Amenabar Grows by 15% After Handing Over 815 Homes in 2018

22 February 2019 – Expansión

The property developer Amenabar ended 2018 by fulfilling its ambitious strategic plan, which led it to sign the deeds for 815 homes over the last 12 months. “It has been a very positive year in every aspect; we have fulfilled the objectives of our strategic plan in terms of revenues, thanks to a very intense rate of (home) deliveries, with 11 new developments and the commercial launch of another 21 new projects”, explain sources at the company.

Those figures allowed Amenabar to increase its revenues by 15% over the last year, to €345 million, numbers that the real estate company expects to increase again thanks to the 5,699 homes that it currently has under construction (…).

“We have started 2019 with the goal of marketing 2,403 new homes during the first half of the year and we are working on the residential development of more than 5,507 homes in our portfolio”.

Besides launching new projects, Amenabar is going to continue increasing its delivery rate. “This year, we will hand over 1,245 homes, followed by more than 1,500 in 2020 and more than 1,600 in 2021”. In parallel, it is going to continue buying up land using the profits it earns (…).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor & Vía Célere Lead the Ranking of Forecast House Deliveries for 2019

28 January 2019 – Cinco Días

Year after year, the new major players in the house construction sector are seeing the numbers in their growth plans increase. During 2019, the largest property developers created since 2015, and some of those reborn from the ashes during this latest upwards cycle, are expected to approach their cruising speed, above all, the listed companies Neinor, Aedas and Metrovacesa, which have been called to lead the residential construction sector together with Vía Célere. Even so, the sector is still very fragmented with lots of small companies.

Neinor Homes and Vía Célere have become the two entities with the largest number of home deliveries this year. In both cases, 2,000 clients will receive the keys to their homes, according to figures provided to Cinco Días by around twenty property developers. In these forecasts, the companies have detailed three concepts for their plans for 2019: homes that they will launch onto the market, homes that they will start work on and forecast deliveries.

Neinor Homes, created in 2015, and led by Juan Velayos (…) expects to start work on 3,000 homes this year, coming close to the cruising speed that it defined during its IPO, and it will start to market another 2,000 units.

Meanwhile, Vía Célere, controlled by the US fund Värde Partners, is in the middle of integrating the assets of Aelca, the other property developer owned by Värde, which has now emptied its portfolio (…). It is the only one of the large players that is not yet listed on the stock market; its plans in that regard were postponed last year.

The listed firm Aedas, also created in 2017 with land from another US fund, in that case, Castlelake, is also perceiving an upwards turn in its numbers. This year, it will hand over 1,055 homes, start marketing 2,500 homes and start building 3,000 homes, just two years after first appearing on the stage, with David Martínez as its CEO.

Meanwhile, Metrovacesa, the other large listed company, controlled by Santander (and in which BBVA holds a minority stake), clearly leads the business plans, with up to 4,500 homes to be newly marketed and whose construction will be launched. This one-hundred-year-old real estate company, which was cleaned up by the banks following the crisis, launched its new project in 2017 with Jorge Pérez de Leza, from Grupo Lar, as the CEO.

In terms of those entities backed by funds, the rescued firm Habitat also stands out, reactivated last year by Bain Capital, and which is planning to market 3,000 homes this year. Similarly, Cerberus took control of Inmoglacier in 2017 (…). That firm declined to provide its forecasts to this newspaper, but it is also set to play a significant role, given that it has become one of the real estate arms of the US fund, one of the most active in the purchase of assets from the banks and which also owns Haya Real Estate as its servicer.

The group of twenty-odd companies consulted will hand over almost 16,000 homes this year, will start work on 34,000 units and will begin marketing another 30,000 properties. These figures reflect the enormous fragmentation in the sector, which in the last 12 months has started 103,000 homes in total, according to figures from the Ministry of Development as at October 2018.

Small specialist property developers still carry a lot of weight, unlike in other countries where large players exist. Moreover, even though the rate of residential construction has taken off since 2014, it is still well below the peak of 2006 when 865,000 building permits were granted.

In terms of the new players also boosted by the international funds, they include other developers with a high rate of house sales: AQ Acentor (owned by the German fund Aquila), which is going to put 1,700 homes up for sale; Kronos Homes (backed by several European and US investors), which will market another 1,600 homes; and ASG Homes (backed by the British firm ActivumSG), which plans to add another 1,000 homes.

In terms of the survivors of the crisis, Amenabar stands out, the Gipuzkoan company, which expects to start work on 3,608 homes next year and to hand over 1,245 units. Another of the stalwarts is the Madrilenian firm Pryconsa, owned by the Colomer family, which has already reached a high number in terms of house starts: 1,285. In more modest terms, other important firms include the Basque entity Inbisa and the new entity Áurea Homes, the residential subsidiary of the Navarran construction group ACR (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Who is the Largest Residential Property Developer in Madrid

29 November 2018 – El Confidencial

With 12 developments underway comprising 758 homes with some type of protection, the Municipal Housing and Land Company (‘La Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo’ or EMVS) is the most active property developer in the city of Madrid. Of the more than 350 residential projects under construction in the capital at the moment, the public initiative (by the Town Hall of Madrid), together with the promotion of cooperative homes or units with some kind of protection, has significant weight in Madrid, given that more than 16% of new build projects underway and 22% of the units under construction are public initiative developments (EMVS) or cooperative promotions.

That is according to data from the consultancy firm CBRE, which has compiled a study to analyse real estate activity in the Spanish capital, using satellites, taking into account both new build projects that require cranes for their completion as well as comprehensive renovation projects that do not need cranes or scaffolding. On the basis of the data obtained, the property developers who are currently carrying out those projects in the 21 districts of Madrid have been identified, be they new build projects, renovations, private homes or social housing units, excluding any homes being marketed on which construction work has not started yet.

The study establishes a ranking with the top 25 residential property developers in the capital on the basis of the number of projects underway and the number of units under construction. That ranking is led by the EMVS both by number of developments as well as by number of homes. Its developments are concentrated in the Pau de Vallecas (8 projects comprising 475 units), Latina (one development comprising 87 homes), Arganzuela (one development comprising 85 units), Villa de Vallecas (one development comprising 72 homes) and Carabanchel (one development comprising 25 homes).

Despite the strong development activity of the EMVS, the reality is that it is the private property developers who lead the activity overall, given that they account for three quarters (78%) of the new home units under construction in the city of Madrid. In fact, there are 12 private property developers with three or more projects under construction, which account for more than a third (34%) of the homes under construction.

Pryconsa and Inmoglacier, the most powerful

The second position in the ranking by number of developments is held by Pryconsa. The company chaired by Marco Colomer currently has seven projects underway, comprising 500 homes (…).

By number of units under construction, the second place in the ranking is held by Inmoglacier, with 748 homes under construction, distributed across just five developments, all of which are concentrated in Parque Ingenieros in Villaverde (…), all with some kind of protection and constructed on land acquired from Sepes more than three years ago. The company chaired by Ignacio Moreno (…) is one of the most active property developers in the capital and is focused towards a segment of the population capable of acquiring a home at affordable prices.

“At first glance, the sector appears to be vey fragmented. The 351 residential projects underway in Madrid are split between 241 companies or cooperatives. However, many property developers assign a separate legal entity to each promotion (…) and so it is not always easy to identify the large groups (and commercial brands) behind each project”, explains Samuel Población, National Residential Director at CBRE speaking to El Confidencial (…).

By area, the main national property developers are committed to constructing large projects in new areas, such as Arroyo del Fresno (Amenabar and Grupo Pinilla), Valdebebas, Parque de Ingenieros and El Cañaveral, where the projects with the largest number of units are concentrated. Companies such as Grupo Ibosa (…) and Vía Celere, along with the newcomer Brosh, complete the ranking (…).

International firms stick to the rich neighbourhoods

In terms of the property developers with a more international profile, by contrast, they are continuing with a strategy focused on the renovation of homes inside the city, in the most sought-after neighbourhoods. Venezuelan property developers have been particularly active, including Gran Roque (…), which has a dozen residential projects underway comprising more than 100 homes in some of the most sought-after areas of Madrid (…).

Also, Grosvenor (from the UK) and Darya Homes or Dazia Capital (France) are concentrating their activity exclusively in the districts of Centro, Chamberí and Salamanca. Those three developers – include Gran Roque – are currently managing 10 residential remodelling projects, which are characterised by the limited number of units (14 on average) and a clear vocation towards the high- and very high-end segments of the market.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Arrasate & Ibosa: Favourites in the Bid to Build Bilbao’s Star Residential Project

28 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Up to eight property developers are willing to pay between €30 million and €50 million to build residential properties in Bilbao. The two favourites in the battle are Arrasate and Grupo Ibosa, which have submitted two of the highest offers for this housing plan, which forms part of Project Garellano and which is being managed by Bilbao Ría 2000.

One of the key factors behind Arrasate and Ibosa’s strong chances of winning the tender is that both have the architect Richard Rogers in their project, which gives them an extra 5% in their scores. The vast majority of the score (75%) in the auction corresponds to the economic offer, and the remaining 20% relates to the assessment of the business plan and the construction, according to El Confidencial.

The future tower will be 119 m tall and will comprise 36 storeys in which 200 homes will be constructed. The location of the residential property will be prime, given that it is being built right in the heart of the city.

The plot that the public company Bilbao Ría 2000 has put up for sale has a surface area of 2,247 m2 and a buildability of more than 25,000 m2. The building will also have five underground floors with 235 parking spaces and storerooms for its future inhabitants.

In addition to Arrasate, a Basque cooperative manager (…) and Ibosa, the company led by Juan José Perucho, other companies participating in the auction for this development include the listed company Neinor Homes, ACR and a JV between the Madrid-based property developer Pryconsa and the local firm Amenabar.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

ASG Homes Is Planning to Build 10,000 Homes in Spain

9 April 2018 – Cinco Días

Metrovacesa, Aedas, Neinor, Vía Célere, Aelca… they are the everyday names of the new players that are reviving the house building sector following the real estate crisis. They are the companies that have stolen the limelight thanks to their ambitious plans and the return of these kinds of businesses to the stock market. But there is a quieter successor that is silently gathering a giant portfolio of land and with some ambitious plans of its own in the residential development sector. The company in question is ASG Homes, backed by the British fund manager ASG Capital Management and its subsidiary ASG Iberia.

Recently, the initiative has been baptised ASG Homes, the brand that will reach out to potential homebuyers. That will be the logo that clients will see when they visit one of the developments. Behind the brand is the ASG Iberia team, which in recent years has been acquiring a collection of plots in different provinces across Spain to accumulate 500,000 m2 of land in total, one of the largest portfolios in the country.

“We are the great dark horse”, recognises Víctor Pérez Arias, CEO of ASG Homes for Spain and Portugal. The current portfolio of land gives the company the possibility of building 5,000 homes. “The aspiration is to double our existing capacity”, he adds. That means investing more over the coming months to accumulate a portfolio with the potential for the construction of 10,000 homes. To date, the company has invested €400 million of its own funds to obtain its current land portfolio.

The property developer focuses on operations involving the purchase of debt with real estate collateral and on complex situations to reduce the prices it pays. Precisely for those reasons, the company rules out competitive tenders for acquiring land.

Currently, its plots are located in Valencia, Alicante, Málaga, Costa del Sol, Madrid, Salamanca and Sevilla. Specifically, in the Andalucían capital, the company is already planning to build 1,100 homes. So far, it has not entered the market in Barcelona, above all because prices are high in the city, but it does not rule out future opportunities.

Based on data provided by the companies, ASG is positioned in fifth place in the ranking of property developers planning to build the most homes, with around 2,000 units in the pipeline. It comes in behind only Neinor, Metrovacesa, Aelca and Amenabar.

Moreover, this year, the property developer plans to sell 1,500 new homes and hand over 500 homes to its clients. The market is looking at all of these new companies with a magnifying glass, above all of those that are listed on the stock market, to check whether they are capable of fulfilling their plans. Pérez Arias says that the company is already handing over its first developments in Alicante.

In Spain, these types of international funds have starred in the recovery of the house building sector, either through the creation of new property developers, such as in the case of ASG, or by refloating companies with problems.

The new property developers include Neinor, backed initially by Lone Star, after it purchased Kutxabank’s real estate business for €935 million. It was the first property developer to debut on the stock market in more than a decade and its main shareholder has already collected its profits after selling all of its share on the market.

It was followed on the stock market by Aedas Homes, backed by Castlelake. The 100-year old Metrovacesa also returned to the stock exchange, in that case, led by Santander and BBVA. Moreover, the fund Värde has two property developers that are currently sounding out the same path (Aelca and Vía Célere). In turn, Baupost has created Q21 Real Estate. Cerberus has also acquired the historical Inmoglacier and in the same vein, Bain Capital has purchased Habitat. Another example is the alliance between Gestilar and Morgan Stanley.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Property Developers Eagerly Await Blackstone & Cerberus’s Major Land Sales

26 February 2018 – Cinco Días

The residential market is going to undergo a real shake-up over the coming months. From the summer onwards, Spain’s residential property developers expect the main investment funds to place on the market the large land banks that they have been stockpiling following their purchases from the banks, whereby alleviating the shortage of plots for construction in those areas where activity has resumed. Thousands of millions in investments are at stake.

Specifically, the major stars are going to be Blackstone, which took control of Popular’s toxic property portfolio last year, and Cerberus, which did the same with assets from BBVA. Moreover, managers such as Bain Capital, with land proceeding from Liberbank, will also play a significant role.

The other major player that is going to star in this market over the coming months is Sareb, which is preparing its largest-ever land transaction under a new formula. It is looking to team up with a large property developer to contribute plots worth €800 million and integrate its residential business in exchange for entering the share capital of a company that will be listed on the stock market in the medium term. In fact, large funds are arriving to compete with the bad bank to supply land (…).

“Expectations are high”, says Pablo Méndez, Director of Capital Markets at the consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman. “We expect the funds to bring products onto the market during the course of this year. They are going to want to maximise the value of their land, and so they will sell it on a piecemeal basis. We do not expect to see large portfolios for sale, at least not in Madrid, Cataluña or Levante”, he explained. “Nevertheless, I think that we may see portfolio sales in other areas that are starting to reactivate and that are of interest to real estate companies, such as Galicia, Asturias, Santander, Burgos, Tarragona and other large cities”.

House building activity has reactivated timidly in Spain, with 80,000 new house starts last year and with the objective for the sector of reaching around 150,000 new homes per year as the healthy cruising speed. New companies, such as the listed firms Neinor and Aedas, together with others such as Aelca, Vía Célere, ASG, Amenabar and Metrovacesa (which returned to the stock market earlier this month) have boosted activity. But there has been a shortage of buildable land (plots with the necessary permits) in Spain’s large cities, above all in Madrid and Barcelona.

Simultaneously, the banks have been forced to divest property from their balance sheets, under pressure from the regulations set by the European Central Bank, like the entities that received public help did back in 2012, when they transferred their toxic assets to Sareb. In the funds, the banks have found the best partners for getting rid of their properties to start putting them on the market (…).

“We estimate that the large funds have land worth more than €15 billion”, calculates Samuel Población, Director of Residential and Land, at the consultancy firm CBRE.

Blackstone is going to become one of the key players over the next few months. The US fund purchased 51% of Popular’s portfolio worth €10 billion from Santander. Of that total, 42% corresponds to land. The agreement is not expected to be definitively closed until March. From then on, Aliseda will start to sell those plots. The new CEO of that servicer is Eduard Mendiluce, who is also continuing to serve as the head of Anticipa, the company that Blackstone uses to manage its housing portfolios.

Meanwhile, Cerberus acquired 80% of BBVA’s real estate portfolio for €4 billion. Almost 80% of those assets comprise plots of land. In that case, they are waiting until June, for the operation to materialise, before starting to place any portfolios on the market. That sales mandate will be entrusted to Haya Real Estate, the servicer that Cerberus is planning to list on the stock market. Note, the US fund also acquired a majority stake in the residential property developer Inmoglacier, which is expected to receive a small proportion of the plots to make it grow and become one of the new stars of the sector.

Finally, Bain Capital, on a smaller scale, acquired around €144 million of land from Liberbank, at the same time as taking over the Catalan property developer Habitat (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

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

Spain’s Large Property Developers Handed Over Just 3,000 Homes in 2017

2 February 2018 – Expansión

Market / The property developers Amenabar, Aelca and Corp take the lead in the race to notarise new homes.

The property developers have returned to the forefront after years of ostracism. In this way, two companies, Neinor and Aedas, debuted on the stock market in 2017, putting an end to the 10-year drought. Meanwhile, a historical company in the sector, Metrovacesa, is planning its stock market debut for Monday (5 February), and is waiting to close the requests book.

These companies, together with the other large property developers such as Vía Célere, Aelca and Habitat (all three of which are controlled by investment funds) have set themselves the objective of handing over between 3,000 and 4,000 homes per year, something that they will achieve over the next 2-4 years. Nevertheless, for the year just ended (2017), the figures recorded were much more modest.

According to data facilitated by the companies, the 13 largest residential property developers notarised an average of 270 new homes each last year. Together, they handed over just 3,168 units, compared with the more than 77,500 newly-built homes that were sold (according to data as at November from INE).

Amenabar is the leader of the ranking for the number of homes handed over. The property developer owned by the Amenabar family closed 2017 with 752 homes notarised. This year, that company, which is headquartered in Zarautz plans to start work on around 3,094 homes and to sell 4,087 units.

Of those properties for sale, approximately half correspond to land in the portfolio and the rest to new purchases to be made over the coming months, say sources at the company.

With almost 500 units each, Aelca and Corp Promotor complete the top three firms in terms of the number of homes notarised, with 498 and 496, respectively. Founded in 2012 by José Juan Martín and Javier Gómez, and controlled by Värde Partners (75% stake), Aelca is one of the new real estate companies and it has a more advanced pace of work. In this way, it plans to launch almost 4,000 homes across almost 50 new developments during 2018. In 2017, Aelca sold 1,128 homes.

Meanwhile, with 360 flats registered, Gestilar also stands out. The Madrilenian company created by Javier García-Valcárcel closed sale and purchase or pre-reservation contracts for another 419 homes in 2017, up by 57% compared to 2016. The company controlled by its founder does not have any immediate plans to debut on the stock market. Nevertheless, it has closed an alliance with one of Morgan Stanley’s investment funds to boost its plans to buy land and subsequently develop it.

Neinor

With a figure of more than 300 units (between 310 and 315, according to the latest estimates from the company), Neinor Homes has accelerated its house building plans to fulfil its business plan, which aims to put between 3,500 and 4,000 homes per year on the market between now and 2020.

Those hand overs will allow Neinor to increase its revenues, which, during the first half of last year, amounted to €127 million, after the hand over of 150 units.

It was followed by Inbisa, with 223 notarisations, and Vía Célere, with 183. The real estate firm led by Juan Antonio Gómez Pintado handed over two developments in Madrid and part of a third on c/Aragó in Barcelona, its first project in the Catalan capital.

In the absence of year-end data, during the first three quarters of last year, Realia handed over 80 homes amounting to €16.9 million (around €212,000 per unit), compared with 69 and €13.4 million in the previous year.

Less than ten each

Finally, three of the largest domestic property developers are operating at a  much slower rate. Such is the case of Quabit, which notarised just six homes in 2017, although it is expected to reverse that situation this year, after closing new land purchases, including co-investment alliances with the fund Avenue Capital. In this way, it plans to hand over 215 units in 2018, corresponding to four developments in Boadilla, Barcelona and Guadalajara, and also start work on around 2,000 new homes, confirms the company.

In the case of Habitat, the company did not notarise any homes in 2017, a year that was marked by its own sale, formalised by Bain Capital Credit just a few weeks ago. Now, the fund is working to boost the company, which is planning to hand over its first homes in 2018, of the more than 1,000 that it has up for sale.

The same thing is happening with Aedas. Launched in 2016, the company controlled by the fund Castlelake plans to hand over its first 231 homes this year.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aelca, Ibosa, Amenabar, Pryconsa, Libra & Princeton Compete For Calderón Plots

18 November 2017 – El Economista

Atlético de Madrid has already received its first offers from investors interested in acquiring the plots of land adjacent to the Vicente Calderón stadium. The sale represents the largest land operation currently underway in the centre of Madrid and the football club is taking advantage of that fact to try to find a buyer willing to pay double the current prices in the area.

According to several sources in the sector, the companies that have bid to acquire these plots of land include the property developer Aelca, in which Värde holds a stake. It is the only one of the four large real estate companies still in the process, given that Neinor, Aedas and Vía Célere have all ruled out participating in the operation, due to its high price.

The same sources state that Grupo Ibosa is another one of the firms that is pushing ahead with the purchase process; and it is doing so with the backing of a fund. Similarly, the property developers Amenabar and Pryconsa have also submitted bids, as has the cooperative manager Libra Gestión.

The British family office Princeton is another name that appears on the list of investors interested in the Calderdón. That firm arrived in Spain at the beginning of 2015 and since then has closed several residential operations as well as a handful of others of a tertiary nature.

CBRE, which is advising the operation, will receive the binding offers at the end of November, with the aim of trying to close the sale before the end of the year. Atlético de Madrid wants to repay Carlos Slim on time for the more than €160 million that he loaned the Club, through the company Inbursa, to finance the works on the new stadium, Wanda Metropolitano.

The land up for sale is divided into three plots (RC-4, RC-7 and RC-8) and together cover more than 63,000 m2. The largest space corresponds to private residential use and the rest to tertiary use. The amount that Atlético de Madrid expects to receive for this operation, according to real estate sources in the know, comes to €200 million, which places the price per square metre in a very high range, of around €3,300/m2. In this way, the c. 480 homes that will be constructed on the site, will have to be sold for around €6,000/m2 if the operation is to be profitable for the buyer. It is precisely these figures that have deterred the large listed real estate companies, as well as those that have financial backing from funds, given that they must fulfil the returns they have promised to their shareholders and investors in every operation.

First obstacles

Although the project known as Mahou-Calderón, which encompasses the sale of these plots, has already received provisional approval from the Town Hall of Madrid, it is still awaiting definitive approval from the Community of Madrid’s Urban Planning Committee, which has four months to analyse the one-off amendment to the PGOU, and the Community of Madrid’s Governing Council, according to José Manuel Calvo, a Councillor for the Town Hall of Madrid, in an interview for the El Economista’s Inmobiliaria magazine.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, it was revealed that the Ministry for the Environment and Land Planning had identified a “calculation error” in the buildability coefficients, and has urged the municipal technicians to correct the errors in order “to prevent the operation from being susceptible to being challenged in the courts in the future”, said sources from the Ministry to EP.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The RE Kings Are Building Thousands Of Homes In Spain

18 September 2017 – El País

The house building sector in Spain is back after a decade adrift during which many of the large firms went to the wall (…).

But the same crisis (that harmed so many) has also given rise to a new, more institutionalised house building sector, which claims to have learnt from the mistakes of its predecessors (…).

In this new industry, there are some familiar faces, such as Realia, Quabit, Amenabar, Pryconsa, Ferrocarril, and ACR, amongst others (…). But the market now is dominated by new firms. They are the new generation of property developers, or rather, they are real estate giants, and their names include Neinor Homes, Vía Célere, Aelca, Aedas Homes and Kronos, poised to ride the new wave in the residential sector. Ahead, they face some major challenges, such as facilitating housing for young people, cutting costs, the industrialisation of the sector, putting clients first to avoid the errors of the past, and improving the image of the sector by being intolerant to all forms of corruption.

At the helm of these giants are overseas investment funds, which have chosen to back the Spanish residential market, with the economic cycle in full swing – new build permits rose by 29% in 2016. These foreign players are investing thousands of millions of euros in the purchase of large portfolios of land, at still low prices, in strategic locations and they are benefitting from low construction costs, at least for the time being. In this way, the funds have engaged managers with extensive experience in the traditional property developers to lead these firms, such as Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado (Vía Célere) and David Martínez (Aedas Homes), amongst others (…).

The firms themselves talk about reaching a cruising speed of between 3,000 and 4,000 new homes per year (per firm) over the next three years (…). The largest 50 property developers and managers by volume of homes sold (based on completions due from 2018) “plan to build around 45,000 homes over the next three years”, according to Raúl Templado, at Alimarket Construcción. This figure is low if we consider that various trade associations, such as APCE and CEOE, calculate that Spain needs 150,000 new homes per year to ensure a healthy residential market.

That is why international funds are so interested in doing business in a sector that, despite its sharp decline – the number of housing permits represents less than 10% of the level in 2007 – “continues to carry significant weight: 15% of domestic GDP” (…).

Foreign capital

The arrival of foreign funds, such as Värde Partners, Lone Star and Castlelake, has been like a breath of fresh air. “They have provided strategic vision and they made the decision to invest when we were still in a bearish cycle, identifying opportunities and giving credibility to a sector that was and still is attractive for investment, when nobody else was interested. On the other hand, their way of working with a more financial vision has resulted in structural and organisational changes that before were not considered”, says Gómez-Pintado (…).

The result is a sector in full transformation, where movements are happening non-stop, and so it is hard to know who is leading the market. The Institute of Governance and Applied Economics, an independent research centre, calculates that the largest 20 property developers in the country will build 80,000 homes between now and 2020. Their ranking is led by Metrovacesa, Neinor Homes and Aedas Homes, although family groups, local businesses and cooperative managers also feature (…).

Original story: El País (by Sandra López Letón)

Translation: Carmel Drake