Amazon to Build its Seventh European Cloud Computing Centre in Aragon

18 November 2019 – Amazon is set to invest 2.5 billion euros to build its seventh European cloud technology services centre, this time in the Spanish region of Aragon. The American retail giant plans to construct three facilities, called availability zones, with more than 100,000 square meters of surface area, at the Huesca Logistics Platform, in Villanueva de Gállego and El Burgo de Ebro.

Negotiations between Amazon and the Aragon government began more than a year ago through a senior-level working group. The planning application is already at an advanced stage, and the facilities could be operational by 2020.

The sites will host Amazon’s cloud computing services. The availability zones are made up of one or more datacentres equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking. Therefore, the US firm will use the facilities to sell an array of computer services to third parties, including data storage and access to computing power to complete complex calculations.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) expects the project to generate up to 1,500 jobs within ten years, mostly for highly qualified professionals.

Original Story: Heraldo – Chus García

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Investments in Zaragoza’s Logistics Sector Up 400%

14 November 2019 –In the first nine months of the year, firms in Aragon have invested 128 million euros, an increase of 400% compared to all of 2018. Investments in October and November have so far added another 45 million euros to the tally. The figures have established Zaragoza as a major logistics pole after Madrid and Barcelona, accounting for 10% of the investment in Spain as a whole.

A study prepared by CBRE notes that the increase is largely tied to two major transactions in the Plaza logistics centre, involving a total of 145,000 square meters. The deals have typically offered returns of between 5% and 6%.

Original Story: Heraldo – Chus García

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Zaragoza Leads the Sale of New Build Homes in Spain

5 November 2018 – El Periódico de Aragón

Zaragoza is still leading the sales of new build homes in Spain. Last year, it was the third-ranked city in the country, after Madrid and Barcelona, in terms of sales volumes, with 800 transactions, and in 2018, it is maintaining that trend. In fact, during the second quarter of the year, the Aragonese capital recorded the sale of 305 new homes, exceeded only by Madrid. That is according to the latest report compiled by the real estate consultancy firm CBRE, which shows that the evolution of Zaragoza this year is even better than last year: 537 new build house sales were recorded during the first half of this year, and so all indications are that they will exceed the 800 units recorded in 2017.

According to the experts, pent-up demand during the years of the crisis, which forced many citizens to postpone their decision to buy a home due to the economic uncertainty, and the current supply of high-quality homes for sale at reasonable prices, are the main causes behind Zaragoza’s leadership of the sector.

Of course, the data is still light years away from the figures recorded before the crisis. “There is still a long way to go in the new build construction market”, said the Director of CBRE in Zaragoza, Miguel Ángel Gómez. During the peak of the real estate boom, 4,000 sales were recorded per quarter in Aragón, and 45% of those were in the new build segment, but that percentage has now dropped to 12%. The figures confirm that the reactivation of the sector is based almost exclusively on second-hand homes. “The supply of second-hand homes is enormous, for that reason, as property developers we have to offer a differentiated, high-quality product if we want to attract customers”, said the President of the Confederation of Construction Companies of Aragón (CEAC) and the Director General of the Lobe group, Juan Carlos Bandrés.

Data relating to the number of building permits that the Town Hall of Zaragoza is granting confirms the new build recovery: last year, 1,526 permits were granted, compared with 1,040 in 2015. This year, it seems that the number of permits granted is decreasing although we still have two months of the year left to run. Either way, the figure is well below the 3,150 recorded in 2009 and light years away from the 8,940 registered in 2006.

The experts also attribute the better performance of Zaragoza compared to other major cities in Spain to the fact that the community has managed to maintain “its own financial system” (Ibercaja), which continues to back the projects of property developers. “Here, there are more possibilities to take projects forward”, highlights Bandrés (…).

Original story: El Periódico de Aragón (by Rubén López)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gesvalt: House Prices Rise by 9% In Q2 2018

5 July 2018 – Eje Prime

House prices are continuing to rise in Spain. To buy a home, you now need to spend €1,373 per square metre, up by 9% compared to the end of the second quarter of 2017. Nevertheless, the rise is not equal across all cities. In fact, the gap between towns is continuing to grow, with differences of more than €1,000/m2, according to Gesvalt.

“The largest price deviations arise between those provinces with most services and those with least tourist appeal and a cumulative oversupply”, says the consultancy firm. Such is the case of Jaén, Teruel, Ciudad Real, Toledo, Cuenca and Cáceres, where unitary values do not even reach €850/m2.

By contrast, Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia and the Balearic Islands continue to top of the ranking, with average prices of more than €2,000/m2. Madrid has also joined the €2,000/m2 club again, exceeding the threshold for the first time in recent years.

By autonomous region, all have recorded increases in their average prices, with the exception of Andalucía and La Rioja, where prices have decreased and País Vasco, where prices have remained stable.

The drivers of the rise in house prices have been Aragón, the Balearic Islands, Cataluña, the Community of Valencia and Madrid, with double-digit increases in all cases.

Meanwhile, the rental market is also maintaining its upward trend, with Barcelona, the Balearic Islands and Madrid leading the ranking of the most expensive cities. In all three cases, rental prices comfortably exceed €14/m2/month, whilst in Jaén, Ávila, Cáceres and Ciudad Real, they average less than €4.3/m2/month.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aragón Sells 555,000 m2 of Logistics Space in 2 Years

15 January 2018 – Inmodiario

The Government of Aragón has sold almost 555,000 m2 of space in Plaza (Zaragoza), Platea (Teruel), Plhus (Huesca) and the Fraga Logistics Platform since the beginning of this legislature.

In the ‘Parque Empresarial Dinamiza’ (the Dinamiza Business Park), from Expo Zaragoza Empresarial, more than 8,900 m2 has been leased during that time. The return to intense activity in terms of their management, their unification under the single ‘Aragón Plataforma Logística’ (‘Aragón Logistics Platform’ or APL) brand and the sales boost have managed to relaunch sales and invigorate the receipt of revenues in the public coffers.

In terms of the marketing of the Aragonese platforms, 355,000 m2 of space has been sold in Plaza over the last two years, which brings the occupancy rate of that Zaragoza-based platform to its current level of 83%. More than 350 companies work in the ‘Plataforma Logísitica de Zaragoza’ (Plaza) and it has become an international benchmark in terms of intermodal connections and high quality.

Meanwhile, the ‘Plataforma de Huesca’ (Plhus) has sold more than 22,100 m2 of space in the last two years, has formalised purchase options for another 3,448m2, and has leased 2,170 m2 of warehouses and plots. Some of the companies that have acquired plots in the last two years include Transportes Callizo, Hierros Alfonso, Audi Seat and Montajes Industriales del Alto Gállego (MIAG). The installations have also witnessed the creation of Gaypu and the manufacturing activity of Pastelerías Ascaso, amongst others.

In the Teruel-based platform, Platea, almost 48,000 m2 of space has been sold over the last two years, purchase options have been signed for almost 45,000 m2 and 4,353 m2 has been leased.

With the purchase by the multinational firm Röchling and the launch of the Ronal Ibérica plant, amongst others, Platea is now a key centre of activity for the automotive auxiliary sector, although the agro-alimentary sector also has a notable presence at the platform. This week, Jamones Albarracín announced that it has purchased plots in the Teruel platform (…).

‘Aragón Plataforma Logística’ was launched in 2017. The President of Aragón himself, Javier Lambán, backed its creation as “a single brand to attract more companies, which will contribute decisively to making logistics a fundamental factor in the economic consolidation of the European market”.

The 500 companies located in the logistics platforms and business park of Expo Zaragoza Empresarial, which form part of APL, employ more than 16,000 people (…). The Government of Aragón regards logistics as a strategic sector in terms of the Executive’s policies (…).

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ibercaja Sells 2 Logistics Warehouses In Plaza For €19M

26 October 2017 – Heraldo.es

Ibercaja has sold a logistics complex measuring 27,096 m2 in Plaza (Plataforma Logística de Zaragoza) to the fund manager Savills Investment Management for €19 million. The sale, closed last week, represents the highest price paid per square metre in an individual operation in the history of the logistics platform.

The complex that Ibercaja has divested comprises two large warehouses with long-term leases to Mercadona and the German operator Kuehne Nagel, respectively. Sources familiar with the transaction explain that the objective of the new buyer is to maintain these uses, given that it was precisely the long-term rental agreements over both warehouses that raised their interest in the first place.

The competitive process for the sale, in which more than 25 possible buyers expressed an interest, was coordinated by the portal specialising in real estate auctions addmeet.com, which has now managed several important sales in Zaragoza and Aragón.

The move by Ibercaja sees it deepen its commitment to the divestment of its non-strategic assets, as it seeks to focus all of its efforts and resources on boosting the banking business and the digital transformation, whereby fulfilling the roadmap that the entity set itself for the strategic cycle 2015-2017.

The buyer, the Savills Investment Management group, plans to integrate its new assets into the European Logistic Fund II fund, aimed at acquiring top-quality logistics products around Europe. Savills Investment has 18 offices in Europe and Asia and manages properties around the world worth €16,000 million. “We are very happy with the completion of this operation in a very competitive market. It is a high-quality asset in Plaza, which provides the fund with a solid and defensive distribution platform”, said Michael Reinmuth, Director of Savills in Spain.

Plaza has seen investments worth €140 million so far this year

This new sale, at a price of €701/m2, is the most significant in Plaza’s history in terms of an operation involving real estate assets only. Previously, higher prices per square metre have been paid in other transactions but only when they also included the purchase of companies, according to local sources in the sector.

With this latest deal for €19 million, Plaza has recorded investments from various operations amounting to €140 million so far this year, an amount that helps consolidate the position of the logistics platform in Zaragoza (…).

Original story: Heraldo.es (by V. M.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aragón Creates Logistics Group To Unify Sale Of 240 Ha

6 April 2017 – El Periódico de Aragón

Land covering 2,400,000 m2 (240 hectares) in total, a surface area that resembles the Zaragoza neighbourhood of Delicias. That is the volume of land that Aragón Plataforma Logística (APL), the new public company being created by the regional government, is going to sell. The objectives of the future company APL will be to unify the management, promotion and sale of assets that are currently owned by a variety of regional companies.

Specifically, it will group together three large industrial estates in Zaragoza (Plaza), Huesca (Plhus) and Teruel (Platea), as well as Zaragoza Expo Empresarial, la Sociedad para el Desarrollo de Calamocha (Sodecasa) and Plaza Desarrollos Logísticos (PDL, the property developer behind Caladero). With this supply of spaces, to which the Fraga platform (Plfraga) will likely be added soon, the region is looking to strengthen its position as the largest logistics market in the south of Europe.

APL, which should be constituted within the next few weeks through a decree, will be entirely owned by the regional government, specifically, the Corporación Empresarial Pública de Aragón, which will own 100%. The new management team at the Government of Aragón is seeking to optimise and streamline the operation of logistics, industrial and tertiary assets at all levels. (…).

The logistics sector accounts for 5.5% of the region’s GDP and has secured private investment amounting to more than €3,000 million since 2005 when the first phase of Plaza was launched. (…).

Original story: El Periódico de Aragón (by Jorge Heras Pastor)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: New Build House Prices In Zaragoza Will Rise By 3% In 2017

28 March 2017 – El Periódico de Aragón

The price per square metre of new housing in Zaragoza grew by 1% last year and is expected to rise by 3% on average in 2017. Those were the comments expressed yesterday by the CEO of the real estate consultancy CBRE, Miguel Ángel Gómez, in the Aragonese capital, during his presentation of the latest report about the evolution of the housing market in Aragón.

