Insur to Build 136 More Homes on the Outskirts of Madrid

4 April 2019 – El Confidencial

The Sevillan based property developer Inmobiliaria del Sur (Insur) has reported that it is now working on the construction of 250 homes in the Community of Madrid.

In addition to the projects already announced in Boadilla del Monte and Valdemoro, the company chaired by Ricardo Pumar is now going to start work on a new development in Villaviciosa de Odón.

There, it is going to build two groups of 68 single-family homes, which will form part of a larger development known as Monte de la Villa, which will eventually contain 2,500 homes in total.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carlos Pizá)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Industrialised Construction: Vía Célere Follows in Aedas’s Footsteps

13 March 2019 – Merca2

Vía Célere is going to be the first property developer to build an industrialised development of multi-family homes. Aedas has already paved the way with the model, but in its case, the properties were single-family homes.

The company led by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado is going to launch its first project of this kind in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid) and expects to finish the work within seven months. That would represent a time saving of one year compared to the normal construction period for such a development, thanks to the employment of industrialised systems.

Specifically, whilst the underground work is going on at the site of the new development (which is expected to take three or four months), the 50 modules that will comprise the first 17-home building will be manufactured off-site, in parallel. It will take just three weeks to install those modules and the last two months will be spent joining the facilities and the façades so that the homes are ready for delivery at the end of month seven.

Moreover, the firm is planning to build a 26-home development using the same industrialised system, also in Boadilla. In the future, Vía Célere aims to industrialise 30% of its future developments.

Original story: Merca2 (by Carlos Lospitao)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Reuben Brothers Complete the Purchase of Santander’s HQ for €283M

14 January 2019 – El Periódico

Commercial Court number 9 in Madrid has decided that the best offer for the acquisition of Santander’s Ciudad Financiera, is the one presented by the brothers Simon and David Reuben through their investment arm in Spain, Sorlinda Investment, which bid a fixed amount of €283.73 million.

The administration responsible for the liquidation procedure of the company Marme Inversiones 2007, which is the owner of the Cantabrian bank’s headquarters, asked the Commercial Court to declare the offer presented by Sorlinda Investment as the winner after concluding that its bid was the best. In 2014, Marme Inversiones filed for creditors’ bankruptcy in light of its inability to repay the €1.575 billion loan that it had used to purchase the property from Banco Santander itself.

A few months ago, Banco Santander filed a series of allegations when it was announced that Sorlinda had won the bid. It questioned the entity in terms of the forecasts made in the liquidation plan, and because it considered that the offer submitted by the Reuben brothers did not fulfil the established requirements. The allegations were made by the banking group as creditor and offeror.

Nevertheless, the Commercial Court of Madrid explained that the execution of the liquidation plan, which regulates the procedures to be followed for the realisation of the assets, corresponds to the insolvency administration.

“The report presented explains the procedure followed for the selection of the bids submitted and the actions carried out by the insolvency administration, specifying that there are no justifications whatsoever to question it”, said the ruling, which states that the purpose of the plan is to obtain the greatest value from the asset for the benefit of all of the creditors.

In this way, despite the allegations presented by Ana Botín’s bank, the insolvency administration considers that, from an economic point of view, the offer presented by Sorlinda is the best for covering the loans of all of the creditors in the group.

The Reuben brothers, owners of other large assets

Reuben Brothers is a private investment group specialising in real estate development and debt financing. The company, created by two British brothers of Indian origin, is considered as one of the most exclusive in the world with several privileged properties in its portfolio, such as The Curtain and Members Club in Shoreditch, one of the most well-known luxury hotels in London, and Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club.

It is also the owner of the London Oxford airport in Kidlington, the Wellington Pub Company chain of clubs and the Italian marina Portosole Sanremo, amongst others.

Ana Botín’s entity agreed the sale of its head offices in Boadilla del Monte to Marme Inversiones 2007 on 12 September 2008 for €1.904 billion.

Nevertheless, Marme Inversiones 2007 filed for creditors’ bankruptcy in 2014, before the Court then initiated the coordinated liquidation plan in October 2015 (…).

Original story: El Periódico

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Reuben Brothers Edge Ahead in the Bid for Santander’s Ciudad Financiera

22 October 2018 – Eje Prime

The Reuben brothers are in pole position in the race for Santander’s Ciudad Financiera. Their company, Reuben Brothers, has submitted the best offer for the headquarters that the Botín family’s bank owns in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid).

