2015: A Record Breaking Year For RE Investment

3 December 2015 – Expansión

Real estate investment in Spain will close 2015 at record breaking levels. According to the consultancy CBRE, the purchase of hotels such as the Ritz in Madrid, shopping centres such as Plenilunio and offices such as Torre Espacio, as well as operations such as the purchase of Testa, have driven up investment volumes in the sector to reach €12,250 million by 1 December. CBRE expects the sector to close the year with volumes of around €13,000 million, a figure never seen before in the Spanish market.

“2014 was a record year in terms of tertiary investment (non-residential assets). This recovery in the market saw investment volumes of more than €10,000 million, which equalled those seen in 2007 – the previous record-breaking year -. 2015 has not only seen a strengthening of this trend, it has also seen growth of 25%”, said Mikel Marco-Gardoqui, Head of Investment at CBRE España. “Moreover, it is worth noting that asset prices are now 30%-40% lower than they were in 2007”, adds Julián Labarra, Director of the real estate consultancy.

This record level has been boosted by the largest operation ever seen, namely the Socimi Merlin Properties’s purchase of the real estate company Testa for €1,800 million. Testa holds a portfolio of assets – mainly offices – worth more than €3,000 million. Nevertheless, even excluding that transaction, investment is growing at “an exponential rate”, with increases in the purchase of all types of assets. (…).

Offices, which continue to be investors’ preferred asset, have now reached an investment volume of €5,600 million, thanks to purchases such as Torre Espacio, by the Philippine businessman Andrew Tan for €558 million, and Castellana 89, by Corporación Financiera Alba for €144 million.

Currently, these properties in Spain offer investors minimum yields of between 3% and 3.75% in the case of well-located commercial premises and maximum yields of 6.5% in the case of specific logistics assets.

Hotels

Hotels, in particular, have experienced a significant boost this year. “In 2014, hotel investment volumes amounted to around €1,100 million and so far this year, that figure has already surpassed €1,900 million, which means that we expect to close the year with an investment volume of €2,000 million”, says Marco-Gardoqui.

The boost from investors has not only been felt in the purchase of non-residential assets, interest has also increased in the acquisition of land and property developments for joint promotion with local property developers. (…).

Looking ahead to next year, the experts at the consultancy firm expect that interest from the funds will continue. “We think that investment will amount to around €10,000 million in 2016, because although there will be fewer operations, prices will increase. Many funds are still raising funds, with specific amounts earmarked for Spain”, says Heriberto Terual, Director of Corporate Finance at CBRE.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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