The foreign investors return to search for hotels in Spain.

The first half of 2013 has seen the return of forein investors to the Spanish market, after more than five years of absence. Madrid and Barcelona have seen the investment operations from funds from different European countries. The director of investments of the consulting firm Aguirre Newman in Barcelona, Xavier Güell, assures that “he has met with more international funds in the last four months than in the last four years”.

Apart from the announced return of foreign buyers, one of the main novelties of this first half of the year has been the return of the interest on the hotel segment. According to Güell, in Barcelona, more than 70% of the received investment enquiries are in the hotels sector.

The investors, which fled this segment in 2007 due to the fall of prices and the hotel occupancy rate after the price boom of previous years, have returned. They consider that the great Spanish owners (banks and institutions) have had enough time to “embrace the important losses they will have to assume when selling their assets”, Güell declares.

On the other hand, the growth of international tourism in great cities such as Barcelona, along with the recovery of room prices and the occupancy rate, are encouraging investors and operators. The national and international hotel chains bid again to take on the operation of the better located hotels, another factor to convince investors.

Despite the optimism generated by the arrival of international investors, from the investment department of Aguirre Newman they demand caution. “If these funds start to position offers on assets and these are not accepted, they will leave”, Güell declares.

Source: Expansión