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All Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Tuscany real estate is growing with more transactions completed
15 February, La Nazione The Tuscany real estate is recovering. Property prices are not supposed to rise in 2019, but sales will increase further between 3% and 5%. This is the forecast by Fiaip Toscana included in its first real estate regional report which was presented yesterday in Florence in the Region of Tuscany headquarters. The growth, however, is still very fragmented. Florence and Pisa are the fastest growing cities, followed by Siena, while Arezzo and Prato are still struggling. Fiaip Toscana president Simone Beni explains that “Prato is still suffering from the economic recession. Paradoxically, properties in the city centre are cheaper than those in the suburbs. Criminality is an issue in the centre, as well as the lack of services and, as a result, families prefer to move somewhere else”. The report presented together with regional council president Eugenio Giani, also registers the price for a non-prime three-bedroom house with a surface between 80 and 100 Sq m. This is the preferred property type by families. The highest rates are reported in the main cities as well as on the coast, especially in Versilia, Santo Stefano, Marino di Grosseto, Castiglione della Pescaia, San Vincenzo. Beni says that “The year has started slowly, as the approval of the restructuring benefit came with some delay. The market has restarted now, thanks especially to purchases in city centres”. The suburban and rural areas are the most penalised. On the overall, however, this is a good moment to buy a property. “Prices are stable. Mortgage rates are very low. Banks issue twenty-year loans with interests even below 2%”. The time to sell properties has also reduced, having gone from three to six months on average, thanks to technology. The Fiaip president stresses that “Real estate portals can get the attention of potential buyers almost in real time. This means that two weeks after having put the advertisement it’s already possible to schedule three or more views”. Fiaip Toscana made two requests to the Government and the institutions. Beni said: “We demand transparency and the certainty of rules. We want to be an active part in the negotiations and the discussions concerning real estate”. Source: La Nazione Translator: Cristina Ambrosi
International capitals dominate real estate
16 February, Il Sole 24 Ore The presence of foreign capitals is increasingly predominant in the sector. In the past few years, the Italian real estate market has seen to the consistent growth of international players, while the domestic ones have represented a marginal part. The trend started in 2013, and it reported foreign investments for 65-70% of the total in 2018, corresponding to over 8 billion euro. Italian investors might cover a more relevant role in the future. However, we’re far from the results of 2007 when, thanks to the increased leverage, Italian and international investment volumes were equal. As Carlo Vanini from Cushman & Wakefield explains, “In the last ten years, foreign investments have reached nearly 75% of the total investments. When the Milan real estate market started growing and the double-digit returns have decreased (today, prime yield properties provide only 3.5% net instead of 5% of a few years ago), Italian investors had to stop”. Generali is strongly focused on the international markets, having closed in 2018 a 600-million deal in France with the acquisition of 53 assets leased to Monoprix. Retirement funds are also very active in the sector. For instance, last December Cassa Forense acquired through Fabrica Sgr a real estate portfolio from Beni Stabili. Meanwhile, Enpam bought in Rome two office buildings for about 270 million euro. Italian capitals might be behind the operations of foreign asset managers such as Axa and Ubs, although there are no public data. “International investors are more inclined to risk than Italian ones. Global asset managers move assets for tens of billion and aim at diversifying the asset allocation. For this reason, there must also be an Italian quota”, comments Redilco Ceo Giuseppe Amitrano. “The progressive increase of international capitals on the Italian market is compliant with the re-introduction of Italy in the asset allocation strategies of global investors” - says Vitale & Co Real Estate partner Paolo Bellacosa. “With the progressive return of international investors, the domestic real estate market has resumed growing in terms of real estate services as well as asset management for the first time after the 2008 recession”. Source: Il Sole 24 Ore Translator: Cristina Ambrosi
BNL to sell office in Via Veneto
15 February, Milano Finanza The banking sector is increasingly active in real estate, thanks to the various asset and structure optimisation projects. There have been several projects going on in the past few weeks, while others might start soon. According to Milano Finanza, BNL is about to put its Rome office on the market. The building is centrally located in Via Veneto, and it’s one of the most precious assets owned by the bank. The building has been left vacant after having moved the activities in the new Tiburtina branch. The procedures concerning the move have taken quite some time, but they seem to be over now, and the asset might be sold soon. Some hotel chains have allegedly manifested their interest in the property thanks to the appealing location. This is not the only property put for sale by a bank. Mps decided to sell a portfolio of instrumental assets worth approximately half a billion. The first market survey carried out last spring by the advisor Duff & Phelps registered the attention of several domestic and international investors. The portfolio includes the Mps office in Via del Corso in Rome and in Via Santa Margherita in Milan, besides the Siena and Padova branches. The portfolio has allegedly gotten the attention of Lonestar, Blackstone and Hines, which had been assessing either the entire portfolio or some specific tranches. Unicredit is moving in the same direction. The group guided by Jean Pierre Mustier put for sale a portfolio composed of about 30 properties in Germany for a potential value of 1.1 billion. The operation is consistent with the express intention of the bank of selling its properties. Moreover, there is the ongoing sale process concerning the two former Venetian banks. After having spent 18 months preparing the operation, at the beginning of the year the receivers have announced the transfer of the Durante building in Milan to Fineco for about 70 million, which is already occupied by the offices of Unicredit’s online bank. Besides the prime properties in Milan and Rome owned by Popolare di Vicenza, the sale activity might also include the headquarter in Palazzo Thiene, Palazzo Repeta and Palazzo Negri, along with the former branch in Largo del Tritone in Rome old town. Source: Milano Finanza Translator: Cristina Ambrosi