New Home Shortage In Madrid Drives Up Prices

3 May 2016 – Capital Radio

“All of the new build projects being marketed at the moment are off-plan and those that are finished have already been sold. We do not have any more new build home stock left in Madrid”, said Carlos Smerdou, CEO of Foro Consultores. That was one of the conclusions to emerge from the Real Estate Investment debate about the present and future of new build homes, held on Thursday at Capital Radio. The recovery of the real estate market is a fact. “Certain cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, started to run out of new build stock sooner, when demand exceeded supply, but that phenomenon has now spread to other cities such as Málaga, Alicante and Córdoba and the recovery is now evident across the country. (…)”, said Carlos Smerdou.

“The client profile has changed. Before we had investors looking to benefit from property price rises, but now investors are an end clients looking to upgrade to larger homes. One- and two-bedroom flats are no longer being built, instead we have three-, four- and five-bedroom homes. Buyers are now looking for quality, design, ecological projects and energy efficiency”, explained Javier Román, Commercial Director at Solvia.

“We are a cooperative manager and we have noticed that despite the political uncertainty, there is a lot of interest from people looking to buy a home. Young people have started to buy subsidised homes because the economic situation is allowing them to do so. It is clear that we have reached the lowest point of the house price cycle and in certain micro-markets, such as the one that we move in (subsidised housing), we are seeing a great deal of interest and we are even seeing price increases for unsubsidised homes”, said Juan Carlos Bartolomé, Real Estate Director at Víveme.

“During the boom, everything was sold, but now clients are more demanding and, as property developers, we have to focus on the clients’ preferences. We have to deliver a quality product, not only in terms of the materials, but also in terms of energy efficiency, which then generates savings for the buyer. Our plan is to end this year with 40 developments underway in Madrid, Andalucía, Costa del Sol, País Vasco and Cataluña”, confirmed Gabriel Sánchez, Business Director at Neinor Homes.

Industry experts are calling for a more efficient licence approval process from the Town Hall of Madrid. “We have a problem with the timeframes. The Town Hall of Madrid is taking too long to grant licences and is delaying lots of projects. That is wrong and it means that in the capital, there is already a shortage of new homes, which is leading to price rises”, explained Carlos Smerdou.

“It is undeniable that there is a problem in Madrid due to the delays in granting building permits, which in the best cases is taking six months. And that means that investors are afraid of starting a project that then gets paralysed”, said Juan Carlos Bartolomé.

“The delay by the Administration is widespread across the country, but there is more focus on Madrid and Barcelona because there are more projects there waiting to receive licences. (…)”.

Original story: Capital Radio (by Meli Torres)

Translation: Carmel Drake