Ministry of Development: Spain Signed 60,000 New Home Permits in 2017

5 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Spain is still a long way from the dizzy heights of 2006, but its stock of housing is gradually recovering the colour it lost during the decade when the sun shone very little over the new build sector. Last year, 60,888 municipal licences were signed for the construction of new homes, which represents almost twice as many as the 31,213 permits that were granted five years ago, according to data from the Ministry of Development.

Moreover, in YoY terms, the increase in the number of licences for the construction of residential buildings was 6.5%, with even greater rises in certain autonomous regions, such as Cataluña, where the increase to November exceeded 50%.

Nevertheless, the region where most new homes are being built, Madrid, recorded a slight decline in 2017. Following a significant increase in the number of licences during the beginning of the new economic cycle, last year, that market for the construction of new homes lost speed with a decrease of 4.4%.

In total, in the Spanish capital and its surrounding area, 14,018 licences were signed last year for residential construction, a figure that doubles the number recorded in 2016, but which represents a decrease of more than 650 homes at a time when there is great demand from Spanish and international investors.

The recovery of the Madrilenian residential market is clearly understood in the increase in the number of licences for the construction of new homes experienced first between 2013 and 2015, and, more importantly, during 2016. Five years ago, 6,134 permits were signed in the central region, in an annus horribilis that followed a 2012 in which Madrid approved 17,000 licences. After that, 24 months of stabilisation in the segment with the registration of between 7,000 and 8,000 licences (in total) for new homes, proceeded a 2016 that doubled the figures with 7,500 administrative signings of contracts for residential development.

The shortage of land and the obstacles imposed by Town Halls such as Madrid’s (…) have led to a fall that is heating up the market and generating problems for the whole sector. Other autonomous regions, such as  Navarra, Aragón, Asturias and Murcia also recorded decreases in 2017, going against the tide (…) and once again showing signs that Spain is moving at two speeds in the residential sector.

Significant increases on the Mediterranean Coast 

The Mediterranean coast is proving to be the engine for new housing in Spain. Regions such as Cataluña, the Community of Valencia, the Balearic Islands and the Málagan section of the Costa del Sol are registering significant growth figures in terms of the number of licences granted for the construction of housing.

Cataluña is on a roll with the construction of homes, with an increase of 50% during the first ten months of last year. To November, 9,815 licences were signed and sources in the sector have said to Eje Prime that the forecast for the end of the year was 12,100 permits, up by 35% compared to 2016 (…).

Heading south, the Community of Valencia has developed in a similar way to the Catalan market over the last five years. It doubled its annual figures between 2013 and 2017, from 3,142 permits to 6,588, but the greatest increase came in 2016. In just twelve months, the Mediterranean region increased the number of licences from 4,712 to 6,540, up by 39%.

The markets in the Balearic Islands and Andalucía, where the Costa del Sol plays a prominent role, have also shown clear signs of improvement in recent years. On the islands, permits for new build almost tripled between 2015 and 2017 from 826 to 2,391 (…).

Meanwhile, in Andalucía, although the growth percentage was similar, the increase was calculated on a larger volume of homes. As one of the areas with the highest demand for new home permits, the region (…) closed 2017 with 12,363 licences. Just five years earlier, that figure barely exceeded 5,000 (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte: Hotel Inv’t Will Exceed €3bn in Spain in 2017

28 November 2017 – Expansión

Spain is going set a new record in terms of hotel investment this year, with a forecast figure of more than €3 billion. Moreover, one quarter of that investment is going to be concentrated in the Canary Islands (almost €0.8 billion).

In Las Palmas, this week, Deloitte presented the white book on the sector, together with the Association for Progress and Management, led by Francisco Torres (Renta 4). Javier García and Ignacio Medina, Partners at Deloitte, highlighted the competitive strength of the Spanish tourism sector – the country receives 80 million visitors per year and has a legal and climatological environment that “make it unique”. “We are not able to be a destination for those with the highest purchasing power because the hotel stock is very obsolete. We need to invest just a little, if at all, to meet the requirements of tour operators”.

Nevertheless, Deloitte remains optimistic ahead of the upcoming challenges. “We are facing an exciting cycle because the map of players is changing, with new roles in terms of investors, financiers and hoteliers”.

Average daily rates are experiencing increases of 30%, with occupancy rates of 87%, but Deloitte warns that the “favourable wind is not going to last forever”. “We cannot resign ourselves to being such a cheap place”.

The incidence of falling prices is especially significant in the Canary Islands. The autonomous region has a supply of 350,000 beds, but, with the exception of a few establishments, such as Carlton Ritz Abama (Tenerife), the market is a long way from luxury tourism; its average tariffs range between €60 and €90. “They don’t even come close to the €300 or €700 per night that guests pay for certain hotels on the Costa del Sol”.

Deloitte proposes six axes for the investment challenge over the next few years: innovation, sustainability, digital transformation, renovation, brand enhancement and tailor-made experiences (…).

Javier García places particular emphasis on the role of financing, where entities are boosting hotel activity. Guarantees from the banks are conditioned by the presence of an international operator, the business plans and the ownership of the land.

Deloitte revealed that international operators such as the fund Blackstone have become some of the most capable in terms of proving that a renovation process can result in tariff improvements of up to 40%.

In October, Blackstone acquired the hotel division of Sabadell in Spain (HI Partners) and, in the case of the Canary Islands, it is not the only player. Private equity firms such as KKR and Hispania are very active at participating in the “substitution effects”, as Deloitte defines them. “As Don Emilio Botín always used to say, the best business involves being the first to enter and the first to leave”.

Original story: Expansión (by José Mujica)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Ortiz Puts its Socimi up for Sale with Assets Worth €150M

27 November 2017 – El Independiente

The Carpintero family, the majority shareholder of the Socimi Grupo Ortiz Properties, has put the company up for sale, just four months after it started trading on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB). The sales prospectus has been in the offices of potential interested parties for several days now, according to intel gathered by El Independiente.

The company, which has real estate assets worth more than €150 million and a capitalisation of €74 million, owns 100,000 m2 of space for rent, with a 96% occupancy rate.

Most of the assets, equivalent to 97% of their value, are located in Madrid, and they generate aggregate net rental income of €6.9 million. The residual part of the portfolio is located in Asturias and Guadalajara.

The intention of the Carpintero family is to continue as a shareholder of the company, by holding onto around 30% of the share capital.

The company is led by Juan Antonio Carpintero (pictured above), President of Grupo Ortiz and Chairman of the Socimi’s Board of Directors, alongside his children María and Carlos Carpintero, Raúl Arce as the CEO of the construction company and Carlos Cuervo-Arango Martínez, a former director of Zeltia.

According to the company’s own reports, the market value of the assets owned by Grupo Ortiz Properties amounts to €150 million. Of those, its office buildings account for €67.1 million; its homes and apartments another €70.7 million; its warehouses €3.6 million; and its other premises and parking spaces €8.7 million.

In the documentation prepared for its debut on the stock market, Grupo Ortiz Properties described the nature of the property sector at the moment. “The real estate market is entering an attractive point in the cycle in light of the improvement being seen in the main macroeconomic indicators, such as consumer confidence, employment, interest rates, exports/imports, the industrial production index, the reactivation of the second-hand residential market – they are all signs of the economic recovery and of the start of a change in the cycle”.

The Socimi highlights that its “management strategy is based on long-term leases to solvent tenants (both economically and professionally) in order to ensure long-term sustainability and the ability to obtain an attractive return in exchange for the risk assumed”.

Original story: El Independiente (by Ana Antón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander, Popular & BBVA Transfer Land For 3,700 Homes To Metrovacesa

11 September 2017 – Levante EMV

Santander, Popular and BBVA have transferred land to Metrovacesa for the construction of 3,700 homes in the Community of Valencia. According to real estate sources, the three banks have contributed more than 440,000 m2 of buildable land in some of the best development areas of Valencia and Alicante. The operation includes plots for the construction of hundreds of homes and a retail space in La Patacona.

As a result, Metrovacesa has become the largest real estate company in the Community of Valencia. If we add these latest plots from the banking institutions to Metrovacesa’s previous portfolio, the company now has 660,000 m2 of buildable land for the construction of 5,700 homes.

The land transfer forms part of Project Horizonte, which has seen Santander, Popular and BBVA (all shareholders of the real estate company) contribute land worth €1,108 million to Metrovacesa for the construction of 40,000 homes across the whole of Spain. Santander (which has recently absorbed Popular) and BBVA relaunched Metrovacesa as a platform to provide an outlet for their land portfolios. The banks are looking to make a profit from the rising economic cycle in the construction sector.

Sources close to the operation specified that the most significant plots of land are located in Benimaclet, Moreras and Patraix (Valencia); the development area of La Patacona (the urban plan for Bodegas Vinival in Alboraia); Benalúa Sur and Albufereta (Alicante); Nou Nazareth (Sant Joan d’Alacant); El Acequión (Torrevieja); several plots in Castelló and Sagunt; and buildable land on the seafront in El Puig (…).


With Project Horizonte, BBVA and Santander have concluded the restructuring of Metrovacesa, which they were forced to take over during the crisis, when at the end of 2008, they foreclosed the debt of the Sanahuja family, which was the majority shareholder of the entity at the time.

By virtue of Project Horizonte, the entity chaired by Ana Botín has decreased its stake in Metrovacesa to 61.3%, from the 70.3% that it held until now. Nevertheless, its stake really amounts to 70.5% if we include the 9.2% owned by Banco Popular. Meanwhile, BBVA has increased its stake in the real estate company from 20.5% to 29%. These variations are a result of the various land contributions made by each one of the shareholder entities, which have materialised through a capital increase.

Original story: Levante EMV (by Ramón Ferrando)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Corum Convictions Sells Retail Outlet In Tarragona For €9.43M

31 May 2016 – Mis Locales

The real estate consultancy BNP Paribas Real Estate has advised Corum Convictions, the real estate investment company owned by Corum Am, regarding the sale of a retail outlet in Tarragona worth €9.43 million.

The asset, located in the Les Gavarres shopping area in Tarragona is leased to Media Markt, the European leader in the sale of domestic appliances and high quality IT equipment.

The property has been acquired by Actipierre Europe, the real estate company owned by Ciloger, which, in turn has been advised by Invesco Real Estate to carry out the transaction. Corum Convictions applies an open and opportunistic strategy to its investments with a high rate of distribution, and to this end, it invests in all types of assets (offices, shops, healthcare, hospitality, business, car parks…) both in France as well as across the Eurozone.

Vincent Dominique, Director of Corum Am, has said that “With this sale, we continue to drive our opportunistic acquisition and arbitrage strategy, which benefits from the effects of economic cycles. In fact, based on what we expected in 2013, the year in which the most recent economic cycle in Spain bottomed out, both in terms of the macroeconomic environment and the real estate investment sector, the decrease in rates has allowed an increase in asset values, which has resulted in high and secure rental income and first-rate tenants”.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake