KF: Inv’t in Offices Amounted to €1.3bn & €0.8bn in Madrid & Barcelona, Respectively, in 2017

13 June 2018 – ABC

The performance of the office sector in Madrid at the end of 2017 bodes well for a “historical” 2018. That is according to all of the investment indicators managed by the real estate experts. Some very positive data for the region, which consolidates the Spanish capital’s position as the most attractive place for companies to locate their headquarters. In fact, it continues to be the greatest magnet for securing capital in the office market with a business volume of €1,324 million – 61% of the aggregated total – compared with €835 million in the Catalan capital. In terms of rented office space, 570,000 m2 was leased in Madrid, compared with 300,000 m2 in Barcelona.

Those are the findings of a recent report about the sector compiled by the consultancy firm Knight Frank, which forecasts greater activity in the sector in Madrid this year due to the rotation of assets by the Socimis and funds to fulfil their business plans. In Madrid, more than 40% of the total investment in 2017 involved funds, which, together with the Socimis outperformed other real estate players during the second half of last year.

The notable differences between the two regional capitals have increased as a result of the effects of the political instability caused by the independence drive and the decrease in tourism that has hit Cataluña. The experts consulted highlight that the rate of company creation has decreased in Cataluña since last summer, whilst in the Community of Madrid, the numbers have increased, with more than 185,000 companies registered with the Social Security at the beginning of 2018.

“The Spanish capital continues to be the key location due to its wide range of opportunities. Net absorption has been increasing for several years and rental prices are still very competitive in comparison with the main European centres”, explains Raúl Vicente, Director of Offices at Knight Frank. Nevertheless, the experts indicate the path that the city should take to become a “super city”. “In terms of the major challenges that it will have to overcome, they include mobility, adaptation to the technological revolution that we are living applied to the service of the city, efficiency, access to housing and an office supply that is commensurate with international demand, amongst others”, highlights the report.

The average price of offices in Madrid’s CBD has been rising in recent years. Prices in the capital now exceed €8,000/m2 on average, whilst in Barcelona, they amount to €6,900/m2. The highest price paid last year was for the former Barclays headquarters in Plaza de Colón, which was purchased from Barclays by CBRE Global Investors for €14,000/m2.

Other notable operations stand out including the purchase of Torre Serrano by Infinorsa and the sale of the Isla Chamartín Business Park to Tristan Capital and Zaphir Asset Management for €103 million. Also, the acquisition of the Palacio de Miraflores on the Carrera de San Jerónimo for €60 million by Remer Investment and of the Los Cubos building by Henderson Park and Therus Invest for €52 million (…).

Original story: ABC (by Adrián Delgado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Protecmed Buys a 1,300m2 Logistics Warehouse on Outskirts of Barcelona

14 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Protecmed is strengthening its logistics presence in Barcelona with a new warehouse. The engineering firm has acquired an industrial complex with a total surface area of 1,309 m2 and an outdoor patio area measuring 600 m2 on the El Plà de Bruguera industrial estate, located in Castellar del Vallès, according to a statement issued by the company.

The environmental engineering company, which specialises in solutions for treating drinking water and wastewater, has strengthened its presence on the outskirts of Barcelona with this purchase. Nevertheless, the company, which is undergoing an internationalisation process with projects around Europe, as well as in South America and North Africa, has established its headquarters in Sant Cugat del Vallès.

Located forty kilometres from Barcelona, Protecmed’s new warehouse represents another yet investment in the logistics market in the Catalan capital. During the first quarter of 2018, logistics absorption grew by 50% in Barcelona, with 185,982 m2 of space leased in total, according to data from the consultancy firm Forcadell. 

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Investment in Residential set to Overtake Offices in 2018

16 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The Spanish real estate sector is going to continue on its path to recovery in 2018. The real estate market is expected to continue to spark great investor appetite although some of the cards may change their order in the deck. For example, the residential sector is set to climb to the top of the ranking in terms of investment demand for the first time since the change in the cycle, whereby surpassing the office segment. Together, the two segments look set to ensure that the sector maintains an investment volume of around €13 billion for the year as a whole, just like it did in 2017.

The keys for the continuation of the positive trend in the sector are the “strong economic forecasts for Spain, favourable financing conditions, the cycle of maturity in the market, the products for sale in the pipeline and the corporate operations underway”, according to the consultancy firm CBRE in its Real Estate Outlook for 2018 report.

The housing market will reign in the real estate sector this year, attracting one-third of all investment in the sector as a whole, according to the consultancy firm and experts consulted by CBRE. Nevertheless, the office segment, which will be demoted to second place in the investment ranking, will not be far behind the residential segment in absolute terms, accounting for 27% of total investment. The remaining third of the investment volume is expected to be split between retail (18%) and logistics (12%), as well as less significant amounts in hotels and other types of assets.

The recovery of the residential sector, therefore, will be strengthened over the coming months, according to the consultancy firm. House prices will continue to rise across Spain in 2018, with rises of around 5% and 6% p.a., and the highest increases in the two most dynamic markets, Madrid and Barcelona. CBRE forecasts that demand for housing will amount to between 550,000 and 570,000 units, primarily second-hand homes.

Nevertheless, following residential development growth in 2017, “we can establish that the trend in the sector will be positive for at least the next three years and that the construction output levels will be absorbed by demand (…), says Samuel Población, National Director of Residential and Land at CBRE Spain.

The executive explained that the sector is immersed in a process of concentration amongst the property developers, where “the ten largest property developers in the country will account for more than 15% of domestic output”. Of those, the director highlighted the listed companies Neinor Homes, Aedas Homes and Metrovacesa, as well as Aelca, Vía Célere, Pryconsa, Amenabar and Kronos, amongst others.

In 2018, the promotion of homes will continue to boom, supported by the high existing demand, with 100,000 permits forecast for the year as a whole. Moreover, Población estimates that, between now and 2020, new homes will reach a rate of demand of between 130,000 and 140,000 units. In terms of the large cities, Madrid stands out “with an average need for 25,000 new homes per year” (…).

Development of new offices and logistics spaces 

Offices and logistics are two segments that grew at record rates in 2017. Above all, in Madrid, where both segments experienced a year of great growth, and that boom is not expected to decrease this year. According to the report, the office market will continue to progress with its recovery (…).

For the Catalan capital, more surface area will be handed over this year than in any year since 2010, most of it in the form of new build properties. Even so, Barcelona will remain well behind Madrid in terms of leasing volumes, given that CBRE estimates that leasing volumes in the Spanish capital will amount to 600,000 m2, compared with 350,000 m2 in the Mediterranean city (…).

In the case of the logistics sector, the segment is currently one of the most attractive markets for investors. After registering record figures in 2017, with more than 1.5 million m2 of space leased, this year, more land will be added to the stock. CBRE estimates that for the sector in Madrid, its main stronghold, 850,000 m2 of space will be leased. That would result in an increase in investment in the logistics sector, which could amount to €1 billion in 2018 (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ST: Barcelona’s New Home Supply Could Run Out Within 12 Months

16 June 2016 – El Mundo

Sociedad de Tasación has published its ST New Home Census for 2016 for the province of Barcelona and Barcelona Capital. The company has provided the market with complete and detailed information about the supply of unsold new homes in the region, whereby updating the ST Census for 2014 to include the new supply of homes constructed during the last two years. In addition, it includes a breakdown of the properties by construction phase, price and surface area.

The study contains analysis of the municipalities that have more than 50,000 inhabitants in the province of Barcelona, as well as specific data about the capital. The municipalities analysed together account for almost 65% of the population and stock of existing homes in the region.

According to the report, currently only 725 of the 2,719 new homes registered for sale in 2014 are still on the market, which implies a reduction in the stock of 73.3%, in just two years. Moreover, 2,068 new units have been identified, which means that in total the current supply adds up to 2,793 homes. That figure represents a net stock increase of 2.7% compared with the ST Census for 2014.

In light of this data, ST Sociedad de Tasación’s Director General, Juan Fernández-Aceytuno, said that “if this rate of absorption of the new home stock continues, then the current supply could run out within 12 months in the province of Barcelona and within 14 months in the capital”.

In the city of Barcelona, only 215 of the 917 new homes up for sale in 2014 are still on the market, which means that 82.5% of the supply has been sold in two years. As well as the homes that have been on the market since 2014, 857 new homes have been put up for sale in the last two years, which means that the current supply amounts to 1,072 homes, a net increase in the total stock of 16.9% with respect to the ST Census for 2014.

The supply of off-plan homes increases

Fernández-Aceytuno also highlights changes in the composition of the housing stock: “As far as the construction phase is concerned, the supply of homes that have not been started has grown by 212% in the municipalities of Barcelona that have more than 50,000 inhabitants. As such, there has been a 45% reduction in the volume of finished homes included in the stock in 2016, which amounts to 834 units in total”, concluded Fernández-Aceytuno.

In the city of Barcelona, there has also been an increase in the number of off-plan homes, in this case by 150%, with respect to the data in 2014. Thus, whilst in 2014, the supply of finished homes accounted for 50.4% of the total, in 2016, they represented just 19.2%.

Increases in the average house size and the average price

The study reflects an increase in the average size of homes. Whilst in the ST Census for 2014, homes measuring less than 100 sqm accounted for 67.7% of the supply, they now represent just 47.6%.

Similarly, in 2016, the average price of new homes is higher in 2016 than in 2014. As such, homes worth more than €300,000 have increased from representing 26% of the stock in 2014, to 35.3% in 2016. (…).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania To Absorb Its Socimi In A Merger

6 March 2016 – Cinco Días

On Wednesday, Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios reported to the CNMV that it is going to absorb its Socimi Hispania Real by means of a merger. The operation was expected by the market and will involve the parent company adopting the tax structure of a listed real estate investment company. The firm will approve the transaction at its shareholders meeting in April.

The two companies have agreed the approval and signing of the merger project as part of a process to rationalise the corporate structure of the group, which has decided to adopt the Socimi regime.

Both the conversion into a Socimi, as well as the absorption of the Hispania Real Socimi by Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios will be subject to approval by the shareholders at their next meeting, which is expected to be held in April.

The company is the full and direct owner of all of the shares of the Hispania Real Socimi, as reported to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

On 18 February, Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios announced its plans to convert itself into a Socimi. The firm is managed by Azora, whose President is Concha Osácar (pictured above).

Hispania, which debuted on the stock exchange in 2014, had already revealed that its future plans included the possibility of turning the company into a Socimi, a vehicle that has a special tax structure and that is obliged to allocate some of its profits to dividends.

In April 2014, Hispania constituted its subsidiary Hispania Real, which decided to adopt the tax structure planned for Socimis and through which Hispania has closed several asset acquisitions. Nevertheless, the company continued to operate the parent company as a public corporation so as to undertake other types of operations.

In addition, last year, the company bought Barceló Bay Hotels & Leisure (BAY), to create the Socimi with the largest exposure to the Spanish hotel sector, with 9,000 hotel rooms.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake