25 April 2017 – La Vanguardia
Transactions in the Spanish office market amounted to almost €900 million during the first quarter of 2017, more than twice the figure recorded during the same period in 2016. Moreover, Barcelona exceeded Madrid in terms of investment, for the first time, with a differential of €50 million – investment in Barcelona amounted to €450 million – driven by the purchase of Torre Glòries, according to data from the real estate consultancy firm Savills.
Two mega-operations amounting to more than €100 million each boosted office investment during the first quarter, which represented 30% of the total figure recorded during the whole of 2016. Firstly, during the second week of January, Merlin Properties announced the purchase of Torre Glòries (Torre Agbar) for €142 million.
The second deal saw the sale of the so-called Boston portfolio, comprising 14 BBVA office buildings (eight in Barcelona, five in Madrid and one in Valencia), which were sold to Oaktree and Freo.
According to Savills, the operation involving Torre Glòries is one of the largest recorded in Barcelona in recent years, exceeded only by the €145 million that Deka spent in 2010 on the former headquarters of Caja Madrid on La Diagonal.
The fact that 20 of the 35 assets that changed hands during the quarter were located in Barcelona significantly increased the Catalan capital’s share of the national total. The city accounted for 52% of total investment, which allowed it to exceed Madrid for the first time in the historical series.
The volume of office investment in Barcelona amounted to almost €450 million, compared with €40 million during the same period in 2016. In Madrid, office investment exceeded €400 million, an amount that was distributed between thirteen assets. In interannual terms, the volume of investment in the capital increased by 60%. One of the major operations in Madrid was the sale of Barclays headquarters in Plaza de Colón, which was acquired by CBRE Global Investors for more than €55 million.
Original story: La Vanguardia
Translation: Carmel Drake