Century 21’s CEO, Ricardo Sousa, On Spain’s RE Sector

9 June 2016 – Expansión

Century 21 left the Spanish market in 2007, when the tourism group Globalia took the decision to exit the country, but it returned in 2010 at the height of the real estate crisis, at the hand of the Portuguese businessman Ricardo Sousa, the master franchisor of Century 21 in Portugal since 2004. Now, the US real estate network plans to double its business in Spain, says Sousa, the CEO.

(In Spain), the chain started out in Cataluña, before moving to Madrid and the Costa del Sol; its expansion plan is now focused on Levante.

– You took a risk by returning to Spain, but now you have 40 offices….

When we arrived in 2010, the market was correcting itself. An opportunity arose and we didn’t think twice about it. A major recession was underway, but there was a clear need to change the product to serve the people. Spain was conditioned by brick and speculation, but during the crisis we saw the real needs of Spanish families. The most opportunistic operators were exiting and have now abandoned the real estate sector. The professionals have stayed, and that service and proximity (to our clients and markets) is what differentiates us.

– What are your thoughts regarding the recovery of the sector?

The recovery started in the main markets, like Madrid and Barcelona, but more peripheral areas have also begun to emerge this year. Families are starting to buy homes again, because there is more confidence and better access to mortgages. Spain has an incredible culture of ownership and now the real estate market is coming back. Moreover, areas such as Levante, which have strong international demand, are providing a huge boost.

 – With the current level of stock, do we need to build new homes?

Nothing has been built for years, and yes, demand exists for new developments and even renovations. But we may see changes in the profile of buyers, as we are increasingly depending on overseas purchasers. In particular, the instability in neighbouring countries means that we are attracting more tourists, and that is good, but we need to be prudent and anticipate the impact of the latest trends…

– Now you are planning to grow in Levante, working together with a local company…

Spain is a country of many realities and we have to specialise in each one, in order to add value. Our collaboration with Mahersol was born out of that idea. Our business outlook extends 20 years, and so we are looking at local businesses. We started this formula in the Canary Islands and are now implementing it in Levante, focusing, above all, on the Costa Blanca and Murcia.

– Do you think the political situation may restrict this progress and create instability?

In Portugal, we experienced something similar and partnerships that once seemed impossible were made possible. There is a stronger dynamic at play, namely the residential market, which moves at the margin of politics. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Mª José Cruz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona, Madrid & Costa Del Sol Lead Residential Recovery

26 October 2015 – Expansión

Two terms are key in the residential market: “trend” and “it depends”. The first has a clear rationale: investment in housing is a long-term phenomenon and as such analysis should be kept as far away from the short-term as possible. The second serves as a wildcard, in one of the most fragmented markets of all. For example: Is now a good time to invest in a home? Well, “it depends” on where, because the real estate recovery is happening at, at least, two speeds.

On the one hand, we have medium-sized cities with a lot of stock and less established areas, which are weighing down on the results. On the other hand, we have the large real estate centres and main tourist destinations, which are experiencing a resurgence.

According to a survey conducted by the Network for Qualified Property Consultants (RAIC or ‘la Red de Asesores Inmobiliarios Cualificados’) for Expansión, 73.9% of the professionals in the sector think that the three main leaders of the real estate recovery will be Madrid, Barcelona and the coastal regions.

17.39% believe that the leaders of the real estate recovery will be Barcelona and Madrid only, whilst 4.35% put thier money on the cities in the north of Spain. A similar percentage back the Mediterranean Coast.

Madrid and, above all, Barcelona, are experiencing a new period of real estate expansion. House prices increased by 7.4% in Barcelona during Q3 2015 and by 0.2% in the capital, according to Tinsa.

The third most preferred region for investment, since it is recovering so well, is the Costa del Sol, which, unsurprisingly, is regarded as the “leading indicator” of the sector. When prices rise in Marbella and the surrounding area, prices in other areas tend to follow suit.

Javier García-Mateo, Partner in the Financial Advsiory team at Deloitte explains: “Crises always start on the coast, but so too do the recoveries, above all on the Costa del Sol. It was in Marbella that we first began to see price decreases in 2007”. He considers that now is a “good time” to buy on the coast of Malaga. “And the feeling there is even better than in many of the major cities. The coast is a much more volatile market, where the decreases are very acute, but so too are the increases. And demand there is European, not just Spanish”.

Foreigners are the main players. José Antonio Pérez, Professor of Real Estate at IPE, says that purchases by foreigners “are growing twice as quickly as those made by Spaniards, on the coast”. “For the most recent developments sold off-plan in the Costa del Sol and Levante, more than two thirds have been bought by citizens with 12 different nationalities; they demand and pay more, and almost always pay in cash”, added Pérez.

The coast in Alicante is starting to recover strongly too, according to Jorge Ripoll, Head of Research at Tinsa, the largest appraisal company in Spain.

The consultant José Luis Ruiz Bartolomé emphasises another major focus of the residential growth: the metropolitan areas of the large cities. “Opportunities in the labour market are clearly found in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and other large cities, and that is leading to migration, particularly young people, to the peripheries of these cities”, he says. “That is where homes need to be built”, he adds.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: Barcelona Leads House Price Recovery With 7% Rise

2 October 2015 – Expansión

The real estate recovery is progressing slowly but surely, at two speeds, but with a clear trend towards stabilisation. Sales are clearly rebounding, the granting of mortgages is starting to recover lost ground and, above all, prices are stabilising. In fact, appraisal values are now increasing in many large cities, especially in Barcelona.

According to data from Spain’s largest appraisal company, Tinsa, homes became more expensive in nine large cities during the third quarter of 2015, led by Barcelona (7.4%). The Catalan capital was followed by Huesca (3.7%), Jaén (3.1%), Segovia (2.3%), Cuenca (2.1%), Lleida (1.9%), Badajoz (1.7%), Las Palmas (0.8%) and Madrid (0.2%). Valladolid, where residential property prices remained stable (0.0%) completed the top 10.

The residential boom in Barcelona is evident when we look at the main sector indicators: the Catalan capital recorded a notable increase in property development activity during the first quarter of the year (the latest period for which figures are available). According to data from the Ministry of Development, the number of new build permits quadrupled with respect to the first quarter 2014. In Madrid, they decreased by 2.6% YoY.

The valuation of residential properties is proving more resistant to increases than the statistics based on house deeds (for example, INE reported an increase in house prices of 4.2% during the same period). That could be because the sales being signed involve homes for which demand is highest, i.e. whose owners have more bargaining power. And that may be being driven by the pent-up demand from buyers who have been waiting for prices to bottom out before making their purchases.

By autonomous region, house prices rose in the Canary Islands (2.3% YoY), the Balearic Islands (0.9%), Madrid (0.7%) and Cataluña (1.4%) during the third quarter and decreased everywhere else. The influence of Spain’s two largest cities in their respective autonomous regions is clearly significant, and the boom in purchases by foreigners is playing a key role in the two island regions, where more than a quarter of the properties were purchased by foreigners, according to data from the Association of Registrars.

Despite the strong data from these four regions, and the Costa del Sol, Tinsa says that “it is still too soon to be talking about a general recovery in house prices” since the word that best defines the current situation in the market is really “stabilisation”.

The largest YoY decreases by autonomous region were recorded in Galicia (-6.4% in July, August and September), Extremadura (-6%), País Vasco (-5.6%) and Murcia (-5.1%). (…).

Original story: Expansión (by J.M. Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Foreigners Bought 12.5% Of All Homes Sold In H1 2015

2 October 2015 – Expansión

Investment / In some autonomous regions, foreign citizens are purchasing up to one third of the houses being sold.

Foreign investors are buying one out of every eight homes sold in Spain. And in some autonomous regions, that figure increases to one in every three. That is the main finding from data released by the Association of Registrars, which published a guide – in English – yesterday aimed at foreign citizens interested in purchasing a home in Spain…”.

Foreign purchasers accounted for 12.5% of all residential property sales registered during the first half of 2015, “and even represented between one third and one quarter of purchases in certain autonomous regions, such as the Balearic Islands, where they accounted for 33.5% of all purchases made during the second quarter”, said the registrars.

The Balearic Islands were followed by the Canary Islands (27.5%) and Valencia, where overseas buyers were responsible for 25.7% of all home purchases. Murcia, Andalucía and Cataluña recorded percentages of between 12% and 15%, whilst in Madrid, 4.7% of all home purchases were made by foreigners.

Those were the headlines presented by Beatriz Corredor, the Director of Institutional Relations at the Association of Registrars. The former Housing Minister said that “the trend is rising”. In other words, foreigners are expected to continue their activity over the next few quarters. “The level of interest is not waning”, at least for the time being, added Corredor.

