13 December 2016 – Expansión
Between January and October, investors spent €3,028 million buying shopping centres in Spain. That is a historical figure, which pulverises the volume registered in previous years. For example: in 2015, a record year in terms of real estate investment, investors spent 60% less on shopping centres than they did during the first ten months of 2016.
And this strong performance in the retail investment market looks set to continue, given that 29 more properties, with a combined value of €1,531 million, are expected to be sold during the final stretch of the year, according to Deloitte. (…) Of those, four have already changed hands, specifically, the outlet centres located in San Sebastián de los Reyes, Las Rozas and Getafe, which the joint venture owned by Nienver and Tiaa purchased on 23 November, as part of a wider European portfolio that also included three other centres in Italy and Poland, worth €700 million in total. Moreover, the same partnership completed the acquisition of the Nassica shopping centre in Getafe on the same day.
And these are not the only shopping centres that will be changing hands over the next few months, given that other new assets are expected to come onto the market next year, including the Madrid Xanadú shopping centre in Arroyomolinos.
In total, forecasts indicate that transactions amounting to almost €2,000 million (specifically, €1,932 million) will be closed in 2017, with another €604 million worth of shopping centres expected to be sold in 2018, according to sources at the professional services firm.
Most of the shopping centres that will have new owners over the next 18 months belong to overseas funds that bought these assets before the recovery of the sector, and which now have the opportunity to unwind their investments with significant gains just a few years after they bought them. “The decrease in the risk premium and the recovery in consumption are some of the reasons behind the 16% appreciation in this type of asset over the last 12 months”, said Javier García-Mateo, Financial Advisory Partner at Deloitte.
In fact, we have already seen operations of this kind in 2016, such as the sale of the Gran Vía de Vigo shopping centre, which the fund Oaktree sold in the summer to the Socimi Lar España for €145 million. The US fund had acquired the centre two years earlier for €115 million. (…). Meanwhile, Northwood sold Diagonal Mar for €495 million after buying it two years ago for around €150 million.
“Above all, the buyers of the shopping centres that will come up for sale in the short term will be core and core plus funds, which will take over from the more opportunist (distress) investors, which made their purchases during the previous period”, said García-Mateo. In this way, transactions amounting to €4,067 million are expected to be closed over the next two years; more than €1,200 million will be invested by institutional funds, insurance companies, and more risk-averse investors, followed by core plus investors, which will account for almost 40% of the total investment volume, compared with €108 million that opportunist funds are expected to invest in shopping centres, according to Deloitte.
Along with the improvement in the Spanish economy, another question that will help this investment volume will be the better access to financing for this kind of operation.
In this sense, more than 55% of the €4,067 million that is expected to be invested in shopping centres between now and 2018 will benefit from financing, for more than 50% of the total asset value, compared with 16% that will not be financed by any kind of loan.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake