CBRE: Real Estate Investment in Cataluña Amounted to €2.25bn in 2018

4 March 2019 – Finanzas

Investment in the Catalan real estate sector registered a new record of €2.25 billion in 2018, up by 3.3% compared to 2017, boosted by the office sector, according to data from CBRE.

In fact, offices accounted for 42% (€947 million) of the region’s total investment volume in 2018, up by 25% YoY, as 388,000 m2 of office space was leased. It was followed by the hotel sector, where €422 million was invested, despite a YoY reduction of 39%.

The logistics, retail and residential sectors accounted for the rest of the investment figure, amounting to €289 million, €252 million and €113 million, respectively.

59% of Cataluña’s real estate investment came from overseas, in line with previous years, primarily from the USA (40%), UK (17%), the Middle East-Asia Pacific (16%) and France (14%).

Star operations included Blackstone’s purchase of Edificio Planeta for more than €200 million; Tritax Big Box’s acquisition of the VGP Park Mango for €150 million; and the purchase of the NH Collection Gran Hotel Calderón for €96.9 million.

Original story: Finanzas

Summary/Translation: Carmel Drake

Fotocasa: Residential Rental Yields Fell to 5.4% in January

26 January 2019 – El Economista

Residential yields in Spain fell by 7% in January 2019 with respect to the same month a year earlier to reach 5.4%, according to a report from Fotocasa.

The data obtained from the prices of house sales and rentals during the month of January show that acquiring a property to put it up for rent was “a bit more profitable” in 2018 than in 2019, according to Fotocasa.

The Head of Research at the real estate portal, Beatriz Toribio, explained that “this slight decrease in yields stands out because it is the first recorded in the month of January for the last 10 years. It is explained by the lower rate of growth in rental prices that we have seen since the end of 2018%”.

The report shows that Cataluña was the most profitable autonomous region, with a yield of 5.8%, compared to 6.7% in January 2018, which represents a decrease of 13% in that region.

In second place, the Community of Valencia had an average yield of 5.7%, compared with 5.9% in January 2018. Fotocasa highlighted that in just one year, the Community of Valencia went from being the 4th most profitable region to the 2nd.

It was followed by Murcia with a yield of 5.6%, compared to 5.7% a year earlier and Madrid (5.5% compared to 5.9% in 2018) (…).

The autonomous regions with the lowest yields were Galicia and La Rioja, with returns of 4.2% each; Navarra (4.4%) and Castilla y León (4.5%).

On the other hand, the most profitable city in the country was Hospitalet de Llobregat, which took the top position for the ninth year in a row, with a yield of 6.3%, the same percentage it obtained in 2018.

Original story: El Economista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Granted Loans Amounting to €2.2bn to Hotels in 2018

19 February 2019 – Expansión

CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism granted loans amounting to €2.186 billion to the Spanish hotel sector in 2018, a figure that represents an increase of 46% with respect to the previous year. Moreover, 2,800 operations were carried out, up by 8% compared to 2017. The Balearic Islands and Cataluña are the autonomous regions that received the most loans.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Warren Buffett Wants to Buy Torre Agbar for €150M

6 February 2019 – Expansión

The multi-millionaire investor Warren Buffet wants to buy the iconic Torre Agbar in Barcelona for around €150 million through his investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway, which the US magnate uses to deploy his asset purchase policy around the world. The information was revealed by Efe and confirmed by Berkshire Hathaway itself, which has announced several real estate investments in Spain in recent days, but without specifying any details.

The plan has been decided “directly” by Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, in collaboration with Alessandro Proto, the senior executive at Proto Group, the company associated with Buffett in Barcelona.

The purchase proposal for one of the real estate icons of the Catalan capital, which currently belongs to the Socimi Merlin, and which was renamed Torre Glòries a few months ago, will be formalised before a notary within the next few days.

A few days ago, Berkshire Hathaway reported that it is going to invest €35 million in Spain to open 150 real estate agencies during the course of this year with Proto Group (…).

Berkshire Hathaway, which has more than 1,300 offices in 47 states around the USA and which employs 43,000 agents in the real estate sector, started its international expansion two years ago, primarily in Latin America and Europe, focusing on medium, medium-high and high-level residential properties (…).

Torre Glòries comprises offices and has an occupancy rate of 75%, with several technological tenants, including Facebook and Oracle. The tower spans 37,614 m2.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Caprabo Sells a Batch of Six Stores in Cataluña to Lidl

5 February 2019 – Expansión

Lidl is giving a new boost to its ambitious growth strategy in Cataluña. To strengthen its position in certain locations, the German distribution chain has acquired a batch of six supermarkets from Caprabo, which together span a combined commercial surface area of 9,000 m2.

The operation involves establishments measuring more than 1,000 m2, which Caprabo inaugurated between 1997 and 2009 in the municipalities of Castelldefels, Roses, la Bisbal d’Empordà, El Vendrell, Sant Celoni and Terrassa (…).

Lidl already owns around one hundred points of sale in Cataluña, equivalent to 18% of its commercial network in Spain, which comprises more than 550 stores in total. The autonomous region is a strategic area for the multinational’s growth plan. According to Retail Data, in 2018 alone, Lidl increased its sales space in the Catalan market by 11.2%, where it now accounts for 4.6% of the market. Cataluña is Lidl’s second largest autonomous region in terms of number of supermarkets, behind Andalucía.

Meanwhile, Caprabo, owned by the Eroski group, has a network of 324 points of sale in Cataluña, Navarro and Andorra (…).

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: 1.9 million m2 of Logistics Space was Leased in 2018

29 January 2019 – Eje Prime

The logistics wave is showing no signs of letting up. Leasing in the sector amounted to 1.97 million m2 last year, a historical record, according to CBRE. The data includes Valencia, Zaragoza, Sevilla, Málaga, the centre of the country and Cataluña.

Meanwhile, investment in the sector amounted to €1.5 billion. The consultancy firm highlighted that the high demand and available supply is causing a boom in projects, above all in central areas of the country.

This mismatch between supply and demand is also driving up prices: prime rents in Madrid and its area of influence rose by 5% to €5.50/m2/month, whilst in Cataluña, they rose by 8%, to €7/m2/month.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gramercy Europe Buys 3 Warehouses in Cataluña for €32.25M

23 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Gramercy is strengthening its position in Spain. The real estate investment group has purchased three logistics assets in Cataluña, through its fund Gramercy Property Europe III. The acquisition of the three warehouses has been carried out for €32.25 million in total.

Two of the assets are located in a business park in Constantí, a municipality to the south of Barcelona. The first has a surface area of 24,032 m2 and will continue to be leased to Chemiprats, a distributor of polymers and plastic resins.

Meanwhile, the second property has a surface area of 25,930 m2 and will continue to be occupied by a distributor of computers and electronic equipment. Both warehouses have been purchased for €22.75 million.

In terms of the third acquisition, it is located in La Bisbal del Penedès, also to the south of Barcelona. It is a space comprising two connected buildings with a combined surface area of 20,120 m2. Gramercy has acquired that asset for €9.5 million, and it will continue to be occupied by the company Naeko Logistics.

Gramercy, a real estate investment group from the US, launched the fund Gramercy Property Europe III in 2017, through which it plans to invest up to €650 million in logistics assets in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and France. In the case of Spain, it invests in logistics assets primarily in Madrid and Barcelona costing between €10 million and €200 million.

Gramercy, led in Spain by Gregory Vinson, has its Spanish offices located at number 640 Avenida Diagonal, in Barcelona. The company, which is owned in its entirety by Gramercy Property Trust, manages a portfolio of assets worth more than €1 billion.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urban View to Debut on the MAB with a Valuation of €38M

23 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Urban View is finalising its debut on the MAB. The rental home Socimi is going to start trading on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) on Friday for a price of €7.20 per share, which represents a valuation of €38 million.

The group, created in March 2017, is owned by the Urban Group holding company, which specialises in the acquisition and management of residential real estate assets. The firm will make its debut on the MAB with a portfolio of 454 assets, including homes, garages, commercial premises and a warehouse, through a dozen family Socimis.

The assets owned by Urban View Development are distributed across five autonomous regions: Cataluña and Madrid, which account for 96% of the portfolio; the Balearic Islands, Andalucía and the Community of Valencia. Currently, 31.7% of the company’s homes are leased.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Savills: Cataluña will Add 340,000 m2 of Logistics Land to its Stock by 2020

7 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Cataluña is going to increase its stock in the logistics market. Over the next two years, the region is going to add 340,000 m2 of industrial land to its portfolio, of which 275,546 m2 will be incorporated in 2019, according to data from the consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman.

Next year alone, nine assets will be debuted, which will be available as leased spaces spanning a combined surface area of 164,746 m2. For 2020, several projects have already been signed with logistics operators, to incorporate 68,500 m2 into the logistics sector. In this sense, the consultancy firm expects to increase the signing of at-risk projects with a leading role for overseas funds, which are taking positions in land and investment operations.

This year, the Catalan logistics market has increased its stock of new surface area by 459,112 m2, a rise of 8.5% with respect to the previous year. It is an increase that responds to the strong performance of the sector, which closed the third quarter with 493,615 m2 of space leased, up by 56% compared to the same period in 2017. Those figures invite Savills Aguirre Newman to predict that 600,000 m2 of space will have been absorbed in total by the end of the year.

During 2018, some major logistics projects have been launched in the region, such as the 81,000 m2 complex built in La Bisbal del Penedès. That space is 68% occupied by ID Logistic, which has Kiabi as a tenant. Moreover, Sesé Logística and the e-commerce group Vente Privee have absorbed 50,000 m2 of space each.

The first ring and the centre are the preferred areas

By volume of operations, the first ring and the prime-centre are the two areas that have recorded the most activity during 2018. Those two areas registered joint growth of 50% during the third quarter, with 375,000 m2 of surface area leased.

The third ring was the only area that reduced its activity during the third quarter, with a decrease of 11.69%. Nevertheless, it will be the area that accounts for the greatest availability of consolidated warehouses in 2019, with three assets that will account for 52% of the total.

In terms of rents, rental prices have grown by 6.5% on average this year, whilst the availability rate in Cataluña currently amounts to less than 3%. In this regard, professionals from the sector who participated in a conference organised by the consultancy firm emphasised the need for public institutions to collaborate with the private sector for the development of new industrial and logistics areas.

Warehouse measuring between 2,500 m2 and 5,000 m2.

Currently, the most sought-after warehouses by the logistics market in Barcelona are assets measuring between 2,500 m2 and 5,000 m2. 31% of the spaces leased this year have involved warehouses of that size, compared with 27% of operations that have been signed for assets with surface areas of between 5,000 m2 and 10,000 m2.

The strong performance of the Catalan logistics segment is also being replicated in Madrid. In the vicinity of the Spanish capital, 637,000 m2 of space had been leased by the end of the third quarter, up by 4% compared to the same period last year.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Draje

MH Apartments Arrives in Madrid

29 November 2018 – Expansión

MH Apartments, the chain of tourist apartments founded by Javier Monguió (pictured below) in 2003, has just made its debut in Madrid with the opening of a building containing 24 apartments in the central square of Tirso de Molina and is preparing to open a new establishment in Prague, its third in the Czech city, containing 50 apartments.

With the incorporation of the building in Madrid and the upcoming opening, in March, of its third establishment in Prague, the company now has around fifteen buildings across three cities. With the two new openings, MH Apartments will have 250 apartments and around 1,300 beds.

The majority of its business is located in Barcelona, where it has 11 buildings. “Madrid formed part of our natural growth plans. This opening allows us to diversify our portfolio and take advantage of the boom in tourism in the city”, explains the founder and General Director of MH Apartments, Javier Monguió, in an interview with Expansión.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake