ASG Homes Negotiates the Sale of 1,000 Rental Homes to Institutional Investors

19 June 2019 – Expansión

ASG Homes, the property development arm of the European manager ASG, is following in the footsteps of many of the major property developers in Spain by putting up for sale 1,000 rental homes.

The announcement comes in response to interest from institutional investors in acquiring and managing portfolios of rental homes, given the booming demand in the rental market.

Specifically, ASG Homes is negotiating the sale of 3 of its developments in San Sebastián, Madrid and Sevilla, which will be worth €200 million once finished, with investment funds, Socimis and family offices.

ASG Homes had planned to hold onto the properties and manage them itself but the strong interest from investors has resulted in a change of tack. In this way, the company is emulating the strategies of several listed property developers, such as Metrovacesa and Aedas Homes.

In total, ASG Homes has a landbank spanning 500,000 m2 with the capacity to build 5,000 homes distributed across Madrid, Alicante, Estepona, Marbella, Salamanca, Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia. It launched its business in Spain in 2013 and invests not only in the residential sector, but also in the hotel, shopping centre and office segments.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Property Developers are Building 18,000+ Homes in Andalucía

18 March 2019 – ABC Sevilla

The real estate market in Andalucía is booming, and in a good way. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Development, 12,363 permits were granted in 2017 for the construction of new homes, compared with the record before the burst of the bubble of 156,483 in 2006. Construction activity is responding to real demand in the market and is featuring some new players that are planning to build thousands of new homes in the region over the next three years.

Two markets

The investors, which include international funds and local property developers alike, differentiate between two markets – the eastern (Málaga) and the western (Sevilla) – the former accounts for 70% of new developments.

Aedas Homes currently leads the regional ranking by number of homes planned and investments forecast in the autonomous region. The property developer controlled by the US fund Castlelake plans to invest almost €1.3 billion in the region in the construction of 5,150 homes, primarily in the provinces of Málaga (2,600 homes) and Sevilla (1,800).

It is followed by Neinor Homes, which owns a portfolio of 29 plots for the construction of 3,628 homes; Metrovacesa, which has 2,300 homes in its Andalucían portfolio at various stages of completion; and Vía Célere, controlled by another US fund Värde, which is building 1,975 homes across 21 developments.

Meanwhile, ASG Homes has buildable land in Andalucía for the construction of 1,700 homes; Habitat Inmobiliaria, owned by the US investment fund Bain Capital, is working on the construction of 15 developments containing 1,621 homes; and the Sevillan property developer Insur is working on 17 residential developments comprising 1,136 homes at various stages of completion.

Finally, Q21 Real Estate, the property developer created from the alliance of the US fund Baupost and the owners of the former Pinar group, is also constructing almost 500 homes in the region, bringing the total number of homes under construction to more than 18,000.

Original story: ABC Sevilla (by Encarna Freire)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ASG Homes Sets its Sights for Growth on Andalucía

12 March 2019 – ABC Sevilla

ASG Homes, which manages and develops projects for the British fund ActivumSG, owns a stock of land on which it could build 5,000 homes in Spain, making it the seventh or eighth largest property developer in the country by land bank. It largest regional presence is in Andalucía, where it owns land on which to build 1,700 homes, with Sevilla and, specifically, Sevilla Este, accounting for the majority of those plots, where it has capacity for 1,200 homes.

According to the CEO of ASG Homes, Víctor Pérez Arias (pictured above), his firm currently has 600 homes under construction in Sevilla, Estepona and Marbella, whose prices will range between €140,000 and €300,000. Moreover, it is also looking to repeat its activity in Sevilla and so is searching for land to purchase along the coasts of Málaga, Cádiz and Huelva. It is also interested in opening a hotel in Sevilla.

According to Pérez Arias, there is a shortage of buildable land across Spain, which is causing demand to exceed supply, and as such, prices to increase. The delays involved in processing building permits to convert developable land into finalist land is not helping either. In some cases, rather than taking up to 6 months, as permitted by law, those procedures are taking up to 14 or 15 months.

In light of the high level of demand in the rental market, ASG Homes is starting to work on projects in the residential rental market. Besides homes, ASG also promotes shopping centres, student halls, hotels and serviced apartments.

Original story: ABC Sevilla (by María Jesús Pereira)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

ASG is on a Mission to Purchase Undeveloped Plots in Sevilla

5 March 2019 – Diario de Sevilla

Buildable land is extremely scarce in Sevilla and as such, the investment funds looking to build new homes in the Andalucían capital have limited options when it comes to sourcing plots. They are being forced to buy sites on the outskirts of the city whose development is blocked by any number of urban development obstacles or by a lack of basic infrastructure.

One of the most active funds in this regard is ASG Homes, the residential division of ASG in Spain, which wants to build 1,000 homes in Sevilla Este. It already has more than 500 units under construction, but in order to execute the rest of its plan, it needs planning permission to be unblocked on one of the many plots located in Higuerón Norte, San Nicolás, Buen Aire, most of Santa Bárbara, Torreblanca Este and Oeste, Palmas Altas and Pítamo Sur. Together, they have the capacity for the development of 25,000 new homes.

The CEO of ASG Homes, Víctor Pérez-Arias says that whilst his fund prefers to acquire developable plots, in the case of Sevilla, it is willing to purchase plots that still need to pass through an urbanisation process, given the lack of available alternatives.

He added that his fund is involved in several operations of this kind in Alicante, Madrid and the Costa del Sol, and that it is also interested in the rental home sector given the high demand in Sevilla and across Spain in general.

Original story: Diario de Sevilla (by Ana S. Ameneiro)

Summary/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

ASG Homes is Looking for Land in the North of Spain

24 October 2018 – Eje Prime

ASG Homes is raising its head and looking north in its growth plan for Spain. The property developer, a subsidiary of the German group ActivumSG, is analysing residential projects in cities such as Bilbao, San Sebastián, Santander and A Coruña. “We are opening ourselves up to other areas”, says Víctor Pérez Arias, CEO at ASG Homes speaking to Eje Prime. At the same time, ASG Homes is already thinking about launching its sixth fund next year, once it has fully invested the current one

The group’s fifth fund, which specialises in the residential segment in Spain and Germany, still has €200 million to invest, of the almost €500 million that it was created with. To date, the real estate manager has invested around €250 million through ASG Homes.

The objective of the company is to use up the funds during the first quarter of 2019. To this end, the property developer is accelerating its investments so that a dozen projects are ready to come out of the oven “in the very short term”.

Amongst the plans already underway, the firm is constructing and renovating buildings in Valencia, Sevilla, Alicante, Salamanca, Estepona (Málaga) and Alcalá de Henares. In total, a portfolio of seven projects, to which an eighth will soon be added in Marbella.

With more than half a million m2 of land located all over Spain, ASG Homes has the capacity to build up to 5,000 homes, of which more than 2,000 units are already being marketed. Nevertheless, the manager aspires to double the size of that portfolio to 10,000 homes and, in this sense, the property developer is looking to the north of the country, and to Valladolid.

One of the reasons for this open-mindedness is the “uncertainty in terms of the timings” that the fund is finding in several of the provincial capitals where it already has a presence, says Pérez Arias. “There are some cities where we have decided to not invest again because of the problems imposed by some of the public administrations”, complained the director.

The search for opportunities in the north forms part of phase 3 of the fund, as described by the company, which also involves scanning the first rings and outskirts of two of the large capitals where it already has a presence, Madrid and Sevilla. Barcelona does not form part of the roadmap for ASG Homes, which is only investing in large volume projects, for the time being. “We back developments with a minimum of 200 homes”, says Pérez Arias, who forecasts that the last key for the twenty or so developments that his firm is planning to build with its current vehicle will be handed over in 2022 (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ASG Invests €25M in the First Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid

10 October 2018 – Eje Prime

ASG Homes is converting one of its assets in Madrid. The real estate group is investing €25 million to transform one of its municipal office buildings into a four-star hotel. For this operation, the group has joined forces with the Hard Rock International brand, which has a presence in more than 74 countries and which is now debuting with its first hotel in the Spanish capital.

The hotel will have 159 rooms and will be located in the Madrilenian district of Atocha, opposite the Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum. ASG is also planning to build an urban garden on the rooftop.

For Brian Betel, Managing Partner of  ASG Iberia Advisors, “this office building has a lot more potential as a hotel thanks to its proximity to the main tourist attractions in Madrid, as well as to the business centre and shopping district”.

ActivumSG in Spain (which operates under the brand ASG in the country) acquired the asset in 2015 for €15 million. The former owner of the building, which has a surface area of 7,800 m2, was the multinational AEW Europe.

The objective of the operation involves unblocking the asset for the group’s investors and taking a step forward in the company’s growth strategy in Spain. Similarly, sources at ASG Iberia indicate that they have opted for Hard Rock due to its “international reach”.

At present, the portfolio of ActivumSG in Spain comprises a dozen assets, with the exception of two, which were divested in recent months, located on c/Manuel de Falla and on c/Santa Leonor, both in Madrid. Even so, the operation that caused the fund to jump to the fore was its purchase of the Mercado de Fuencarral.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

M&G Teams Up With Quadratia to Invest in Residential Assets on the Alicante Coast

30 July 2018 – Alicante Plaza

The strategy being pursued by the investment funds to create joint ventures with local property developers through which to star in the resurgence of the real estate sector has reached a new high in the province of Alicante with the alliance between the British fund M&G Investments, a subsidiary of the insurance company Prudential, and the Alicante-based consultancy Quadratia. After starring in one of the largest land purchase operations in the province, with the acquisition from Sareb of the debt associated with the PP-27 of La Vila at the end of last year, M&G and Quadratia have decided to take their partnership to the next level. To this end, they have formed a joint venture company to invest in unique projects on the Costa Blanca and other points along the Spanish Coast: Quadratia Investment Partners (QIP)

“Following the successful launch of the Allonbay Village project in the El Torres de la Vial cove”, explain sources at the company, the British fund has teamed up with the Alicante-based property developer “through its fund DOF IV to back the development of unique residential projects along the Mediterranean coast”. The objective of Quadratia Investment Partners is “to acquire urban land and projects under construction, primarily in the hands of financial institutions in complex situations”, to manage that land and develop unique residential properties close to the sea. The target audience of these projects will be domestic and overseas buyers looking for second homes.

Following its constitution, QIP has already acquired another plot in the La Tellerola sector of La Vila on the beachfront, taking advantage of its strong presence in this municipality, and it has entered the market in Calp, with the purchase of two plots, one of which is going to be used for the development of a building with 100 homes, standing more than 25 storeys high, with views over the Peñón de Ifach and Playa del Arenal. But the new investment group’s interest is not limited to the Costa Blanca. According to the same sources, the firm is looking for land with the same characteristics on the coast of Valencia, and is also already closing several operations on the Costa del Sol, a market that is similar to that of Alicante but which “warmed up” first, according to their explanations.

According to the sources, the consultancy firm Quadratia has specialised in working as a local expert for various investment funds (on behalf of which it undertakes the integral management of projects), including Kronos Homes and ASG Homes, which have also starred in several operations in the sector in the province. In this case, however, the partnership with M&G Investments goes further: the Alicante firm has acquired a “significant” stake in the share capital of the new group, and the CEO of Quadratia, Enrique Gallego, has been appointed to the new group’s Board of Directors. Moreover, the former director of Mediterranean, Pablo Lucas Guerrero, was recently appointed as an independent director, to support this same investment strategy on the Costa del Sol, where the group has now completed its first investment in the Torrox-Nerja area: a 131-home development with panoramic views over the sea (…).

With more than GBP 240 billion under management, M&G is the investment fund management company of the Prudential plc insurance group, listed on the London Stock Exchange and member of the FTSE 100, with more than 160 years in the insurance, investment and loan businesses. In terms of Quadratia, it is led by the second generation of Grupo Alicante Urbana. Founded in 2014, it makes contact with investment funds interested in the residential sector in the province of Alicante and provides them with a comprehensive range of legal services (…).

Original story: Alicante Plaza (by David Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ASG to Invest €30M+ in Luxury Residential Project in Salamanca

9 April 2018 – Inmodiario

ASG Homes has started to build Residencial España, an exclusive residential development containing 24 luxury homes located in the heart of Salamanca, in whose construction it is going to invest more than €30 million.

Following the demolition of the iconic Edificio España, ASG Homes is breathing new life into the plot overlooking the central Plaza de España to build what is going to be the most exclusive residential complex in Salamanca. A total of 24 luxury homes, all with a storeroom and 2 parking spaces included, will comprise 2-, 3- or 4-bedrooms with surface areas ranging from 100 m2 to 260 m2 for the largest penthouses, which will also have terraces spanning up to 75m2.

The development, which has been designed by the Architecture Studio owned by Chus Manzanares, will be equipped with the highest quality finishes and the latest home automation technology. Thus, it will offer owners the possibility of controlling their homes from a distance using their smartphones (…).

Homes supplied by 100% renewable energy

Residential España is also going to be the first development in the city to be supplied with 100% renewable energy through vertical geothermal energy, with heat pumps and PEX tubes to supply water and heating, obtaining high energy yields from its energy sources through a new system that uses the heat from the earth to warm homes. The system will use the heat source that is generated below the surface of the Earth and direct it to the building, whereby resolving 100% of the heating and hot water needs.

Similarly, Residential España will be revered for its high-quality common areas, which will include a 150 m2 spa-gym with a heated indoor pool on the ground floor, as well as a sensory shower, sauna and steam room and a fully-equipped gym (…).

Original story: Inmodiario 

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