21 December 2018 – Eje Prime
Habitat is also going Christmas shopping. The property developer, in which Bain Capital holds a stake, is going to complete the acquisition of four plots of land next week, with a combined investment of €14 million, according to a statement from José Carlos Saz (pictured below), the CEO of the company, speaking to Eje Prime.
With these transactions, the company is planning to end the year with €127 million of investment in the acquisition of buildable land for the construction of 2,800 homes. “We have exceeded the forecasts that we announced in October”, said the Executive, who also added that the company has focused its efforts beyond “the areas where everyone else is building, such as the Costa del Sol, Madrid and Levante”, especially during the final stage of the year.
Proof of that includes two of its latest land purchases: one in Sevilla, announced yesterday and involving the acquisition of two plots, and the other in Oviedo, which has resulted in the company’s debut in Asturias. “We have no predilection for any city or region in particular, rather we expand to wherever there is demand and we can generate returns on our investment”, said the director.
Rigour and realism are the two factors that are governing this new phase for the property developer, which starred in Spain’s second largest bankruptcy proceeding in 2008. “The arrival of Bain Capital has represented a critical boost for the re-launch of the company”, confessed Saz. In fact, the company aims to invest €500 million in the purchase of land across the country between now and 2021.
Despite the property developer’s ambitious plans, its CEO clarified that its objectives do not include “becoming one of the largest firms” or being the company that sells the most homes. In this sense, the executive confirmed that “under no circumstances”, does his firm want to return to having a workforce of 900 workers, like it did with the first Habitat. For Saz, the ideal team would comprise around 130 people, 77 of which have already been recruited during 2018.
Similarly, expansion into Portugal does not form one of the company’s objectives either. In fact, Habitat has opted for a policy of divesting the assets located overseas that it inherited from its first phase.
For José Carlos Saz, the major challenges facing the property developer sector at the moment are the lack of buildable land, the increase in construction costs and the need to finish professionalising and standardising the industry (…).
By the end of 2018, Habitat’s land portfolio will comprise a surface area of 1.1 million m2, with capacity for the construction of 10,000 homes. Currently, the company has 33 developments under construction, corresponding to 3,000 homes in total. Of those, 800 units are in the construction phase and the rest are in the planning phase. This year, the company has started to market 1,700 homes and has handed over 270 residential assets distributed across three developments.
Original story: Eje Prime (by Berta Seijo)
Translation: Carmel Drake