AEW Acquires Four Office Buildings in Madrid and Barcelona

15 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

AEW acquired four office buildings in Madrid and Barcelona from Inmobiliaria Norte Sur. The assets have a total area of ​​25,000 square meters. Two are located in the two cities’ prime business districts, at  Calle Claudio Coello 124 in Madrid and Calle Comte d’Urgell 143 in Barcelona. These assets have an occupancy rate of 87%. The other two are in the Mas Blau shopping centre, in Prat de Llobregat, and in Sant Joan Despí, both in Barcelona.

Original Story: EjePrime

Knight Frank: Investment in Offices Amounted to €1.3bn in Q1 2019

7 May 2019 – Eje Prime

According to data compiled by Knight Frank, investment in the office sector amounted to €1.3 billion during the first quarter of 2019.

By type of investor, in Madrid, 45% of buyers were funds, 25% were institutions, 18% were real estate companies, 9% were corporates and 3% were Socimis. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, 64% of purchasers were investment funds, 19% were corporates, 13% were private investors and 4% were real estate companies.

Yields in the prime areas remained stable at around 3.75% in Madrid and 4% in Barcelona, which are in line with previous years and similar to those observed in other major European cities.

The average prime rent in Madrid also remained stable at around €30.50/m2/month, with prices rising to €38/m2/month in some of the most sought-after spaces in the CBD. In total, 124,000 m2 of office space was leased in the capital during Q1 2019, up by 4% YoY.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Colonial Acquires New Property in Barcelona’s CBD

10 August 2018

The property company just acquired the building located at 523 Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona.

Colonial has acquired the property located at 523 Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona. The area, which is considered the city’s Prime CBD, has traditionally been dominated by financial institutions, law firms and other service companies. The building has easy access to an array of services in the area and public transport, providing connections to all areas of the city. CBRE advised on the operation.

Currently, the building is leased to a single tenant, the Environment Department of the Government if Catalonia. Colonial announced that it intends to renovate the property in its entirety, leading to the creation of an iconic office building in Barcelona’s central business area. The total cost of the project, including capex, will be €37m, corresponding to an investment of €6,460/m2.

No new office projects in Barcelona’s CBD are currently underway, and the vacancy rate of Grade A buildings in the area is at historic lows, 1%. The building has an area of ​​5,800 m2 above ground, in addition to 1,200 m2 below ground. The building is divided into a ground floor and nine upper levels.

Xavier Güell, CBRE Barcelona’s director of Capital Markets, stated that ​​”this operation was the first in the third quarter, one in which everything points to the likelihood that it will be especially good for the office investment market in Barcelona. We here at CBRE expect that there will be €400 million euros of transactions just between July and September.

Original Story: Misoficinas.es

Translation: Richard Turner

KF: Inv’t in Offices Amounted to €1.3bn & €0.8bn in Madrid & Barcelona, Respectively, in 2017

13 June 2018 – ABC

The performance of the office sector in Madrid at the end of 2017 bodes well for a “historical” 2018. That is according to all of the investment indicators managed by the real estate experts. Some very positive data for the region, which consolidates the Spanish capital’s position as the most attractive place for companies to locate their headquarters. In fact, it continues to be the greatest magnet for securing capital in the office market with a business volume of €1,324 million – 61% of the aggregated total – compared with €835 million in the Catalan capital. In terms of rented office space, 570,000 m2 was leased in Madrid, compared with 300,000 m2 in Barcelona.

Those are the findings of a recent report about the sector compiled by the consultancy firm Knight Frank, which forecasts greater activity in the sector in Madrid this year due to the rotation of assets by the Socimis and funds to fulfil their business plans. In Madrid, more than 40% of the total investment in 2017 involved funds, which, together with the Socimis outperformed other real estate players during the second half of last year.

The notable differences between the two regional capitals have increased as a result of the effects of the political instability caused by the independence drive and the decrease in tourism that has hit Cataluña. The experts consulted highlight that the rate of company creation has decreased in Cataluña since last summer, whilst in the Community of Madrid, the numbers have increased, with more than 185,000 companies registered with the Social Security at the beginning of 2018.

“The Spanish capital continues to be the key location due to its wide range of opportunities. Net absorption has been increasing for several years and rental prices are still very competitive in comparison with the main European centres”, explains Raúl Vicente, Director of Offices at Knight Frank. Nevertheless, the experts indicate the path that the city should take to become a “super city”. “In terms of the major challenges that it will have to overcome, they include mobility, adaptation to the technological revolution that we are living applied to the service of the city, efficiency, access to housing and an office supply that is commensurate with international demand, amongst others”, highlights the report.

The average price of offices in Madrid’s CBD has been rising in recent years. Prices in the capital now exceed €8,000/m2 on average, whilst in Barcelona, they amount to €6,900/m2. The highest price paid last year was for the former Barclays headquarters in Plaza de Colón, which was purchased from Barclays by CBRE Global Investors for €14,000/m2.

Other notable operations stand out including the purchase of Torre Serrano by Infinorsa and the sale of the Isla Chamartín Business Park to Tristan Capital and Zaphir Asset Management for €103 million. Also, the acquisition of the Palacio de Miraflores on the Carrera de San Jerónimo for €60 million by Remer Investment and of the Los Cubos building by Henderson Park and Therus Invest for €52 million (…).

Original story: ABC (by Adrián Delgado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Owners of Hotel Twentytú will Invest €35M to Build New Office Block in 22@

20 June 2018 – Eje Prime

The owners of Hotel Twentytú are going to build offices in 22@. Brilten, the property developer owned by the Catalan Pérez family, is going to invest €35 million in the construction of a new corporate building in the technological district of Barcelona, the current hub of the office market in the Catalan capital.

The asset is going to span a surface area of 10,800 m2 and will be called Hexagon Glòries. The plot on which the asset will be built was acquired by the Pérez family a decade ago for €18 million. Now, the family has opted to build an office block in light of the high demand that exists for such products in this new central business district (CBD) of Barcelona, according to Expansión.

The plot is located at the junction of Sancho de Ávila and Calle Álava, in the vicinity of Plaça de les Glòries. It will comprise nine above-ground floors, which will measure approximately 1,200 m2 each. Brilten expects the construction work to be completed by June 2019.

Moreover, on the lower floors of the building, which is going to be designed by the architecture studio Batlle i Roig, 800 m2 of space will be adapted for commercial use, and the block will have 126 parking spaces underground. On the roof, meanwhile, the Pérez family is going to open a large terrace.

This new office building is one of around twenty projects that the real estate market is currently developing in this sector in the 22@ district and that, including Brilten’s addition, will incorporate more than 380,000 m2 of space to the available stock in the area.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas Real Estate: 85,500 m2 of Office Space was Leased in Barcelona in Q1 2018

24 May 2018 – Eje Prime

During the first quarter of 2018, 85,500 m2 of office space was leased in Barcelona and its area of influence, which represents 33% more than the quarterly average for the last 10 years (64,445 m2) and 5% more than the quarterly average for the last three years, according to research compiled by BNP Paribas Real Estate.

“The strong performance in terms of demand between January and March 2018 reflects the fact that the occupational market remains dynamic”, states the report.

During the first three months of the year, 84 new contracts were signed in total, below the quarterly average for the number of operations signed in the last three years (93), however, these contracts involved larger surface areas, thanks to expansions and the creation of new companies.

The three largest operations closed during the quarter were located in the decentralised and peripheral areas, specifically in the BCN Fira District multi-functional complex (6,467 m2), El Prat de Llobregat (5,000 m2) and Cornellá (4,863 m2).

The 22@ district retained its appeal, in fact, the fourth most significant operation, the rental of 3,500 m2 by the Town Hall of Barcelona, was signed in that district. In total, 28% of the surface area leased during the first quarter was located in 22@ and the district is expected to attract more demand, as new office spaces come onto the market. The availability rate of the market in Barcelona amounts to 10%.

The average rental price in the Barcelona market also continued its upward trend. Prime rents, which closed 2017 at €23.5/m2/month, had risen to €24/m2/month by March 2018. Behind that behaviour is the shortage of surface area available in the CBD as well as the scarcity of high-quality buildings.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: New Builds Will Account for 60% of the Office Supply in Madrid Until 2019

15 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Change of tack in the office sector in Madrid. In 2016, 100% of the supply that was put on the market corresponded to renovated properties; just three years on, 60% of the office space handed over during the last 24 months has been newly built. The segment is, therefore, going to experience a metamorphosis over the next two years (…). Moreover, with the volume of leased surface area rising year after year, a significant increase is expected over the medium term in the number of square metres in total in the office stock in the Spanish capital, according to a report from the consultancy firm CBRE.

Thus, whilst in 2016, the new surface area created saw the introduction of 170,000 m2 into the stock that year, last year, 238,000 m2 of new space was created. In 2018 and 2019, office developers will dispense 255,000 m2, of which 153,000 m2 is going to correspond to new build properties.

These figures reflect the definitive return of the Socimis and funds to the construction of new office space in the office market, according to CBRE. In the case of Madrid, after 606,000 m2 of office space was leased during 2017 – the best year in the last decade – the report forecasts similar figures for this year.

In addition, traditional players, such as the Socimi Colonial and GMP, in which the Singapore sovereign fund has held a stake for several years, have been joined by other managers and companies that want to take advantage of the strong performance of the office market in the new real estate cycle, resuming projects that were parked due to the crisis. Such is the case of Iberdrola Inmobiliaria, the French firm Bouygues and Torre Rioja, amongst other companies.

In this sense, Colonial, which has now also reinforced this line of business with Axiare’s assets, has a project underway, Alpha III, in which it is going to invest €480 million between Madrid and Barcelona, highlighting the investment that it is going to make in the Méndez Álvaro area of the Spanish capital. In that southern stretch of the central business district (CBD), the Socimi is going to build more than 110,000 m2 of office space (…).

Barcelona: record year for the hand over of new offices

Whilst Madrid is getting ready to build offices, in Barcelona, developers are on the verge of handing over the newest spaces. The Catalan capital has been immersed in a construction phase that, in addition, has been sold at the speed of light. The majority of the new developments that are being carried out already have tenants, who have signed pre-lease contracts with the developers of the different projects.

Nevertheless, the greatest supply is being built in the 22@ district, the most-sought-after area at the moment by technology companies and large operators. As a result, in 2017, the Catalan capital recorded a 4% increase in the volume of space leased, to 344,000 m2, according to CBRE.

Boosted by this dynamic of constructing buildings in the city’s new hub, Barcelona will handover 170,000 m2 of new office space during 2018, which will represent the best surface area record since 2010 (…).

In recent months, several land transactions have been closed in the 22@ district for the development of new (office) projects. Perhaps the most noteworthy of all is Parc Central, a plot spanning 52,000 m2 for which Värde paid €50 million to Oaktree and Alza Real Estate. The fund will allocate just over 40,000 m2 of those plots, known as Can Ricard, to office buildings.

Madrid, the city in Europe where prime office rents will rise by the fastest

(…). Prime rents grew by 10% in Madrid in 2017 and by 8% in Barcelona, with average prices per square metre of €31/m2/month in the Spanish capital and €23.5/m2/month in the Mediterranean city.

In 2018, CBRE forecasts that Madrid is going to be the European city where prime rents are going to rise the most markedly with a growth forecast that could reach €34/m2/month on average, boosted by the CBD. Meanwhile, Barcelona is going to close this year as the fourth-ranked capital in Europe in terms of the increase in office rents, a rising trend that is going to continue in both cities until 2022.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Alibaba Signs Lease for its New HQ in Spain

14 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The Chinese giant Alibaba is shaking up the office market in Madrid as the year-end approaches. The Asian e-commerce group has been negotiating for several months to open offices in Madrid from where to lead its operations in the Spanish market. In the end, it has signed a rental agreement for its Spanish headquarters at number 4 Avenida Europa, in Alcobendas, a building owned by the real estate group Gosa. Until now, the technology firm Paypal also had its headquarters in the building (…).

Alibaba will move its Spanish team to the new offices in Alcobendas, which measure approximately 1,000 m2, in the middle of February, according to sources close to the operation. At the moment, the Asian giant’s employees are managing the firm’s Spanish operations from a co-working office. Alibaba has declined to comment on the planned move.

Alibaba’s arrival at number 4 Avenida Europa comes just months after Paypal’s departure from the same building. Currently, that US firm shares offices with Google and Intel in Torre Picasso, as revealed by Eje Prime.

The property that will house Alibaba’s new offices is also home to the headquarters of the cosmetics group Clarins and the Chinese firm Ansteel. Commscope is another company that had its headquarters located in the building until the middle of 2017, but in July it decided to move to number 19 on the same street.

Alcobendas has become one of the hubs of business excellence in Madrid. Indra, VASS, Emerson, Televent, Acciona, Bankinter, Europcar, Canon and Toyota are just some of the multinational companies that have chosen to locate their offices in the Madrilenian town.

Alibaba’s new office, which the company has been anticipating since February, has the capacity to accommodate the almost forty people that make up its Spanish workforce. The team is led by Estela Ye, who was promoted to General Manager of the company in Spain in March.

The office market in Madrid

Leasing of office space during the third quarter of the year in Madrid amounted to 93,173 m2, which represented an increase of 2% with respect to the same period in 2016, although, according to a report from Aguirre Newman, 16 fewer operations were closed (96).