A moderate reactivation in terms of development activity and a recovery in demand meant that the positive trend in prices that began in 2015 continued in 2016. In this way, the average price per square metre of a new build home in Zaragoza amounted to €1,976/m2 in 2016. By district, Centro and Universidad were the areas that saw the highest price rises last year, increasing to €3,800/m2 and €3,150/m2, respectively, as a result of the release onto the market of several iconic projects.

Those price rises went hand in hand with a recovery in the rate of house sales, which rose by 14.7% in Aragón last year with respect to 2015. According to the latest data from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics, 10,700 operations were recorded in total.

One of the indicators that reflects the improvement in the behaviour of the new build residential market was the rate of sales. Whilst in 2015, it took 18 months to sell an entire development, now, 75% of new developments are being sold off-plan within the first six months.

Fewer homes are available

CBRE’s report identifies a downwards trend in the supply of available new build homes in the city, as a result of an increase in demand and only moderate development activity. In this regard, Parque Venecia, Miralbueno and Arrabal-Barrio de Jesús are the districts that have the greatest availability of new homes. Meanwhile, La Muela, Cuarte de Huerva and Puebla de Alfindén are the towns that have the most stock.

By contrast, there is a shortage of residential land in the central area, which led to the launch of several renovation projects in 2016. Nevertheless, CBRE thinks that those homes will not cover demand. On the other hand, the consultancy firm forecasts an increase in the number of transactions involving land in the area around Miguel Servet, Avenida Cataluña, Miralbueno, Rosales del Canal, Valdespartera and Arcosur this year. The price per square metre of land in Aragón amounted to around €600/m2 during 2016 and whereby exceeding the national average (€400/m2).

Original story: El Periódico de Aragón (by Alicia Gracia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bantierra Finalises Sale Of RE Assets Worth €320M

27 March 2017 – Cinco Días

Bantierra, comprising the former entities Cajalón and Multicaja, is finalising the sale of a batch of non-strategic real estate assets to the Spanish Association of Rural Savings Banks, in an operation that has an approximate volume of €320 million.

Sources at the credit cooperative, which is headquartered in Aragón, reported on Friday that the aforementioned sale will allow the entity to fully cover the needs resulting from the implementation of the Bank of Spain’s new regulations.

In this way, according to the sources, Bantierra will definitively reduce its exposure to the real estate sector, which has been weighing down heavily in recent years, in order to ensure the firm’s future viability.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aragón’s Logistics Sector Accounts For 5.5% The Region’s GDP

5 December 2016 – Inmodiario

So far during this legislature, the Government of Aragón has sold 500,000 m2 of land for logistics activities. The sector now employs around 40,000 people and accounts for 5.5% of the region’s GDP.

These figures were presented by the President of Aragón, Javier Lambán, during the VII Convention of ADEA-Aragón Directors. The forum noted that the Logistics Platform in Zaragoza is the largest in Spain and the fifth-largest in Europe and that the change in strategy adopted during this legislature is already generating results.

The new strategy is based on the creation of a new single brand “Aragón Logística”, involving the harmonisation of the supply of land from the various logistics platforms, which already account for 38% of Spain’s logistics space. It is also looking to consolidate Aragón’s relationships with all of its potential partners in the sector, which has resulted in improvements in the relationships with Cataluña, Navarra and Valencia.

On this basis, Aragón looks set to exceed all of its prior year export figures in 2016. During the first nine months of this year, Aragón exported goods with a value of €18,905 million to 164 countries, up by 2.1% compared with 2015 and up by almost 50% compared with ten years ago.

In terms of transport routes, 62% of goods were distributed by road, 16% by sea, 12% by rail and 10% by air. Aragón’s main clients include France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, as well as China and the USA.

The President of the region is committed to diversifying the economy, and examples are already in place, with logistics clusters involving a large variety of transport companies, distribution centres and value added activities. (…).

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake