Mif Capital Expands its RE Business with 3 New Projects in Barcelona

14 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The property developer founded by Carles Maurí and Gregorio Ferrer Cervera will begin three new projects this year in the districts of Eixample and Sarrià. During its five year life, the real estate company has generated revenues of €20 million with developments completed exclusively in the Catalan capital.

Mif Capital will fulfil its annual objective in 2018: to start between two and three residential projects in Barcelona. The real estate company, founded in 2013 by Carles Maurí and Gregorio Ferrer, will start work on the renovation of a residential building in the Eixample district after the summer, and will also launch “two more projects at the end of the year”, both located in the Catalan capital, according to Maurí speaking to Eje Prime.

The executive, who has two decades of experience in major real estate companies, and his partner, together lead this property developer, which is finalising the handover of its latest project, in the heart of the Gràcia neighbourhood. The six renovated homes will be added to the two apartments that the company finished refurbishing recently on Avenida Diagonal. All of them are located in Barcelona because “we are based here, we like the city and we believe that it is a good location in which to develop real estate”, says the businessman.

Mif Capital’s new projects will adopt the same style as the five developments undertaken to date and will involve the renovation and sale of properties in prime locations. “In some cases, the homes are destined for rent and in others for sale”, explains Maurí, who has built up the company from nothing alongside Ferrer, and who says that “Between the two of us we take care of all the acquisitions and management of the assets” (…).

 “We want to grow organically” 

“We purchase buildings in which we would like to live”, responds Maurí to a question about what type of properties that most interest both him and his partner. In this sense, most of Mif Capital’s projects go up for sale, although the real estate company has also constructed some homes for rent. “Nevertheless, we are not interested in, nor do we own any tourist apartments”, says the businessman.

The founding partner of the real estate company knows the Barcelona real estate market well. He began his career in 1998 on the Diagonal Mar shopping centre project, when he was the Director of Business for Hines for five years. Subsequently, Maurí worked for Copcisa, the construction group owned by the Carbonell family, and then for Layetana Inmobiliaria, which built the iconic Torre Glòries, now owned by Merlin.

That experience led the co-founder of Mif Capital to Servihabitat, the servicer of La Caixa. After three years as the National Director of the bank’s real estate arm, during a time of deep recession in the sector, he decided to set up a new company with Ferrer (…).

The first asset that entered the property developer’s portfolio was a building located at number 42 Rambla Catalunya (…).

After two “very good” years, the objective of the real estate company for the next few years is “to continue with the same business plan”, with the aim of “continuing to grow organically”. With a clear focus on the city of Barcelona.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Some House Prices Have Risen By 20% Since Q1 2015

10 October 2016 – Expansión

Money is seeking refuge and returns in the real estate sector once again. Real estate assets, which experienced such significant gains at the beginning of the century and which, shortly thereafter, generated so many problems, represent one of the main options for investors in Spain once again. The significant instability that we are seeing in the stock markets; the absence of attractive investment products from the banks; and the many doubts hanging over the global economic recovery, mean that many investors are now backing the security being offered by the, until recently, maligned Spanish real estate sector.

“In the current economic climate, characterised by market volatility and negative interest rates, the real estate sector, and in particular, the luxury residential segment, is becoming the safest choice for investors”, explained sources at the real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank.

These data are corroborated by the evolution of prices in some of the main areas of Madrid and Barcelona. According to data published by the appraisal company Tinsa, since Q1 2015, which is when it is considered that prices in the sector hit rock bottom, prices in the centre of Madrid have soared by more than 10%. Specifically, in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, the increase has been almost as high and the price per sqm now amounts to €3,500/sqm. The increase in the Cataluñan capital is even more pronounced and in the Ensanche de Barcelona area, prices have risen by 20%, from €2,717/sqm at the beginning of 2015 to more than €3,200 at the end of Q3 2016. Moreover, prices rose by more than 15% in the Gracia neighbourhood and by 13% in Sarriá.

This situation is the result of the economic recovery in the country, but also the apepal that the real estate sector has for overseas investors. According to Knight Frank, Latin America and European investors are being very active in their purchases, given that prices fall well below those seen in cities such as Paris, London and Milan.

This good image of the Spanish property sector overseas is going to be maintained over the next few years. That is according to Deutsche Asset Management, which reaffirmed its advice to “buy” in the real estate sector in Spain in a recent report.

“We expect significant returns to be generated (…), well above those being offered in other European markets”, it said.

The only problem that both the manager of Deutsche Bank and Knight Frank are concerned by is political instability. In fact, the real estate consultancy said that “we cannot avoid the situation of political uncertainty that Spain has been living for the last 10 months (…). Activity has been good in the sector but with a stable Government, the growth rate could have been exponential”.

Nevertheless, this obstacle is not likely to outweigh the attractive returns being offered by the sector. According to forecasts from the consultancy CBRE, real estate investment between now and the end of the year is expected to amount to almost €3,000 million, taking the total for the year to between €8,500 million and €9,000 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Daniel Viaña and César Urrutia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: House Prices Rise By Most In Madrid & Barcelona

18 July 2016 – Expansión

The Balearic and Canary Islands are featuring in the housing recovery, but Madrid and Barcelona are leading the way; there, the number of transactions has picked up pace and prices are growing strongly once again. Most of these increases are due to the economic recovery, but the savings factor is also playing a major part.

In fact, the influence of private investors is still playing a crucial role in the strengthening of the two major real estate regions, whose central districts are the most sought-after by companies and individuals, both Spanish and foreign.

It is precisely the influence of these investors that boosted property prices in both capitals in the first place, firing the starting gun for the reactivation of the sector, as they committed to the prime areas before anyone else. These central districts, which are well-connected and offer good services, used to offer a certain degree of security for investors, and a great deal of potential for appreciation, even when everyone in the market was still searching for land.

Both cities were amongst the leaders of the increase in house prices during the second quarter of the year, according to data from the appraisal company Tinsa, published recently. Nevertheless, these increases were concentrated in some of the most expensive areas, as shown by the analysis by district of the local markets. Specifically, many of the neighbourhoods where prices stand at around €3,000/sqm in Madrid and Barcelona are also those where prices have risen by the most in the last year, whereas prices in those neighbourhoods that fall below the average have grown more moderately.

For example, prices in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Salamanca have risen by 9.8% in the last year, whilst in Chamberí they have increased by 8.9%. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the following districts stand out: Gràcia (where prices have risen by 12.7%), El Eixample (10.9%) and Les Corts (8.1%). These statistics show that the prime areas are recovering better than the rest. They are central, well-connected areas with very solvent demand, where returns are high and there is significant retail activity, which means they have significant potential for appreciation both for those buying to invest as well as those looking to put their properties up for rent. As with everything, there are notable exceptions, such as the Retiro area in Madrid and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi in Barcelona, which are increasing by below the average.

Other areas

Nevertheless, the real estate expert José Luis Ruiz Bartolomé indicates that the real estate market has now entered a new phase, in which the recovery is spreading to more and more areas. “Before, properties were only being sold in the best districts, but now the increases have spread to the most popular areas, as supply is limited and there are increasingly more buyers looking for homes to live in, rather than to buy as investments”, he explains.

For this reason, the most popular neighbourhoods have become more attractive with the recovery of the labour market and the opening of the bank financing tap. In this way, house prices in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of San Blas have risen by 9.9%, making it the second highest price rise district in the capital; meanwhile, Sant Andreu is also boosting prices in Cataluña, with an increase of 8.2%. Similarly, prices in all of the districts of Madrid that cost less than €2,000/sqm have increased by more than the average, with the exception of Villaverde, the cheapest of all, where prices have remained stable. Something similar is happening in Barcelona where the most popular areas, such as Nou Barris and Sants-Montjuïc, also grew by more than average. (…).

Moreover, Tasaciones CBRE indicates that the profile of investments funds “has evolved rapidly from being opportunistic to value-added, choosing instead to back development, the renovation of properties and, given that they have perceived the potential for refurbishments, they will gradually start managing plots of land in urban areas, with the aim of obtaining higher returns”. With this, the increase in demand and prices will increasingly move to more remote areas. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Pablo Cerezal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Residential Investment: Which Are The Most Profitable Districts?

30 May 2016 – Expansión

Madrid and Barcelona are pulling the real estate wagon. The recovery is happening at two speeds, at least. On the one hand, house prices are rising in the large cities, where sales volumes are also increasing significantly, rental prices are growing, non-residential investment is on the up and there is a shortage of land available for sale.

Most of this improvement in due to underlying macroeconomic trends, but not all of it. The impact of private investors is playing a crucial role in the strengthening of the two large real estate regions, whose central areas are the most sought-after by investors, both businesses and individuals, and Spaniards and foreigners alike.

The prime districts of the Madrid and Barcelona offer the highest rental yields for those looking to buy homes as investments. If we also include the appreciation that these properties are experiencing in terms of price, then the total return on these homes exceeds the 10% threshold.

That is according to a report about rental yields, by district in Madrid and Barcelona, prepared by Fotocasa.

The analysis of the Madrilenian capital concludes that the districts that spark the most interest for rented housing are: Centro, Carabanchel, Tetuán, Puente de Vallecas and Latina. They currently offer an average yield of 6%, almost one percentage point higher than the average return in Spain, which stands at 5.3%. The yields offered from rents in these districts range from 4.9% in Centro to 7.4% in Puente de Vallecas.

In Barcelona, the gross yield from buying a home and putting it up for rent (excluding capital gains) is 5.3%, in line with the national average. The districts that are most sought-after by investors in Barcelona are: L’Eixample, Sant Martí, Ciutat Vella and Gràcia, which are currently generating an average return of 4.7%, i.e. 1.3 points below the yield being offered by an average home in the most sought-after areas of Madrid. In any case, the prime returns range between 4.2% in L’Eixample and 5.3% in Ciutat Vella. (…).

Double-digit price rises

In terms of prices, nine of the 10 districts in the Catalan capital recorded double digit increases in 2015. “Within the last few months, we have seen unheard of increases in rental prices in the city of Barcelona. Whilst historically, the Madrilenian district of Salamanca was the most expensive place to rent a home in Spain, now that ranking is led by the Catalan district of Ciutat Vella, after prices there rose by more than 20% YoY. In fact, Ciutad Vella is currently 11% more expensive than the Madrileñian district of Salamanca”, said Beatriz Toribio.

“The high demand for rental housing in the most central areas of the city, and the limited supply of homes, are combining to cause rental prices in Barcelona to rise to record breaking levels. They are even causing rental prices in less central areas, such as Sant Martí and the district of Horta Guinardó, to see double-digit YoY increases in rental prices”, added Toribio.

The most sought after rental properties in Madrid are smaller than the most sought after properties for purchase. Whilst to buy, the average home measures 80 sqm and has two or three bedrooms; to lease, the average home has a surface area of 57 sqm and two bedrooms. The same thing is happening in Barcelona: the average home to buy measures 80 sqm, and has between two and three bedrooms. Nevertheless, to rent the average house size is 60 sqm with two bedrooms.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake