aedas, which will also make its debut on the stock market soon.
Alongside them, Värde, which channels its investments in the residential sector through two companies: Vía Célere and Aelca. These three funds lead the national ranking, with 11,189 homes under construction and almost 5 million m2 of land.
The giants Lone Star, Morgan Stanley, Castlelake and Värde are not the only players to be investing in housing in Spain. The German fund ASG is another one of the most active investors. Through its Spanish subsidiary, ASG Iberia, it is currently working on the construction of 2,000 homes, across six sites, including in San Juan (Alicante), Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and Málaga (…).
Other active players include Stoneweg; Harbert Management Corporation (HMC), which has teamed up with the Spanish management company Momentum; the German institutional fund Patrizia; and Pimco, which joined forces with the Socimi Lar España (…).
Other partnerships are purely financial. Such is the case of the agreement between Avenue Capital and Quabit, where the fund has granted two lines of credit, amounting to €100 million in total, to the property developer to buy land.
According to CBRE, investment in residential assets exceeded €600 million between January and September. And, according to the experts, that figure is going to continue growing. “We will continue seeing interest from international funds, given that the outlook for growth in the sector is strong for the next three to four years. The funds already present will continue with their activity and it is probable that others (not yet present) will also join in, given that the investment pressure is high”, says Población.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake