Hispania’s Manager, Azora, Prepares Hotel Vehicle For Portugal

23 October 2017 – El Confidencial

The largest hotel Socimi in Spain may soon have a replica in Portugal. Azora, the manager of Hispania, is working on the creation of a new vehicle to enter the Portuguese market, on the basis that, over the next few years, it expects to see a repeat there of the recovery that the Spanish real estate market is experiencing at the moment.

The Director-General of Hispania, Cristina García-Peri, revealed Azora’s plans at the Barcelona Meeting Point conference, which was held in the Catalan capital last week. “We are looking at the Portuguese holiday market”, said the director, who also highlighted the opportunities that the country’s two major cities, Lisbon and Porto, have to offer.

Sources consulted by El Confidencial confirm that Azora’s strategy is aimed at constituting a new vehicle, given that Hispania’s mandate focuses solely on the Spanish market. As such, the firm is currently making contact with several funds to define the terms of the project.

The example of what Azora has done with Hispania is the best endorsement that the manager can show investors to attract them towards this new proposal, given that the firm founded by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio considers that the Portuguese market is very similar to the Spanish market and therefore, they already have a wealth of knowledge in terms of both the product and the environment.

Following in Hispania’s footsteps

Created three and a half years ago, Hispania has become the largest owner of hotels in the country in that short space of time, with 36 establishments and more than 10,350 beds. Most of its properties are located in the Canary and Balearic Islands.

Moreover, in the summer, the Socimi acquired a plot of land in Teguise (Lanzarote), where it is going to build a new five-star establishment with 225 rooms, which it will integrate with the existing Occidental Playa and Barceló Lanzarote hotels, to create a mega-resort with 1,033 rooms, the largest in Hispania’s whole portfolio.

Despite the success achieved with its tourist business, in the spring, Azora made a proposal to the Socimi’s shareholders, led by George Soros, to activate the divestment period for the vehicle and whereby renounce the option of converting it into a permanent entity.

This decision has meant that the company has activated a formal process to sell its entire office portfolio. To this end, it has been holding exclusive negotiations with the insurance company Swiss Life for several months now and it has also started to divest its 754 residential properties, one by one.

In terms of Hispania’s hotels, which account for the bulk of its portfolio, it has until December 2020. Until then, the Socimi will focus on continuing to acquire assets, as well as improving and actively managing the ones it already owns to allow it to increase its rate of return on these investments from 10% to 12%.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Taylor Wimpey & La Cala To Build Largest Golf Complex In Southern Europe

31 July 2017 – Inmodiario

The Spanish subsidiary of the British property developer Taylor Wimpey Plc and the Irish hotel chain FBD Hotels and Resorts have signed a strategic alliance for the development of more than 600 homes over the next ten years, with a planned investment of more than €125,000,000.

The collaboration between Taylor Wimpey España and the hotel chain FBD Hotel and Resorts, which manages La Cala Resort, took its first steps back in 2014. As a result of that joint venture, Taylor Wimpey completed the first batch of residential properties (60 contemporary apartments called Miraval) in 2016. Now, it is promoting the project Horizon Golf comprising 48 apartments and 55 terraced houses, some of which will be completed this year and the rest of which will be handed over to their owners in 2018.

Through this alliance, La Cala Resort is consolidating its position as a unique destination for golf and relaxation in Spain, with three 18-hole golf courses, an exclusive 107-room 4-star hotel and a 1,300 m2 spa, tennis, padel and squash courts, and a football field. It also leads the ranking in terms of international residential tourism, with one of the best and most varied supplies of residential housing in low-density complexes, with panoramic views over golf courses, sea and mountains and all just 30 minutes from Málaga airport.

The complex brings together the best facilities demanded by the European public, not only for lovers of golf, but also for those who want to live in an environment that respects the environment, with perfectly kept roads and gardens and a 24/7 security service, just 5km from the town centre and beaches of Mijas Costa (…).

Project Horizon Golf offers two housing formats from potential buyers to choose from. On the one hand, it has terraced houses measuring more than 300m2, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus 90 m2 of terraces and solarium spread over four floors. Owners have the option of installing a private lift for easy access from the underground private car park to the panoramic solarium.

On the other hand, the complex has large apartments and penthouses with two and three bedrooms, and simple lounges leading onto spacious terraces measuring more than 30 m2. The penthouses are duplex spaces with solariums measuring more than 65 m2 (…).

The terraced houses currently have asking prices starting at €399,000 and the apartments are going for €280,000 (…).

Original story: Inmodiario (by Carmen Durán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

HomeAway: Holiday Home Revenues Grew By 4% In 2015

8 July 2016 – Expansión

Spanish residents spent just over €1,311 million renting out holiday homes in Spain in 2015, 4% more than in 2014, according to a study conducted by HomeAway and the University of Salamanca. If we add to this amount an estimate of the other costs incurred by holiday home occupants during their stays, then this expenditure figure increases to €6,159 million, which represents 0.57% of GDP in 2015.

Over the last two years, between April 2014 and April 2016, the total cumulative rental cost paid by travellers amounted to €2,622 million, and that figure increases to €12,318 million if we take into account all the other expenditure incurred by those users during their stays (in other words, the amounts that users spend in the areas surrounding the properties they rent).

Holiday homes are becoming increasingly popular amongst travellers resident in Spain, according to the data from the aforementioned study. In the last two years, 8 million Spaniards, aged between 18 and 65, have used this business model.

Holiday homes are increasing in popularity against other more traditional option and accounted for 36% of the total market in 2015.

Users

Families lead the ranking of holiday home users, accounting for 45% of total demand, followed by couples, who represent 32%, and groups of friends come in in third place (19%).

Price is the most important and valued factor influencing consumers’ final decisions, according to the study. Location and environment are the next most prized characteristics.

The favourite regions in terms of destinations for users of these holiday homes are: Andalucía (25%), Comunidad Valenciana (14%), Cataluña (12%) and the Canary Islands (11%). Nevertheless, 70% of rentals booked in Spain are made by overseas visitors, given that the country is the preferred holiday destination for Europeans.

Original story: Expansión (by María Sánchez)

Translation: Carmel Drake