Rental Boom Triggers Investment in Madrid & Barcelona

27 January 2018 – Expansión

Markets are booming / The central parts of Spain’s two largest cities are the most sought-after by those investing in housing in search of returns, but rental prices are increasing more quickly in the districts on the outskirts of those cities, with rises of more than 10%. The experts forecast an accentuation of this trend, given that the supply of rental properties in the prime districts is starting to prove insufficient to cover all of the demand.

The real estate recovery is happening at three speeds. On the one hand, the large cities and most established areas along the coast are experiencing significant house price rises, a notable increase in sales, an increase in rental prices, a rise in non-residential investment and even a shortage of land for sale. On the other hand, medium-sized cities have left the lethargy behind and are now recovering, although with less energy than the large real estate centres. Finally, the less populated provinces are still recording ups and downs, although even there it is clear that the worst of the crisis is now over.

A large part of this improvement is due to the country’s underlying macroeconomic performance, but not all of it. The impact of private investors is playing a crucial role in the strengthening of the two large real estate centres, whose prime areas are the most sought-after by those looking to buy homes to put them up for rent, where they can obtain returns of more than 10%. Why? Because, in addition to the immediate increase in value that they are obtaining, a kind of rental boom is also happening in Madrid and Barcelona.

That said, “rental prices may be starting to peak in cities such as Barcelona and Madrid” says Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa. “The market is normalising”, and so “although rental prices will continue to rise during 2018, they will do so at a lower rate than they did in 2017”, she adds.

The district of Chamberí exceeded the district of Salamanca in 2017 as the most expensive in the capital for renting a home. The average price of a rental home in Chamberí is €16.41/m2/month, followed by Salamanca (€16.07/m2/month), Tetuán (€14.94), Chamartín (€14.46) and Retiro (€14.35). At the other end of the spectrum, the district of Villaverde, with an average rental home cost of €8.91/m2/month was the most affordable. It was followed by Vicálvaro (€9.58), Moratalaz (€9.68), Villa de Vallecas (€9.90) and Usera (€10.15).

Almost all of the districts in the capital saw rental prices increase with respect to 12 months earlier. The district that rose by the most was Hortaleza, which increased by 13.1%, followed by Puente de Vallecas (12.9%), Ciudad Lineal (11%), Usera (9.4%), Retiro (9.1%) and Tetuán (9%) (….).

In Barcelona, the same thing is happening. The two districts that closed 2017 with decreases in rental prices are two classics in the rental market: Eixample (-1.4%) and Ciutat Vella (-1.2%). How come? “The rental boom started in the best locations and so when those areas reach very high prices, demand starts to withdraw from these areas and move to other more peripheral neighbourhoods”, says the real estate consultant José Luis Ruiz Bartolomé, Managing Partner at Chamberí AM. “The push from investors is also moving to other less central neighbourhoods, which are very well connected and cheap compared to the city centre”, he adds (…).

Specifically, the district of Ciutat Vella is the most expensive in all of Spain when it comes to renting a home. The average price there amounted to €17.16/m2/month in December 2017, despite the decrease seen YoY. It was followed by the second most expensive district, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, whose average price amounted to €16.63/m2/month in December (…). Compared to 2016, prices rose in eight districts in the Catalan capital. The leader of that ranking was Sant Andreu, where prices rose by 12%, followed by Gràcia (9.5%), Les Corts (8.1%), Sants – Montjuïc (6.7%), Nou Barris (6.4%), Horta–Guinardó (4.8%), Sarrià-Sant Gervasi (3.9%) and Sant Martí (2.7%).

Gustavo Rossi, President of Alquiler Seguro, adds that “2017 will be remembered as the year in which the supply of rental housing became insufficient to meet demand”. The sector needs to be professionalised and the owners of empty properties need to realise that putting them on the market is a good option”, he says.

“Over the last decade, rental has established itself as the preferred option for young people and new families. In 2018, we are going to move closer than ever to the European model, where the rental segment has many followers”. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Housing Market Recovery Will Strengthen In 2017

9 January 2017 – Expansión

Expansión interviews a panel of real estate experts / Analysts expect house prices to rise by around 5% on average in 2017, but that figure is likely to be even higher in the large cities. Moreover, sales will grow at a higher rate than prices, even though the comparison will be performed against 2016, when around 400,000 transaction were completed. (…).

The property sector started to reverse its negative trend in 2014; it really emerged from the darkness in 2015; and the improvement started to be felt across the country in 2016, albeit in the shadow of the political paralysis. For this reason, and with the macroeconomic improvement to boot, 2017 is set to be the year in which the real estate recovery finally takes hold. The consensus of the experts consulted by Expansión is that house prices will rise moderately, by around 5% during 2017; sales will increase by even more – around 10%; and mortgage lending will flow a lot better than last year. All of this provided that interest rates do not rise.

The reasons for this realistic optimism are primarily macroeconomic. The increase in employment (above all), the growth in GDP, the improvement in consumer confidence – a more important indicator for the real estate sector than many people think – and the gradual opening of the mortgage tap are juxtaposed in a virtuous way for property, which will not only become attractive again for those looking to reposition themselves on the property ladder, but which has also become a major focus of returns for investors. At the same time, there is still some uncertainty hanging over this recovery. For example, the scarcity in terms of the demand for new households.

In this context of a “slow, moderate but constant recovery”, as defined by Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa, house prices will definitely rise, but not very significantly, according to all of the experts that have responded to our survey.

For example, Aguirre Newman estimates “price growth of around 6% for new and second-hand homes”, according to Juan Riestra, Director of the Residential Division at the real estate consultancy. Maurice Kelly, Director of the Residential area at JLL, thinks that established areas, such as the centres of major cities and exclusive locations along the coast will see “increases of more than 6%”.

Almost all of the forecasts indicate price rises of around 5% and highlight the disparity between the different real estate markets around the country. (…).

José Luis Ruiz Bartolomé, Managing Partner at the consultancy Chamberí AM, notes that “prices will rise by around 5%…” but adds a new and different perspective: “These price rises will not be driven by the central districts of Madrid and Barcelona (like until now), but rather by the more peripheral regions and other cities that have not been performing particularly well so far”.

Moreover, not all of the analysts agree with the forecast of 5%. Jorge Ripoll, Director of Research at Tinsa, thinks that the increase will be less marked, ranging between 0.1% and 2%. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake