4 November 2017 – El Confidencial
(…) A sign that a new wave is coming to the real estate sector can be seen in the Nou Campanar neighbourhood of Valencia, one of the city’s areas of expansion, which was left frozen in time by the burst of the real estate bubble. For many years, an enormous plot of land measuring 12,000 m2 was a symbol of the indulgences of one of the leaders of the Valencian real estate sector, Juan Armiñana. He used to build his spectacular ‘fallero’ monument that won the Fallas competition year after year on that site (…)
Nevertheless, Arminñana, like many other local property developers, went bankrupt. And although he has now timidly returned to the sector, almost all of his assets ended up in the hands of the financial institutions. The large plot of land described above ended up on Sareb’s balance sheet, as collateral for a portfolio of loans. In turn, the bad bank sold those loans to the US investment fund Castlelake. Meanwhile, Aedas Homes, a listed property developer created by that fund, attended the Valencian real estate fair Urbe on Friday. There, it presented its plans for the city for the next two years, revealing that its star development is going to be located on the same iconic plot that used to be owned by Armiñana.
Aedas is one of the property developers of the day. It has arrived in Valencia as demand for new build properties is heating up, in parallel to the economic recovery. Since April, the firm has put almost 300 new homes on the market in Campanar, Quatre Carreres and Dénia, with the intention of putting the cranes to work early next year and handing over the homes in a couple of years. In turn, Aedas holds a portfolio of land and it is continuing to explore acquisitions, whenever the prices fall within acceptable ranges. (…).
Two of Aedas’s rivals, Neinor and Aelca, have also started to make a controlled landing in the Valencian market. The listed company led by Juan Velayos plans to build 500 homes per year in the Community of Valencia, which it considers its third largest market after Madrid and Barcelona. (…). The real estate company in which Lone Star holds stake has just purchased a plot of land for 200 homes in the neighbourhood of Benicalp and it already owns plots for another 450 homes in the neighbourhood of Malilla.
But, the player that has launched itself into the market without any qualms is Aelca. Although traditionally it has been very focused on Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga, the property developer founded by Javier Gómez and José Juan Martín has now launched developments to build up to 1,200 homes in Valencia. Its immediate projects, which are already being marketed, are located in the neighbourhoods of Patraix and Nou Campanar, and they will be joined by another residential building in the Cabecera Park area and another in Dénia. In Alicante, on the Playa de San Juan, Aelca is also working on its first project on the Levante Coast, Residencial Arenas, a residential complex executed in collaboration with Sabadell (…).
Aedas, Neinor and Aelca are the new kids on the block. But there are other players who have been in the market for a long time. Sareb is one of them. Until a few months ago, it was focusing on divesting its land and second-hand homes. The Community of Valencia is the second most active region in terms of sales for the bad bank behind Madrid, with 488 properties and €150 million of land sold since 2013, according to the entity’s CEO, Jaime Echegoyen. Now, Sareb has rolled up its sleeves and is trying to generate some value from the projects that are underway and unfinished from the banking portfolio that it received – more than €6.4 billion in properties and loans secured by real estate assets.
The bad bank has signed agreements with local property developers and construction companies to develop some of the assets that have not ended up in the hands of investment funds (…).
Another very active agent is CBRE Richard Ellis. It has sold more than 3,000 homes in recent years and has another 400 new build homes on the market in Valencia. These properties have been launched by funds and property developers such as Iberdrola Inmobiliaria, which has built a 58 home luxury residential building in Ruzafa and Q21 Real Estate, owned by the US fund Baupost, which has a presence in the so-called PAI of Quatre Carreres (…).
The volumes of off-plan sales are unprecedented in recent years. Developments that have been on the market for just six months are already reaching pre-sales ratios of 40% or 50% in Valencia and along the coast. These percentages mean that property developers are able to secure financing and improve the trust deposited in them by financial institutions (…).
Foreign property developers are also joining the activity being undertaken by the local players that survived the economic crisis. For example, Ficsa, the real estate brand of the Noguera family, has four developments underway in Valencia and its metropolitan area, with reservation rates of 50%. In addition, Parvasal, which has projects in Patriax and on Avenida Giorgeta (Patraix Plaça and Sosa Edificio) is in a similar position.
Metrovacesa, Grupo Lar, White Real Estate and IHomes also all have developments underway (…), which will be ready in 2019 (…).
Original story: El Confidencial (by Víctor Romero)
Translation: Carmel Drake