One of the most active areas in the capital was the Other Business District (RDN), which accounted for 31% of the total space leased. Nevertheless, the report highlights that leasing in the Central Business District (27% of the total) and in the OUT area (23%), saw the most significant increases, more than doubling their figures with respect to the same period in 2016.

In terms of rents, the maximum recorded during Q3 was €36/m2/month, whilst the average rent in the CBD area was €28.96/m2/month. In the Decentralised area, the average rent amounted to €12.71/m2/month.

Original story: Eje Prime (by A. Pijuán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aguirre Newman: Inv’t in Offices Exceeded €1.7bn in YTD Sept

1 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The office sector in Spain is stable. During the first nine months of the year, the sector accounted for investment amounting to €1.7 billion, in line with the investment level recorded during the same period in 2016, according to the Office Market Report compiled by the real estate consultancy firm Aguirre Newman.

“The main indicators of the office market (the availability rate, the uptake rate, rental prices and the evolution of stock) have continued their positive behaviour previously observed in recent years”, explain sources at the consultancy firm.

“The high level of economic activity in Spain, combined with the strong economic performance of the main countries in our environment, are having a clear impact on our two main office markets”, they say.

Focusing on Madrid, the gross leasing of office space during the third quarter of the year amounted to 93,173 m2, which represents an increase of 2% with respect to the same period in 2016, although, according to Aguirre Newman’s report, 16 fewer operations were closed in 2017 (down to 96).

One of the most active areas in the capital was the Other Business Districts segment (RDN), which accounted for 31% of the total area leased. Nevertheless, the report highlights that the leasing of space in the Central Business District (CBD), with 27% of the total and the OUT area, with 23% of the total, showed significant increases, more than doubling the figure recorded during the same period in 2016 in absolute terms.

Regarding rents, the maximum recorded during that period was €36/m2/month, whilst the average rent in the CBD area was €28.96/m2/month. In the Decentralised area, the average rent amounted to €12.71/m2/month.

In Barcelona, during the third quarter of 2017, 57,000 m2 of office space was leased, which represented a decrease of 32% with respect to the same period in 2016. Nevertheless, the cumulative figure for the year increased by 8% with respect to the first three quarters of 2016, to reach 265,000 m2.

During the period, 103 operations were closed, with an average surface area of 562 m2, in line with the situation observed in previous periods. The most significant operation by size was the deal closed by WeWork, which leased more than 6,500 m2 of office space in the 22@ district.

“In terms of rents, the upwards trend is continuing both in terms of maximum levels, as well as averages”, explain sources at the consultancy firm. The maximum rent recorded during the period was €23/m2/month, whilst the average rent in the CBD was €18.25/m2/month. In the Decentralised area, the average rent reached €14.01/m2/month.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel

Ryanair Opens its Digital Hub in Madrid’s Eurobuilding II

30 November 2017 – Expansión

Ryanair has arrived in Azca. The Irish low-cost airline has leased 2,000 m2  of space in the Eurobuilding II, located in the heart of the Spanish capital’s financial district for its largest technological hub.

“It is an ideal location in one of the largest technological cities, with highly qualified people; plus, it is home to some of the greatest technological innovators in Europe”, said sources at the airline.

Ryanair, which avoided specifying the amount that it will spend on the new offices, chose Spain for the launch of its third digital innovation centre – it has two others in Dublin and Wroclaw – back in May.

The project will result in the creation of 250 jobs – 50 people have already started – with the aim of streamlining the low-cost airline’s web and the app. Travel Labs Spain is looking for all kinds of profiles, from data engineers to developers to experts in social media.

In the new offices, Ryanair’s employees have rest areas with pool tables, table football and a Star Wars game.

Prime area

The building, located at number 69 Calle Orense, is located in the capital’s Central Business District.

According to data from the consultancy firm JLL, the average rent in the CBD of Madrid amounted to €30.75/m2/month at the end of the third quarter of the year. The owner of the Eurobuilding II is the Mutualidad General de la Abogacía, the pension fund of Madrid’s lawyers’ association, which had more than 194,000 members at the end of 2016 and more than €5.9 billion of resources under management.

The other tenant of the building, which is very close to Paseo de la Castellana, is the Vaughan Language School, which leases more than 4,500 m2 of space for teaching, with more than 95 classrooms.

The Eurobuilding II was acquired by the Mutualidad General de la Abogacía in 2003 for €30.9 million. According to the latest available appraisal report, the value of the property amounts to €43.8 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Y. Blanco and R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake