3 October 2016 – Expansión
After two years of record breaking figures, the Spanish real estate sector is heading into the final stretch of the year with more modest forecasts. According to a report prepared by the real estate consultancy CBRE, investors spent €6,191 million buying real estate assets during the first nine months of 2016. That figure represents a 21% decrease compared to last year and is 11% lower than the level recorded during the same period in 2014.
Nevertheless, the amount has been very well received in the sector, given that the last two years have been regarded as “exceptional”. “The trend is still very strong, investors are still putting their faith in the Spanish real estate sector, given the lack of other types of alternative investment options and because real estate in the rest of Europe is very expensive”, said Lola Martínez, Director of Research at CBRE.
This optimism is reflected in the forecasts for the year end close, which are expected to amount to between €8,500 million and €9,000 million. “If we exclude the value of Metrovacesa’s assets to be included in the upcoming merger with Merlin, the year will close in line with the forecasts, thanks to several large-scale operations that are expected to be signed during the last quarter”, said sources at the consultancy firm.
Operations in the pipeline
In this sense, they highlighted Amancio Ortega’s purchase of Torre Cepsa on Friday for €490 million; the sale of the Adequa business park in Las Tablas (Madrid), which the Socimi Merlin will acquire in December for €380 million; and the sale of Edificio España, which the Murcian group Baraka, led by Trinitario Casanova, is due to sign on 15 October, for around €272 million.
Alongside them, experts expect El Corte Inglés to close the sale of its logistics portfolio for between €250 million and €300 million and for Gas Natural to sell several corporate buildings and remain as the tenant (in an operation known as sale & leaseback) for another €200 million.
These five operations alone amount to more than €1,500 million. “If we add up only the transactions that have already been announced, then we reach the forecast figure; and other deals may come up – there is always activity during the final quarter of the year”, said Martínez.
By type of property, commercial assets have taken over the number 1 spot from offices, which traditionally accounted for most of the investment in Spain. “The sales of Adequa and Torre Cepsa mean that the office market is going to make a come back. Nevertheless, we have just had two years of madness, with the Socimis proving themselves to be particularly active in 2015; now, there are fewer products, and prices are not as attractive for the experts”.
In the case of shopping centres, forecast indicate a slightly lower volume than recorded in 2015, despite the signing of major operations such as the purchase of Diagonal Mar in Barcelona, for around €500 million by Deutsche Bank and the acquisition by the Socimi Lar of Gran Vía de Vigo for €141 million.
In the case of the logistics business, “until the first half of the year, it was the best performing segment compared with 2015, but, it lost strength to the commercial segment during the third quarter. Nevertheless, operations such as the sale by El Corte Inglés will help it recover”.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake