MAB’s Director Encourages Socimis to Generate Trust to Attract Investment

30 October 2018 – Finanzas

The Director General of the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), Jesús González Nieto (pictured below), has today encouraged the Socimis to “generate trust” through the transparency of their corporate governance arrangements to attract new investors and “to depend on the market for growth”.

González Nieto closed a conference about Socimis at the headquarters of the CEOE by underlining that generating trust is a task for everyone so that the real estate investment formula, which has been on the Spanish stock market for five years, can become increasingly well known.

In his opinion, the French and British markets have many more small investors in the real estate sector thanks to the structures that they have, which are similar to Socimis, and so he expects growth in the Spanish market if the entities can manage to provide good information about that possibility of stock market investment.

At the moment, 61 Socimis are trading on the MAB, whilst another five trade on the main stock market.

The Director General of Renta 4 Banco, Jesús Sánchez-Quiñones, has inaugurated a process for the concentration of Socimis over the coming years and has said that “they are avoiding stock market crashes”, due to their strong expectations and lower liquidity.

Representatives from eleven Socimis participated in the conference, ten on behalf of Socimis that are trading on the MAB and one that will make its debut soon: Park Rose Iberoamericana, which will start trading on 15 December.

The President of Park Rose, Luis Alberto Akel, explained that his firm has Chilean capital and is diversifying its real estate investments in Chile, the USA and Spain.

The CEO of Témpore, Nicolás Díaz Saldaña, warned that “there is a lot of international interest in the Spanish residential sector”, and, after reminding the audience that his Socimi arose as an “additional mechanism for the divestment of assets by Sareb”, he said that when that operation concludes, they will go “and look for new investors”.

Díaz Saldaña has indicated that he would like for Témpore to be listed on the main stock market and the Director General of GMP Property, José Luis García de la Calle, also noted that his firm has considered that option, but that the growing “demands” of the MAB are already broad enough, without having to implement audit and remuneration committees.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Castellana Properties, Alfonso Brunet said, “We are getting ready to comply with the requirements of the main stock market”.

The CEO of Vitruvio, Joaquín López-Chicheri, highlighted that “the Socimis allow us to diversify risk” and to be present in the four segments (residential, commercial, offices and logistics), whilst other participants in the conference indicated that they prefer to focus on a niche market.

In this way, José Nistal, from the Socimi Almagro, explained its specialisation in the purchase and rental of flats for the elderly, where the tenants have an average age of 84.3 years.

The latest Socimi to join the MAB, Azaria, in September, focuses exclusively on the long-term, stable, rental of offices and its only asset, for the time being, is the headquarters of El Páis, which is leased until 2033, explained its manager, Teodoro Díez.

Sergi Mirapeix, from Tander, explained that his firm only invests in commercial premises in the most central areas of cities (currently, it is present in four: Barcelona, Santander, Bilbao and San Sebastián) and Jorge González, the representative of the Socimi Asturias, has indicated that its sole objective is to focus on large retail parks.

Josep Turró, from Barcino, said that his firm is going to seek to diversify as much as possible, by “adaptating to demand”, and Fabrizio Agrimi, from Vbare Iberian, said that his Socimi is committed to “added value, without property developer risk”.

Original story: Finanzas 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Housing Prices Break Records in 16 Regions… 11 are on the Coast

19 August 2018

The increase in the price of housing has been especially pronounced in the Spanish archipelagos.

The real estate sector is already beginning to show signs of heating up on some levels. Many indicators are still below those registered during the real estate boom, but others are already reaching record highs, and not only in Madrid and Barcelona.

In fact, of the 16 localities and municipalities that are already reaching new record highs, 11 are outside of these cities and on the coast.

Sant Just Desvern (Catalonia); Retiro, Salamanca, Centro and Chamberí (Community of Madrid); Benhavis (Andalusia); Calviá, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, San José and Santa Eulalia del Rio (Balearic Islands); Gran Alacant (Comunidad Valenciana) and Adeje, Arona, Granadilla de Abona and San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Canary Islands) are the areas where prices have already exceeded the records set during the pre-crisis real estate boom, according to data published by Idealista.

The residential market on the Spanish coast is experiencing a gradual recovery, but there are already cities that have returned to pre-crisis levels. The locations that first began to stabilise after that period are already demonstrating intense growth in prices and new housing construction activity.

However, there are also markets that are still showing signs of the bursting of the bubble, which can be seen in the oversupply of that time and the current weak demand, as Tinsa points out in its report on the Spanish residential market on the coast.

In one year, the areas that were in a situation of moderate adjustment have been reduced by half, from 27.6% to 11.2%. On the other hand, 36.5% of provinces and municipalities near the coast already are in the process of “clear recovery.”

Regarding the trend in prices, statistics from bank appraisals in the first quarter of 2018 reflect positive year-on-year growth in 104 of the 147 coastal municipalities that have available data, compared to 84 that showed positive growth in last year’s report.

Algeciras, Barbate, Cantabria and Asturias: the areas where the recovery is taking the longest to appear

The main signs of a recovery in the market already occurred three years ago, but 2018 has been a year for setting new records, with prices reaching highs in many areas, particularly in the Spanish archipelagos.

There are also other areas, such as the Costa del Sol, the north and south of the provinces of Alicante, the Maresme and around Barcelona. In recent months, some markets have begun to awaken to mainly national demand, where there have been signs of improvement.

On the other hand Algeciras, Barbate, Cantabria and Asturias are the areas where this recovery is taking the longest to arrive.

Need for new housing

The stock of new housing that remained after the outbreak of the crisis also beginning to be absorbed. The stock is at an average level in 47.7% of the areas, although in half of those the supply could be absorbed in the short term, according to Tinsa.

Among the locations where it is practically non-existent (19% of the areas), Ibiza stands out along with the Conil and Tarifa (Cádiz) coasts; Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and south of Gran Canaria, as well as the Basque coast.

It is natural that this has been accompanied by an upturn in the activities of developers. After years of almost total paralysis, where construction was conspicuously absent due to weak demand and overcapacity, developers once again began to increase their operations in specific enclaves of the Alicante coast and Costa del Sol.

The market has been recovering slowly. In half of the areas analysed (50.8%), Tinsa noted that the construction of new housing projects has begun, compared to 36.2% in last year’s report.

Original Story: Vox Populi – David Cabrera

Photo: Teresa García

Translation: Richard Turner


British Fund Buys Modoo Shopping Centre in Oviedo from Alpha Real Capital

22 January 2018 – Eje Prime

The shopping centre that Calatrava designed for the heart of the Palacio de Congresos in Oviedo has a buyer. Modoo, owned until now by Alpha Real Capital, has been acquired by a British investment fund. Created by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava, this complex is located in the Buenavista neighbourhood of the Asturian capital.

The sale and purchase negotiations have also resulted in the arrival of a new manager for Modoo in the form of Estabona Management, which has already announced its plans to renovate the shopping centre, as well as to add a cinema and include more spaces. The operation, led by Estabona, was signed on 31 December 2017, the last day of the period set to agree a sale, according to reports from La Nueva España.

Located in the upper area of Oviedo, inside the city’s Palacio de Congresos, the complex was acquired by Alpha Real Capital in 2014, when it purchased the property from the Dutch firm Multi Development.

Estabona, which already has a presence in Spain in the Albacete Imginalia shopping centre, has proposed a renovation plan for Modoo. The shopping centre has a surface area of 40,000 m2 and is home to renowned retailers such as Primark and El Corte Inglés. This will not be the first space restructuring that has been requested for the shopping centre, given that Alpha Real Estate and its former managers, JLL, tried to incorporate a cinema and make significant changes to the land in the past, but that construction project never got off the ground.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Sells Bal Hotel & Spa in Gijón to Grupo Artiem

27 December 2017 – Revista Hostel Pro

The 5-star Bal Hotel & Spa has 45 fully equipped rooms (doubles, junior suites and suites), as well as 4 meeting rooms, a restaurant, a piano bar, an extensive spa measuring 450 m2, a gym, 3 padel courts, a car park and a large garden area for events. It is located in Asturias, just 10 minutes from the city centre of Gijón.

The asset has been acquired by Grupo Artiem, which is also going to operate the property itself. Grupo Artiem, originally from Menorca, has a long history on its home island. It has recently started to operate hotels in the urban segment, incorporating the 4-star Artiem Madrid Hotel, with its 83 rooms, into the chain.

José Guillermo Díaz Montañés, CEO of Grupo Artiem, highlights: “The features of the property and its location in Asturias, a region that fits perfectly with our value proposition, make the Bal Hotel Spa Business & Leisure the perfect candidate for incorporating into Artiem Fresh People Hotels, given that our business philosophy is based on well-being, sustainability and people. The facilities and, above all, the team that we are incorporating into the Group will allow us to start to grow in the north of Spain and remain faithful to our philosophy and management model.

Íñigo Cumella, Hotel Broker and the person responsible for the operation, indicated: “this is a unique property in the area, both due to its quality as well as the variety of its services and facilities. On the other hand, its environment and location (just 10 minutes by car from both the beach and Gijón city centre) make it very attractive for leisure guests, as well as for the organisation of corporate meetings and the celebration of events. The completion of this operation once again highlights the significant investor interest in the hotel sector, where luxury assets such as the Bal Hotel & Spa are continuing to generate demand”.

Meanwhile, Inmaculada Ranera, Director General in España and Portugal added: “The month of December is proving to be particularly intense in terms of the closing of operations. We hope that this won’t be the last announcement of its kind before the end of 2017”.

Original story: Revista Hostel Pro 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Ortiz Puts its Socimi up for Sale with Assets Worth €150M

27 November 2017 – El Independiente

The Carpintero family, the majority shareholder of the Socimi Grupo Ortiz Properties, has put the company up for sale, just four months after it started trading on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). The sales prospectus has been in the offices of potential interested parties for several days now, according to intel gathered by El Independiente.

The company, which has real estate assets worth more than €150 million and a capitalisation of €74 million, owns 100,000 m2 of space for rent, with a 96% occupancy rate.

Most of the assets, equivalent to 97% of their value, are located in Madrid, and they generate aggregate net rental income of €6.9 million. The residual part of the portfolio is located in Asturias and Guadalajara.

The intention of the Carpintero family is to continue as a shareholder of the company, by holding onto around 30% of the share capital.

The company is led by Juan Antonio Carpintero (pictured above), President of Grupo Ortiz and Chairman of the Socimi’s Board of Directors, alongside his children María and Carlos Carpintero, Raúl Arce as the CEO of the construction company and Carlos Cuervo-Arango Martínez, a former director of Zeltia.

According to the company’s own reports, the market value of the assets owned by Grupo Ortiz Properties amounts to €150 million. Of those, its office buildings account for €67.1 million; its homes and apartments another €70.7 million; its warehouses €3.6 million; and its other premises and parking spaces €8.7 million.

In the documentation prepared for its debut on the stock market, Grupo Ortiz Properties described the nature of the property sector at the moment. “The real estate market is entering an attractive point in the cycle in light of the improvement being seen in the main macroeconomic indicators, such as consumer confidence, employment, interest rates, exports/imports, the industrial production index, the reactivation of the second-hand residential market – they are all signs of the economic recovery and of the start of a change in the cycle”.

The Socimi highlights that its “management strategy is based on long-term leases to solvent tenants (both economically and professionally) in order to ensure long-term sustainability and the ability to obtain an attractive return in exchange for the risk assumed”.

Original story: El Independiente (by Ana Antón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Seeks Approval From Creditor Banks To Buy Duro’s HQ In Madrid

17 November 2017 – El Comercio

Banco Sabadell has provided a solution to unblock the complex situation that Duro Felguera finds itself in. With its proposal to purchase the building that houses the Madrilenian headquarters of the Asturian group, the firm has a glimpse of the possibility of definitively unblocking the negotiations between the company and the creditor bank.

Duro has already approved the sale of the aforementioned property to Sabadell. Now the rest of the banking pool just needs to give its approval to the purchase of the building, for which the financial entity will pay between €30 million and €33 million. If this happens, according to sources familiar with the process, the operation could be signed as early as next week. Without further ado. Because time is running out for the Asturian engineering company.

From the sale of the Madrilenian building, Duro would record revenues of €10 million, a deposit that would serve as an emergency guarantee so that, in turn, the creditor banks could release the rest of the avals, amounting to up to €31 million. In this way, the Asturian group would be in a situation to start entering into contracts once again.

It is precisely the lack of avals that has forced the Asturian group to withdraw recently from four projects, with a combined total of €918 million: the Río Grande and Novo Tempo electricity generation centres in Brazil; the LNG terminal for Octopus LNG in Chile; and the hydrocarbon storage terminal for Vopak in Panama. On Tuesday, the company itself acknowledged in a statement presenting its results to the CNMV that “the risk is limiting (the winning of) new contracts and is making it hard to push ahead with projects in the portfolio”. In this way, it justified the losses recorded during the first nine months of the year, which amounted to €11.4 million.

Although it is still pending approval from the other creditors, Sabadell’s proposal for Duro’s Madrilenian building has won favour over the other offer, presented by Sandra Ortega, the eldest daughter of the founder of Inditex, who offered a higher amount: €38 million, but on the condition that the Asturian group remain in the property as the tenant for at least three years.

The option proposed by the financial entity, which operates under the brand Sabadell Herrero in Asturias, is more aligned with the interests of the engineering company, given that the group is also negotiating the sale of the two subsidiaries that work in the building in Madrid.

Although they acknowledge that it is still early days, the firm intends to divest Núcleo Comunicaciones, a division acquired in 2011, which specialises in the defence and air, maritime and environmental control; and Epicom, a firm that has 40 employees for which Duro paid €4.6 million in 2013 and which specialises in the development of security and defence software. Núcleo’s workforce comprises 170 professionals (…).

Leasing operation

In any case, both divisions may continue to occupy the building in Madrid for as long as they form part of Duro Felguer. According to the sources consulted, Sabadell intends to sign a leasing arrangement to allow the Asturian group to continue operating in the property (…).

Original story: El Comercio (by Susana Baquedano, O. Villa and C. Tuero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Catalan Socimi Quonia’s RE Assets Worth €72M, Up By 31%

19 April 2017 – Eje Prime

The Catalan Socimi Quonia said goodbye to 2016 with a good set of results. According to a statement by the group, the Socimi has seen the value of its real estate assets rise by 31% over the last two years, to €72 million.

Quonia said that, according to an appraisal performed by the consultancy firm Ernst & Young, the net book value of its assets has increased by 31% during that period. The group, which debuted on the MAB in July last year, closed 2016 with net financial debt amounting to €22.3 million. This year, the company plans to continue growing, taking advantage of all of the mechanisms offered to it by the MAB to increase its property portfolio.

The most recent asset acquired by Quonia, a vehicle that is managed externally by Rusiton XXI, a manager that specialises in real estate investments and which has robust financial experience, was a property located at number 60 on Passeig Joan de Borbó, in La Barceloneta, one of the most touristic areas of the Catalan capital, for €7 million.

Following that acquisition, Quonia’s portfolio now comprises six assets, located in Barcelona, Asturias and Sevilla. According to Quonia’s annual report, the Socimi is now getting ready to acquire new assets. The group’s objective involves “identifying strategic assets that respond to the economic sectors highlighted in its geographic investment space”.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sogepsa Has Sold 3 Ha Of Industrial Land For €1.8M In 2016

13 December 2016 –

This year, the Company for the Management and Promotion of Land in Asturias (‘La Sociedad de la Gestión y Promoción del Suelo de Asturias’ or Sogepsa) has sold almost three hectares of industrial land, spread over 22 plots of land, for which it has recorded revenues of €1.8 million. However, it has not sold any residential land.

This data has been provided by Belén Fernández, the Minister for Infrastructure and the President of Sogepsa, in her appearance at the budgetary meeting of the General Meeting of the Principality.

Fernández also said that the Principality currently has €92.8 million of avals with this company and that since 2013, it has disbursed loans amounting to almost €43 million.

Nevertheless, in response to questions from the Partido Popular MP José Agustín Cuervas-Mons, she said that the level of sales is a debate that has nothing to do with the future of this company.

In fact, she confirmed that, whatever happens with Sogepsa, the industrial and residential land that it has generated exists and has value, although it will be harder to sell it now than during the boom years.

The Minister also appeared convinced that the Bobes industrial estate in Siero, where construction has been suspended and whose debt caused Sogepsa to file for creditor “pre-bankruptcy” (preconcurso), may be sold, although she acknowledged that the site is not very attractive because it has not been finished yet and completion of the works will require an investment of several millions of euros.

Original story:

Translation: Carmel Drake

Trivago: Hotel Prices 30% Lower In Sept vs. Aug

19 September 2016 – El Economista

According to the tHPI study prepared by, hotel prices in Spain are 30% lower in September compared with August, with an average cost per night of €115, whilst the average in Europe amounts to €134.

The most expensive cities to spend the night in a hotel this month are Palma de Mallorca (€176), San Sebastián (€175), Barcelona (€168), Cádiz (€132) and Madrid (€117).

At the other extreme, Lleida, Lugo and Murcia (€60 each), Castellón (€62), Vigo (€67) and Teruel (€68) are the cheapest cities.

The Spanish destinations that have experienced the highest increases in average prices over the last year are: Mojácar, Roquetas de Mar, Zahara de los Atunes, Oropesa del Mar and Almuñecar, where prices have risen by 54.9%, 54.8%, 52.9%, 52.6% and 51.5%, respectively.

By autonomous region, the most expensive places to spend the night in September are the Balearic Islands and Cataluña, which cost €167 and €138 on average, respectively. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the cheapest regions are Galicia (€71), Murcia and Asturias (€73) and Aragón (€74). (…).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake