1 July 2015 – El Confidencial
During the first three months of 2015, investment in shopping centres tripled to €520 million, compared with the €150 million recorded during the first quarter last year. In fact, in barely three months, the figures exceeded the sum of those recorded between 2010 and 2013. As such, the sector will close the first half of the year with total investment of just over €1,000 million and will reach €3,000 million within 19 months.
Those are the forecasts made by the consultancy Knight Frank, which expects that 2015 will close above the historical average, but that the investment volumes seen last year will not be repeated.
“Whilst 2014 and 2015 so far have been characterised by investment in prime shopping centres, of considerable size, the next few months will see investment opportunities involving smaller, core plus and value add products, in secondary cities”, says Elaine Beachill, Capital Markets Manager at Knight Frank. “Over the last 18 months, activity has focused on the best streets and areas of Madrid and Barcelona, but from now on, we will see transactions right across the country”.
In terms of the performance of shopping centres, Knight Frank highlights the strong results of smaller local centres, located in urban areas and secondary cities with a significant area of influence. The segment least affected by the crisis has been the prime High Street. Rents in retail stores on the main streets have remained stable and they have experienced low vacancy rates. “In fact, there is a significant shortage of space on the prime High Street and when a store becomes available, it is leased out very quickly”, says Félix Chamizo.
Nevertheless, established secondary sites – traditionally in less demand – have been the first choice for certain foreign brands setting up in Spain for the first time. That is the case of Hema, Dealz, Tiger and the Chinese retailers Mulaya and Okeysi. There is growing interest from retailers and investors in the area around la Puerta del Sol. Projects in the surrounding area, such as Canalejas, indicate a possible increase in rents in the area and certain retailers are already taking up position.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz)
Translation: Carmel Drake