New Investment Formula: Buy-To-Let Cooperatives

5 March 2015 – Expansión

Investing in the Spanish real estate sector has been not only an option, but almost an obligation for large investors in recent years, both Spanish and international. But, what about small savers? Do they have any options left to fall back on?

Away from the real estate companies that are listed on the stock market, there is an investment proposal that involves buying homes to let them out. Nevertheless, this model has not been operated on a professional basis in the past. Now, the Spanish company Alquiler Seguro, which specialises in the management of rental contracts for both tenants and landlords, has decided to launch a cooperative project involving homes intended for rental, which are designed precisely for that purpose from the outset. “Last year, we realised that our most frequent transactions involved clients who were owners of some properties and at the same time, tenants of others”, explains Gustavo Rossi, Chairman of Alquiler Seguro. “A change is happening in the market, whereby young people, who are accessing housing through the rental market, are becoming good savers whilst also being tenants”, adds Antonio Carroza, CEO of the company.

The executives of Alquiler Seguro propose that these tenants use their savings to purchase homes, for an average price of €120,000, which offer investment returns after 18-24 months (the time taken to construct the properties). “These are homes that are designed to be rented out; they are expected to generate returns of between 3.5% and 6% and achieve an investment return within ten years”, says Carroza.

Currently, the company has two developments underway, both located in Madrid, in the neighbourhoods of Carabanchel and López de Hoyos. “We have chosen areas where there is demand from tenants and prices (of the properties) are affordable”.

Both developments offer financial support. “Our model is 50% equity and 50% bank financing. Entities are willing to subsidise some of the land purchase since the properties have (already) been sold to the cooperative members”.

“In the case of these two projects, each investor has acquired one home, but the goal is to move towards a model that does not involve horizontal divisions, but rather one in which many investors buy the whole development. We already have several plots of land in our portfolio that we intend to develop in this way”, says Rossi.

It is not the only buy-to-let investment project that the company is working on. “We are also evaluating the possibility of creating a Socimi, where investors contribute assets instead of capital but, at the moment, that is not a profitable model, due to the expenses associated with municipal gains”.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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