Spain, the third most attractive real estate market in Europe for funds.

Spain is again an attractive real estate market for international investors. In fact, it is the third favorite destination to invest in Europe, according to a survey carried out in London by the real estate consulting company Knight Frank to 200 European investment funds.

The opinion of the respondents has changed dramatically from 2012 to 2013. If in 2012 Spain was the sixth preferred market, with only 2,3% of the votes, now it is the most attractive country for 11,6% of the polled funds, only behind the United Kingdom (39,4%) and Germany (23,2%), who continue being up in the ranking. “Spain is again an important target market”, the consulting company declares in its report.

Humphrey White, managing director of Knight Frank, assures that “the survey, carried out to the 200 most important investors, shows that the increase of interest towards Spain has been prominent as 11,60% of them declares that our country is their main investment objective. Part of the success is due to the fact that Spain has been the country to carry out the biggest correction in prices in the European Union, with average reductions of 65%.

The funds, mainly the vulture ones, have returned to invest in the Spanish real estate, attracted by the big discounts which assure a high profit on the short term. “The foreign investment funds are ready to take action, as they have more cash”, Julio Rodríguez, former president of the Banco Hipotecario, points out.

On the other hand, France and Benelux increased their share in the survey of Knight Frank, up to the 5,8%, as well as the Nordic countries (5,8%) and above Poland (the preferred country for 4,8% of the funds).

“The feeling of the market has improved significantly in reference to 2012 and 2011. The majority (92,7%) think that the investment demand in 2014 will be greater than in 2013”, the report declares.

As for the most attractive real estate subsectors, the office market is now the most appealing for 37%. Trade premises, traditionally the preferred product for investors, shifts to the second place, with 27% of the votes, due to “a context of high unemployment and a continuous weakness in the trust of consumers”. Distribution (20%), the residential market (with 14,5% opposite to the 11,4% of 2012) and hotels (2%) follow.

To the question “when will the debt market in the real estate sector normalize?”, most of the investors think that this return to normality will take place in 2016 (37%) or later (34%).(…)