Overview – April
Despite the Easter break, April was a busy month in the Spanish real estate sector, boosted in particular by the office, land and alternative asset sectors. Deals were closed in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, as well as along the Costa del Sol, amongst others.
Several major operations were completed in the office segment during April, with Silvercode’s sale of Castellana 200 stealing the limelight. The Socimi sold that central Madrid property, which has a surface area of 26,710 m2, to Allianz Real Estate for €250 million. Also in Madrid, Grosvenor acquired the Moraleja Building One, which spans 22,219 m2, from Chameleon (Blackstone) for €80 million; Swiss Life bought the 6,300 m2 office building on Calle Eloy Gonzalo, 27 from Lar España for €40 million; and the Mutualidad de la Abogacia purchased the office building on Paseo de la Habana, 3, measuring 3,000 m2, from Grupo Millenium for €23.4 million. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, InmoCaixa, the real estate arm of La Caixa’s holding company Criteria, finalised the purchase of an 8,000 m2 office building in Barcelona’s 22@ district for c. €35 million.
More than half a dozen operations were closed in the land segment during April. In Valencia, ADU Mediterráneo purchased the Mestalla plots, which together span 97,225 m2, from Valencia CF for €115 million – the manager plans to build thousands of new homes on the site, as well as offices and shops. In Cádiz, Platinum estates acquired the Park Hyatt site, measuring 40,000 m2, from 7 creditor banks; in Sagunto (Valencia), AZA bought a 28,000 m2 logistics plot next to Parc Sagunto; in A Coruña, Hijos de Rivera, the company that owns the Estrella Galicia brewery, purchased the site of the former Comcor shopping centre (18,000 m2) for an undisclosed sum; and in Barcelona, Conren Tramway bought an 8,000 m2 plot in the 22@ district, where it plans to build offices.
In the alternative asset sector, there were at least two operations involving sports centres. In Madrid, Inveriplus Investments purchased 4 gyms from Urban Fitness and other operators for an undisclosed sum. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, SmartFit acquired 2 gyms (in Girona and Terrassa) from Perfect Fit, also for an undisclosed sum.
In other news, Congress approved the new Rental Act at the beginning of the month to a lukewarm reception from investors and professional operators in the rental sector. The law limits increases in rental prices to the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and extends the duration of contracts from three to five years (or seven years in those cases in which the landlord is a company), amongst other measures.
Meanwhile, Merlin launched an innovative nocturnal business, which will see the Socimi convert the parking lots of its office buildings into logistics centres at night, in such a way that logistics operators will be able to use them as last mile centres for organising the delivery of packages during the day; and Medici Living, the leading co-living provider in Europe and the US, announced its plans to expand its Quarters brand into Spain and Portugal, focusing initially on Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon.
Looking ahead, there are operations aplenty in the pipeline: El Corte Inglés is continuing to market its portfolio properties worth €1 billion (Project Green); Cerberus is considering merging Divarian, the company it created with BBVA to buy real estate assets from the bank, with Haya Real Estate, the US fund’s servicer, in a deal that is scheduled to be completed in June; and Sareb is holding advanced negotiations with the US fund TPG regarding the sale of its rental home Socimi, Témpore Properties, which is expected to be signed in May. Moreover, Banco Sabadell is continuing negotiations with Cerberus and Oaktree regarding the sale of its property developer, Solvia Desarrollos Inmobiliarios (SDIn), whose assets are reportedly worth €1.3 billion. The scene is set for an action-packed few months ahead of the summer.