13 January 2017 – Expansión
Between January and December, investors spent €8,757 million buying tertiary assets, according to data from the real estate consultancy JLL. This figure is the second highest in the last decade, and is €650 million below the volume of sales and purchases recorded in 2015. That was the year when the invasion of international funds into Spain and the consolidation of the Socimis took the real estate market to figures never seen before, with a volume of investment upwards of €9,400 million.
But, unlike the previous year, 2016 saw the rise of commercial assets (primarily, shopping centres and high street premises) to lead the ranking in terms of real estate investment by segment, accounting for almost €3,000 million (€2,977 million, according to JLL) compared to €2,806 million spent on offices.
Two operations, the purchase of Torre Foster by Amancio Ortega, for €490 million and Merlin’s acquisition of Parque Adequa for €380 million, boosted the investment figure in the office segment, which, although hasn’t completely lost its appeal for buyers, has been relegated to second place due to a shortage of available prime space. (…).
Funds are selling off assets
The opposite is happening in the case of large commercial establishments. International funds’ interest in selling the properties that they bought during the crisis led to a boom in major operations last year, including the sale of the Diagonal Mar shopping centre by Northwood, which was acquired by one of Deutsche Bank’s real estate funds for €493 million; and the sale of Gran Vía de Vigo, for which the Socimi Lar España paid the fund Oaktree €145 million. (…).
In the case of hotels, despite significant one-off sales, such as the operation involving Hotel Villamagna, which was acquired by the Turkish group Dogus for €180 million, overall the investment volume fell from €2,739 million in 2015 to €2,155 million last year. Even so, the figure for 2016 exceeds the investment volume recorded in 2006, which previously held the record, when hotel sales amounted to €1,600 million (out of a total non-residential investment volume of €8,482 million).
Although commercial properties led the ranking as the preferred asset for investors, logistics assets also performed very well. Between January and December, €819 million was invested in logistics warehouses, platforms and centres, according to JLL. This figure practically doubles the purchases completed in 2015, when investors disbursed €434 million on these types of properties, according to the consultancy.
The key behind this success is due to the fact that logistics assets still offer high returns, compared with other properties, such as offices and shopping centres, which have lost some of their investment appeal, due to the high degree of interest in these assets in Spain.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake