Habitat’s Land Portfolio Now Spans 1 million m2 with Capacity to Build 10,000 Homes

9 March 2019 – Expansión

The property developer Habitat now owns more than 1 million m2 of land after investing €121 million last year to expand its portfolio. As such, the firm led by José Carlos Saz (pictured below) has the capacity to build around 10,000 homes. Specifically, the firm backed by Bain Capital acquired 27 plots last year on which to build around 2,500 homes. 5% of those plots were non-buildable (in the process of being approved for construction).

The company expects to reach cruising speed with the delivery of 2,000 homes per year from 2021 onwards. Last year, it handed over 270 homes across 4 developments in Barcelona, Málaga and Madrid, to generate turnover of €89 million, EBITDA of €1.83 million and a net profit of €250,000. The company plans to invest €500 million in land purchases until 2021, financed by Bain.

Moreover, like its competitors Neinor, Aedas and Metrovacesa, Habitat is also considering entering the rental home sector and may even begin to build developments for Socimis.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Juan Velayos: “Spain Needs to Create a Large Rental Player”

22 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Neinor Homes is going to reach “cruising speed” in 2019. The listed property developer is working to close the year with the delivery of almost 1,000 homes, half the number planned for next year. In the growth plan for the real estate company for the next few years, its CEO, Juan Velayos, does not rule out selling entire developments to a large rental home manager, a type of player that “Spain needs to create”, assured the director at a breakfast meeting held yesterday in Barcelona.

Velayos recognises that, for the time being, there are not any real estate companies specialising in rental “with such a large volume that would allow them to offer us an attractive margin, but we would be delighted to negotiate with any of them”.

The possibility of expanding its portfolio of clients through agreements with large asset managers could prove attractive for one of the property developers with the largest land bank in Spain and which forecasts starting to hand over 4,000 homes per year from 2020 onwards.

In total, the listed company has buildable land on which to construct 13,500 homes spread over 180 developments all over the country. The external valuation of this portfolio amounts to €1.813 billion, according to sources at Neinor.

“The company has already started to hand over homes and generate a positive cash flow and result”, highlights Velayos. The property developer currently has cranes at sixty developments, which will introduce 5,000 homes onto the market. Following the latest purchases of land in Bilbao, Sevilla and Madrid, “we have the land bank covered until 2021”, confirms the director.

In financial terms, Neinor recorded revenues of €78.9 million during the six months to June. That figure reflects a lot of activity in the marketing area. As at 30 September, the property developer had pre-sold 3,000 of the 7,000 homes that it had on the market, resulting in revenues of more than €1 billion for the company controlled by the Israeli fund Adar Capital.

“We will reach cruising speed in 2019”.  

Velayos trusts that the increase in productivity this year will allow Neinor to reach “cruising speed in 2019”. Next year, the listed company will have more than 120 developments underway, with a percentage of pre-sales that already exceeds 75%.

On this roadmap to lead the Spanish residential segment, Neinor trusts “wholeheartedly” in Cataluña, confirmed Velayos. It represents the firm’s current “star” location, as proven by the fact that 50% of the 5,000 homes that the property developer currently has under construction in Spain are located in this region and, primarily, in the metropolitan area of Barcelona.

“We are working on quite a few operations in the first ring”, said the director. In terms of the profile of the property developer’s buyers in Cataluña, young couples stand out, accounting for 39% of its customers, ahead of families with children (33%). In this sense, it is worth noting that 15% of its clients are investors, a percentage that exceeds Neinor’s average at the national level (11%).

Regarding the moratorium that Ada Colau is planning to launch in Barcelona, and which will oblige 30% of all new developments to be reserved for social housing, Velayos is clear: “That measure will not affect us because we won’t buy land in Barcelona” (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit Generated Profits of €1.1M in H1 2018

27 July 2018 – El Economista

Quabit Inmobiliaria recorded a net profit of €1.1 million during the first half of the year, compared with losses of €3.5 million during the same period in 2017, according to information submitted by the company on Friday to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The firm’s net turnover amounted to €9.1 million during H1, which more than tripled the €2.8 million recorded a year earlier; and the operating result entered positive territory, amounting to €3.6 million.

The real estate firm closed land operations amounting to €24 million, spanning a buildable surface area 85,130 m2, during the first six months of the year.

In total, since kicking off its growth plan in 2017, Quabit has invested €193 million in plots to build almost 4,850 homes, which means that it has already fulfilled 75% of its target to promote 7,900 homes by 2022.

As at 30 June 2018, the firm’s residential portfolio comprises 3,237 homes, which will generate an estimated turnover of €672 million that will be reflected in the income statement as they are handed over in 2018 and 2019. In June, handover began of 116 homes on the Quabit Aguas Vivas urbanisation in Guadalajara, and the firm will finish the year with a total of 215 homes delivered.

The group highlighted that it will see the sale of almost 1,000 homes in 2019 before it reaches its “cruising speed” of 3,000 deliveries per year in 2022.

Original story: El Economista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Large Property Developers Own Land to Build 100,000 Homes

5 February 2018 – Expansión

Metrovacesa, Aedas, Neinor, Vía Célere, Aelca, Quabit, Realia and Insur own land spanning more than 15 million m2, which they want to use to take advantage of the new real estate cycle.

The upturn in the residential sector is consolidating and the large property developers want to take advantage of the new cycle to obtain returns from the portfolio of land they have accumulated in recent years. The new generation of property developers Metrovacesa, Aedas, Neinor, Vía Célere and Aelca, and some of the listed survivors of the crisis, such as Quabit, Realia and Insur, now own land spanning more than 15 million m2 with the capacity to build more than 100,000 homes over the next few years.

Metrovacesa, controlled by Santander and BBVA is the property developer with the largest portfolio of land on its books. Following a capital increase amounting to €1.108 billion last June, undertaken through the transfer of assets from its main shareholders, the firm owns 6 million m2 of land, with the capacity to build 37,500 homes. As at 30 September, the firm owned a portfolio of residential land with a gross value of €1.9 billion, of which €1.3 billion corresponded to developable land.

Currently, the company has 51 projects under development to build 2,263 homes and it plans to reach cruising speed in 2021, with the delivery of between 4,500 and 5,000 units per year.

Stock market debuts

Metrovacesa, which plans to debut on the Madrilenian stock market tomorrow (Monday) with a market capitalisation of €2.5 billion, says in its IPO brochure that it does not need to acquire additional land to fulfil its annual house building objectives for the next eight years.

The next firm by volume of land is Aedas. That company, in which the US fund Castlelake holds a stake, owns land spanning 1.5 million m2 with capacity for 13,270 homes. The property developer, which started to trade on the main stock market in October, invested €124 million in land purchases in 2017 alone for the construction of 3,159 homes.

The strategy of the firm led by David Martínez involves reaching its cruising speed in 2022, when it expects to record revenues of more than €1.0 billion and handover more than 3,000 homes per year.

The other listed property developer, Neinor, which was the first to make its debut on the stock market in March 2017, owns land spanning 1.3 million m2, worth €1.3 billion and with the capacity for more than 12,000 homes, according to the most recent public information as at 30 September.

Specifically, during the first nine months of last year, that property developer acquired 24 developable plots for the construction of more than 3,000 homes for €275 million.

The firm led by Juan Velayos will launch 2,500 homes during 2018, will begin construction on another 5,000 units and will hand over more than 1,000 homes this year. In 2020, Neinor expects to reach its cruising speed and hand over between 3,500 and 4,000 homes per year.

Some of the most active property developers in the purchase of land and launch of new developments also include Vía Célere and Aelca, both of which have plans to debut on the stock market soon. Vía Célere owns land spanning 1.43 million m2, with capacity for 12,200 homes. The company chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado invested €227 million in land last year.

The other property developer controlled by Värde, Aelca, owns a portfolio of developable land spanning 1.28 million m2 for 12,566 homes. The firm expects to launch 49 new developments in 2018 and will have 86 residential projects underway at different stages of completion.

Meanwhile, the listed property developers that survived the crisis, Quabit and Insur, own land with the capacity for 6,720 and 4,691 homes, respectively. Quabit plans to invest €670 million in the purchase of land until 2022, when it will reach cruising speed with the hand over of 3,000 homes per year, whilst Insur will invest €80 million in purchases until 2020 in order to hand over 600 homes per year.

In terms of the residential business of Realia, the firm controlled by Carlos Slim owns a land portfolio spanning 1.85 million m2, of which 25% is developable (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Homes Considers Buying Land in Canary Islands

27 December 2017 – El Periódico de Canarias

Neinor Homes is considering entering the real estate market in the Canary Islands in 2018, according to its CEO Juan VelayosIt is also planning to generate profits and start buying land in Cataluña again, despite the political instability. Finally, Velayos forecasts that house prices will continue to rise at a rate of 5% over the next two years.

“House prices will continue to rise at a rate of 5% due to the gap between supply and demand. Then, prices will stabilise and grow at a rate of between 1% and 1.5% per year”, he explained to Efe.

In his opinion, 500,000 homes should be sold per year in Spain and 30% of those should be new build properties, equivalent to around 150,000, compared with the 80,000 that are currently being sold. The difference between those two figures shows that there is still a great deal of potential in the real estate development sector.

In terms of the performance of his company, which made its stock market debut in March, Velayos explained that this year will end with a positive EBITDA and with almost 100 developments “launched”, of which 33 are already under construction (around 2,500 homes).

In total, the company owns a buildable land bank on which it can construct 12,300 homes, of which 8,000 correspond to developments already underway.

“We want to always have two thirds of our land working”, said Velayos, who explained that his firm will continue buying land, primarily in Madrid, Barcelona, País Vasco and Valencia, at the same time as looking at entering new markets such as the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Galicia and Lisbon (Portugal).

From 2019 onwards, the purchases will be financed using the recurrent cash flow that Neinor expects to generate, according to Velayos, who added that, if necessary, the company may also resort to capital and/or debt increases.

In Cataluña, which currently accounts for 22% of the value of Neinor’s total housing portfolio, the real estate developer’s commercial activity has not been affected by the political uncertainty.

“We have sold everything and we only have four plots left to launch. I want to buy more land there”, said the executive, who, nevertheless, warned that he worries that Cataluña will be “impoverished” if the instability continues.

“If the situation continues, Cataluña will go from being one of the main drivers of the company to being replaced by another region, but I hope that someone can bring coherence. In the short-term, regardless of what happens, we are going to buy more land”, said Velayos. The CEO added that the company is fulfilling its plans and so will start making profits in 2018. Moreover, it will reach its “cruising speed” by 2020, with the handover of 3,500 homes per year, a turnover of €1 billion, an EBITDA of €0.2 billion and a profit of between €0.13 billion and €0.14 billion.

In terms of the composition of its shareholders, Velayos expects that Lone Star, the founder of the company, will block sell the 12.5% stake that it still holds in Neinor in the short term, after the lock-up period that it signed up to has ended, on 15 December.

Original story: El Periódico de Canarias

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit & Avenue Capital Create a Company to Buy Residential Land

4 December 2017 – El Mundo

Quabit Inmobiliaria and the global investment firm Avenue Capital have constituted a company, in which the US fund holds an almost 10% stake and the property developer controls the majority shareholding, to carry out the purchase and development of residential land in Málaga (Mijas), the Balearic Islands and the Corredor del Henares.

In this way, Avenue Capital is ratifying its support for Quabit’s investment and growth plan and is showing its confidence in the development of those assets, worth almost €75 million. The assets have a combined buildable surface area with capacity for approximately 2,000 homes, according to a statement issued by the property developer.

According to the same source, Quabit Inmobiliaria and Avenue have signed all of the documents that set out the terms of the financing line agreement amounting to up to €40 million, announced in September. Of those funds, which will be used to buy the aforementioned plots of land, 15% will take the form of a participation loan and the rest will correspond to senior debt.

The remaining cost of the land will be financed by Quabit Inmobiliaria through newly issued shares as the result of the capital increase that has already been approved by the General Shareholders’ Meeting.

Upwards review of the Business Plan 2017-2022

This new financing line from Avenue forms part of the financing arrangement for new investments set out in the Business Plan that the company has just updated to reflect the intense investment effort that it has undertaken in 2017. Quabit now has a land portfolio spanning almost 1 million m2 and it has put several residential developments on the market.

The company chaired by Félix Abánades has revised upwards its growth and expansion plan in such a way that it has almost doubled (92%) the objective for the number of new homes it expects to build between now and 2022, to 7,888 units, from the 4,100 units estimated initially.

“Since March, we have managed to close land operations amounting to almost €150 million, for less than initially forecast, thanks to the management expertise of the entire team. That gives us great visibility over our business plan and, in turn, allows us to extend our projections until 2022, which is when we will reach our cruising speed, with the hand over of 3,000 homes per year”, explains the President.

This investment effort and the launch of new developments will allow the company to exceed the revenue and profit forecasts it made in January by 20%. The company has designed an ambitious land acquisition plan, which will see it invest €673 million. The forecasts indicate that the firm will record revenues of €1.915 billion, generate operating cash flow of €463 million and distribute €87 million in cash dividends between now and 2022.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cepco: New Build Starts Could Reach 80,000 Units By Year-End

7 November 2017 – Cinco Días

With barely two months to go before the end of the year, forecasts abound about what is going to happen to house prices, house sales and construction activity in the residential sector. After three years (2014, 2015 and 2016) during which the sector has gradually emerged from the worst real estate crisis in recent history, 2017 is going to be remembered as the year in which the improvement in all the variables was consolidated, property developers returned to the stock market and overseas investment in the sector reached record levels.

The only but that continues to mark this recovery is its heterogeneity, given that prices are not rising by the same amount in every autonomous region and homes are nowhere near as easy to sell in Cáceres as they are in Madrid (for example); moreover, cranes are not expected to return to certain regions for a long while yet.

Nevertheless, 2018 can be summarised by the fact that we expect to see more of the same. Prices will continue to recover, even reaching double-digit growth rates, above all in Madrid, Barcelona and certain parts of the Mediterranean Coast; transaction volumes may exceed the 500,000 unit threshold; and the number of new homes started will amount to 80,000 units, if the current rate continues.

And that is because the statistics in aggregate terms reveal some very significant increases, both in terms of transaction volumes and new home starts. For example, between January and August 2017, 56,000 new homes were sold in Spain, up by 5.8% compared to the same period last year, according to the latest report from the Spanish Confederation of the Associations of Construction Product Manufacturers (Cepco).

That represents quite an accelerated rate, with which permits for new homes are trying to keep up. During the first seven months of this year, 49,200 new permits were granted, up by 9,700 compared to the same period last year, which represents an increase of no less than 24.4% in relative terms.

That is what is causing the experts to predict that if these trends continue, then work could begin on the construction of around 80,000 new homes by the end of this year. If that volume of construction ends up being confirmed, the level of activity recorded in 2016, when 64,038 homes were started, will have risen by 25%. Nevertheless, these figures are still well below the more than 865,000 new home permits that were granted in 2006. And a considerable distance from the 200,000 or 250,000 that the consensus of experts in the sector believes will represent the real estate market’s cruising speed over the medium term.

Meanwhile, the number of finished homes also grew significantly during 2017, by 40%, although in absolute terms the figures are still minimal (33,085), as Cepco’s research acknowledges (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: Appraisal Values Rose By 3.6% Across Spain In May

7 June 2017 – Expansión

The appraisal value of homes rose by 3.6% in May, according to the appraisal company Tinsa. This increase was primarily due to the good times being enjoyed in the sector in Spain’s major cities and provincial capitals, which saw price rises of 6.1%. This shows that the most populated areas are the regions experiencing the greatest buyer impetus, which are, in turn, boosting the main residential sub-markets, above all in Madrid and Barcelona.

“Prices are rising a lot, it’s true”, said José Luis Ruiz Bartolomé, Partner at Chamberí AM. “The rises are being concentrated in certain areas in which there is a risk of the market heating up again because there is little land. It is already happening in Madrid and Barcelona”. But, is there a risk of a bubble? “Not yet”, he answers.

Sources at Tinsa agree, given that its latest forecasts show that house prices will rise by 2% this year, according to Jorge Ripoll, Direct of Research at Tinsa, who recently spoke to this newspaper.

Each month, the IMIE index, which is calculated on the basis of house appraisals performed by the company, reflects the YoY variation in the value (per square metre) of residential properties and its level with respect to the year 2001 (base 1,000). The 1,387 points in the general index reached in May “reveal that the average price in Spain has returned to its December 2013 level”, according to data from the appraisal company. If we compare this with the previous cycle, before the outbreak of the crisis, house prices now are equivalent to those last seen in September 2003.

After the capital cities and Mediterranean Coast, the YoY growth seen in the Balearic and Canary Islands (2.9%) also stands out. The two island regions were the forerunners of the recovery, but now they are experiencing moderate growth rates, which indicates that they could be close to reaching their cruising real estate speeds.

They are followed closely by smaller towns (+2.2%), which are grouped together in the Index into a category that Tinsa calls “Other towns”. Meanwhile, the metropolitan areas saw prices remain relatively stable compared to May 2016, recording just a slight decrease of just -0.3%.

House prices are still reducing the gap generated since the end of 2007. The cumulative price decrease still amounts to 39.2%, according to Tinsa’s statistics. On the Mediterranean Coast, the area that has been hit the hardest over the last 10 years, the cumulative decrease still amounts to 45.6%, just one point higher than in the metropolitan areas, where prices have fallen by 44.5% on average since their peak. In the capitals and major cities, the cumulative decrease amounts to 41.3%, just above the national average. Homes on the Balearic and Canary Islands have depreciated by 27.7% over the last ten years and those in other towns have fallen by 35.9%.

Inflationary fears

But, even though prices in the residential market are still well below the levels seen during the bubble, inflationary fears are returning. “Players are afraid of coming last and there is a shortage of land, so property developers are buying up plots so as not to miss out”, said Ruiz Bartolomé (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Buys 7,000m2 Plot Of Land In Valencia

5 April 2017 – Expansión

Neinor Homes is stepping on the accelerator and strengthening its presence in Spain by entering a new region. The property developer – which debuted on the stock market on Wednesday 29 March –  has completed the purchase of its first plot of land in Valencia, with a buildable surface area of 7,000 m2, where it will construct 54 homes. This acquisition allows the company, which is controlled by the US fund Lone Star, to expand its operations to Valencia, where it is considering opening a local office.

According to the company, the market in Valencia displays the characteristics that it demands for its investments: a shortage of structural supply, a lack of competition, positive population growth and unsatisfied demand. For this reason, it is looking for “new opportunities in the city”.

Since the beginning of January, the company has invested €51.5 million in the purchase of buildable land in Sitges, Gerona, Sabadell, Mairena de Aljarafe (Sevilla), Sazares (Málaga), Madrid and Valencia. These plots will allow the developer to build more than 700 homes on almost 90,000 m2 of land.

The CEO of Neinor, Juan Velayos (pictured above), said that the purchases made during the first quarter place the company on the road to exceed its annual objective in terms of acquisitions, set at €200 million. “It is a confirmation that we are still able to buy carefully selected plots of land from non-natural landowners, such as banks and companies without any development activity”.

In this way, sources at Neinor underlined that each one of these operations exceeds the profitability objectives set by the property developer and that they were closed only after rigorous legal, technical and commercial due diligence had been completed.

The firm has 1 million m2 of land in its portfolio, with a gross value of €1,120 million, on which it plans to construct more than 9,000 homes.

At the end of February, the company had 60 active developments – already started or planned to be launched – in País Vasco, Madrid, Cataluña, Andalucía and the Community of Valencia, on which it plans to construct 4,002 homes.

The property developer plans to reach cruising speed in 2020, with the completion and delivery of between 3,500 and 4,000 homes per year.

The company, which plans to announce its results on 26 April, closed last year with revenues of €228.6 million and a gross operating profit (EBITDA) of €9.6 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake