Digital meeting with Cuatrecasas on the new Catalan Law

Meeting on Changes in the law in Catalonia: Yolanda Guerra, partner of Cuatrecasas and Responsible for the practice of Environment and Urbanism, will answer on April 3 to all doubts about the new decree-law 9/2019 and the stoppage of licensing for 22 @. Send your question here:


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This would be the market in 2020

We are only just recovering from the barrage of company results for 2019, and yet the end of the first quarter of 2020 is almost upon us already. That is the sheer reality of this sector (and of many others, for that matter). And so, as the quarter comes to a close, we take the opportunity to reflect. What have the first few months of this new year brought us? Are they representative of what we can expect to see over the coming months? All indications are that the answer will be somewhat Galician in nature: Maybe, maybe not. And that is because to take a real photograph of the property sector, you have to be on the move. Like a hyperlapse in millennial jargon.

At the beginning of the year, as the new PSOE-Podemos coalition Government began to take shape, experts in the real estate sector were daring to talk about a 2020 marked, once again, by significant activity. Low interest rates and a favourable economic context – with growth in Spain forecast to outperform the European average, albeit at a lower rate than last year – had left the land fertile for investors, with a strong international profile, to continue backing Spanish property. Indeed, we have seen several high-profile operations involving all kinds of assets: some deals were left over from last year, such as the German fund ECE’s purchase of the Intu Asturias shopping centre for €290 million and the sale of ING’s future headquarters by Blackstone to the Korean fund Inmark for €190 million. It seems that these operations are a good indicator of what will happen in the market this year: if a product is good, there will always be a buyer.

2020 is also set to be a milestone year in terms of major urban development projects. In Madrid, the so-called Operación Chamartín (now Madrid Nuevo Norte) is awaiting the final, and now definitive, go ahead so that the largest urban regeneration project still to be completed in a major European capital city can begin. This year, we should also find out what the role is going to be of its great promoter, and even today, its largest shareholder, BBVA. The bank has already acknowledged that this real estate activity does not form part of its core business, and it has begun negotiations with several investors to sell its majority stake, once the administrative obstacles have been overcome. But, for the time being, none of them has prospered. Merlin, one of the stars of these negotiations, has ended up buying its stake from the other major player in the project: the construction firm San José. This year looks to be key for both partners as they vie to establish their respective positions.

Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the development of the last remaining area of the 22@ district, one of the great urban development successes of recent years, looks set to be another milestone for the next 12 months. However, the suspension of licence processing in the district has thrown up lots of questions. We hope that the market in Barcelona will once again demonstrate its robustness and continue to be a focus with international appeal, as it did throughout the recent political upheaval.

Finally, in recent days, a new phenomenon has arrived, which is overshadowing all the other news: the coronavirus. The impact of this new virus on activity in many Chinese factories, the cancelation of thousands of events (what will happen to the big event of the sector: MIPIM?) and business trips, and the impact on tourism, throw any kind of predictions made until now completely up in the air. As you well know: the world never stops now, not even to take a photo.

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