26 September 2017 – Eje Prime
2017 is going to be remembered in the real estate sector as the year of alternative assets. A large number of corporate operations in the student housing segment and healthcare sector means that investors are looking more carefully at these products. So much so that 44% of international investors say that they plan to spend money acquiring these kinds of assets over the next few years.
One of the main reasons for focusing on these types of investments is geographical behaviour and demand, important for 69% of the international funds surveyed. The next most important reason, for 46% of investors, is the stability of the returns from such investments, according to the Emerging Trends Europe 2017 study prepared by PwC. Diversification and high yields are also reasons for 46% and 45% of investors, respectively, according to the findings of the report.
For 61% of investors, the student housing business has one of the most promising outlooks, in that case, due to the demand from the demographics. “It is important to highlight that this looks like being a secular trend rather than a cyclical one”, explain sources at PwC.
Nevertheless, the corporate operations that have been carried out in recent months in the sector support this trend. The most recent saw Azora, Artá Capital, March Campus (Banca March’s client investor vehicle) and Mutua Madrileña, reach an agreement to sell Grupo Resa to a group of international investors, represented by Axa and CBRE. Even so, and although these kinds of assets are on the rise, only 23% of the funds specialising in real estate hold such properties in their portfolios.
After student halls of residence come hotels. 51% of investors have either acquired or have been exploring the possibility of investing in this kind of asset. In Spain, the Socimi Hispania has decided to specialise in this type of asset, whereby positioning itself as one of the largest companies in the hotel segment in the country.
Nursing homes for the elderly and clinics (healthcare) have also been gaining in importance during 2017 and will be the assets to watch in coming years (…).
One recent operation involving this kind of asset in Spain saw Healthcare Activos Investment acquire the Los Tilos nursing home for €15.5 million, in a transaction brokered by BNP Paribas Real Estate (…).
The most alternative assets
Within the group of alternative investments identified by PwC are some that break the mould due to their lack of history in the real estate sector. One of them is shared offices, also known as co-working spaces. In recent months, they have sparked interest amongst investors of all kinds, with operators such as WeWork and Spaces leading the way (…).
Last week, Spaces, an international workspace company, announced that it is going to open an office measuring 1,511 m2 in Madrid, at number 4 Calle Manzanares, known by the group as Spaces Rio. And within the next few weeks, it will open a new Spaces centre in Barcelona (in the 22@ district).
Meanwhile, WeWork confirmed its arrival in Spain earlier this month. The company, which specialises in the management of coworking spaces, has leased an office building in the 22@ district in Barcelona (…).
Finally, data centres, where data servers are managed and stored, have also seen their profile rise in the real estate business. These types of asset, which are mostly located on the outskirts of major cities, are expected to capture the attention of 15% of investors this year (…).
Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)
Translation: Carmel Drake