13 November 2017 – La Voz de Galicia
(…) The real estate market in Spain is back with a vengeance, above all in the central areas of large cities where, due to a lack of (past) activity in the property development sector, there is now insufficient supply to cover the growing demand (…).
And this business opportunity has not passed unnoticed for the financial sector, which, in an environment of low-interest rates and minimal profitability on the most conservative products, has launched a series of investment vehicle. Their objective is to buy buildings in prime areas, renovate them and then sell the resulting homes on to individuals, whereby generating high returns for investors.
This model, which was first tested, successfully, in Madrid and Barcelona, is now being introduced in Galicia, with the help of Andbank. The entity, specialising in private banking, has launched a real estate investment vehicle, Seagull Real Estate, which is going to acquire residential buildings in the central areas of A Coruña and Vigo, undertake comprehensive renovation work and then sell the homes (individually, in order to maximise prices).
According to Rubén Casales (pictured above), Director of Andbank’s branch in A Coruña, this is the first product that focuses exclusively on the Galician market, and it is being born with the objective of securing investment of €20 million (minimum of €250,000), which it will use to perform between five and ten operations, given that in order to minimise risk, external financing should not exceed 50%.
The appeal of this product for savers is an expected return of 14%, well above the yields they can expect to achieve on fixed income and other conservative products and, which Casales justifies due to the illiquidity of the fund, which obliges investors to maintain their investment for at least five years.
For the execution of this project, Andback has teamed up with two local partners: Ünique Singular Properties and Desarrolla. The first is the only Galician real estate agency specialising in prime residential assets and is the market leader in unique properties; it will help identify investment opportunities and will be responsible for selling the homes once they have been renovated. The second is a construction company known for its renovation work and with a great deal of activity in the autonomous region, which will take care of giving the properties a facelift.
More than 50 properties
According to Andbank, there are lots of investment opportunities: “We have identified some very interesting buildings due to their architectural uniqueness”, says Luis Touriño, territorial director of the entity in Galicia. (…). The bank currently has a team of eight people analysing more than fifty properties, of which between eight and ten will be selected.
Casales explains that the response from investors is proving positive, and so they hope to be able to launch the vehicle before the end of the year (…).
The launch of this fund is another sign of the investor interest in the Galician real estate sector, which, although somewhat lagging behind other parts of Spain, has resumed its upwards path. This news follows the announcement by a group of Galician real estate companies linked to the trade association Fegein that they are going to create a Socimi, which will manage assets in Vigo, Santiago and the north of Lugo, and which seeks to trade on the MAB.
Original story: La Voz de Galicia (by Gabriel Lemos)
Translation: Carmel Drake