The other two companies bidding in the operation, which is reportedly worth around €3 billion, are AGC and Banco Santander itself. Those three players are the only ones that submitted bids for the Ciudad Financiera on Friday, the deadline for the submission of final offers.

The sale of Santander’s headquarters is part of the insolvency proceedings in which the former owner of the asset, Marme Inversiones, is immersed. The brothers Simon and David Reuben, with the support of JP Morgan, have sent the highest bid to the court, followed by AGC and Santander, according to Vozpópuli.

The envelopes are going to be opened between Wednesday and Thursday of this week, nevertheless, the sale could still be postponed for a little longer by the courts. Not in vain, the Santander Group claims that it has the right of first refusal in the operation, which means that it could improve on the offer that emerges victorious from the bid this week. Neither the Reuben Brothers nor AGC consider that the bank holds this option; they argue that this matter was already resolved during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inmoglacier Acquires 8 Residential Plots in Arganda del Rey (Madrid)

12 April 2018 – Inmodiario

The project, Residencial Ciudad Futura, is going to be located in an important area in the centre of Arganda del Rey and will constitute one of the most significant new developments in the southeast of the Community of Madrid.

The total buildable surface area amounts to 102,220 m2, of which 6,706 m2 will be dedicated to commercial use and the remainder to residential use (homes to buy and rent).

The firm also announced the acquisition of land in Boadilla for 157 homes.

Grupo Inmoglacier, one of the most important property developers in the country, has completed the purchase of eight plots of residential land in Arganda del Rey, with an expected investment of €165 million. The plots have a surface area of 20,883 m2 and a total buildable surface area of 102,220 m2 of which 6,706 m2 will be dedicated to commercial use and the remainder to residential use, reaching a maximum density of 1,057 homes. Marketing of the project, which is going to include homes to buy and to let, is expected to begin in June this year.

Inmoglacier’s development is going to be located in the UE-124 Sphere “Central Area” of Arganda, opposite the Line 9 metro station. The project constitutes a new reference point for the population of Arganda, considered the capital of the southeast of Madrid, and will involve the creation of a completely new neighbourhood. The objective of Inmoglacier is to reactivate this urbanisation, which has been paralysed for years, turning the area into a unique space with high-quality designer buildings, in a green, family, pedestrian environment to meet demand in Arganda, Rivas-Vaciamadrid and the whole of the eastern area of Madrid.

This project represents the largest investment that Grupo Inmoglacier has made in a land purchase since its creation more than 35 years ago.

Boadilla del Monte

Inmoglacier has also announced the signing of a land purchase for the development of 157 homes in the west of the capital’s metropolitan area, in the Madrileñan town of Boadilla del Monte, specifically in the area known as “Cortijo Norte”. The total investment in that project will amount to €58.5 million.

The acquisition of land for new residential developments forms part of the group’s strategy to boost and maintain its organic growth thanks to the development of new projects, to which end it combines its extensive experience in promotion and robust financial stability.

Through these operations, the company is consolidating its position as one of the Spanish property developers with the largest land bank in Spain and one of the major players in the residential market in the Community of Madrid, with more than 2,000 homes currently under construction, 1,100 of which it plans to hand over in 2018. Inmoglacier is the fifth largest residential property developer in the country and the largest in Madrid by volume of homes handed over.

Ignacio Moreno, CEO of Inmoglacier said: “With our new partner, Cerberus, we have exponentially increased our investment capacity to develop a large residential supply in the country and that undoubtedly strengthens our position within the property development sector in Spain”.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Pinar & Baupost Agree Purchase of Levitt & Create New Property Developer Giant

19 February 2018 – El Confidencial

The most coveted property developer of recent times may change hands within the next few days. Levitt is holding advanced talks with Q21 Real Estate, a company created by the joining of forces between the former Grupo Pinar and the US fund Baupost, to close its sale this week and, in any case, before the end of February, according to several sources familiar with the operation.

The agreement will put an end to almost two years of to-ing and fro-ing with different interested parties in acquiring the property developer, a reference player in the market for premium homes, and will also create a new giant in the sector within the convulsive Spanish residential market.

As El Confidencial revealed, it was in 2016 when Levitt first started to listen to offers as a formula for dealing with its problem of generational succession, following the death of the group’s founder and alma mater, José María Bosch Aymerich, without any direct descendants.

Owner of one of the best land portfolios in Madrid, with land in locations such as Alcobendas, Las Rozas, Pozuelo and Boadilla del Monte, Levitt has proved tempting over the past two years for giants such as Goldman Sachs, Apollo, Värde and even the fund Baupost itself, which was on the verge of acquiring the property developer last year.

But on the home straight, those negotiations were called off due to differences over price, as well as over the continuity of the project and Levitt’s team. After closing that door, the fund found another window open through Q21, the property developer that has placed a better offer on the table than the one put forward by the US fund, and one that ensures the survival of Levitt.

Who is Q21?

Constituted in July 2014, Q21 Real Estate has a brand that is still new and a workforce of just 17 employees – both features have facilitated its agreement with Levitt, with which it shares its vision of high-quality developments.

Currently, Q21 has nine developments underway, mostly in the Community of Madrid (Boadilla del Monte, Valdebebas, Getafe and Mostoles), but also in Málaga and Valencia. Altogether, the firm is working on 1,500 homes.

With assets worth €6.3 million and net equity of €3.58 million in 2016 (the last year for which audited figures are available), Q21 generated revenues of €5.27 million, an operating profit of €3.5 million and a profit of €2.76 million.

Its numbers are well below those recorded by Levitt, whose turnover amounted to €62 million and net profit €6.3 million. Moreover, Levitt owns a portfolio worth €200 million, its brand is recognised in the market and its history spans almost fifty years in Spain after it arrived in 1971 to introduce the US residential urbanisation model.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ACS & Sacyr To Build Homes For Quabit In Madrid & Barcelona

31 May 2017 – El Mundo

Quabit Inmobiliaria has engaged Dragados (ACS) and Sacyr to build two new housing estates that it is developing in Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. The two projects will involve a total investment of €28.2 million, which will be financed by CaixaBank, according to a statement made by the company.

The large construction firms are starting to undertake residential projects for third parties once again. In this case, the new homes form part of the growth plan that Quabit is working on, with the aim of completing 4,000 homes in 2021.

Specifically, Dragados, the construction subsidiary of ACS, will be responsible for building a luxury housing development that Quabit is promoting in the Madrilenian town of Boadilla del Monte.

The project involves building 12 homes, with a useful surface area of 450 m2 each. All of the homes will have six bedrooms, a plot of land measuring 1,000 m2 and an individual heated pool. The development will require an investment of €11.1 million, of which €5.7 million corresponds to the cost of construction, and 75% of the properties are already sold. The houses are expected to be completed by September 2018.

Two blocks of flats in Barcelona

Meanwhile, in the Catalan capital, specifically, in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Quabit has engaged Sacyr to build two 7-storey housing blocks, in a single complex, with swimming pools and green spaces.

Specifically, the development, which will require an investment of €17 million, will contain 63 apartments of between two and four bedrooms, of which 75% have already been pre-sold. They are expected to be completed in October 2018. (…).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Foro Consultores: Land Prices Soar In Certain Pockets Of Madrid

13 February 2017 – El Confidencial

Land prices are soaring, house prices are rising, the buying frenzy is gaining momentum in some areas and in certain developments…Is history repeating itself? Are we witnessing the gestation of a new real estate bubble, albeit not on a national scale, but nevertheless in certain areas of the country. That is what seems to be happening in some neighbourhoods of Madrid. But, the answer, for the time being at least, seems unanimous: not yet.

Buildable land, in other words, land that is ready to be built upon, is running out and, across Spain, there is barely enough land left upon which to construct the 1.5 million homes estimated to be required to supply the market for the next 8.6 years. In Madrid, the land will run out in just over 6 years, according to the latest report from the appraisal company Tinsa. It identifies a worrying shortage of this type of land in areas of expansion to the north of Madrid, as well as in certain specific points of the metropolitan area, such as Pozuelo, Villanueva de la Cañada, Coslada and Rivas. In some of these areas, according to warnings from Tinsa, there will be no buildable land left within 12-24 months. This situation has, unsurprisingly, led to sharp increases in land prices in certain areas. And these rises are concerning the sector. Where are these first warning signs starting to sound?

Valdebebas

The large real estate development in the north of Madrid, which was launched at the height of the crisis and which has fallen victim to numerous legal setbacks, has become, in the eyes of the residential sector, a clear example of the extent to which land can become a very sought-after, as well as a very dangerous, asset.

“Without doubt, it is one of the areas where land prices have grown significantly. In 2014, they ranged between €750/m2 and €900/m2, whereas nowadays operations are being closed for more than €1,200/m2 and €1,300/m2, and the perception in the market is that land can no longer be sold for less than €1,400/m2”, explained Vicente Quintanilla, Director of the department for Investment and Land at Foro Consultores. According to this expert, “this trend generates significant tension in terms of the prices of new builds, which are being sold for €3,000/m2 in certain developments”. (…).

Pozuelo, Aravaca…

Another market where prices have also risen significantly is the municipality of Pozuelo de Alarcón, where Sareb sold land for around €1,000/m2. (…).

Indeed, the supply of land in Pozuelo has completely run out and families in need of homes are heading to other markets, such as in Boadilla del Monte, a cheaper alternative. According to data from Foro Consultores, the gap in prices is very significant. “To give you an idea, a family home or chalet in Boadilla costs around €450,000 on average, compared with between €700,000 and €1 million in Pozuelo.

Scarce and sought-after plots of land have also seen sharp price increases in recent years. “In El Camino de Barrial, in Aravaca, land prices have risen from €1,200/m2 in 2014 to around €2,000/m2 now. (….).

Boadilla del Monte, at boiling point

Boadilla del Monte is another one of the markets that has experienced a huge boom over the last two years. And there, it has not been due to the scarcity of land, but rather because of the strong demand from families who, as described above, cannot find homes in Pozuelo de Alarcón.

“For family home plots, land prices have increased from €400-500/m2 in 2014 to €800-900/m2 in2016, say Foro Consultores. (…).

Euphoria in Méndez Álvaro and rises in El Cañaveral

In the heart of the capital, where land is noteworthy due to its absence, land prices have increased considerably. In 2014, buyers paid €1,000/m2 and in a recent operation, whereby Adif and Renfe sold a plot to Vía Célere, the price paid amounted to around €1,900/m2. (…).

This increase in land prices is not exclusive to the area to the north of Madrid (…). The price of more affordable land and cheaper homes has also risen significantly in recent months.

Such is the case of El Cañaveral, in the east of Madrid, where “last summer, land prices amounted to around €360-370/m2 and now plots are going for €450-500/m2” (…).

Finally, all of the experts lament the fact that during the crisis, no agreement was reached to manage land, which has resulted in this significant shortage and in the inevitable increase in prices. They advocate greater agility in terms of urban planning, especially where the shortage is leading to a bottleneck in the market.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Homes Buys 4 Plots Of Land In Boadilla Del Monte

6 October 2016 – Real Estate Press

Neinor has purchased four plots of land in Boadilla del Monte, which have a combined buildable surface area of 15,000 sqm. The real estate company is going to construct 110 family homes on the plots.

The property developer has acquired the plots for €12 million and the homes will be aimed at clients with high purchasing power.

True to its vocation of being the largest residential property developer in Spain, Neinor Homes has been buying up buildable land in recent months in Madrid, Cataluña, País Vasco and Andalucía, where it plans to construct more than 800 homes. Neinor Homes avoids urban planning risk by always buying land for which planning permission has already been granted.

The development in Boadilla del Monte will go on the market for an estimated price of €3,000/sqm.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

AEB Sells Its HQ For €10M & Moves To Torrespacio

21 September 2016 – Expansión

The change in AEB’s headquarters represents the final milestone in the transformation and modernisation process that the banking association began a year ago.

The banking association AEB will move out of its traditional headquarters (two and a half floors in a property on the Madrilenian Calle Velázquez) to move, under a lease contract, to one of the floors in Torre Espacio. The skyscraper was constructed by the group OHL and was sold to the Philippine group Emperador at the end of last year. AEB will move at the end of this year or in January 2017.

The economic operation involves the sale of the property in which the headquarters of the banking association has been located since it was founded, for an amount that market sources estimate to be in the vicinity of €10 million. AEB occupies a surface area of 2,400 sqm in that building, therefore, the sales price will amount to around €4,200/sqm. The buyer is a mutual insurance company, whose name has not been revealed, and it will have to modernise the property before leasing it out given that, although it is in good condition, it does not meet the requirements of the new tenants.

In the new location, AEB will occupy most of the 30th floor of Torrespacio, one of the towers that comprises the most modern office complex in the north of Madrid. There, AEB will occupy a surface area of 1,000 sqm, which is significantly smaller that its current headquarters, because, amongst other reasons, the office there is going to be open-plan for all employees, with the exception of the Secretary General and the Chairman, José María Roldón. This move follows a wider trend (towards open-plan offices) in the sector, implemented by BBVA at its new headquarters and a format that Santander is also planning to adopt – it wants to extend the pilot scheme that it has been trialling in its compliance department until now across the whole of its Boadilla del Monte complex. The rest of the floor in Torrespacio, approximately one third of it, will be leased for other activities, completely unrelated to the sector. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Salvador Arancibia)

Translation: Carmel Drake