14 March 2016 – Cinco Días
Real estate investors really like the retail sector in Spain. In fact, last year, they demonstrated their interest through the purchase of shopping centres, hypermarkets, supermarkets and other retail outlets. In 2015, total investment in the sector amounted to €2,400 million, to reach a new peak in the historical series prepared by the consultancy firm Savills, which dates back to the year 2000.
This data is better than any recorded during the real estate boom years of the last decade. The figure represents an increase of 14% with respect to 2014 and of 10% with respect to the market peak to date, recorded in 2006.
In terms of the number of operations in this segment, the increase of 35% with respect to last year, with 46 investment operations, also marked a new record with respect to the level reached in 2014, when 35 operations were signed.
Moreover, sources at Savills say that the pace of activity does not seem to have slowed down so far in 2016 – the number of transactions to date is in line with the number recorded during the first quarter last year. Almost €600 million has been invested so far this year, which represents a level similar to the annual volume recorded during the years of the crisis, between the period from 2009 to 2013.
The consultancy firm calculates that the current portfolio of operations in the pipeline (pending signing) and assets that are going to come onto the market in the short term could amount to an additional €2,500 million.
On the investor side, Socimis have become key players, with new players such as Lar España, which has attracted hundreds of millions in foreign funding.
In any case, cross-border investment by European and US funds accounted for more than two thirds of the total in 2015 and almost all of the investment made so far this year. On the sell side, international firms also account for most of the activity. “Players who purchased at the low point in the cycle and those that are now looking to rotate their assets are taking advantage of the recovery to generate more profits”, say the sources.
The largest transaction last year involved the sale of the Puerto Venecia shopping centre in Zaragoza, which Intu acquired from the fund Orion Capital for €451 million. That was followed by the sale of the Plenilunio shopping centre, which Klépierre bought from the same fund for €375 million. In third place was the sale of a portfolio of Eroski supermarkets to Invesco for €358 million.
Original story: Cinco Días (by A. Simón)
Translation: Carmel Drake