Aedas will Collaborate with Socimis to Build Rental Homes

21 October 2018 – La Vanguardia

The property developerAedas Homes has started negotiations with several Socimis to offer them “turnkey” projects for rental homes that they will be able to manage, and has ruled out, at least for the time being, turning itself into a listed real estate investment company (Socimi).

The CEO of Aedas Homes, David Martínez, explained to Efe that the intention of these negotiations is to allocate some of the residential land that it owns to building “turnkey” homes for rental, although the firm is continuing with the development and sale of its own homes in most cases.

“We cannot launch two developments at the same time because they would cannibalise each other, but we can launch one for sale by us and the other for rental by a Socimi”, explained Martínez by way of example for the areas in which his firm has land for two neighbouring plots for development.

What Martínez did rule out is the possibility of Aedas Homes becoming a listed real estate investment company (Socimi), at least for the time being.

“In the future, we can explore the possibilities, but, that is not something that interests at the moment, because our objective is to grow as a property developer”, he highlighted.

Moreover, the firm has no plans to explore other segments of the real estate market or venture overseas.

“Residential is a sufficiently large niche, which requires specialisation, primarily in the areas of high demand”, said the senior executive at Aedas, who also acknowledged that his company is interested in buying land from large owners such as, for example, Sareb.

Moreover, and when asked about the Government’s announcement to promote a stock of 20,000 new homes for social rental, Martínez said that “any initiative is welcome”.

In this regard, he said that “it is clear that this country needs homes, for ownership and rental”, and that “although rental prices are rising well above expectations, that is a clear sign that there is a housing deficit”.

The CEO of the property developer estimates that overseas demand amounts to 30,000 homes per year, which is “quite stable”, with British buyers “still the strongest, despite Brexit”, but there has also been a rise in acquisitions by Belgians, Dutch, Nordics and Russians.

In terms of reserving 30% of homes in new developments for social rental, an initiative approved by the Town Hall of Barcelona, Martínez does not think that the Generalitat of Cataluña will approve it and that, if it were to, “it would generate uncertainty and so would not be a good decision”.

What he does ask Town Halls is for them to speed up the granting of licences and changes to urban plans to allow an increase in density in Spain’s cities.

By way of example, he explained demolishing a block of low-rise homes, rehousing the residents and building taller developments, which would avoid the “expansive growth” of cities and the consequent problems that this causes for mobility.

In addition, he indicated that one of the challenges facing Aedas is to increase its industrialised construction of homes, building most of a home in a factory, for example. This method is not very widespread in Spain yet but his firm has been promoting it in six of the developments that it currently has underway.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

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