10 November 2018 – La Verdad
Land is moving in the Region of Murcia. But it is not because of an earthquake. In this case, it is due to a shake-up of the real estate business, launched by the US fund manager Blackstone and Banco Santander, which have put land up for sale, spanning around 16.5 million m2 and located in different municipalities throughout the Region.
Yesterday, around thirty property developers and executives from the sector in Murcia expressed their interest in finding about more about the offer by attending a professional meeting that the firm Aliseda, the former real estate arm of Banco Popular – absorbed by Santander – organised in Murcia, in addition to others that requested information in this regard as they were unable to attend the meeting.
Of the different lots offered, there are plots in Murcia, Cartagena, Águilas, San Pedro del Pinatar, Yecla and Torre Pacheco, amongst other locations. Sources at Aliseda highlight that more than 11 million m2 of the total portfolio comprises buildable land or land under management, which is ready to be built on. And although most of the plots are urban residential, there is also some industrial and hotel land. Similarly, the portfolio includes some buildings and unfinished urban developments due to the effects of the crisis.
The President of the Association of Property Developers from the Region of Murcia (Apirm), José Hernández, acknowledged to La Verdad that “there is interest in the market, and so companies are going to value all of the assets, although evidently, those with greater certainty are arousing the most interest, depending on the profitability involved and taking into account key factors such as location”. He also added that “long-term investments must be taken into account”.
This divestment by Blackstone and Santander (which hold stakes of 51% and 49%, respectively) follows the operation involving Project Origin, also launched last month, comprising the sale of 2.1 million m2 of land all over Spain with an estimated value of more than €500 million, of which the Murcian region accounts for the largest part, almost 290,000 m2, with a value of €43 million. Specifically, that comprises 18 assets, on which 2,651 homes could be built. The peculiarity of this initiative is that the sale process has been organised through an electronic dataroom to which thousands of investors may have access.
In terms of the meeting yesterday, Aliseda’s regional director for Levante, Vicente Brotóns, together with the regional commercial delegate for the land area of the real estate group, Joaquín Ivars, were responsible for showing the entire portfolio to the Murcian business leaders.
Now, it remains to be seen which real offers are going to be confirmed, as well as to check whether they will be formalised immediately, taking into account that the US fund manager, having teamed up with the Spanish bank and created the largest real estate empire in the country, with assets worth more than €20 billion, seems determined to divest its land as soon as possible. “It is clear that they are ruling out developing the land themselves, they are going to limit themselves to managing the plots to sell them”, concluded Hernández.
Original story: La Verdad (by Zenón Guillén)
Translation: Carmel Drake