CBRE: Investment in Residential set to Overtake Offices in 2018

16 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The Spanish real estate sector is going to continue on its path to recovery in 2018. The real estate market is expected to continue to spark great investor appetite although some of the cards may change their order in the deck. For example, the residential sector is set to climb to the top of the ranking in terms of investment demand for the first time since the change in the cycle, whereby surpassing the office segment. Together, the two segments look set to ensure that the sector maintains an investment volume of around €13 billion for the year as a whole, just like it did in 2017.

The keys for the continuation of the positive trend in the sector are the “strong economic forecasts for Spain, favourable financing conditions, the cycle of maturity in the market, the products for sale in the pipeline and the corporate operations underway”, according to the consultancy firm CBRE in its Real Estate Outlook for 2018 report.

The housing market will reign in the real estate sector this year, attracting one-third of all investment in the sector as a whole, according to the consultancy firm and experts consulted by CBRE. Nevertheless, the office segment, which will be demoted to second place in the investment ranking, will not be far behind the residential segment in absolute terms, accounting for 27% of total investment. The remaining third of the investment volume is expected to be split between retail (18%) and logistics (12%), as well as less significant amounts in hotels and other types of assets.

The recovery of the residential sector, therefore, will be strengthened over the coming months, according to the consultancy firm. House prices will continue to rise across Spain in 2018, with rises of around 5% and 6% p.a., and the highest increases in the two most dynamic markets, Madrid and Barcelona. CBRE forecasts that demand for housing will amount to between 550,000 and 570,000 units, primarily second-hand homes.

Nevertheless, following residential development growth in 2017, “we can establish that the trend in the sector will be positive for at least the next three years and that the construction output levels will be absorbed by demand (…), says Samuel Población, National Director of Residential and Land at CBRE Spain.

The executive explained that the sector is immersed in a process of concentration amongst the property developers, where “the ten largest property developers in the country will account for more than 15% of domestic output”. Of those, the director highlighted the listed companies Neinor Homes, Aedas Homes and Metrovacesa, as well as Aelca, Vía Célere, Pryconsa, Amenabar and Kronos, amongst others.

In 2018, the promotion of homes will continue to boom, supported by the high existing demand, with 100,000 permits forecast for the year as a whole. Moreover, Población estimates that, between now and 2020, new homes will reach a rate of demand of between 130,000 and 140,000 units. In terms of the large cities, Madrid stands out “with an average need for 25,000 new homes per year” (…).

Development of new offices and logistics spaces 

Offices and logistics are two segments that grew at record rates in 2017. Above all, in Madrid, where both segments experienced a year of great growth, and that boom is not expected to decrease this year. According to the report, the office market will continue to progress with its recovery (…).

For the Catalan capital, more surface area will be handed over this year than in any year since 2010, most of it in the form of new build properties. Even so, Barcelona will remain well behind Madrid in terms of leasing volumes, given that CBRE estimates that leasing volumes in the Spanish capital will amount to 600,000 m2, compared with 350,000 m2 in the Mediterranean city (…).

In the case of the logistics sector, the segment is currently one of the most attractive markets for investors. After registering record figures in 2017, with more than 1.5 million m2 of space leased, this year, more land will be added to the stock. CBRE estimates that for the sector in Madrid, its main stronghold, 850,000 m2 of space will be leased. That would result in an increase in investment in the logistics sector, which could amount to €1 billion in 2018 (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

223