Century 21 Grows By 26% in 2018, Setting Course for a Turnover of €25 Million This Year

82% of the transactions during 2018 were made by Spanish buyers, while foreigners accounted for 18%. Clients from Great Britain, France and Belgium topped the list of international buyers on the Spanish real estate market.

Century 21 Spain is on the rise. The real estate brokerage ended the year 2018 with a turnover of around twenty million euros. The company’s sales reached 19.8 million euros, an increase of 26% over the previous year (15.7 million euros).

In 2019, the real estate brokerage plans to increase its turnover by 34%, reaching 25 million euros.

During 2018, the Century 21 network made a total of 7,389 real estate transactions, with an average sales price of 178,876 euros. This represents an increase of 36% in the number of transactions compared to 2017.

82% of transactions completed through Century 21 during 2018 were by Spanish buyers while 18% were by international clients. The countries that invested the most in the Spanish real estate market were Great Britain, France and Belgium.

Original Story: EjePrime

Translation: Richard Turner

 

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.

Alliances

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

Century 21: Buyers Aged 60+ Purchase 3 Out Of 4 Homes In Spain

27 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Senior citizens are responsible for reactivating the real estate sector in Spain. People aged over sixty years are accounting for three out of every four sale-and-purchase transaction in Spain. Madrid and Barcelona are the cities where they are undertaking the most operations, according to a study by the real estate company Century 21.

The main reason behind the real estate activity of this cohort is the departure of children from the family home, which is causing them to look for smaller properties, close to hospitals and retail areas. Specifically, the homes put up for sale by senior owners have an average surface area of 100 m2, with three or four bedrooms, and they are located in urban nuclei such as Madrid and Barcelona. Their average sales price exceeds €225,000.

According to this study, the cohort of people aged over sixty years is leading the sale and purchase of homes. Specifically, 75% of transactions are undertaken by married couples aged between 60 and 70 years old (…).

In terms of the type of transactions being undertaken by the older cohort, nine out of ten operations involve the sale of properties, with the main reason cited being the large size of their properties after their children leave home.

In the majority of cases, the sale of family homes implies the purchase of another property. Older buyers are primarily interested in acquiring homes with a surface area of 70 m2, with one or two bedrooms, which are located close to their families. The average purchase price ranges between €100,000 and €250,000.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Real Estate Recovery Takes Hold In Portugal

15 December 2016 – El Mundo

After several years in crisis, the Portuguese real estate market is booming once again thanks to public auctions of properties and the arrival of overseas buyers, attracted by the tax exemptions and the quality of life.

In Lisbon, Luis Morais, a 43-year old IT teacher, has just acquired an 80 m2 apartment in Sintra, a city close to the capital, for €49,000 in a public auction. The bidding started at €33,000. “It is a bargain” said the IT teacher. “We are not going to live there, we just want to rent out the apartment to supplement our income”, explained Teresa, his partner, aged 36, who teaches mathematics.

The property was confiscated from a family with lots of debt and was owned by the public bank Caixa Geral de Depositos, which decided to auction it off. Like Luis and Teresa, many Portugese people are now choosing to invest in property rather than leave their money in the banks, which are still fragile following the crisis.

Overseas investors are also buying properties in public auctions, such as the case of a three-storey office building in the entre of Lisbon, which was put on the market for €5.1 million.

From recession to recovery

After several years of crisis, the real estate market in Portugal began to improve in 2013 and the recovery accelerated in 2015, thanks to low interest rates, which drove up sales by 27%. Between 2008 and 2012, house prices fell by 30% in Portugal, but they are now soaring again thanks to overseas buyers, attracted by the quality of life in Portugal and the tax exemptions on offer.

The phenomenon is being felt in Lisbon above all. “In two years, prices have risen by 20% and they are still increasing, there is still room for growth” said Pascal Gonçalves, President of Libertas, a property developer.

Recently, a 160 m2 apartment in the popular neighbourhood of Alfama was sold for €420,000, which is twice as much as it was worth ten years ago. And in the heart of the capital, in the neighbourhood of Chiado, a 100 m2 2-bedroom home was recently sold for €900,000, a price that would have seemed very high just a few years ago.

No risk of a bubble

In Oporto, the largest city in the north of the country, the real estate sector is also performing well. “I have doubled my turnover in a year, and I now earn four times as much as when I worked as a biologist”, explained Isabel Leitao, aged 33, who has been working as an estate agent for six years.

During the first nine months of 2016, the activity of the network of real estate agents Century 21 has soared by 36%. Its President for the Iberian Peninsula, Ricardo Sousa, expects “prices to stabilise in Lisbon because they are out of step with the incomes of Portuguese people”.

Nevertheless, according to the Minister for the Economy, Manuel Caldeira Cabral, there is no risk of a real estate bubble. “Prices have increased in Lisbon, but they are still much lower than in Paris or London”.

The average price of an apartment in Lisbon has increased to €3,607/m2, according to the ad website Imovirtual. (…).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Century 21’s CEO, Ricardo Sousa, On Spain’s RE Sector

9 June 2016 – Expansión

Century 21 left the Spanish market in 2007, when the tourism group Globalia took the decision to exit the country, but it returned in 2010 at the height of the real estate crisis, at the hand of the Portuguese businessman Ricardo Sousa, the master franchisor of Century 21 in Portugal since 2004. Now, the US real estate network plans to double its business in Spain, says Sousa, the CEO.

(In Spain), the chain started out in Cataluña, before moving to Madrid and the Costa del Sol; its expansion plan is now focused on Levante.

– You took a risk by returning to Spain, but now you have 40 offices….

When we arrived in 2010, the market was correcting itself. An opportunity arose and we didn’t think twice about it. A major recession was underway, but there was a clear need to change the product to serve the people. Spain was conditioned by brick and speculation, but during the crisis we saw the real needs of Spanish families. The most opportunistic operators were exiting and have now abandoned the real estate sector. The professionals have stayed, and that service and proximity (to our clients and markets) is what differentiates us.

– What are your thoughts regarding the recovery of the sector?

The recovery started in the main markets, like Madrid and Barcelona, but more peripheral areas have also begun to emerge this year. Families are starting to buy homes again, because there is more confidence and better access to mortgages. Spain has an incredible culture of ownership and now the real estate market is coming back. Moreover, areas such as Levante, which have strong international demand, are providing a huge boost.

 – With the current level of stock, do we need to build new homes?

Nothing has been built for years, and yes, demand exists for new developments and even renovations. But we may see changes in the profile of buyers, as we are increasingly depending on overseas purchasers. In particular, the instability in neighbouring countries means that we are attracting more tourists, and that is good, but we need to be prudent and anticipate the impact of the latest trends…

– Now you are planning to grow in Levante, working together with a local company…

Spain is a country of many realities and we have to specialise in each one, in order to add value. Our collaboration with Mahersol was born out of that idea. Our business outlook extends 20 years, and so we are looking at local businesses. We started this formula in the Canary Islands and are now implementing it in Levante, focusing, above all, on the Costa Blanca and Murcia.

– Do you think the political situation may restrict this progress and create instability?

In Portugal, we experienced something similar and partnerships that once seemed impossible were made possible. There is a stronger dynamic at play, namely the residential market, which moves at the margin of politics. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Mª José Cruz)

Translation: Carmel Drake