Aguirre Newman Conditions Sale On Continuation Of Management Team

9 May 2017 – Cinco Días

The future of the real estate consultancy firm Aguirre Newman will be up for debate over the next few weeks, as the current shareholders decide whether to sell the company to one of the three competitors from which it has received proposals. In any case, the founders and presidents Santiago Aguirre (pictured above) and Stephen Newman, as well as the rest of the management team, will continue at the helm, according to market sources.

The owners of Aguirre Newman have received offers that value the company at around €80 million, an operation for which the financial group Atlas Capital has been engaged. The bids come from its rivals in the market: Cushman & WakefieldSavills and Colliers, as revealed by El Confidencial and confirmed by sources in the sector. All three are international firms, with a smaller presence than the Spanish company in the domestic real estate market, but all of whom are strong at the international level.

And that is precisely what was of interest to the owners of the Spanish company: how to how to tackle the international market as an independent consultancy of the calibre of the global firms, as leader of the domestic market, together with JLL and CBRE. In fact, according to these sources, the owners are considering an alternative plan involving alliances overseas if this sale is ruled out in the end.

The three offers involve retaining the two founders as presidents – participating in the management – but, under one of the proposals, the two directors would retain only an institutional role. In all of the cases, the Aguirre Newman brand would disappear, although the Spanish management team would continue to lead the business for a certain period, which in other similar cases, tends to be for between four and five years.

Not all of the offers are for 100% of the company, given that under one of them, the current shareholders and executives would take on a minority stake in the new company, through which the buyer would operate in Spain.

Currently, the company’s shareholders are in the middle of considering the possibilities, and the plan is for them to take a decision over the next few weeks, based on the benefits and drawbacks of each bid. The US firm Cushman & Wakefield is the favourite in the running, given that following its merger at the global level with DTZ last year, it now has plans to debut on the stock market, something that the current owners of Aguirre Newman may find attractive, according to experts in the sector.

In the case of Savills and Colliers, their presence in the Spanish market is somewhat smaller, and so from their offices in London and Toronto, respectively, they are considering a direct investment in Aguirre Newman to promote their growth in Spain.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

RE Experts: Now Is A Good Time To Buy A Home

1 August 2016 – El Economista

The Professional Association of Real Estate Experts (APEI) thinks that now is a “good time” to buy a home because the prices of second-hand homes “are not going to fall any further”, but it warns of the risks ahead if the political uncertainty persists. Those were the views of the President of APEI, Óscar Martínez, who highlighted that “there has been movement” in the market over the last two years and that “price increases have been widespread”.

According to the latest data from Eurostat, house prices rose in Spain by 6.3% (in Q1 2016), the highest increase since 2007, and by 4% across Europe. “There are not many new builds, which will push prices up further still”, forecasts Martínez, who thinks that now is a “good time” to buy.

In this sense, he predicts that the prices of second-hand homes are not going to fall any further and that the trend is going to be towards “stabilisation or slight increases”, above all in places where there is a shortage of housing, given that there are “very few new builds”.

Similarly, he advises homeowners to hold onto their properties unless absolutely necessary, given that “it is true that if you sell cheaply, you buy cheaply, but if you are thinking about investment, now is not the time to sell. Now is the time to sell only if strictly necessary, to change home, for example”.

The recovery will continue at a slow pace

In general, homes in good condition are more expensive than they were in 2013, when prices had decreased by 45% compared with the peak of the real estate bubble, in 2007, according to APEI, which currently represents a network of around 1,300 real estate agencies all over Spain.

The average price of private housing per square metre now stands at around €1,600/sqm, compared with €2,085/sqm in 2007, which meanst that prices now are very similar to those recorded in 2004, according to data from INE.

“Properties below that price generally have very few options for sale”, explained the President of APEI, who stated that “they are typically properties in bad locations or of poor quality, which are sold or attempted to be sold very cheaply. In other countries, those kinds of properties would be demolished”.

Regarding investments by groups, the President of APEI said that they are underway in large capitals, such as Madrid and Barcelona, but they are not been seen in the smaller capitals yet.

Meanwhile, Martínez thinks that, after the summer, and if the unemployment rate continues to fall, the recovery will continue, although at a “slow” pace, but he warns that the threat now comes from political instability. “If this insecurity persists, it will cause delays in the recovery”, he predicts.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake