Valencia, in Search of Land for Construction

21 August 2018

The lack of available land is the reason that only 2% of the acquisitions of homes are for new housing in Spain’s third biggest city by population.

Valencia is after new land to re-energise its real estate market. With stable prices and an increasing number of transactions, the absence of new buildings is palpable in the statistics for the first quarter of this year, when just 2.3% of purchases (a total of 2,658) were for newly-built homes.

With a population that has been relatively stable in recent years, around 790,000 inhabitants, the city of Turia has doubled the number homes sold in the city since 2013, from 4,922 operations that year to 10,973 last year.

This has not yet pushed up prices, but it has been the basis for recovery. After the harsh effects of the crisis (apartments are 45% cheaper today than in 2007), housing prices reached 1,235.60 euros per square meter in the first quarter of this year, according to data on bank valuations at the Ministry of Public Works.

In homes less than five years old, the average price rose to 1,536.90 euros in the first quarter, while in second-hand homes, the investment needed to acquire a home fell to 1,233.70 euros per square meter.

The absence of development ready lands is a fact for the Spanish city’s real estate developers. According to a report by CBRE, the city is currently in the midst of desvloping and marketing sixty new construction projects, and it is expected that twenty more will be put on the market by the end of the year. Companies such as Neinor, Aelca and Aedas have housing developments in neighbourhoods such as Quatre Carreres, Patraix, Nou Campanar and Malilla Norte.

However, the high demand will cause prices to rise if more land is not made available, according to the consultancy. Metrovacesa’s project for the development of Benimaclet could be one of the most outstanding in this regard in Valencia. The real estate company controlled by Santander and BBVA is pushing for an agreement to present to Valencia City Council a project to build 1,500 homes in partnership with the local developer Urben.

Vía Célere is another of the developers active in the city: the company will build 22 homes in the Pechina neighbourhood, next to the Turia gardens. Aedas Homes is more advanced: the Spanish developer has sold another 120 homes in Turia’s capital through its Torres project, a residential complex that will be composed of two 16-floor apartment blocks. Aedas also has 252 flats in Valencia.

Residential prices in Valencia are now 45% lower than before the start of the crisis, but the city has great appeal, and the activity of private operators has been intense. Attikos is another local developer that has carried out work in the city, with the purchase of 1.9 million euros of development-ready land, where it will build 27 houses.

Offices on the rise

With a total of 63,480 companies, 88.2% of which are in the service industry, the office market in Valencia saw record allocations last year. According to a report by BNP Paribas Real Estate, the contracting amounted to 39,500 square meters in 2017, which caused a slight upward trend in rental prices, which are close to 14.5 euros per square meter in the city centre.

“Since the end of 2013, the last year of economic recession, demand has been positive,” the consultancy noted. “The good pace of allocations in recent years, together with the lack of new projects, are generating a considerable adjustment in the vacancy rate of the Valencian market which, fell to 10.4% at the end of 2017, out of a total stock of 774,000 square meters. This means that there are currently 80,546 square meters of available offices on the market,” they added.

One of the most notable operations in recent months was the rental of the former headquarters of CAM, leased by Solvia to the architectural firm Join Contract. The property’s new tenant will remodel it to transform it into a luxury hotel.

Original Story: EjePrime – C. De Angelis

Translation: Richard Turner

 

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