The guide, entitled “Guide to buying a property in Spain” has been prepared in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the International Association of Property Professionals (‘Asociación Internacional de Profesionales de la Propiedad’ or AIPP). The intention is for registrars to accompany foreigners seeking to buy a home in Spain through each stage of the process. “The booklet guides potential buyers through the different stages, in chronological order, from the search for a property through to the registration of the purchase in the Property Register, with detailed explanations about the procedures that need to be followed during each phase, along with useful advice and warnings about the precautions that should be taken and the differences compared with other legal systems”. In fact, the guide contains a list of information and considerations that would be of interest to any purchaser thinking of buying a home: information that can be obtained from the Commercial Register, location and physical characteristics of the home, energy efficiency certificate, licences and insurances.

The intention is to “make the way in which homes are sold in Spain more professional”, says Afredo Millás, the Chairman of RICS. Millás confirmed that the guide is aimed primarily at buyers from the UK, which is hardly surprisingly, given that British citizens are responsible for one in every five foreign buyer purchase (19.85%), well above the purchases made by the French (8.1%), Germans (7.65%) and Belgians (6.5%).

Original story: Expansión (by J.M.L.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: 100,000+ Homes Sold In Q2 2015

25 September 2015 – Cinco Días

Improved access to credit and the increase in employment have been spurring on house sales for almost a year now and the upwards trend continued in the second quarter of the year. In fact, more homes are now being sold than a year ago in 14 of the 17 autonomous regions, when just a few months ago, the increase was being observed in just half of the country. And for the first time in five years, more than 100,000 homes were sold in one quarter, a figure not seen since 2010. (…).

A shortage of new homes

The numbers published yesterday by the Ministry of Development showed that house sales grew by 13.9% during the second quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2014. In total, 104,530 house sales were recorded, the best quarter since 2010, thanks primarily to the boost in the market for second hand homes and the activity in large cities.

By type, 91,499 second hand homes were sold between April and June, an increase of 22.6% with respect to a year earlier. But the most significant result is that second hand properties accounted for 87.5% of the total market in Q2 2015 – the segment continues to gain weight quarter after quarter, as the number of unsold properties in new developments dries up. In fact, the purchase of newly constructed homes increased by just 2.5% YoY in Q2 2015, to 13,031 properties, a volume equivalent to just 12.5% of the total number of transactions closed during the quarter. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that the classification between new and second hand homes is clouded by the fact that many of the latter are actually new; they are classified as second hand because they come from developments that were included in real estate portfolios owned by banks or Sareb (and were finished more than two years ago). (…).

The other revelation disclosed by the Ministry of Development’s statistics relates to the classification of unsubsidised homes versus VPOs, which confirms the trend that has been observed in recent quarters: increasingly fewer VPO homes were sold in Q2 2015 for two reasons. The first is that the Government’s most recent housing plan tightened the conditions whereby individuals can sell those kinds of homes and the second is because no new VPO developments have been initiated since 2012, since the Executive of the PP has been more focused on (the promotion of) rental housing and renovations. Evidence of all of this is that only 4,590 VPO homes were sold between April and June, i.e. VPOs accounted for just 4.4% of all operations.

By autonomous community, house sales increased in 14 regions, led by La Rioja, where the volume of activity shot up by 44.2%, the Balearic Islands (+30.1%) and Cantabria (+29.4%). At the opposite end of the spectrum, a YoY decrease in house sales was recorded in 3 regions: Navarra (-14.7%), Extremadura (-1.5%) and País Vasco (-0.6%).

Another one of the findings from these statistics is that a few large capital cities behaved like hotspots in the market. Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia were the cities in which the most homes were sold between April and June, with 8,252 homes, 3,590 homes and 1,975 homes sold, respectively.

The housing market also recorded a positive result when we look at the figures for the last twelve months (July 2014 – June 2015), with 382,471 house changing owners, an increase of 13.3% compared with the previous twelve months (July 2013 – June 2014). In terms of the nationality of purchasers, the statistics reveal that foreigners bought 17.7% of all homes sold during the quarter.

Specifically, foreigners residing in the country acquired 17,307 homes, an increase of 17.2%, whilst operations closed by non-resident foreigners amounted to 1,244, up by 5% compared with the same period last year.

The provinces in which foreigners purchased most homes were Alicante (4,141), Málaga (2,517), Barcelona (1,470) and Madrid (1,173).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

RE Megaprojects Return To The Costa Del Sol

27 July 2015 – Málaga Hoy

The property market on the Costa del Sol is showing signs of recovery. After years of crisis and turmoil in the construction sector, domestic and international investors are putting their faith in the region once again as they undertake new developments and generate profits. In the last three months, three large million-euro initiatives have been launched in Estepona, Marbella and Mijas, together with others, on a smaller scale, along other parts of the coast.

In Estepona, the company Ikasa has announced that it will invest €205 million in the construction of 400 luxury homes in an urbanisation that will be called ‘Panoramia Estepona’. It will be built over eight years, in a series of phases that will depend on the behaviour of the market; work will begin on the first phase this summer. (…).

The second mega-project is in Marbella and will involve the injection of €150 million from one of the largest US investment funds, for the construction of 200 luxury homes next to the Santa Clara Golf urbanisation. The first of the four phases could be completed by the end of the year and will include the creation of 20 independent villas, each with its own exclusive design, styled under the supervision of six of the country’s leading architects and with prices that will range between €900,000 and €2.5 million. 70% of the units in this development have been sold in just one month. And this is just the first of several projects that the developer Urbania International is planning in the area. (…).

Finally, last Monday, the company Taylor Wimpey España announced that it will invest €21 million on the construction of 48 apartments and 55 terraced houses in La Cala Resort, in Mijas, over the next five years, mainly aimed at foreign customers. (…)

In the international real estate market, Marbella portrays an image of quality, exclusivity, privacy and security. It is not surprising that the most luxurious private urbanisation in Europe, La Zagaleta, ended 2014 with a record turnover of €40 million and a three-fold increase in its profits compared with the previous year. So much so that the stock of newly constructed properties on the site has now dried up, and so plans are afoot for the construction of six new villas in 2016, which will have prices of between €8 million and €15 million.

The Costa del Sol is a gold standard, but the experts insist that the local and provincial administration must be more efficient in their bureaucratic management to secure continued investment and ensure greater legal security. (…).

Who are the buyers of these luxury homes?

Most of the buyers are foreigners, but “they are no longer seeking out the bargain that they thought they were going to find in years gone by”, says Pía Arrieta Morales, Partner at the real estate company Diana Morales Properties – Knight Frank. (…)

Kristina Szekely, Director of the real estate company that bears her name says that clients with less cash to invest are mainly looking for apartments with a price tag of between €200,000 and €300,000, not far from the beach, but not necessarily within the Golden Mile. Whereas, those with more capital prefer residences of between 800m2 and 2,500 m2, with an average value of €2.5 million, located in the Golden Triangle, including in La Zagaleta. But customer preferences are also a question of culture. “Russian and Arabs look for large, light-filled spaces, whilst Scandinavians prefer quiet places with views that are not necessarily overlooking the sea”.

Ricardo Arranz, the President of the Andalucían Federation of Town Planners and Residential Tourism added that the three most important factors for buyers on the Costa del Sol at the moment are: the best climate in Europe, security and infrastructure. There is a special emphasis on the integration of foreign residents with the opening of 12 international schools with pupils from 42 different nationalities in the Golden Triangle alone. Arranz notes that more than 30,000 homes worth more than €1 million have been constructed and sold in this area and another 35,000 homes that are worth between €400,000 and €600,000. (…).

Original story: Málaga Hoy (by A. Recio and E. Moreno)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Why Did Foreigners Buy 72,000 Homes In Spain In 2014?

8 May 2015 – Expansión

When it comes to buying homes in Spain, foreigners are primarily motivated by the quality of life, the sun and good flight connections to their home countries.

The volume of house sales increased by 21.6% in 2014. In total, 365,594 transactions were closed, according to the Ministry of Development. It is clear that the real estate market has begun its recovery and, to a large extent, that is due to the interest that the real estate market is sparking amongst investors from overseas. Purchases by foreign residents in Spain have grown in recent months, partly due to the incentives that the Government has introduced – mainly the residence visa – but above all due to the opportunities offered by the real estate market here. Foreigners purchased more than 72,000 homes in Spain last year and the average transaction value was €152,000.

But, who are these foreigners that are purchasing homes in Spain and what is it that draws them to our country? “Many of these overseas investors are tourists who come to Spain on holiday and after spending time here, decide to invest in a second home”, says a study performed by TM Grupo Inmobiliario, which has a stand at the SIMA (Salón Inmobiliario de Madrid or Madrid Real Estate Fair) being held until 10 May. “They are primarily motivated by the quality of life, the sun and good flight connections to their home countries”, says the report, which concludes that the profile of the average purchaser is a man, aged 53 years-old, with children. On average, these purchasers have an annual income of €66,000. There is also a significant percentage of resident buyers in our country who are making Spain their new home given the improvement in the economic environment.

Britons are the nationality most interested in purchasing homes in our country; they accounted for 18.62% of all transactions closed by foreigners (in 2014). They are followed by the French (9.39%), Germans (7.25%), Belgians (6.90%), Italians (6.13%), Russians (5.83%), Swiss (5.83%), Chinese (4.14%) and Norwegians (3.74%). In recent years, interest from Russian nationals in Spain had increased significantly, but the decline in the Ruble and in the price of petrol (last year) reduced their desire to purchase. There is also a great deal of interest from Mexicans and Colombians in buying a home in our country, but in absolute terms the numbers are not yet significant. The vast majority of them have a high purchasing power and are buying second homes here.

The decrease in house prices has not affected all areas equally, but overseas investors are primarily interested in three main areas: the Mediterranean Coast (Barcelona, Alicante, Girona and Málaga), the Islands (above all Mallorca, Ibiza and Tenerife) and Madrid.

Original story: Expansión (by E.V.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: House Sales Grew In Every Province In 2014

13 March 2015 – Expansión

More homes were sold in 2014 than in 2013. That is a fact. The question is: how much did the market grow by? The official statistics do not tally (with each other). The Institute for National Statistics (INE) recorded an increase of 2.2% (in 2014), based on data from the property registers. Yesterday, the Ministry of Development revealed an increase of no less than 21.6%, based on data from notaries, which represents the greatest increase since it began publishing these statistics (in 2004), with a total of 365,594 transactions.

This is also the highest figure since 2010, although, of course, it is still a long way from the peak years of the real estate bubble (2007, when 837,483 transactions were recorded). One of the explanations for the disparity in the Government’s statistics stems from the fact that not all transactions recorded in the public registers are included (in the data). Moreover, there is typically a time lag, of a few months, between notarial information and data in the property registers.

In any case, the trend, which is really the important indicator in the real estate market, is becoming bullish once more. Not surprisingly, according to the data from the Ministry of Development, sales of residential properties increased by 2014 in every autonomous region, something that was unheard of in the years of the crisis.

Sales increased by the most in Madrid (44.7%), followed by Navarra (31.3%), Aragón (31.1%), Asturias (30.8%), País Vasco (29.3%) and the Balearic Islands (29.2%).

But the improvement in the market did not stop there. An annual increase was recorded in every single province in 2014. The largest rises were recorded in Ceuta (57.6%), Burgos (46.8%), Salamanca (39.2%), Zaragoza (38.2%), Guadalajara (37.9%), Vizcaya (34.3%), Melilla (34.1%) y Guipúzcoa (33.0%).

Foreigner buyers

House sales to foreigners resident in Spain also experienced a year-on-year increase in the last quarter of 2014, for the fourteenth consecutive quarter, specifically, by 19.7%, with respect to the fourth quarter of 2013, a total of 16,336 sales. Similarly, purchases by non-resident foreigners increased to 1,315 during the quarter, an increase of 13.4% on the previous year.

Overall, sales to foreigners (both resident and non-resident) accounted for 15.8% of all sales. By province, the greatest increases in the number of purchases by foreign residents were recorded in Alicante (3,852), Málaga (2,226), Barcelona (1,536), Madrid (1,285) and Baleares (1,126).

Finally, it is worth noting the healthy level of activity in the housing market in the fourth quarter of 2014, when 111,921 homes were sold in Spain. Not since 2010 have more transactions been recorded during the fourth quarter (150,494). This figure represents a year-on-year increase of 19.5%.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

House Sales To Foreigners Soar By 30% In Málaga

13 March 2015 – Diario Sur

In 2014, in the province of Málaga, 9,140 homes were sold to citizens from other countries, a figure that comes close to levels last seen before the crisis. This means that foreign buyers accounted for 38% of all real estate transactions in the province last year.

Foreign demand continues to be high in the Malaga property market, which recorded an increase of 28% in house sales last year, according to data published today by the Ministry of Development. Of the 23,929 homes sold in the province in 2014, 9,190 were to foreign buyers, which represents a percentage of 38%.

And the volume of house sales to foreigners has almost doubled in two years: from 5,140 in 2012 to more than 9,000 last year, representing a growth rate of almost 80%. Transactions involving Spanish buyers also increased in 2014, specifically, by 29%. However, according to the Chairman of the Association for Builders and Developers, José Prados, demand for primary residences, i.e. demand from buyers from Malaga itself, continues to be “very static”.

In terms of the foreign nationalities that are buying homes in Malaga, the ranking is led by the British, Scandinavians, French, Benelux, Germans and Russians, in that order, according to Prados. “Demand from Russian buyers, which peaked to compete with that shown by British buyers at one point, has cooled off significantly as a result of the internal problems facing the country”, he adds.

The vast majority of the foreigners that buy homes in Málaga (8,010 out of 9,190) are resident in Spain. The number of non-resident buyers has not increased significantly, despite the incentives introduced by the Government to grant residence permits.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Nuria Triguero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

A Peak Inside The Luxury Homes On Juan Bravo, 3

12 March 2015 – Expansión

The Socimi and the North American management company are investing €120 million to rescue the most exclusive residential project in the city. Designed by Rafael de La-Hoz, its 50 apartments will cost around €4 million (each).

Three months ago, the Socimi Lar España and the North American management company Pimco agreed to purchase the company Juan Bravo, 3. The agreement will result in the revival of one of the most exclusive residential projects in Madrid, which has suffered from the full force of the real estate crisis.

“It was a transaction that was in the market and we were not the only interested party. Nevertheless, many funds dropped out when they saw the complexity of the project. There were lots of stakeholders: from the judge overseeing the bankruptcy process to the former owners of the company and its creditors”, explains Jorge Pérez de Leza, who heads up Lar España.

The Socimi proposed that the company be brought out of bankruptcy, rather than be liquidated, through the purchase of the remaining loans from its main creditor (Santander). In total, both partners invested €120 million in the land and (associated) loans, as well as in a residential building adjacent to the plot, which used to belong to the former owners of Juan Bravo 3. “The existing creditors are going to be paid, which is the innovative part (of the transaction), and we hope that the bankruptcy proceedings will be lifted within the next few days”, said Pérez de Leza.

The investment has been made through a company whose share capital is owned split 50:50 between Lar and Pimco, one of the largest fund managers in the world. “When Pimco joined the Socimi as an ‘anchor investor’, it suggested that we make a number of joint ventures in the Spanish market. Pimco wants to continue investing in Spain and we think that the next wave of investment will be in the residential market”, predicts the director. With this project, Lar does not exceed the threshold set for Socimis (that no more than 20% of the assets in their portfolio may not generate returns) and therefore it does not rule out continued investment in the premium residential sector.

After closing the acquisition of this land, Lar España hired the architectural firm Rafael de La-Hoz, which had also been appointed by the former managers to design the project. “Juan Bravo 3 offers the opportunity to construct a new building concept with four façades. The homes, from the garages to the bedrooms, will be completely new. As such, we will have almost total freedom in terms of the form (it takes) and we will be able to do without elements such as common areas and patios”, says Rafael de La-Hoz.

This architect will be responsible for designing the block of homes, which will contain between 50 and 55 units, on a plot of land measuring 26,203 square metres. “Last summer, we conducted a study in the market to see what type of project would fit best and we identified that there is room for luxury (properties) in this area. Therefore, each home will measure at least 250 square metres and on average, will measure between 400 and 450 square metres, as well as having three parking spaces”, says Jorge Pérez de Leza.

The homes will have an average price of €10,000/m2 (prices will range from €8,000/m2 to €12,000/m2 depending on the floor). “It will be different to anything else that exists in the area. There will be common areas with a gym, spa and a space for events. We are going to customise the product and for that reason, we have created a specific team of technical architects to advise clients in their choice of materials and the distribution of their homes, as well as on implementation costs and timings”.


The sale of these homes will begin this summer, although the developers have already received a number of requests. “We expect 60% of the homes to be sold to foreigners; and the remainder to be sold to people who live in the area and want a new home, or who have a home in La Moreleja or Somosaguas and now want to move to the centre”. The construction work will begin at the start of 2016 and will be completed in mid-2018. “Some of the below-ground work has already been completed, but we will have to improve it because it is somewhat dilapidated”.

In addition to fifty homes, the property will also have a shop space measuring around 1,000 square metres, which will be rented out.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake