Aedas will Collaborate with Socimis to Build Rental Homes

21 October 2018 – La Vanguardia

The property developerAedas Homes has started negotiations with several Socimis to offer them “turnkey” projects for rental homes that they will be able to manage, and has ruled out, at least for the time being, turning itself into a listed real estate investment company (Socimi).

The CEO of Aedas Homes, David Martínez, explained to Efe that the intention of these negotiations is to allocate some of the residential land that it owns to building “turnkey” homes for rental, although the firm is continuing with the development and sale of its own homes in most cases.

“We cannot launch two developments at the same time because they would cannibalise each other, but we can launch one for sale by us and the other for rental by a Socimi”, explained Martínez by way of example for the areas in which his firm has land for two neighbouring plots for development.

What Martínez did rule out is the possibility of Aedas Homes becoming a listed real estate investment company (Socimi), at least for the time being.

“In the future, we can explore the possibilities, but, that is not something that interests at the moment, because our objective is to grow as a property developer”, he highlighted.

Moreover, the firm has no plans to explore other segments of the real estate market or venture overseas.

“Residential is a sufficiently large niche, which requires specialisation, primarily in the areas of high demand”, said the senior executive at Aedas, who also acknowledged that his company is interested in buying land from large owners such as, for example, Sareb.

Moreover, and when asked about the Government’s announcement to promote a stock of 20,000 new homes for social rental, Martínez said that “any initiative is welcome”.

In this regard, he said that “it is clear that this country needs homes, for ownership and rental”, and that “although rental prices are rising well above expectations, that is a clear sign that there is a housing deficit”.

The CEO of the property developer estimates that overseas demand amounts to 30,000 homes per year, which is “quite stable”, with British buyers “still the strongest, despite Brexit”, but there has also been a rise in acquisitions by Belgians, Dutch, Nordics and Russians.

In terms of reserving 30% of homes in new developments for social rental, an initiative approved by the Town Hall of Barcelona, Martínez does not think that the Generalitat of Cataluña will approve it and that, if it were to, “it would generate uncertainty and so would not be a good decision”.

What he does ask Town Halls is for them to speed up the granting of licences and changes to urban plans to allow an increase in density in Spain’s cities.

By way of example, he explained demolishing a block of low-rise homes, rehousing the residents and building taller developments, which would avoid the “expansive growth” of cities and the consequent problems that this causes for mobility.

In addition, he indicated that one of the challenges facing Aedas is to increase its industrialised construction of homes, building most of a home in a factory, for example. This method is not very widespread in Spain yet but his firm has been promoting it in six of the developments that it currently has underway.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

PDeCat Sells its HQ in Barcelona to An Asian-Catalan Fund for €8M

1 October 2018 – Idealista

The Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCat) has hung the “sold” sign up over what is currently its headquarters, after a series of negotiations with several funds. The Catalan political party has completed the sale of the building to an Asian-Catalan fund led by the businessman Joaquim Zamacois, according to sources close to the operation speaking to Idealista News. In the end, the consideration paid amounted to €8 million.

The office building has a surface area of more than 2,100 m2 and was put on the market for an initial asking price of €7.4 million. The asset, owned by the Catalan political party until now, is located at number 339 Calle Provenza. The PDeCat, which put the property on the market because it is “too large for its needs”, will move to another building and leave this property vacant for a new operator.

The asset is registered in the name of the (now dormant) political party ‘Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya’ (CDC), although it has been used by its PDeCat heirs. This is not the first real estate transaction that the party has closed: three years ago, CDC sold its previous headquarters on Calle Córcega to the Hong Kong-based fund Inversión Platinum, which subsequently converted that building into high-end homes.

The decision to put the headquarters on the market was taken in the summer of 2017, although it was not advertised until December after the Catalan elections had been held. To fire the starting gun, PDeCat placed an advert in local newspapers announcing the sale.

The building, which as well as being used for offices could also be converted into homes, has housed a number of tenants over the years. In the past, the property was leased to the Trade and Energy Departments of the Generalitat de Cataluña.

Sale in the middle of the ‘procés’

The sale of the building came on the first anniversary of the illegal referendum held on 1 October 2017. Over the last year, although the political instability has not had a significant impact on the real estate sector in Cataluña, it did cause investor interest to suffer during the final quarter of last year.

According to data from the real estate consultancy CBRE, real estate investment in Cataluña amounted to €2.093 billion in 2017, down by 17% compared to the previous year, although experts in the sector indicate that one of the problems was a lack of supply, rather than a lack of demand.

Nevertheless, the professionals in the sector agree that the data for the last two quarters has been improving in Cataluña, with operations such as the sale of PDeCat’s headquarters serving by way of example. Moreover, the outlook is positive: “For example, if we focus on the office investment market, data for the third quarter of 2018 is better than for the same period in 2017”, explain sources at the real estate consultancy Cushman&Wakefield.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE GI Buys Office Building In Barcelona For €65M

4 July 2017 – Eje Prime

CBRE’s real estate investment vehicle is continuing to grow its portfolio of assets in Spain. The company has acquired the property at number 8 on Calle Fontanella, in Barcelona, for €64.7 million, according to a statement issued by the firm. The building, which is used for mixed (office and retail) purposes, was owned until now by Avignon Capital.

The building has a surface area of 8,126 m2 and is located next to Plaza Catalunya. The property has a 100% occupancy rate with an average rental period of more than 12 years.

The ground floor, basement and mezzanine levels of the building constitutes prime retail space and is leased to Media Markt. Meanwhile, the office floors of the asset are leased in their entirety to the Generalitat de Cataluña.

In this way, CBRE’s investment vehicle is continuing its investment policy in the Spanish market. Last month, the group reached an agreement to acquire 70% of the H2O Rivas de Madrid shopping centre. The other 30% will remain in the hands of Alpha Real Trust Limited, which used to own the whole centre, and with which CBRE has created a joint venture.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amazon Leases Axiare’s Mega-Warehouse In Tarragona

16 June 2016 – Expansión

The logistics market is gaining strength in Spain, thanks to e-commerce, the sector that is growing the most and has the most optimistic forecasts. Keuhne+Nagel (K+N) has leased a logistics complex in Constantí (Tarragona) where it will work almost exclusively for the US giant Amazon.

One hundred jobs will be created during the first phase, but once the complex is operating at full capacity, it is expected to employ 400 people, according to sources familiar with the operation. To these figures, we have to add the typical reinforcements required during certain periods, such as at Christmas.

The land is owned by Axiare, which purchased the two empty warehouses last year for €13.5 million from the French insurance company Axa. (…).

Twin warehouses

The two warehouses are almost the same size as each other and have a combined surface area of 42,253 sqm in total. This is the largest operation in the sector in Cataluña so far in 2016 and one of the most important in Spain. Both facilities were constructed in 2009, but have not been used until now.

Axiare has leased the warehouses to Huenhe + Nagel, a Swiss logistics operator, which will work for Amazon. The US company will not lease this land directly, unlike the 150,000 sqm plot that it is planning to buy next to El Prat airport (Barcelona). At the facilities in El Prat, for which Amazon will reportedly pay €30 million to the Generalitat de Cataluña, 1,500 jobs will be created and €100 million will be invested, according to the Generalitat, although Amazon has not confirmed those figures.

Sources in the sector explain that the logistics infrastructures of companies the size of Amazon need several types of warehouses. As well as a central space for Southern Europe – such as the one that will be opened in El Prat, in a prime area – they also require dispatch points to handle larger objects. That activity requires more affordable, but still well-connected locations. Constantí is very close to Tarragona and is situated next to the AP-7 and A-27 motorways, and close to the AP-2. ID logistics opened a 20,000 sqm centre not far away from the site, in Vila-rodona, where Privalia is its main client.

Although the warehouses are six years old, the customisation of them has been minimal. They have 38 loading bays, are almost 11 metres tall and have offices for administration. Activity is expected to begin at the new complex in Constantí this summer.


Stuart William McDonald, the Director of RE at the Socimi said that Axiare’s strategy involves dedicating 80% of its business to the office sector and the remaining 20% to logistics. The company led by Luis Alfonso López de Herrera-Oria, earned €5.1 million during Q1 2016, up by 22%, after recording rental income of €10 million from its assets. Its portfolio is worth €900 million and 96% of its assets are located in Madrid and Barcelona.

In 2015, Axiare also purchased land without an end customer in Valls (Tarragona), which it ended up leasing out to Kelloggs. (…). Axiare’s share price rose by 0.49% yesterday and its market capitalisation amounted to €879 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Artur Zanón and Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake