Investments in Zaragoza’s Logistics Sector Up 400%

14 November 2019 –In the first nine months of the year, firms in Aragon have invested 128 million euros, an increase of 400% compared to all of 2018. Investments in October and November have so far added another 45 million euros to the tally. The figures have established Zaragoza as a major logistics pole after Madrid and Barcelona, accounting for 10% of the investment in Spain as a whole.

A study prepared by CBRE notes that the increase is largely tied to two major transactions in the Plaza logistics centre, involving a total of 145,000 square meters. The deals have typically offered returns of between 5% and 6%.

Original Story: Heraldo – Chus García

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Residential Construction Falls in Barcelona

8 November 2019 – Crane rentals for construction projects fell by 8% in 2018, according to a new study by CBRE. While the cause of the fall is not clear, construction has primarily fallen in the residential sector. New residential construction projects fell by 4% this year, from 272 last year to 260 in 2019.

The construction of offices, hotels and commercial establishments rose by 37% to 37 projects, while there were another 25 projects involving residences for senior citizens and students.

Original Story: Catalunya Press

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Contracted Logistics Space Reaches 1.9-Million-m2 in the Year to September

21 October 2019 – The Spanish logistics sector allocated 1.19 million square meters in the year to September, a decrease of 14% compared to the year before. At the same time, however, investments increased by 16% to €1.302 billion, according to data from CBRE.

The allocation of logistics centre in downtown areas reached 432,000 square meters during the same period, a fall of 31% y-o-y. The market, however, reacted calmly to the decrease, as other transactions are expected to be finalised this year, according to the consultancy. Contracted space is expected to reach 600,000 square meters this year.

Rental costs continue to lead the market in Madrid and Catalonia, at 5.5 euros and 7 euros/m2/month, respectively.

Original Story: La Vanguardia / Europa Press

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Generali’s Axis Retail Partners Seeks to Acquire Two of Intu’s Shopping Centres in Spain

29 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Last March, Generali Real Estate, the real estate arm of the Italian insurer, announced the launch of Axis Retail Partners, a new subsidiary specialising in shopping centres. Axis received a 500-million euro infusion from the insurer.

This week, Axis is closing in on a potential acquisition of two of the most important assets currently on sale in Europe: the Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza) and Intu Asturias (Oviedo), two giant Spanish shopping centres listed for sale by the UK’s Intu Properties.

In a process led by UBS and CBRE, Germany’s ECE and Axis Retail Partners have appeared as two of the likeliest buyers, with Axis out front. Intu values its 50% stakes in Puerto Venecia and Asturias at around €425 million. Canada’s CPPIB, which shares ownership, declined to exercise its option to purchase the assets.

Original Story: El Confidencial – Ruth Ugalde

Private Companies Start Building VPO Rental Homes Due to Lack of Public Resources

11 June 2019 – Idealista

Housing and the need for public-private partnerships to build affordable homes was one of the hot topics during the recent election campaigns. But the reality is that the public administrations do not have the resources to fund any substantial residential programs.

In addition, Spain has traditionally been a country of homeowners and so most of the few affordable homes that the state has been building have been sold rather than put up for rent. This represents a major problem for the growing population of renters in the country, which some estimate currently account for 23% of total demand, compared with the European average of 34%. The Bank of Spain’s official figure for 2017 was 16%. Regardless, private companies are entering the market to fill the gap.

One such example is Azora, which has been managing social housing for rent since 2004 through its fund Lazora. It estimates that Spain needs 2.5 million mostly affordable rental homes to bring it in line with the European average. That would require an investment of approximately €300 billion over the next few years, a mammoth figure.

Azora actually sold its Lazora portfolio, containing almost 7,000 homes (private and social) to CBRE and Madison in 2018. They committed to continue investing capital in the sector and have already committed more than €200 million in various projects to build 1,200 more homes.

Azora still manages almost 14,000 social and private rental homes across the country and has recently been joined in the sector by the property developer AQ Acentor, the real estate arm of the German fund Aquila Capital. Specifically, AQ Acentor is planning to build 1,450 VPO rental homes in Villaverde, Barcelona, Valencia and Málaga. The numbers are not huge but they will go some way to plugging the gap.

Meanwhile, in the public sector, according to data from the Ministry of Development, 5,167 VPO homes were built in 2018, of which just 353 (6.8%) were dedicated to rental. In 2017, 4,938 VPO homes were constructed, the lowest absolute number since records began, of which 355 (7.1%) were dedicated to rental. Madrid accounted for most of the new VPO homes in 2018 (2,418, of which just 78 were dedicated to rental).

Azora considers that more institutional investment is required to make up for the housing deficit and that “to attract such capital, we need solutions and policies that promote and facilitate the construction of new rental homes”. It remains to be seen whether the politicians can put their ideological differences aside and come up with a clear and consensual housing policy for the benefit of the country at large.

Original story: Idealista (by P. Martínez-Ameida & Ana P. Alarcos)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Grifols Family Buys a Sought-After Property on c/Velázquez in Madrid

7 June 2019 – El Confidencial

The Grifols family, the main shareholder of the pharmaceutical group of the same name, has purchased a sought-after building on Calle Velázquez, 21 in Madrid through its Socimi Centurion Real Estate.

Until now, the property had been jointly owned by the Gancedo family, which has occupied the commercial space on the ground and first floors for more than 70 years, and another family, comprising around 20 interested members, who owned the upper four residential floors.

According to various sources, last year, the Grifols family reached an agreement with the Gancedo family to purchase its share of the property for €20 million, in a deal brokered by Savills Aguirre Newman. The sale of the residential floors of the building is now being brokered by CBRE and is expected to close in September for €32 million, taking the total purchase price to €52 million, equivalent to €8,000/m2.

Created in 2014, Centurion has been famous until now as the landlord of the pharmaceutical company, given that it owns the four buildings that house the company’s offices in Barcelona, on Calle Jesús y María, and in Sant Cugat del Vallès. This represents the Socimi’s first major purchase in Madrid and sees its entry into the luxury home market in the heart of the Spanish capital.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde & E. Sanz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Investment Funds Seek Land for Student Residences in Sevilla, Málaga & Granada

13 May 2019 – ABC de Sevilla

According to CBRE Spain, many investment funds are searching for land in Sevilla, Málaga and Granada on which to build new halls of residence for students. Ideally, they want plots that are located close to the university campuses or in well-connected areas of those cities.

Specialist student residence companies are also in the market for land, such as the company Syllabus by Urbania, which is actively looking for new plots in Sevilla and Granada.

The British firm Amro is already working on two projects, in Granada and Sevilla, and is now searching for land in Málaga, as well as in Salamanca, Alicante, Bilbao and Barcelona.

Similarly, Greystar, which is building a 322-bed hall of residence in Málaga, also wants to expand its footprint in Sevilla and Granada.

Lack of beds for students

In Spain, there are 1.5 million students, of which around 600,000 do not live in their home towns or cities. Nevertheless, there are less than 100,000 beds available for students and they are primarily located in Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca, Granada, Valencia, Málaga and Sevilla. Moreover, most of the existing supply is obsolete. The need to expand and renew the stock is clear.

Original story: ABC de Sevilla (by María Jesús Pereira)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Logistics Leasing Rose by 100% in Valencia but Fell by 67% in Madrid in Q1 2019

15 April 2019 – Eje Prime

According to a report published by CBRE, logistics leasing amounted to 464,000 m2 during the first quarter of 2019, distributed primarily across the centre of Spain, Cataluña, Valencia, Zaragoza, Sevilla and Bilbao.

In the central region, 73,700 m2 of space was leased, down by 67% with respect to Q1 2018; and in Cataluña, 215,700 m2 was leased, up by 18% YoY. Meanwhile, in Valencia, 160,000 m2 of space was leased, twice as much as during the same period in 2018. Logistics leasing in Sevilla, Zaragoza and Bilbao amounted to 9,500 m2, 3,600 m2 and 1,500 m2, respectively.

In addition, €191 million was invested in the logistics sector during the first quarter of 2019, with the logistics company Columbus and the property developer Pulsar accounting for 60% of that total.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

GreenOak Puts Las Mercedes Business Park on the Market 3 Years After Buying it

16 April 2019 – El Confidencial

GreenOak has engaged the real estate consultancy firm CBRE to coordinate the sale of Las Mercedes Business Park, one of the main office complexes in Madrid.

The aim of the fund, led in Spain by Javier Zarrabeitia, is to receive offers for the asset between May and June, with a view to closing the sale before the summer. The US fund has set an asking price of more than €200 million, which would represent a capital gain of 40% in just 3 years after it purchased the property for €140 million in 2016 from Standard Life.

Since acquiring the asset, GreenOak has worked on repositioning it, increasing its occupancy rate from 65% to 90% and negotiating rent increases.

The complex comprises nine office buildings, spanning a surface area of 80,000 m2 and is located in the northeast of Madrid, alongside the A-2 motorway. It is home to the offices of companies such as Altran, Applus, the Spanish Medicines Agency, Enaire and Carrefour.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

ADU Purchases the Mestalla Plots from Valencia FC for c. €115M

17 April 2019 – Idealista

The manager ADU Mediterráneo and CONCOVI (the Confederation of Housing Cooperatives in Spain) has reached an agreement with Valencia CF to purchase the plots on the site of the current Mestalla stadium.

It is the largest land transaction to be signed for a decade in Valencia, with a surface area of 97,225 m2, of which 55,769 m2 will be dedicated to residential use and 41,456 m2 for tertiary purposes.

According to the newspaper Las Provincias, the consideration for the deal could amount to more than €115 million. Valencia FC will move to its new stadium during the 2022-2023 season. CBRE will exclusively manage the sale of the tertiary and residential properties.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake