Mif Capital Expands its RE Business with 3 New Projects in Barcelona

14 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The property developer founded by Carles Maurí and Gregorio Ferrer Cervera will begin three new projects this year in the districts of Eixample and Sarrià. During its five year life, the real estate company has generated revenues of €20 million with developments completed exclusively in the Catalan capital.

Mif Capital will fulfil its annual objective in 2018: to start between two and three residential projects in Barcelona. The real estate company, founded in 2013 by Carles Maurí and Gregorio Ferrer, will start work on the renovation of a residential building in the Eixample district after the summer, and will also launch “two more projects at the end of the year”, both located in the Catalan capital, according to Maurí speaking to Eje Prime.

The executive, who has two decades of experience in major real estate companies, and his partner, together lead this property developer, which is finalising the handover of its latest project, in the heart of the Gràcia neighbourhood. The six renovated homes will be added to the two apartments that the company finished refurbishing recently on Avenida Diagonal. All of them are located in Barcelona because “we are based here, we like the city and we believe that it is a good location in which to develop real estate”, says the businessman.

Mif Capital’s new projects will adopt the same style as the five developments undertaken to date and will involve the renovation and sale of properties in prime locations. “In some cases, the homes are destined for rent and in others for sale”, explains Maurí, who has built up the company from nothing alongside Ferrer, and who says that “Between the two of us we take care of all the acquisitions and management of the assets” (…).

 “We want to grow organically” 

“We purchase buildings in which we would like to live”, responds Maurí to a question about what type of properties that most interest both him and his partner. In this sense, most of Mif Capital’s projects go up for sale, although the real estate company has also constructed some homes for rent. “Nevertheless, we are not interested in, nor do we own any tourist apartments”, says the businessman.

The founding partner of the real estate company knows the Barcelona real estate market well. He began his career in 1998 on the Diagonal Mar shopping centre project, when he was the Director of Business for Hines for five years. Subsequently, Maurí worked for Copcisa, the construction group owned by the Carbonell family, and then for Layetana Inmobiliaria, which built the iconic Torre Glòries, now owned by Merlin.

That experience led the co-founder of Mif Capital to Servihabitat, the servicer of La Caixa. After three years as the National Director of the bank’s real estate arm, during a time of deep recession in the sector, he decided to set up a new company with Ferrer (…).

The first asset that entered the property developer’s portfolio was a building located at number 42 Rambla Catalunya (…).

After two “very good” years, the objective of the real estate company for the next few years is “to continue with the same business plan”, with the aim of “continuing to grow organically”. With a clear focus on the city of Barcelona.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lennar’s Socimi Al Breck Sells its first 4 Assets for €3.5M

5 January 2018 – Eje Prime

One of the largest real estate companies in the United States of America is doing business in Spain. Lennar Corporation has sold four properties through one of its Spanish Socimis, Al Breck, for €3.49 million, according to a statement issued by the company. The firm has carried out the transaction through the company Rialto Capital Management, an investment vehicle, headquartered in Luxembourg that Lennar uses to carry out real estate operations in Europe and the only one that has a stable structure in Spain.

The company disposed of the properties in December, whereby generating a profit of €1.79 million. The firm, which has a loan linked to the assets, will have to assume a financial cost of approximately €1.2 million in this regard.

Lennar Corporation debuted on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) with Al Breck at the end of November 2016 (although it began its activity in Spain in December 2014), with a stock of almost 639 rental homes located in the centre of Madrid. The Socimi formed its asset portfolio by purchasing a batch of properties from Segurfondo Inversión in December 2014.

Specifically, the Socimi’s assets are located throughout the centre of the Spanish capital (in the following districts: Centro, Salamanca, Chamberí and Chueca), as well as in La Moreleja and areas close to Alcobendas and Torrejón de Ardoz. It also owns retail premises and offices. According to its IPO brochure, the market value of its asset portfolio amounted to €110.52 million (in November 2016).

The Socimi made its stock market debut with a business plan that seeks to generate value from its portfolio, in other words, by selling all of its homes within a five-year period, which ends in December 2020. The company has now started this divestment process with the sale of these four assets.

Al Breck’s strategy

Specifically, the company’s business plan involves investing in improvements to its homes, “to increase returns and improve their occupancy rates to stable levels, implementing an aggressive rental strategy that includes, where necessary, decreasing rents and making concessions to tenants to improve cash flow conditions”.

Subsequently, according to the group’s IPO brochure, “having improved the occupancy rates, the aim is to keep them stable and initiate a progressive increase in rental prices, to reflect the improvements made to the properties and market rates”.

Finally, the Socimi plans “to optimise the value of the portfolio, selling assets either individually or in batches, when demand and prices so favour it and having completed the minimum ownership period of three years”, according to details provided in the brochure.

At the end of last year, the company also launched a second Socimi, Ceres Real Estate Socimi. Although for the time being, the activity of that entity is very limited (it does not have any assets in its portfolio), the sole administrator of the company is Rialto Capital (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona From The Sky: 123 Cranes At Work In The Catalan Capital

7 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Cranes and new projects are drawing a new real estate business in Spain once again. According to the study Barcelona from the sky, compiled by the real estate consultancy CBRE, the Catalan capital has 187 projects underway, requiring 123 cranes altogether. Of the total number, 75% are dedicated to residential projects and 17% to tertiary projects, whilst 8% of the cranes are being used for other kinds of projects, according to the report.

By sector, the residential market is the most active in Barcelona with 107 new build projects and 34 refurbishment projects currently underway or due to start imminently. In total, the Catalan capital is currently decorated with 77 cranes working on the construction of new residential developments, led by the largest Spanish property developers, such as Neinor and Aedas, as well as some more local players, such as La Llave de Oro and Nuñez I Navarro.

Cuitat Vella and Eixample are the districts where the most refurbishment projects are being carried out, due to the age of the housing stock there. There are eight projects (24% of the total) and eleven projects (32%) underway in those neighbourhoods, respectively. Many of these renovation projects, especially those closest to the city’s nerve centre, such as along Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça Catalunya, are high standing affairs, such as the refurbishment of Casa Burés, located at number 2 Calle Girona.

In terms of new build homes, the districts of Sarria-Sant Gervassi, Horta-Guinardo, Eixample and Sant Andreu are leading the ranking, with 18, 15, 12 and 11 new build projects, respectively (…).

The tertiary sector is also building 

(…). In the office segment, there are twelve projects underway after several years of little construction activity due to the economic crisis, in general, and in the office sector, in particular.

“The greatest number of projects, both new build and renovations, are concentrated in the 22@ area, in the district of Sant Martí, where key projects include the future Parc Glòries and the Luxa Business Park, amongst others”, according to the study (…).

Several projects are also underway in the Sants-Montjüic area, including the construction of the Campus Administratiu, which the Generalitat de Catalunya will occupy and Can Batlló, very close to Plaça Cerdà. In addition, construction work is expected to start at the beginning of 2018 on the construction of the remaining two towers that form part of the Barcelona Fira District project, owned by Iberdrola (…).

In the retail segment, four renovation projects are underway in the Catalan capital, whilst one new space is being constructed, with the development of the Finestrelles shopping centre in Esplugues de Llobregat, which will open its doors at the end of 2018. This project is being executed by the Belgian property developer Equilis and has a gross leasable area of 25,700 m2.

Moreover, renovations are being carried out on several of the city’s main shopping streets, such as Las Ramblas, Fontanella and Paseo de Gracia, as well as in some of the large retail spaces such as the Glòries Shopping Centre.

Hotels and others 

“More than two years have now passed since the implementation of the hotel moratorium, which has negatively affected the number of hotel developments”, says CBRE’s study. Nevertheless, the construction of new hotels has not stopped in Barcelona, given that some players obtained their building permits in time. There are currently fourteen projects underway, with six cranes working on them in total (…).

According to CBRE, a small number of the projects currently being carried out in the city do not form part of the residential or tertiary sectors. Fifteen projects are underway at the moment involving twenty cranes to build or renovate parks, churches, schools, gyms, infrastructure work and nursing homes.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Idealista: 12% Of Rental Homes Leased In <2 Days In Feb

24 March 2017 – Inmodiario

Rental homes on the market for less than 48 hours accounted for 12% of all rental operations closed in Spain during the month of February, according to a study published by Idealista. More flats than ever are now being advertised on the residential rental platform, however, the extensive demand is still not being fulfilled.

The incidence of immediate rentals is not homogenous across all of Spain’s autonomous regions. The pressure from demand is the greatest in the Balearic Islands, where 19% of the homes that were rented in the islands during the month of February were advertised on Idealista for less than 48 hours. It is followed by the Community of Madrid (18%), Navarra (17%), Cataluña (12%), Euskadi (12%), (the latter two are in line with the national average), and below that are Aragón (11%), Andalucía (9%), the Canary Islands (9%) and Galicia (8%).

The bottom end of the table is propped up by Cantabria, the Community of Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha (7% in all three cases), Castilla y León (6%), Extremadura (5%), Asturias, La Rioja and Murcia (4% in all three regions).

The provincial capitals are the areas where demand for rental properties tends to concentrate, therefore the immediate rental rates there are generally higher.

Orense is the city that recorded the highest percentage of immediate rentals as a percentage of total operations, with 33%. It was followed by Albacete and Málaga, with rates of 27%, and then Pamplona and Palma de Mallorca (25% in both cases). Next came the city of Barcelona, where properties involved in 21% of all rental agreements signed had been on the market for less than 48 hours, followed by Ávila (20%) and Madrid (19%).

Nevertheless, the study revealed that the immediate rental phenomenon does not exist in at least 12 Spanish provincial capitals, namely: Teruel, Segovia, Pontevedra, Palencia, Lugo, Lleida, Huesca, Huelva, Girona, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Castellón.

Of the provincial capitals that do experience the phenomenon, Oviedo and Córdoba saw the lowest incidence of immediate rentals (4% in both cases), followed by León, Granada and Badajoz (5% in all three cities). Moreover, like in the case of the provincial capitals, the main cities in the country have different immediate rental rates depending on the district in question.

In Barcelona, for example, Sant Andreu is the neighbourhood where the most immediate rentals were signed in February: 40% of all the homes that were rented there had been on the market for less than 48 hours. It was followed by Nou Barris (38%), Horta Guinardó (31%) and Gràcia (27%). By contrast, the lowest immediate rental rates were recorded in Sarrià Sant Gervasi (8%), Sant Martí and Ciutat Vella (21% in both cases).

In Madrid, by contrast, the district most affected by this immediate rental phenomenon was Villaverde (31%), followed by San Blas (29%), Latina (28%), Arganzuela, Puente de Vallecas, Usera and Villa de Vallecas (26% in all four cases).

Analysis of the prices of the homes that are being immediately in Spain reveals that one third (33%) cost less than €500/month, whilst 46% ranged between €500/month and €750/month. (…).

Finally, most of the homes that were rented in a matter of hours had a surface area of less than 80 m2: 11% measured less than 40 m2; 31% measured between 41 m2 and 60 m2; and 30% measured between 61 m2 and 80m2. (…).

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fotocasa: House Price Rises Led By Madrid & Barcelona

18 January 2016 – Expansión

(…). The two-speed housing sector in Spain is becoming ever more marked: whilst house sales and prices are increasing significantly in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as in certain areas along the coast, the provinces where demand is lowest are continuing their slow trend towards stabilisation.

But the residential sector is so fragmented that even within the two major cities, there are sub-markets where house sales and prices are growing by more than in others. House prices are now increasing in nine out of the 10 districts in Barcelona and in 13 out of the 21 districts in Madrid, according to Housing in 2015, a report compiled by the real estate portal Fotocasa.es, which will be published on Wednesday and to which Expansión has had access.

“The changing trend in terms of second-hand house prices is clear in the city of Madrid”, says the report. The average price of homes for sale rose by 2.2% in the capital, after having fallen by 4.9% in 2014. It is worth remembering that actual sales prices, the amount that is reflected in the deeds, have increased by even more, given that buyers now have less margin to obtain discounts than they used to, when prices were generally on the decrease.

Whilst in 2014, house prices decreased in every district in the capital, last year they recorded increases of up to 13.7% in the Centre, followed by Salamanca (9.3%), Chamberí (8.6%), Tetuán (7.6%), Fuencarral (6.7%) and Arganzuela (6.4%). This results in the report’s first conclusion: well-established, well-located areas, where there is more demand, in other words, prime areas, are recovering more quickly than the rest. In general, such areas include central, well-connected areas, with significant volumes of commercial activity, which are fashionable for certain profiles of buyer.

Barcelona is leading the way

The same trend is happening in Barcelona, where last year, the most notable price rises were seen in the districts of Gracia (with an increase of 10%), Ciutat Vella (8.5%), Eixample (8.4%), Sant-Montjuïc (8.2%), Horta-Guinardó (6.9%) y Sarrià-Sant Gervasi (6.8%).

According to Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa.es, “prices are going to continue increasing in the prime areas of the two regional capitals in 2016, but we do not expect to see two-digit increases. (…).

In terms of second-hand homes, average prices in Madrid capital amount to €2,695/m2, whilst in Barcelona the equivalent amounts to €3,179. In other words, it is 22% cheaper to buy a home in the Spanish capital than in the Catalan capital. Or, to put it another way, homes are 28% more expensive in Barcelona than in Madrid.

There are two reasons for this. On the one hand, the Catalan capital has a higher population density than Madrid, which affects supply and demand, given that the concentration is greater; moreover, barely any construction takes place there. The second reason is that prices are recovering more sharply in Barcelona.

The most expensive districts in the country are Sarrià-Sant Gervasi (where homes go for €4,575/m2, on average), thanks mainly to significant interest from overseas investors and Salamanca in Madrid (€4,274/m2). (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake