Ministry Of Development: Housing Stock Falls By 5% To 535,734

31 July 2015 – El Economista

According to data published by the Ministry of Development, the stock of unsold homes in Spain fell by 5% in 2014, to bring the total down to 535,734 properties, i.e. 2.10% of the total housing stock.

The statistics are compiled on the basis of the termination certificates issued by the College of Technical Architects…as a reference for the number of finished homes, and using the Ministry of Development’s own real estate statistics about house sales.

This represents the second largest decrease since 2010, when the downwards phase first started. (…).

It means that the stock of empty homes has reduced by 17.5% since its maximum level in 2009 (649,780 properties). Overall, the housing stock is still 29.5% higher than it was in 2007, when there were 413,642 empty homes.

No stock left in Cantabria or Extremadura

The housing stock decreased in all regions in 2014, with the exception of Ceuta and Melilla. In fact, in the cases of Extremadura and Cantabria, the stock of homes was completely absorbed last year.

However, in this case, the Ministry of Development explains that the ‘stock’ represents the surplus above the levels recorded on 1 January 2004, and therefore zero surpluses do not necessarily mean that there are no unsold new homes left, but rather that the number of unsold new homes has not increased since that date.

Navarra led the decreases, with a reduction of 86.5%, followed by Galicia (-8.45%), Aragón (-6.76%), Andalucía (-6.72%), the Balearic Islands (-5.97%), Murcia (-5.48%), the Canary Islands (-5.37%) and Asturias (-5.19%).

Other regions recorded decreases below the national average, including: Madrid (-4.78%), Castilla-La Mancha (-4.66%), Castilla y León (-4.24%), Comunidad Valenciana (-3.14%), Cataluña (-2.99%), La Rioja (-1.76%) and País Vasco (-0.75%). Meanwhile, the stock in Ceuta and Melilla increased by 18.1%.

Following these changes, three regions now account for 49.6% of the stock: Comunidad Valenciana (98,087 homes), Andalucía (85,081 homes) and Cataluña (82,753 homes). Meanwhile, the regions and cities with the lowest stock percentages are Ceuta and Melilla (744 homes), Navarra (184 homes) and Cantabria and Extremadura, where there is no stock left. (…).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Residential Mortgage Foreclosures Increased By 5.6% In 2014

31 July 2015 – Expansión

Banks foreclosed 36,519 primary residence homes from individuals who were unable to make their debt repayments in 2014, an increase of 5.6% compared with the previous year. That is the main finding from the statistics published yesterday by the Bank of Spain about mortgage foreclosure processes involving residential properties.

Almost half of the homes handed over to financial institutions were “daciones en pago” (16,489), an increase of 10% compared with 2013. Meanwhile, there were 17,113 judicial mortgage foreclosures, up 2% compared with 2013. In 2,801 of those cases, the families still lived in the homes.

On a less negative front, only 25 primary residence homes were handed over as a result of court orders and with the intervention of security forces, compared with 93 cases in 2013.

Judicial processes involving mortgage foreclosures over other kinds of homes (second homes and rental properties) also increased, by 1.6%.

Meanwhile, data regarding housing permits was published yesterday, revealing that 19,134 licences were granted between January and May 2015, an increase of 28.2%.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Housing Permits Increase By 28% During 5M To May 2015

31 July 2015 – El Economista

The number of permits granted by the Colleges of Technical Architects for the construction of homes soared by 28% during the first five months of 2015 to 19,134 – the best figure to be recorded during that period since 2012, according to the latest data published by the Ministry of Development.

Permits started the year with a 37% increase, to 3,466 in January. In February, the YoY increase soared to 57%, whilst in March, the trend was broken with a 13.5% decrease in the number of permits granted with respect to the previous month. The number then grew again in April and May, by 50% and 22%, respectively.

The growth in the number of permits granted between January and May comes after a timid increase of 0.003% in 2014, to 34,873 – the first year of growth in the sector after seven years in decline.

Despite the increase recorded during the first five months of the year, the number of housing permits being granted is still well below the peaks recorded at the height of the boom in 2006, when more than 217,000 permits were granted in the real estate sector during the first three months of the year, i.e. 94% more than during the first five months of this year.

In total, 30,140 permits were granted for new builds, renovations and extensions during the five months to May, which represents an increase of 20.5% with respect to 2014.

By type of property, permits granted for the construction of housing blocks increased by 35% (with 13,585 licences), whilst those granted for single-family homes grew by 13%, to 5,537 permits.

In terms of surface area, the average size of single-family homes was 201 m2 and the average for flats was 112 m2. The number of housing permits granted began to decrease in 2007 (which saw a 24.8% reduction) and since then have followed a downwards trend until last year’s tiny increase.

According to the Ministry of Development, which began compiling these figures in 1991, permits reached their historical minimum level in August last year, when only 1,585 permits were granted. The historical maximum level was recorded in September 2006 when 126,753 permits were granted in a single month.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inbisa Sells 1,600m2 Of Office Space In Barcelona

31 July 2015 – Noticias Logística y Transporte

Inbisa Inmobiliaria has sold 1,600 m2 of office space, 9 parking spaces and 2 store rooms in the Torre Inbisa Plaza Europa, in Barcelona to a Russian private equity investor. The building’s occupancy rate will increase to 80% as a result of the sale.

According to Inbisa Inmobiliaria, “the buyer, which has been advised by Residae Barcelona Real Estate Consultancy, has valued the investment on the basis of the solvency of the tenants, the stability of their contracts, the characteristics of the asset and the potential for the growth in value of the property”. (…).

Plaza Europa has consolidated its position as a strategic area in Barcelona thanks to its proximity to the Barcelona-El Prat airport, the port, the AVE station and the city centre; and many companies have chosen to locate their headquarters there. Torre Inbisa Plaza Europa is the only building in the area that offers to sell offices, with spaces available measuring as little as 200 m2.

The tower is more than 100m tall and has a total above-ground constructed surface area of more than 19,500 m2 over 25 floors, measuring 800 m2 each. It also has 2 underground floors with capacity for 237 parking spaces, 700 m2 of store rooms and a dining room, which may be used by the building’s occupants. (…).

Inbisa Inmobiliaria confirmed that “special care was taken with the design (of the tower) from the start to control the climatic exposure,  the light, ensure the correct thermal and acoustic insulation and natural ventilation, with the aim of optimising the facilities”.

At the end of June, Inbisa Inmobiliaria sold industrial warehouses measuring more than 3,700 m2 in Vizcaya in the Centro Empresarial Inbisa Derio.

Original story: Noticias Logística y Transporte

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deutsche’s Socimi Trajano Debuts On MAB With A 4% Rise

31 July 2015 – Expansión

The socimi Trajano Iberia, which is managed and promoted by a division of Deutsche Bank, has debuted on the Alternative Investment Market (‘Mercado Alternativo Bursátil’ or MAB) with a rise of 4.01%, which saw its share price increase to €10.38.

By 12:00h, 2,650 shares in the company had been traded for a total price of €27,507.

The company, which yesterday became the sixth socimi to list on the market, debuted on the stock market after completing a €94.8 million capital increase, carried out by investors in the Wealth Management division of Deutsche Bank in Spain.

The company debuted on the market at a price of €9.98 per share, according to Spain’s Stock Exchanges and Markets body (‘Bolsas y Mercados Españoles’ or BME).

Trajano’s shares are traded through a price-setting system, which matches supply and demand through two daily auctions or “fixings” (at 12:00h and 16:00h).

The socimi has its eyes firmly set on office assets in “semi prime” locations in Madrid and Barcelona and “prime” locations in secondary cities. It is also looking at shopping centres and retail parks, as well as logistics assets in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia and the País Vasco.

The company expects to complete its investments within a maximum period of 24 months, although that timeframe may be reduced in light of the strong sentimient that currently exist in the real estate sector.

The company is managed by the team responsible for the real estate division of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management in Spain and Portugal.

Currently, the entity manages real estate assets worth more than €46,000 million around the world, and €740 million in Spain and Portugal.

Deloitte acted as the Registered Advisor and BEKA Finance as the liquidity provider. (…).

Since last year, several companies have listed on the stock market under the socimi structure, including: Lar España Real Estate, Hispania, Merlin Properties, Axiare and Uro Property.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

The March Family Enters The Bidding For ‘Torre Espacio’

31 July 2015 – Expansión

Torre Espacio has a new suitor, in the form of the March family, which has formally expressed its interest in acquiring the skyscraper in the Cuatro Torres complex (Madrid) from the current owner, Grupo Villar Mir. The family is up against Amancio Ortega – the owner of Inditex – the German fund Deka and Canada Pension Fund.

Inmobiliairia Espacio, the holding company of Villar Mir, put the property on the market at the end of June and engaged the consultancy firm Aguirre Newman to manage the sale. The company has already received preliminary bids for the property, which it plans to sell for between €650 million and €700 million, whereby taking full advantage of the revival in the real estate sector currently underway in Spain. However, the offers received for Torre Espacio so far range between €500 million and €600 million, albeit above its book value (€440 million). Villar Mir invested €400 million in the construction of the building.

The firm’s intention was to select one or two candidates to participate in exclusive negotiations, with the aim of closing the deal in October.

The March family’s bid for Torre Espacio is indicative of its growing interest in the real estate sector. The family has just acquired Ahorro Corporación’s headquarters on the Paseo de la Castellana (Madrid) for €147 million through its company Corporación Financiera Alba.

Original story: Expansión (by Y.B.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Recorded A Profit Of €11M In H1 2015

31 July 2015 – El Economista

Hispania, the socimi controlled by the fund manager Azora Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios obtained a profit of €10.7 million during the first half of the year, which represented a 29-fold increase compared with the same period in 2014 (€0.4 million).

In H1 2015, Hispania, which began operations in March 2014 following its IPO, recorded turnover of €13 million, whereby multiplying its revenues in H1 2014 (€0.6 million) by 22, according to information submitted to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) yesterday.

Since its debut on the stock market, Hispania has invested in 32 assets, which have a consolidated gross value of €710 million.

During the second quarter of 2015 alone, the socimi acquired four assets – two hotels and two offices – and signed an agreement with Grupo Barceló to create the first hotel socimi.

During the first half of the year, Hispania also obtained additional financing of €70.1 million, taking its financial debt to €195.2 million.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial Buys An Office Building On c/Génova For €36M

31 July 2015 – Idealista

The real estate company Colonial has announced the acquisition of a prime office building measuring 5,000 m2, located at number 17, Calle Génova for €36 million. The property is leased to several high profile companies and represents the third purchase made by the company in the office segment this year.

The property, located at number 17 of the Madrilenian street of Génova, has a surface area of almost 5,000 m2 and 70 parking spaces. It is currently leased to several leading companies, whose names have not been disclosed. (…).

The real estate company, in which Juan Miguel Villar Mir holds a stake, said that “the prime position of this building, thanks to its central location, is strengthened further by its recent comprehensive renovation, its “very good” BREEAM certifications and its “A Rating” Energy Certificate, which certify that all of the construction components have been reviewed, to ensure the utmost energy efficiency and sustainability”.

The transaction, which was closed during the first half of the year, was advised by BNP Paribas Real Estate and is the third made by the company in the prime office sector this year.

In fact, after spending €36 million on this building, Colonial’s total investment this year amounts to €125 million. The three buildings that it has purchased in Madrid’s business centre have a combined above-ground area of around 26,000 m2.

The appetite for prime office blocks in the capital is high due to the scarcity that exists in the market for this kind of product, which attracts high quality demand and maximum rental prices. (…).

This latest operation fits perfectly into the real estate company’s new strategy, which consists of growing in the office market in the three major cities in which it has a presence: Madrid, Barcelona and Paris.

Original story: Idealista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial Earns 64% Less & Neutralises Effect Of Asentia

30 July 2015 – El Economista

The real estate company Colonial has closed the first half of the year with earnings of €202 million, down by 63.8% with respect to the same period last year, when it recorded earnings of €559 million, due to the deconsolidation of Asentia, its bad bank.

In a statement, Colonial said that its recurring net profit for the first half of the year, i.e. the profit generated by the real estate company’s ordinary activities, amounted to €11 million in H1 2015, an increase of 39.2% compared with the first six months of 2014.

Although Colonial’s accounts for H1 2014 included a positive extraordinary item for Asentia amounting to €704 million, the accounts in H1 2015 also included a €348 million revaluation of the company’s assets. Colonial said that the value of its assets has increased by 21% in twelve months.

Colonial’s business model is simple – essentially, it purchases buildings in prime areas of Barcelona, Madrid and Paris, renovates them for rental and then collects the corresponding rental income. Most of the company’s assets are leased as offices.

In terms of revenues, the real estate company, whose main shareholder is Grupo Villar Mir with its 24% stake, earned €111 million during the first six months of 2015, up by 6%.

So far this year, Colonial has invested €165 million in the acquisition of buildings, including three properties in the centre of Madrid and one in the centre of Paris.

To illustrate the strong performance of the business, Colonial highlights that during the first six months of the year, it has signed rental contracts for space covering 107,692 m2, which is equivalent to the entire surface area that it signed contracts last year as a whole.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: Mortgage Lending Increased By 10.9% In May

29 July 2015 – El Economista

According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the number of mortgages granted over homes recorded in the property registers amounted to 19,732 in May 2015, up by 10.9% from the same month in 2014. This data is sourced from public deeds signed in previous months.

With the YoY increase to May, residential mortgages recorded twelve consecutive months of two digit increases. Nevertheless, the rise in May was ten points lower than the one seen in April, when the number of residential mortgages increased by 21.4%.

The average size of a residential mortgage amounted to €103,922 during the fifth month of the year, up by 4.4% from the same month in 2014. Meanwhile, the total amount of capital loaned increased by 15.8% in YoY terms to exceed €2,050 million.

In monthly terms (May versus April), the number of mortgages increased by 4.6%, the lowest rise in five years, whilst the volume of capital loaned grew by 8%, compared with an increase of 14% one year ago.

During the first five months of the year, the number of residential mortgages signed increased by 20.1% with respect to the same period in 2014, with a 24% increase in the total amount of capital loaned and a 3.3% rise in the average mortgage amount.

Andalucía leads the ranking

By region, the autonomous communities that recorded the highest number of new residential mortgages in May were: Andalucía (3,717), Madrid (3,378) and Cataluña (3,085).

During the fifth month of the year, the regions that recorded the highest YoY variations in the number of new residential mortgages were: La Rioja (+43.4%), Navarra (+31.8%) and Galicia (+26.8%).

Meanwhile, the regions that loaned the most capital for the constitution of mortgages were: Madrid (€496.3 million), Cataluña (€371.4 million) and Andalucía (€323.4 million).

Mortgages increase over all properties

According to data from the statistical body, 29,712 mortgages were constituted over rural and urban properties (including homes) during the fifth month of the year, which represents an increase of 7.3% with respect to May 2014.

The capital of the mortgage loans granted increased by 15.1% with respect to the same month in 2014, to €3,736.8 million, to the extent that the average amount of the mortgages constituted over all properties amounted to €125,802, up 7.3% from May 2014.

The average interest rate for residential mortgages was 3.40% in May, compared with 3.82% a year earlier, whilst the average interest rate for all properties was 3.38%, with an average term of 21 years.

Mainly variable interest rate mortgages

Finally, 92.8% of the mortgages granted in May had variable interest rates, compared with 7.2% that had fixed rates. Euribor was the most commonly used reference rate, and featured in 92.2% of the new contracts signed. (…).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake