Don Piso now has 120 Branches Following Openings in Madrid, Andalucía & the Canary Islands

2 November 2018 – Eje Prime

DonPiso is strengthening its position in the growth markets. The Spanish real estate company is going to open five new branches in Spain to take its total network to 120 premises before the end of the year. “We are finalising openings in Madrid capital, Leganés, Sevilla, Las Palmas and Tenerife”, explained Emiliano Bermúdez, General Deputy Director at DonPiso, speaking to Eje Prime.

The director highlighted that Madrid, Andalucía and the Canary Islands are “growth markets, where we would like to expand our presence”. In addition to those three regions, DonPiso is accelerating its growth in Valencia and Málaga, where it is working to be able to open new branches soon.

The group, which has a large presence in Barcelona, is trying to expand its brand beyond Spain’s two major cities. In this sense, the company is strengthening its position in Valencia and the Balearic Islands, where the business is now consolidating.

Moreover, the company is working to open new markets in the north of Spain. “We have opened a development centre in the País Vasco and Galicia to grow there in 2019”, explained the director.

Growth of more than 20% with 3,600 homes brokered  

“This year is going well, in line with the market” said Bermúdez. “We expect to achieve growth in our operations of between 20% and 25%”, said the executive, who believes that DonPiso will end 2018 with more than 3,600 homes brokered. In this regard, Bermúdez highlighted growth in the portfolio of real estate in the Canary Islands.

DonPiso is going to generate turnover of more than €30 million this year, after recording €29.2 million in 2017. “For the time being, we are growing at double-digit figures, although I do not think we will reach 20%, like in the case of the volume of operations”, acknowledges Bermúdez. “Now we are waiting to see what will happen at the end of the year because November tends to be a very good month”, said the director.

Nevertheless, Bermúdez is uneasy about the situation is certain parts of the country. “The position is polarising in the major capitals, which are evolving in different ways”, he explained.

All in all, Bermúdez warns that “Madrid and Barcelona are on the verge of topping out price wise if they haven’t done so already”. “The rise in prices is colliding with (very stable) salaries and we have noted a slow down in sales during the second half of the year”, said the director.

The General Deputy Director of DonPiso said that, nevertheless, although “there is a moderate dynamic in the market in Spain, we do not see any problems in the short term”. “In our case, we can assume the response to demand; moreover, we believe that the current difficulties involved with selling will allow us to take on more flats”, says Bermúdez.

In addition to selling and brokering, DonPiso is also promoting homes. This line of business is growing for the company with the new upwards cycle. Although it accounts for a small line on the income statement, the company has fourteen developments underway in Barcelona, which sum a total value of €45 million, as revealed by Eje Prime.

In this area, 2019 is expected to be a year during which we will “collect fruits through sales”, but also launch new developments, according to Bermúdez. “We will launch more projects in the Barcelona metropolitan area: we still have land in El Vallès, El Baix Llobregat and El Maresme”, said the director.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Puts 2 of Bankia’s Prime Branches Up For Sale

12 March 2018 – El Confidencial

Cerberus wants to take advantage of the appetite that exists for retail premises on Spain’s main high streets at the moment and to this end, has opened a process to sell two of Bankia’s star branches, located on Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona and at number 1 Calle Alcalá in Madrid, according to sources familiar with proceedings.

The operation has been instrumented through Haya Real Estate, the real estate servicer of Cerberus, which is in charge of managing the assets thanks to the contract signed with the entity, and has been organised as a closed process, rather than through the website, like it does with other assets when it puts them on the market.

In both cases, the bank chaired by José Ignacio Goirrigolzarri is planning to vacate the premises, so that the buyers can let them to a new tenant and whereby obtain more attractive offers.

The establishment located on Alcalá 1, a historical building dating back to the 19th century, has a surface area of 900 m2 spread over the ground floor and basement. The process, which was launched last month, has received interest from several parties looking to acquire the empty space.

On the plus side, it is located right next to the entrance of the well-known Puerta del Sol, and it is very close to Calle Preciados, the most expensive shopping street in Madrid, with an average rent of €3,180/m2, according to Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). On the downside, its shop window overlooking Calle Alcalá is very reduced.

Meanwhile, in Plaza de Cataluna, the 1,000 m2 branch that Bankia owns is homes to its headquarters in the Catalan capital. Haya already identified it at the end of last year as a serious candidate for sale, a decision that it took in the end boosted by the record retail investment figures.

According to figures from Savills-Aguirre Newman, investor interest in the commercial segment in 2017 allowed it to break records, reaching €3.5 billion, levels that the real estate consultancy expects will be maintained this year thanks to the strong outlook that still exists for tourism, amongst other factors.

Plaza de Catalunya is also one of the most commercial areas in Spain, with rents exceeding €1,200/m2, and with the added bonus that it is a genuine magnet for large fashion firms.

In fact, Uniqlo was on the verge of acquiring the 3,000 m2 that Fundación Montemadrid used to own next door to Bankia’s branch, a property that ended up being sold to Desigual to house its new flagship store. El Corte Inglés, Apple, Zara and Fnac are just some of the distinguished neighbours on this sought-after square.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Century 21 Analyses Inorganic Growth Opportunities

25 January 2018 – Expansión

Century 21, one of the largest networks of real estate brokers in Spain, wants to take advantage of the upward trend in the real estate cycle to grow in size, and so is analysing the purchase of regional operators and is even considering merging with one of the national chains.

“Spain is one of the countries in which the broker segment is most fragmented. We are starting to see a trend towards consolidation, which is both inevitable and necessary. We believe that an organised network, with defined working and behavioural criteria and self-regulation, are fundamental for the professionalization of the sector”, said Ricardo Sousa, CEO of Century 21 for Spain and Portugal, speaking to Expansión.

Sousa explains that, although his firm is not currently holding any advanced negotiations in this regard, the company is “mindful” of acquisition opportunities. “There are regional players that may enhance the synergies and allow for more rapid and consistent growth. That is something that appeals to us”, he said.


Sousa also opens the door to alliances with players that compete on the national level: “We are continuing with our organic strategy of value creation with the opening of new branches and through our network of collaborators. In parallel, we are watching the market to find the ideal partner”.

The director gives the example of the “success” of the merger between Century 21 Portugal and Fitamétrica – two of the largest networks in the Portuguese market – five years ago.

Century 21 arrived in Spain in 2010, at the height of the crisis in the real estate market. Eight years later and, with the residential sector now booming, the company has 70 branches and 1,150 collaborators.

The director considers that “there is too much optimism in the market”, which is being translated into certain “irrational” investment and purchase decisions. And he adds: “People need to be more careful because the cycles are becoming increasingly faster and shorter”. For Sousa, there is a clear need in Spain for new-build and renovated properties and there is a segment of the population, the middle and low-middle class, that has been “forgotten”.

Last year, the company recorded turnover of €15.7 million, which represented an increase of 37%. In 2018, Century 21 plans to increase its revenues by 27%, to €20 million. Barcelona will account for 30% of total turnover, a similar percentage to that recorded in the Canary Islands, whilst Madrid is expected to represent 25% of total revenues. The company plans to focus its growth efforts on peripheral areas in those regions.

Last year, Century 21 brokered 5,414 transactions, which represents an increase of 22% with an average value of €199,598, down by 6.3%.

In terms of Cataluña –the chain’s main region, which currently accounts for 41% of turnover -, Sousa acknowledges that the political tension led to a deceleration during the months following the referendum. “Many buyers delayed their purchase decisions in October and November, and decided to close those operations in December and January instead, meaning that those months have reached record highs”, he said.

In this regard, Sousa says that whilst the domestic market has been reactivated, international firms are leaving their investment operations on standby, for the time being.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mission Accomplished For 2017: DonPiso Opens Its 100th Branch In Spain

7 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Mission accomplished for DonPiso in 2017. The Spanish real estate agent has fulfilled the plans it set out for this year to have 100 branches and to sign 3,000 operations.

The company’s new delegation in Barberà del Vallès (Barcelona), plus the three franchises it signed recently in Madrid, Pamplona and Badalona, take the number of branches operating under the DonPiso brand into the three digits.

Of DonPiso’s establishments, 76 are franchises and 24 are owned premises. The real estate broker has increased its number of branches in Spain by 24, which has allowed it to grow its transactions statistics by 20%.

“Our objective this year was to grow in a sustained way and in line with the market. The real estate sector has shown itself to be very strong over the course of the year”, said the Deputy Director General of DonPiso, Emiliano Bermúdez.

Similarly, the company has explained that its most recent commitments respond to the “high dynamism” of the Madrilenian, Catalan and Navarran markets. In the first two cases, the investment is justified since the regions are the motors of the Spanish real estate market, whilst in the case of Pamplona, the supply and demand for housing in the city makes it one of the most stable markets in the country.

Founded in 1984, DonPiso is currently in the process of investing €22 million in the residential segment, to build fifteen developments and extend its network of branches to 120 in 2018.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cajamar Puts €200M Debt Portfolio Up For Sale

23 October 2017 – Expansión

Cajamar, the largest credit cooperative in Spain, with €39,943 million in assets, has placed a package of 1,450 delinquent loans on the market worth €200 million. The majority of the loans have been granted to small- and medium-sized companies and are secured by mortgage guarantees.

By autonomous region, 75% of the portfolio is located in the Community of Valencia and Andalucía; and the remaining 25% is situated in Murcia, Cataluña, the Community of Madrid and Castilla y León.

It is the first package of non-performing assets that Cajamar has put up for sale this year. In 2016, the entity completed two divestments of this kind. The first, closed during the second quarter, comprised doubtful and non-performing loans, as well as foreclosed properties, amounting to €524 million in total. The second, sold during the fourth quarter, contained non-performing loans only, amounting to €206 million.

As at 30 June, Cajamar held €3,885 million in doubtful loans and had a default rate of 12.38%. It had €3,776 million in real estate assets on its balance sheet. Of those, 50% are finished homes and 25% correspond to land. The group has prioritised sales through the retail channel, for which it enlists the support of its assets sales platform, Haya Real Estate.

The entity has just launched a commercial campaign that offers more than 4,000 properties with discounts of up to 40%. They include one-bedroom apartments in Alhaurín el Grande (Granada) with prices starting at €46,000.

Operating range

Cajamar has 1,090 branches across Spain, a workforce of 5,743 employees and 3.5 million clients. During the first half of the year, it earned €44.29 million. It holds an agreement in insurance with Generali, another in investment funds with Trea and it sells consumer loans from Cetelem.

Above all, the entity is dedicated to meeting the financing needs of small and medium-sized companies in the agri-food sector.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Lander)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander May ‘Free Up’ 560 Popular Branches For The Retail Market

4 October 2017 – Eje Prime

Santander is starting to decide how to reduce Popular’s stock of bank branches. The investment bank RBC Capital estimates that Santander should close around 560 branches to avoid duplication in the network, which would mean decreasing the total number of branches that the two entities own by 12%. If that is what ends up being carried out, Santander would free up 560 branches in prime and secondary locations for the retail sector.

In a report sent to its clients a few days ago, RBC’s analysts outline the reduction plan for Santander after meeting with directors of the entity during the second week of September, according to Expansión.

The company has set itself the objective of decreasing its branch network, which will generate a reduction in expenses of €500 million. But the cost of closing 12% of the branches would amount to €190 million, according to estimates from RBC.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Solvia Invests €8M In Two Logistics Projects In Cataluña

4 October 2017 – Eje Prime

Solvia is strengthening its position in the logistics sector. The real estate company and property developer, which is owned by Banco Sabadell, is going to construct two new logistics platforms in Cataluña. These properties, in which Solvia will invest €8 million, will house the headquarters of Nexans and Mediapost and will be located in Polinyà (Vallès Occidental).

Solvia will finance the turn-key operations and will ultimately own the two assets, which are going to be built on land already owned by the bank, according to Expansión. Nexans and Mediapost, specialising in cable solutions and promotional marketing, respectively, will sign long-term lease contracts with Solvia.

Whilst Nexans’ warehouse will have a surface area of 7,200 m2 and will be ready by the first quarter of 2018, Mediapost’s space will have a surface area of 13,900 m2 and will be handed over during the first quarter of 2019.

In addition to developing its logistics business, Solvia is also boosting its commercial footprint across Spain. Its strategic plan includes opening 180 franchised branches and 36 own offices all over the country between now and 2019.

In addition, as Eje Prime revealed, Solvia plans to open branches in prime locations. The company opened a flagship store in the Spanish capital, on Calle Alcalá (in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood) during the first half of this year and has just opened an iconic office in the heart of Barcelona, at number 16, Ronda Universidad, a stone’s throw from fashion operators such as Zara and Desigual, as well as Apple’s flagship store in the Catalan capital.

The most recent business line to be developed by Solvia is that of real estate brokerage, with companies and investors. The company is strengthening its advisory and brokerage divisions, whereby positioning itself to compete with the main consultancy firms that operate in Spain, such as CBRE, Aguirre Newman, Cushman&Wakefield and Knight Frank, for example.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Solvia Plans To Have 55 Estate Agent Branches By YE

7 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Solvia is fuelling its high street estate agent business. The servicer arm of Banco Sabadell plans to have more than fifty branches in Spain before the end of the year. The company already has 19 branches of its own spread all over the country and it plans to open around thirty franchises before the end of the year.

According to Cinco Días, Solvia’s strategic plan includes opening 180 franchises and 36 own offices all over Spain between now and 2019. The network of Solvia Stores sold 1,850 homes during the first seven months of the year, worth €233 million.

Moreover, as EjePrime revealed, Solvia plans to open offices in prime locations. The company opened a flagship store in the Spanish capital, on Calle Alcalá (in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood) during the first half of the year and has just opened an iconic establishment in the heart of Barcelona, at number 16 on Ronda Universidad, just a stone’s throw from fashion retailers such as Zara and Desigual, and the Apple flagship store in the Catalan capital.

In this way, Solvia is completing its strategy with a physical presence on the high street. For the time being, it has stores open in cities such as Sevilla, Madrid, Alicante, Oviedo, San Sebastián, Valencia, Marbella, Torrevieja and Badalona, amongst others.

The last line of business to be developed by Solvia is that of real estate broker on behalf of companies and investors. The company is boosting its advisory and broker team, in a move that will allow it to compete with the major consultancy firms in Spain, such as CBRE, Aguirre Newman, Cushman & Wakefield and Knight Frank, for example.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

DonPiso: Invests €22M In Residential & Plans To Have 120 Offices By 2018

29 June 2017 – Eje Prime

It is one of the survivors of the property crisis, but with differences. DonPiso, founded in 1984, has lived through several economic crises and has seen itself both grow and contract. It has changed hands several times and has reached a new economic cycle, in which, finally, the real estate business seems to be getting a break. (…) It plans to have 120 offices operational this year and invest more than €22 million on the construction of around fifteen residential developments, as Emiliano Bermúdez, Deputy General Manager of DonPiso, explained to EjePrime.

DonPiso was one of the first real estate agencies to be founded in Spain, along with Grupasa, although it was not until 1997, that it began its expansion through franchises, achieving penetration across the whole of the Spanish market. Its mixed model, based on intercalating the opening of own offices with franchises, allowed it to leave Barcelona and begin expanding across the national market. “The results broke all expectations”, recalls Bermúdez.

In 2001, DonPiso was acquired by Ferrovial and, in 2006, it changed hands once again, on this occasion to be controlled by the real estate group Habitat. It was then, when the firm had a network of almost 400 offices, that the economic crisis hit its business, forcing Habitat into creditor bankruptcy and, whereby, leaving DonPiso in a delicate situation.

“Luis Pérez, José Antonio Pérez, Miguel Ángel Vázquez and I (Emiliano Bermúdez) joined forces and took control of DonPiso for €1.8 million”, said the Director. The distribution network was cut to fifty offices.

“We now find ourselves in a new era for DonPiso” – added the Director, “We have been born again and we have managed to weave a network of 90 establishments”. “The company is smaller, but it is not unreasonable to think that, at some point, we could be as large as we were ten years ago”, said the Director.


In this way, DonPiso has set itself some ambitious objectives for the next few years. According to the company, the optimal outcome in 2017 would be to reach a network of 115 operational offices across Spain, which would mean opening 25 more in the next six months. Bermúdez sees that as “more than feasible, thanks to the pace that we are enjoying”.

Besides second-hand homes, the company’s plans also include a sizeable business relating to the new home segment, with its residential developments. It is currently marketing seven developments. “This year, we will build six more, at least, depending on the buildable land that we are able to access and in 2018, we plan to build between 5 and 6 additional developments”, added the Director.

According to DonPiso, each development requires an initial investment of €1.5 million. Then, according to the Director, you have to add the other expenses “which tend to be financed through debt and partners joining the project”. “The average DonPiso development sees around fifty homes coming onto the market”, said Bermúdez.

Thanks to all of these plans, DonPiso has also set itself the objective of increasing its turnover. In 2016, the company sold €309.6 million in terms of production, with 2,048 units and the business margin was €1.55 million. “The forecast for this year is optimistic: sales of more than 2,500 units and a growth margin of 25%”, said Bermúdez.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Botín’s Plan For Popular: Get Rid Of Half Its Property

9 June 2017 – Voz Pópuli 

On Wednesday, the President of Banco Santander, Ana Botín (pictured above), said that the purchase of Banco Popular, announced this week, will give “certainty and stability” to the Spanish financial sector. Moreover, she denied reports that she had been put under any kind of pressure to intervene in the process.

At a press conference to explain the operation, which was signed at 7:00 on Wednesday morning, Ana Botín said that the operation was “the best option for providing continuity to such an important entity in the sector”, such as Popular.

She also highlighted that it is the first time that an entity has been intervened, due to a European mandate, without the contribution of any public money and she made it clear that “taxpayers will not incur any costs”.

The process was carried out through an auction, in which several entities reportedly submitted bids. Santander submitted its bid and it was accepted, explained the entity, before adding that it does not have any information about the other offers made.

Ana Botín sought to reassure Popular’s customers and employees, reminding them that Santander “has experience in this kind of operation”.


She said that the integration process “will take time” and that meanwhile, Popular’s customers do not have anything to worry about, because “nothing will change for them”. They will continue to be served by the same people in the same branches.

According to the President, the merger of the two banks will be good “for Spain and for Europe, and will contribute to the growth of the Spanish economy”.

She also explained that the entity will undertake a €7,000 million capital increase in a month’s time and will recognise provisions amounting to €7,900 million, of which €7,200 million will be allocated to the real estate sector, which will see its asset coverage ratio rise from 45% to 67%.

Santander’s intention is to get rid of, at least, half of Popular’s real estate assets in 18 months.

The head of Santander España, Rami Abhoukair, took the opportunity to send a message of calm to all of Popular’s employees and customers and to reassure them that from now on they form part of Santander.

Meanwhile, Botín said that together Santander and Popular “will constitute the best bank in Spain” and both teams will do a great job.

Original story: Voz Pópuli

Translation: Carmel Drake