Residential Assets Displace Offices as the Leading Investment Choice for New Socimis

23 August 2018 – El Confidencial

The configuration of the investment map of the Socimis on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) has changed drastically following the recent incorporation of the company owned by Santander, BBVA, Acciona and Merlin Properties. With a portfolio comprising 10,700 homes, Testa has placed the residential segment in first position on the investment ranking of new listed companies, relegating the office sector to third place.

In this way, of the 14 new joiners to the MAB so far this year, 30.8% have housing as the main or significant target of their investments, compared with 12.8% of the 20 new companies that made their MAB debuts in 2017. With this boost, offices, which had led the ranking until now, have been relegated to third place with 15%.

The weight of retail premises is also striking since they have increased from 6% to 23%, according to data from Armabex. Beyond specialisation, registered advisors also highlight the leading role of international investors, which account for 43% of the new listed companies.

“The rate of new joiners is expected to continue and this year, we are going to comfortably exceed the total figures recorded last year (44 companies), to more than 70”, said the President of Armabex, Antonio Fernández. Currently, there are 59 Socimis trading on the MAB, which account for 60% of the one hundred or so companies that participate in the Alternative Investment Market.

In terms of the upcoming debuts, the Socimi from Bankinter specialising in the hotel sector, Atom Hoteles, is planning its launch. Other examples include Haya Real Estate, Vía Célere and Azora, whose plans to debut on the stock market have been delayed due to the instability in the international financial markets, the political uncertainty in Spain and the evolution of the businesses themselves. The most recent to debut, at the beginning of August, was Mistral Patrimonio, whose activity focuses on rental homes.

“These companies have evolved towards greater specialisation. They started leading tertiary assets to move towards housing and, now, they are opening up to other segments such as hotels, residences, healthcare complexes, gas stations, etc.”, says Fernando Vives, Technical Director at Alia Tasaciones.

An annual valuation

To ensure transparency, the regulations require that these investment vehicles are listed on a regulated European market, be it the main stock market, the Euronext or the Alternative Investment Market, in a maximum period of two years following their constitution.

Nevertheless, the stock market listing is not the only method of transparency. The MAB has just introduced a new requirement that obliges companies to issue more reports. They will be obliged to undertake an annual valuation of their assets, beyond the initial assessment. (…). “The measure obliges Socimis to provide more information and to incur expenses, but it is very positive at the macroeconomic level and for investors”, says Antonio Fernández (…).

“The Socimis have brought confidence back to the real estate sector after the real estate bubble burst. They are here to stay, taking advantage of the upwards cycle and they will continue to activate the real estate market, above all for tertiary use until at least the end of the cycle (…)”, says Vives.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. H.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

78