Commercial Premises on Calle Serrano & Paseo de Gracia are More Expensive Than Ever

28 March 2019 – Expansión

The “golden miles” of Madrid and Barcelona seem to be immune to the consumer crisis and the boom in e-commerce that is negatively affecting other high streets across the country, for the time being at least. In fact, business is booming on Calle Serrano and Paseo de Gracia, driven by demand from large international luxury brands, which are only willing to open their flagship stores on those two streets.

Recent arrivals on Calle Serrano include Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Bang & Olufsen. Meanwhile, the newest tenants on Paseo de Gracia include Moncler, Loro Piana (LVWH), Isabel Marant, Antropologie and Christian Louboutin.

Moreover, demand is driving up rents on those streets. In Barcelona, prices on the golden mile rose by between 5% and 6% in 2018, to €275/m2/month, according to Ascana. In Madrid, the price increase was less marked, up by just 1%, but nevertheless, the average price amounted to €284/m2/month, a new historical record.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Vbare Has Accumulated Investments of €34.2M Since its Stock Market Debut

5 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Vbare is continuing its commitment to Spain. In 2018, the company invested €15 million in the purchase of residential properties. In January 2019 alone, the Socimi spent another €5.5 million on the purchase of number 94 Calle Vallehermoso, taking the firm’s total investment since 2016, the year it made its stock market debut, to €34.2 million.

The company’s most talked about acquisitions include the purchase of a building comprising 27 homes and 2 commercial premises in Madrid for €5.2 million. That was its second largest investment to date, after its purchase in October of another property on Calle Luchana for €10.5 million.

The trend demonstrates Vbare’s commitment to prime assets. The Socimi has purchased 29 properties in 2019 compared with the 52 that it bought in 2015. Nevertheless, the price of those investments is 41.03% higher. In other words, the cost per property has risen from €75,000 per unit to almost €190,000.

Nevertheless, and despite the investments undertaken in 2018, the group reduced its net result during the first nine months of last year. Its profit amounted to €1.84 million, down by 15.6% compared with the same period in 2017, according to a statement issued by the company to the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

For this reason, the company now intends to increase its influence in Madrid, in terms of both square metres, as well as the number of units that it owns. In general terms, the group also plans to increase the occupancy rate of its buildings from 83% to 90%.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Forcadell: 12% More Office Space was Leased in Barcelona in 2017 (340,000 m2)

23 February 2018 – Eje Prime

In 2017, the office business in the Catalan capital recorded its highest volume of activity for ten years. According to the real estate consultancy Forcadell, 340,000 m2 of office space was leased in Barcelona in 2017, up by 12.2% compared to the previous year and also higher than the volume recorded in 2015, even though both years also saw record leasing figures. Moreover, the lack of space in the city of Barcelona has driven the office market to the outskirts of the city over the last 2 years – peripheral areas accounted for 20% of all of the space leased in 2017.

According to data from Forcadell, the availability rate of offices in Barcelona is continuing its downward trend, moving from 9.3% during the first half of 2017 to 8.8% by the end of 2017.

“That gradual decrease in product availability is due to the good leasing rate and the rapid absorption rate recorded over the last 2 years, and in particular during 2017”, say sources at the consultancy firm.

In terms of demand, the office market in Barcelona closed the second half of 2017 with an increase in demand of 9.2% with respect to the same period a year earlier. Demand for surface areas spanning more than 1,000 m2 was concentrated in the New Business Districts, specifically in 22@ and the Zona Franca, whilst demand for smaller surface areas rose in the prime and Central areas.

According to Forcadell, the average price per m2 of offices in Barcelona amounted to €13.5/m2/month at the end of 2017. During the second half of the year, office rents in the Catalan capital continued to show moderate increases in almost all areas, in line with the trend observed over the last 5 years. The average YoY variation in Barcelona amounted to 8%, identical to the increase recorded in H1 2017.

The consultancy firm’s outlook for the year ahead is that the office market in Barcelona will continue to attract interest from investors. “They are increasingly demanding a minimum rating category, given that that has become an essential requirement for companies moving into new work spaces”, say sources at Forcadell. Moreover, international funds specialising in the comprehensive renovation of office buildings have also shown interest in the Barcelona market, a trend that is expected to intensify during 2018 and 2019.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Portal del l’Ángel is Still Spain’s Most Expensive High Street: €280/m2/month

19 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The retail sector strengthened its market during 2017. During the second half of the year, it saw growth in the demand for rental properties of 14%, whilst the number of premises for sale rose by 9%. Of all of the high streets across the land, Portal de l’Ángel in Barcelona retained its position as the most expensive in Spain, with an average rent of €280/m2/month, ahead of the Madrilenian street Calle Preciados, where the average price of a retail premise stands at €270/m2/month.

Last year, €4 billion was invested in the Spanish retail sector, in contrast to the crisis that the same market is currently experiencing in the USA. The reasons for the growth in Spain include, amongst other aspects, the strong economic outlook, the boom in commercial tourism and the dynamism of retail trade, according to a report from the real estate consultancy firm Forcadell.

The upward trend, which has now seen two years of increases, is encouraging demand for retail assets. Nevertheless, in cities such as Barcelona, the supply of premises for rent remains at very low levels, above all on the first and second line, which has led to a reactivation of the third line, according to the report.

This lack of commercial space has resulted in a scarcity of prime assets in the Catalan capital. Some companies have already chosen to move to less central locations or to opt for other formats to invest in retail.

Between June and December, the restaurant sector was the segment that grew by the most in the commercial sector in Barcelona, followed by the fashion operator segment, which increased its commitment to flagship stores and showrooms, and the food retail market, which is immersed in a process of positioning itself close to its customers. The profile of investors in retail in the city are Socimis and foreign investment funds.

Investments in Barcelona  

One of the most noteworthy operations closed during the second half of 2017 in Barcelona saw the opening of Uniqlo’s flagship store on Passeig de Gràcia, the Japanese firm’s first store in Barcelona, which spans a surface area of 1,800 m2.

On the same street, Adolfo Domínguez is also going to open a mega-store measuring 682 m2, whilst nearby, on Rambla de Catalunya, the French lingerie brand Etam has inaugurated a store measuring 500 m2. Finally, Leroy Merlin is finalising the opening of an establishment measuring 2,450 m2 on Calle Fontanella, near Plaça de Catalunya, scheduled for before the spring.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Development: Average Urban Land Prices Rose by 7.8% in Q3

15 December 2017 – El Mundo

The average price of urban land per square metre rose by 7.8% in YoY terms during the third quarter of the year, to €162/m2, whereas it decreased by 2.6% with respect to the previous quarter, according to Land Price Statistics from the Ministry of Development.

In towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants, the average price of land per square metre rose by 5.6% in YoY terms, to reach €287.5/m2

With regards to those towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants, the highest average prices were recorded in the provinces of Madrid (€485.7/m2), Barcelona (€447.6/m2) and the Balearic Islands (€375.1), whilst the lowest prices were registered in Huesca (€48.4/m2), Cádiz (€115.3/m2) and León (€120/m2).

Similarly, the number of transactions completed during the third quarter amounted to 4,545, down by 24.2% compared to the number carried out during the second quarter of the year (5,998) and 2.4% fewer than the number performed during the third quarter of 2016, when 4,656 plots were sold.

By size, in towns with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, 366 transactions were recorded, up by 3.4% compared to the same quarter in 2016; and in towns with between 1,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, 857 plots were sold, up by 6.1% YoY.

In towns with between 5,000 and 10,000 inhabitants, 763 transactions were recorded (up by 14.2% YoY) and in those towns with a population of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, 1,591 transactions were signed (+0.8% YoY).

Finally, in those towns with a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants, the number of plots sold in the third quarter of 2017 was 968, up by 5.7% compared to the third quarter last year.

17.8% more space sold

The statistics from the Ministry of Development also show that the surface area sold until September amounted to 6.3 million m2, worth €765.1 million.

With respect to the third quarter of 2016, the YoY variations represent a 17.8% increase in terms of the surface area sold and an 18% decrease in the value of those plots.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Investment In Land Soars In Alicante & Valencia

18 October 2017 – El Mundo

It is nothing like the madness of the boom years, but the sale of land is resurging in Valencia and Alicante, in line with the recovery of the real estate sector. The prices being paid are still well below those of the boom years, but the market is shaking itself up nonetheless. There is still a lot of raw material on the balance sheets of the banks, which were forced to take on these illiquid assets from property developers following the outbreak of the crisis.

And it is those products that are gradually coming onto the market. Property is being reactivated and land is now needed again for construction, especially in the coastal areas, where it is starting to become scarce. The situation inland is another story, where there are enormous portfolios of land, waiting for projects that will take a long time to materialise, if they ever happen at all. There, demand for housing is much more limited than it is along the coast (…).

The latest figures from the Ministry of Development reflect this upturn in land transactions in the two provinces. During the first half of this year (the latest period for which data is available), 763 land operations were closed in Alicante and Valencia. During the same period in 2016, 634 sales were completed. In Valencia, for example, the number of transactions involving companies doubled during that period, from 80 operations to 158.

Meanwhile, in Alicante, where 375 land transactions were closed, activity returned to its level in 2008, just before the bubble burst. During the first half of that year, there were 340 operations involving the sale of land. During the second quarter of this year, 226 operations were closed in Alicante, a similar level to those seen during the era of the housing boom.

The surface area acquired through these operations also increased, up from 880,000 m2 of land purchased in Valencia and Alicante during the first half of 2016 to 1.6 million m2 during the same period this year. In other words, the volume of land bought and sold almost doubled.

The amount of money invested also soared during the first half of this year. In this way, investors injected €158 million into land in Valencia and Alicante during the six months to June 2017, up by 91% compared to the same period in 2016. If we look at the figures for the last twelve months, we see the spectacular growth of the market. Between July 2016 and June 2017, investment in land in the two provinces amounted to €277 million; whilst, during the 12 months immediately preceding that period, funds invested €173 million in land. In this way, investment rose by 60% between the two periods.

One of the factors that has allowed these investment levels to recover gradually is the decrease in the price of land, which seems to have bottomed out now, especially in the smallest municipalities where urban development pressure and demand for housing is lower (…).

The collapse of land prices, in general, catapulted operations, and the banks and Sareb were the star players, placing their best plots of land with local property developers that survived the crisis, as well as with large, new operators in the sector, which have now arrived in Alicante and Valencia, attracted by the pull of overseas demand and second homes for the domestic market (…).

According to the statistical series published by the Ministry of Development, urban land prices in Alicante peaked during the fourth quarter of 2006, at €528/m2, before dipping to their minimum level in the second quarter of 2014 (€100/m2). Now, land is being sold at around €134/m2 on average (19% cheaper than it was in June 2016). In Valencia, the current price is €145/m2 (down by 2.5% in YoY terms and compared to a peak of €391/m2 during the first quarter of 2007) (…).

One of the areas with the greatest real estate activity is the south of Alicante, specifically, the area around Orihuela Costa and Torrevieja, where almost all of the available urban land has now been sold, according to the latest report from Solvia Market View.

Original story: El Mundo (by F. D. G.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Idealista: Rental Prices Grew By 24% YoY In September

11 October 2017 – Eje Prime

Rental prices are continuing to climb in Spain. In September, the average price of rental homes rose by 24%, to reach €9.40/m2/month.

By contrast, in cumulative terms during the quarter, the index only rose by 0.5%, according to the real estate portal Idealista.

Eleven autonomous regions saw their residential rental price rises over the summer. The Canary Islands is the region where rental prices grew by the most (3.8%). It was followed by Madrid (3.7%) and Cataluña (3.1%). Meanwhile, the Balearic Islands was the region that saw the most significant decrease in rental prices during the last quarter (-5.9%). By provincial capital, Valencia recorded the highest rental price rise (6.1%), followed by Guadalajara (6%) and Sevilla (5.8%).

Barcelona is the Spanish city with the most expensive average absolute rental price, of €18.3/m2/month. It is followed by Madrid, at €15.3/m2/month, whilst Zamora and Ávila, which both have an average rental price of €4.5/m2/month, are the two cheapest cities in which to rent a home in the country.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: House Prices Rise By 21% & 16% In Barcelona & Madrid In 1 Year

2 October 2017 – El Mundo

The housing market is continuing its gradual recovery across the country, although there are notable differences in the pace of growth depending on the area. Whilst the YoY average growth in prices is contained at the national level (4%), in the cities of Barcelona and Madrid, prices are soaring, according to provisional data from the IMIE Local Markets index published by the appraisal company Tinsa for the third quarter 2017. Specifically, house prices rose by 20.6% in the Catalan capital and by 15.5% in Madrid.

Tinsa reports that the cost of finished homes (new and second-hand) reached an average of €1,258/m2 between the months of July and September, up by 4% compared to the same period in 2016. The cumulative decrease since the pre-crisis peaks has therefore reduced to 38.6%, on average.

“The market continues to be characterised by a recovery at different speeds, with an overall positive trend, driven by the good prospects for economic growth and with the cities of Barcelona and Madrid as the main drivers of the recovery. In recent months, we have seen how other large regional capitals, such as Valencia and Sevilla, have been experiencing a positive evolution in terms of prices, whereas Zaragoza has been falling somewhat behind”, said Jorge Ripoll, Director of Research Services at Tinsa.

Ripoll said that the situation is characterised by stabilisation in most markets, given that average prices in 13 regional capitals are now lower than they were in Q3 2016. “The number of cities in that situation has decreased with respect to the previous quarter, along with the intensity of the decreases, which are becoming more moderate in general”, he said.

The same outlook at the autonomous level

The Community of Madrid, with a YoY increase of 13.2% and Cataluña (12.5%), stand out as the regions where average house prices have risen by the most over the last 12 months, way ahead of Navarra (6.6%), Cantabria (5.7%) and the Canary Islands (3.3%). At the other end of the spectrum, Extremadura (-3.3%), Castilla-La Mancha (-3.2%) and Murcia (-2.8%) are the regions that lead the price decreases in YoY terms.

If we look at the evolution of prices in 2017 alone, the Community of Madrid recorded an increase of 10.7% between January and September, compared to 8.9% in Cataluña. The region of Madrid, with an average price of €2,004/m2, strengthened its position in Q3 as the most expensive autonomous region, ahead of País Vasco (€1,931/m2), which was also outperformed in Q3 by the Balearic Islands (€1,953/m2).

The regions that record the highest difference in prices with respect to the peaks of the boom are La Rioja, where the average value is 56.1% lower than 10 years ago, followed by Castilla-La Mancha (-53.7%) and Aragón (-49.8%). The regions where average prices have been the most contained since the crisis are the Balearic Islands (-28.4%), Galicia (-32%) and Extremadura (-32.2%).

Barcelona is the most expensive city

Barcelona saw its price gap with San Sebastián widen, as prices in the Catalan capital reached €3,184/m2 compared to €2,997/m2 in the Basque capital. Both still ranked ahead of Madrid (€2,488/m2) and Bilbao (€2,204/m2) (…).

Other capital cities that recorded significant rates of YoY growth in Q3 include Tarragona (13.4%), Vitoria (10.3%), Palma de Mallorca (9.3%), Pamplona (9.1%) and Málaga (7.6%).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Century 21: Buyers Aged 60+ Purchase 3 Out Of 4 Homes In Spain

27 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Senior citizens are responsible for reactivating the real estate sector in Spain. People aged over sixty years are accounting for three out of every four sale-and-purchase transaction in Spain. Madrid and Barcelona are the cities where they are undertaking the most operations, according to a study by the real estate company Century 21.

The main reason behind the real estate activity of this cohort is the departure of children from the family home, which is causing them to look for smaller properties, close to hospitals and retail areas. Specifically, the homes put up for sale by senior owners have an average surface area of 100 m2, with three or four bedrooms, and they are located in urban nuclei such as Madrid and Barcelona. Their average sales price exceeds €225,000.

According to this study, the cohort of people aged over sixty years is leading the sale and purchase of homes. Specifically, 75% of transactions are undertaken by married couples aged between 60 and 70 years old (…).

In terms of the type of transactions being undertaken by the older cohort, nine out of ten operations involve the sale of properties, with the main reason cited being the large size of their properties after their children leave home.

In the majority of cases, the sale of family homes implies the purchase of another property. Older buyers are primarily interested in acquiring homes with a surface area of 70 m2, with one or two bedrooms, which are located close to their families. The average purchase price ranges between €100,000 and €250,000.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Benahavís & La Moraleja Lead Ranking Of Spain’s Most Expensive Homes

4 September 2017 – Eje Prime

With an average price of €6 million per home, the two most exclusive urbanisations in Spain are getting more expensive by the year. La Zagaleta (pictured above) in Benahavís (Málaga) and La Moraleja in Madrid are the addresses with the most expensive homes for sale, according to a recent study performed by Idealista.

Specifically, owners in the Benahavís area of the Costa del Sol ask potential buyers for c. €5.6 million on average for a detached home (chalet). In the case of La Moraleja, the second most expensive area in Spain, the average price does not fall below €5 million. In third place is Calle del Castillo de Aysa, also in the Spanish capital, where properties cost around €5 million on average.

Below the €5 million mark are Avenida del Tibidabo in Barcelona (€4.83 million), Paseo de los Lagos in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), with an average price of €4.75 million and Avenida Miraflores in Madrid (€4.71 million).

The top 10 list is completed by Avenida Rocaferrera in the Catalan town of Sant Andreu de Llavaneres (€4.5 million), Paseo de Marquesa Viuda de Aldama (€4.4 million), Calle del Camino Ancho (€4.3 million) and Paseo de Conde Gaitanes (€3.8 million), all located in La Moraleja.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake