CBRE Global Investment Partners and IBA Capital to Sell Gran Vía 18 in Madrid

CBRE Global Investment Partners and IBA Capital announced their intention to sell the property located at Gran Vía 18, in Madrid for an estimated 70 million euros. The two firms acquired the asset in 2017 for €44 million and have since implemented a major renovation.

The building, which is on the corner of Calle Clavel, will become a mixed-use retail and office building. The retail side of the asset, which has a basement and seven above-ground floors, is large enough to accommodate a flagship store of a major retailer.

Grupo Abu Acquires Land in Seville

The Seville-based real estate company Abu has managed to finalise the acquisition of several plots of land that had once belonged to the La Trinidad glass factory. Abu took two years to reach an agreement with the 41 small owners.

The agreement will permit Abu to begin the development of the land under the Carmona-Ronda de Capuchinos Special Plan for Internal Reform. The land has a total of 29,000 square meters, enough for 200 homes. The development would also provide the city with 14,167 square meters of free spaces and 1,578 square meters for services of public and social interest.

Blackstone’s Real Estate Empire in Spain

The US giant controls at least 100,000 real estate assets in Spain through dozens of companies. Most of the properties are in Catalonia. When it finally completes the purchase of the Popular’s real estate portfolio, Blackstone will become the largest property development company in Spain, ahead of Sareb.

Few ordinary people have heard of Blackstone. Even when asked about it, this firm sounds more like a private mercenary company (Blackwater) than what it is: one of the largest asset managers in the world and the largest foreign investor in Spanish property.

Silicius Real Estate Completes €22-Million Capital Increase

The Socimi Silicius Real Estate has finalised a further €22-million capital increase. The increase is aimed at “the continuation of the investment plan set out in the Company’s Business Plan.” Current shareholders took up the new shares, along with 13 new investors.
The firm also acquired 29% of Shark Capital, which is also managed by Mazabi. Shark invests in real estate focusing on long-term, stable income streams. It currently owns properties in London, Amsterdam and Luxembourg.

Euronext Access Vies With MAB for Socimis

Euronext Access is increasingly competing for listings of socimis with Spain’s Alternative Market (MAB). The stock exchange is comparable to the MAB in that it is aimed at companies with smaller capitalisations. Euronext, however, has the added benefit of lower costs and requirements.

Those benefits, together with Euronext’s pan-European reach (with a presence in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Norway and the United Kingdom), are leading a growing number of socimis to opt for a listing in Paris instead of in Madrid.

Invesco to Convert Newly Acquired Office Building in Madrid to Flats

The US firm Invesco Real Estate has reached an agreement, together with the Spanish real estate company Grupo Barba, to acquire the former headquarters of the Madrid Traffic Headquarters, a building located Calle Arturo Soria 125 in the capital. The two firms are buying the asset from its previous owner, the socimi Jaba I Inversiones Inmobiliarias.

The new owners plan to convert the property into an apartment building. The property has approximately 5,700 square meters of surface area on five above-ground floors.

Political Paralysis Affects The RE Sector

6 February 2016 – Expansion

The political paralysis is also affecting one of the sectors which is more vigorously climbing out from the deep hole in which the crisis left it. BBVA determines that the uncertainty generated by the parliamentary negotiations is undermining  recovery in housing activity since, although residential demand evolves positively, a lower growth in sales and mortgage granting has been observed.
 However, the research department of the financial entity stated that in the absence of data from December, 2015 will be closed with around 400,000 homes sold, 8% more than in 2014, as recorded by Efe. In the first eleven months of the year, the accumulated housing sales growth was of a 10.6% Y-O-Y and already in November the number of transactions lost vigor since, according to data from the General Council of Notaries, about 35,000 properties were sold, 2.5% less than a month earlier. Thus, BBVA holds that in recent months the sales appear to have stuck around 35,000, breaking the monthly growth they had shown in previous months.

Possible acceleration. However, given the good performance observed in the fundamentals of demand for housing, this impasse could be transient. Thus, the progressive reduction of uncertainty in the coming months could bring a further acceleration in housing sales, says the entity. Therefore, according to the Labour Force Survey in the fourth quarter of 2015, employment grew 0.8% per quarter, so that the year ended with 525,100 more employments than in 2014. Membership data also revealed an increase in employment in December and a reduction in the unemployment rate up to 20.9%, three points under the previous year.  The atmosphere of political uncertainty, added to the volatility of financial markets have also been reflected in a reduction in the consumer confidence in January, but yet it is at all-time highs. 
As well as in sales, in November, mortgage granting decreased in comparison with the month of October. According to the Notaries, signed loans decreased by 5.6% compared with October. After that reduction observed in October, visas rose sharply in November with a 29.9% increase. There has also been noticed an increase in cement consumption, in the data of the construction labor market or in the confidence of entrepreneurs.

Original story: Expansion

Translation: Aura Ree

Popular Sells Banco de Andalucía’s HQ In Sevilla For €25M

18 February 2016 – Expansion

New real estate fever is making a large number of transactions boom in Andalusia, especially assets on sale for years. According to EXPANSIÓN, the latest major deal has been featured by Banco Popular, to close a sale agreement of the historic headquarters of Banco Andalucía in Sevilla for EUR 25 million.

The Andalusian company was taken over by Popular, which already had a 80% capital stake in 2009. The remaining stake was largely in the hands of Solis family. 
Two years after this move, the bank chaired by Ángel Ron cleared out the building, located in the heart of Seville. Specifically, it is located at Calle Fernández y González 4 y 6.

The asset has 7,000 square meters distributed in basement, ground floor and six more floors in height. The project of the new owner is opening a hotel, as well as marketing  other street level premises. 
According to sources close to the deal, the purchase has been mediated by Drago Capital on behalf of a company whose identity has not been given. This firm was founded by Oleguer Pujol and Luis Iglesias, currently under investigation for tax fraud and money laundering due to its relationship with the plot of the Catalonian president´s family. One of its most important transaction was the purchase of Santander branch network for 2,000 million.

Original story: Expansion (by Lydia Velasco)

Translation: Aura Ree

The Price Of Luxury Apartments Will Increase By 5% In Madrid

17 February 2016 – El Economista

These property transactions went up by 60% in January.

The price of luxury housing will rise between 4% and 5% on average in Madrid this year, according to forecasts of Engel & Völkers real estate company, specializing in the sale of luxury properties These increases will not lead the industry to a new bubble, as this possibility goes away thanks to the gradual recovery of the sector, Paloma Perez, general director of Engel & Völkers´ Metropolitan Market Center in Madrid.

Moreover, these forecasts are made taking into account the current situation of political uncertainty affecting real estate and which during the last quarter of 2015 hit the market with a 3% cut in domestic sales. In this regard, Pérez is optimistic and ensures that transactions in Madrid increased by 60% in January. Thus, he ensures that the Spanish capital has consolidated its privileged position in the luxury sector market, becoming the third most attractive city for investors in Europe, only behind Berlin and Dublin.

In addition to strong demand from foreign buyers, domestic investors are taking a larger role in the market, as there is a saver´s profile searching for product “once prices have bottomed out”.

Although uncertainty has not stopped this sector, Perez acknowledges that a lower growth rate than that expected. Therefore, and due to the emerging supply shortage in certain areas, she stressed the need for clear urban planning approaches by the City of Madrid. Real Estate development is back, but there is a significant available land shortage, so use changes will be the alternative, and for that we also need a clear and long-term legislation to provide security to investors.

Original story: El Economista (Alba Brualla)

Translation: Aura Ree