16 January 2018 – Sevilla ABC
The supply of land in Sevilla Este has almost run out. And that milestone represents more than just a symbolic fact. It is a clear sign that a new cycle of real estate expansion is underway, characterised by significant interest from property developers in neighbourhoods and towns on the outskirts of Sevilla. It also provides evidence of the shortage of buildable land that exists in the municipality of the provincial capital, which has caused the few plots of buildable land that have come onto the market to spark a great deal of interest amongst investors.
Whilst the property sector started its rebirth in certain parts of the city centre in 2015, interest in other areas of the city has been increasing significantly over the last two years to meet the new demand that is being generated by the growth of the economy. The result of this trend is that in just three months, almost all of the residential plots in the Sevilla Este area have been sold.
“With just a few exceptions, everything that was on the market has now been purchased”, along with plots that still need to be developed for public and social services, explains Juan Aguilera, Manager at Gaesco, speaking to ABC.
And this investor boom in that area of the city is due to the fact that “Sevilla is running out of buildable land for new developments, since vital infrastructures such as the SE-35 ring-road have not been built, which is the main artery that ought to be boosting all of the new areas of metropolitan expansion”, says Aguilera (…).
The most recent large land operation in Sevilla Este was carried out by Q21 Real Estate, the property developer that emerged from the merger between the US investment fund Baupost and the Spanish company Grupo Pinar (one of the most recognised firms in the former property sector). That company has acquired a plot measuring 5,400 m2 at the end of Avenida Emilio Lemos, opposite the Aleste Plaza shopping centre, where it will build around 164 homes. The company is currently processing the permits it requires to start the building work and, once it has received the green light, will complete the construction of the properties within a period of 26 months. The plot that Q21 has acquired belonged to another company in the sector that filed for bankruptcy.
That purchase operation took place at the same time as two other large investments in Sevilla Este, also made by companies that are partly owned by large investment funds. One of them was led by Vía Célere, in which Värde Partners owns a majority stake; it acquired a plot for the construction of 1,700 homes that had belonged to BBVA. And in parallel, the fund Activum purchased plots for the construction of more than 1,000 homes (…).
In Aguilera’s opinion, the interest from these investment funds in Sevilla Este has arisen because several factors have converged. “There is significant built-up demand in Sevilla from families who chose to rent during the crisis and who are now interested in buying a home, plus the years of recovery are now creating new families who can also afford to buy one of these new homes”. This demand, combined with the shortage of buildable land in Sevilla, is what has caused the interest in Sevilla Este to soar, which is exactly what already happened with Hacienda Rosario (which used to belong to Gabriel Rojas and which was acquired by Aedas Homes).
Interest in Entrenúcleos
In these circumstances, Aguilera considers that future real estate investments will not be made directly in Sevilla, but rather in the some of the population nuclei of the metropolitan area, especially in Dos Hermanos (which has made the effort to develop an area like Entrenúcleos).
Aguilera thinks that, unfortunately, time has proved him right. “If we had done our homework, we would now be enjoying a great period for the reactivation of large residential projects: demand and the economy are growing, financing is available at very reasonable prices…but none of the areas that require the SE-35, like Higuerón Norte, Buen Aire, San Nicolás Oeste and Villanueva del Pìtamo, have the infrastructure they need to capitalise on this new construction boom” (…).
Original story: Sevilla ABC (by Luis Montoto)
Translation: Carmel Drake