Construction to Begin as Cuatro Caminos Receives Approval, Five Years On

20 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The City Council of Madrid will give its final approval for the plan to develop the Cuatro Caminos project.  Grupo Ibosa and 443 families purchased the land from Madrid Metro, for 88.3 million euros, in November 2014.

The site acquired by the cooperative, Residencial Metropolitan, has an area of ​​3.7 hectares, where the two groups plan to build a residential development, along with more than 17,000 square meters of parks and gardens.

The municipality’s approval will allow construction of more than 400 homes, 60 of which would be officially protected (subsidised), while transferring sufficient land for 70 more homes to the city council.

Original Story: El Confidencial – E. Sanz

Photo: Salvador Fenoll.

Goldman Sachs Pays €63M for A Plot of Land in Madrid

6 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Goldman Sachs is targeting the prime housing market in Madrid. The US investment fund has just purchased a plot of land in the centre of the Spanish capital for €63.7 million. The development of luxury apartments planned for the site is going to be built by the Catalan property developer Uniq.

The acquired plot is located at number 147 Paseo de la Habana and has a finalist surface area of 10,000 m2. The vendors are members of a family from Asturias. In the bid for this plot, Goldmans competed with other funds and property developers, such as Grupo Ibosa, Grosvenor, Pryconsa, Domo and Nozar, according to El Confidencial.

With this partnership, Uniq will have the possibility of increasing its presence in Madrid, where it already has a project underway in a former tenement building in Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz. Now, the Catalan property developer is going to build a development less than 1km from Paseo de la Castellana and the Santiago Bernabeú.

The area in which the development will be located has been receiving a lot of investment from wealthy Latin American families, recently. They are driving prices up in the residential market since they are “willing to pay well above the market average”, according to sources in the sector speaking to Eje Prime. They are interested in withdrawing their capital from their countries of origin, many of which are unstable, economically speaking, to invest in Spanish real estate, which offers them greater security.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Who is the Largest Residential Property Developer in Madrid

29 November 2018 – El Confidencial

With 12 developments underway comprising 758 homes with some type of protection, the Municipal Housing and Land Company (‘La Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo’ or EMVS) is the most active property developer in the city of Madrid. Of the more than 350 residential projects under construction in the capital at the moment, the public initiative (by the Town Hall of Madrid), together with the promotion of cooperative homes or units with some kind of protection, has significant weight in Madrid, given that more than 16% of new build projects underway and 22% of the units under construction are public initiative developments (EMVS) or cooperative promotions.

That is according to data from the consultancy firm CBRE, which has compiled a study to analyse real estate activity in the Spanish capital, using satellites, taking into account both new build projects that require cranes for their completion as well as comprehensive renovation projects that do not need cranes or scaffolding. On the basis of the data obtained, the property developers who are currently carrying out those projects in the 21 districts of Madrid have been identified, be they new build projects, renovations, private homes or social housing units, excluding any homes being marketed on which construction work has not started yet.

The study establishes a ranking with the top 25 residential property developers in the capital on the basis of the number of projects underway and the number of units under construction. That ranking is led by the EMVS both by number of developments as well as by number of homes. Its developments are concentrated in the Pau de Vallecas (8 projects comprising 475 units), Latina (one development comprising 87 homes), Arganzuela (one development comprising 85 units), Villa de Vallecas (one development comprising 72 homes) and Carabanchel (one development comprising 25 homes).

Despite the strong development activity of the EMVS, the reality is that it is the private property developers who lead the activity overall, given that they account for three quarters (78%) of the new home units under construction in the city of Madrid. In fact, there are 12 private property developers with three or more projects under construction, which account for more than a third (34%) of the homes under construction.

Pryconsa and Inmoglacier, the most powerful

The second position in the ranking by number of developments is held by Pryconsa. The company chaired by Marco Colomer currently has seven projects underway, comprising 500 homes (…).

By number of units under construction, the second place in the ranking is held by Inmoglacier, with 748 homes under construction, distributed across just five developments, all of which are concentrated in Parque Ingenieros in Villaverde (…), all with some kind of protection and constructed on land acquired from Sepes more than three years ago. The company chaired by Ignacio Moreno (…) is one of the most active property developers in the capital and is focused towards a segment of the population capable of acquiring a home at affordable prices.

“At first glance, the sector appears to be vey fragmented. The 351 residential projects underway in Madrid are split between 241 companies or cooperatives. However, many property developers assign a separate legal entity to each promotion (…) and so it is not always easy to identify the large groups (and commercial brands) behind each project”, explains Samuel Población, National Residential Director at CBRE speaking to El Confidencial (…).

By area, the main national property developers are committed to constructing large projects in new areas, such as Arroyo del Fresno (Amenabar and Grupo Pinilla), Valdebebas, Parque de Ingenieros and El Cañaveral, where the projects with the largest number of units are concentrated. Companies such as Grupo Ibosa (…) and Vía Celere, along with the newcomer Brosh, complete the ranking (…).

International firms stick to the rich neighbourhoods

In terms of the property developers with a more international profile, by contrast, they are continuing with a strategy focused on the renovation of homes inside the city, in the most sought-after neighbourhoods. Venezuelan property developers have been particularly active, including Gran Roque (…), which has a dozen residential projects underway comprising more than 100 homes in some of the most sought-after areas of Madrid (…).

Also, Grosvenor (from the UK) and Darya Homes or Dazia Capital (France) are concentrating their activity exclusively in the districts of Centro, Chamberí and Salamanca. Those three developers – include Gran Roque – are currently managing 10 residential remodelling projects, which are characterised by the limited number of units (14 on average) and a clear vocation towards the high- and very high-end segments of the market.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ibosa Offers €33.5M to Acquire Most Sought-After Plot in Madrid

20 November 2018 – El Confidencial

The cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa, Residencial Shaula Sociedad Cooperativa, has fought off competition from 16 other contenders in the auction for the most sought-after plot of land in Madrid. On the table: €33,510,000, an amount that almost doubles the minimum price of €17 million that the Treasury had set for it.

The cooperative has fought off competition in a tight bid from Desarrollos Los Astros, constituted at the beginning of November, and backed by Grupo Nozar, which placed €32 million on the table, and Arcano, which bid €31.2 million. Nevertheless, those two high offers were unable to compete with Grupo Ibosa, which has a lot of experience in this type of auction.

Expectations were high at Calle Guzmán el Bueno 139, the headquarters of the Special Delegation of the Economy and Finance in Madrid, where the auction was held. At 10am, in a room full with more than 100 people, 17 envelopes were opened containing 17 bids for the most sought-after plot of the year in Madrid. The land was owned by the National Currency and Stamp Factory (Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre), which entrusted its sale to the Heritage Service. The cooperative members will have to make the first disbursement within the next few days, equivalent to 25% of the amount offered, in other words, almost €8.4 million, and then pay the remaining 75% over the coming months, after deducting the deposit paid in order to be able to bid, which amounts to €850,000.

Vía Célere also submitted an offer (€23.7 million), exactly two years after submitting the only offer for another plot of land owned by the Treasury, in the same place, on Avenida Santo Ángel de la Guarda. The company chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado is a familiar face in this type of action. In fact, just a few days after that auction, it was awarded the Adif and Repsol plots in Méndez Álvaro. On that occasion, its bid was also the only one.

In terms of the other names called out in the room, they included traditional property developers such as Ebrosa (€20.53 million), which submitted the most conservative bid; Grupo Premier, which put €25.16 million on the table through the company Cajandral; and Grupo Lar, which bid €30.13 million through Desarrollos Residenciales Madrid Norte. Pryconsa, another of the real estate firms that typically participates in these types of procedures, offered €23.1 million through Cogein, and Renta Corporación, with €22.15 million.

The surprise bidders included Inmo Frieria, a company backed by Manuel Jove, the former President of Fadesa, with a bid amounting to €24.7 million. And the listed company Aedas Homes, which offered €25 million through the company SPV Reoco 1, in its first major auction in Madrid. The long list of interested parties was completed by Global Nostromo (€28.5 million), Golego ITG (€22.12 million), Taz Real Estate (owned by Alza Real Estate, €24 million), Misodi Rent (owned by the Huguet family, with €23.2 million), Torre Rioja Madrid (€25.1 million) and Denoti Investment, a company owned by Irvine Alan Stewart Laidlaw, a British businessman and one of the richest people in the United Kingdom, whose bid amounted to €31 million.

A cooperative wins again

Like happened exactly four years ago, in November 2014, with the auctions of the plots on Raimundo Fernández Villaverde (owned by the Ministry of Defence) and the former metro depots in Cuatro Caminos (owned by Metro de Madrid), it is a cooperative – which saves on the property developer margin – that has managed to put the most competitive offer on the table, to fight off seasoned property developers such as Premier, Pryconsa, Ebrosa and Aedas Homes in a bid that the experts are describing as the auction of the year in Madrid. Not because of its size or its features, but because of its location, just 500m from the Retiro Park, this was one of the most sought-after plots in the capital, and its new owner may build up to 100 homes on its 4,500 m2 – 9,000 m2 of buildable space (…).

The cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa currently comprises 60 cooperative members and its plans involve the construction of 94 homes. The 4 bedroom homes with two parking spaces and a storeroom will cost between €806,000 and €1,175,000, whilst the 3-bedroom homes will cost between €670,000 and €688,000 (…). The 2-bedroom homes will cost between €490,000 and €498,000, and the 1-bedroom homes will cost between €309,000 and €354,000. The complex will also have a swimming pool, a padel court, a gastroteque, a mini-crossfit studio, a sports pitch, a gym, changing rooms, a spa, a sauna and a jacuzzi.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pryconsa, Ibosa & Vía Célere Bid for Sought-After Plot in Madrid

7 November 2018 – El Confidencial

It is the most important land auction of the year in Madrid. Not because of its size or its characteristics, but because of its location: just 500 m from the most iconic park in Madrid, the Retiro, in the heart of the Spanish capital.

The star is the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (the National Currency and Stamp Factory), which is the owner of almost 4,500 m2 of buildable land, with a buildability of 9,000 m2, where almost one hundred homes may be built, and whose divestment has been entrusted to the services of the Ministry of Finance.

The minimum price that it expects to obtain for the land is €17 million, nevertheless, given its location, and in light of the huge shortage of buildable land in the centre of the Spanish capital, and therefore, of new build developments, the experts consulted by El Confidencial do not rule out that the final figure could reach twice that.

The plot, which has been in disuse for more than 30 years, has sparked enormous interest from buyers and has generated great excitement in the neighbourhood. According to information gathered by this newspaper, some of the interested parties that have participated in the auction – the deadline for the submission of bids ended on 6 November – include a cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa, Pryconsa and Vía Célere – all of whom are typical players in this type of auction – although the same sources also talk of at least half a dozen offers. To be able to bid, the interested parties had to submit a bond amounting to €853,000 – equivalent to 5% of the asset value.

For the time being, Grupo Ibosa’s plans for the plot include the construction, on a cooperative basis, of 94 homes with between one and four bedrooms with a swimming pool, padel court, spa, and jacuzzi, as well as a multi-use sports pitch, gym, minibox or crossfit room and a Finnish sauna; all those facilities are lacking in the vast majority of developments in the neighbourhood.

In fact, the project that is constructed on this site will be the only new-build development in the area. Ibosa’s plans include prices of almost €5,500/m2 per home, above the prices that are currently being paid in the area in the second-hand market, which stand at around €4,500/m2. Thus, for example, a new-build home measuring 160 m2 would cost around €828,000.

Both Grupo Ibosa and Pryconsa have starred in some of the most high-profile operations in the capital over the last five years. The most recent, for example, was signed by Pryconsa. The property developer chaired by Marco Colomer, one of the survivors of the crisis with more than five decades of history under his belt, submitted the only bid – amounting to €19.7 million – for the former bus depots of the Municipal Transport Company (Empresa Municipal de Transportes or EMT) of Madrid in the Buenvista neighbourhood (Carabanchel). Moreover, just a year ago, Pryconsa and Realia Business were awarded two plots of land in Madrid by the Ministry of Defence.

Meanwhile, Vía Célere, just two years ago, was awarded a plot by the Ministry of Finance on Avenida Santo Ándel de la Guarda (…).

In this case, the bid envelopes will be opened within the next few days at the Madrid office of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lería-Luksic, the Chilean Magnates Arriving in Spain’s Wealthiest Municipality

11 August 2018

“Wealthy Chileans.” That was the answer much of the real estate sector gave when El Confidencial was investigating the identity the people who just became the third largest landowners in the Pozuelo Oeste Distribution Area (ARPO), in Pozuelo de Alarcón, the wealthiest municipality in Spain.

The buyers are the executives Óscar Lería Chateau and Paola Luksic Fontbona, the couple who have just acquired 40,000 square meters of land, 8% of the total area, from La Caixa for 30 million euros. The couple plan on developing 396 homes on the land, according to sources in the sector. The transaction was executed through Paola Luksic’s family office Wildsur and Óscar Lería’s Osim, the Chilean newspaper ‘La Tercera’ confirmed.

ARPO is the largest urban development area in the municipality of Madrid, which has been in force for more than a decade, amounting to more than six million square meters. The construction of a total of 5,500 homes is planned for the area, of which 2,900 will have some type of protection. Sources consulted by El Confidencial noted that Luksic is likely to have signed an agreement with a local partner to build the homes houses, “possibly one of the landowners in the area,” as he had done before in other projects in which he was involved.

At the beginning of June, this newspaper reported on three operations in that area. Santander, Iberdrola and Servihabitat had sold or were about to sell their holdings in Pozuelo. Twin Peaks Capital was the first to snap up property, purchasing land controlled by the bank run by Ana Patricia Botín. Oaktree took over land from the power company and has allied itself with Banco Sabadell for the development. Only the identity of the buyers’ of La Caixa’s land had still to be revealed. Though he is known to value his privacy, Oscar Lería himself then made the transaction public, in which he partnered with the A&G Group.

Lería is married to Paola Luksic, daughter of Iris Balbina Fontbona (daughter of the Catalan Luis Fontbona Buxallen, who emigrated to Chile at the beginning of the last century) and stepsister of the Chilean magnate Andrónico Luksic, who control much of the business inherited from the Croatian billionaire Andrónico Luksic Abaroa (1926-2005). The Luksic family is one of the richest in the Andean country and, through Aeris Invest, one of its investment vehicles, recently demanded from Santander payment of the 113.02 million it had invested in 145.14 million shares of Popular in May 2017, one month before its resolution. Furthermore, the Chilean family’s fund threatened the Single Resolution Board (SRB for its acronym in English) with additional lawsuits should it not publish the valuation report 2 on Popular, since it considers that the 3 is irrelevant and “does not correspond to the real situation of the entity at the time of the resolution.”

The most expensive municipality in Spain

As Lería explained to the Chilean newspaper, the group set its eyes on the richest municipality in Spain three years ago, although they have been present in the country for years, especially on the Costa del Sol. After the end of the crisis, when investors were still avoiding the country, other large Latin American investors began landing in Madrid in search of opportunities. At that time, the Lukisc family again looked carefully at the Spanish market, where they plan to invest about 480 million euros.

“The family has been investing intermittently in Spain, but I decided to go and stay for the next 40 years. To create something that will last,” Óscar Lería declared to La Tercera, a newspaper that noted that the family had arrived in Andalusia in 2012 to “resuscitate a project” that had “died.” This project was the Lagoon Alcazaba, the first development with a crystalline lagoon in Europe. With 60 million euros, they also invested in half a dozen retail stores on Madrid’s Serrano street.

ARPO, the major urban development area in Madrid, is under the developers’ spotlight. Vía Célere bought in a year ago; iKasa has had land there for years, and Metrovacesa, which owns more than 46,000 square meters with a market value of 25 million euros, as shown in its IPO prospectus, are some of the principal property owners in the region. They are joined by Pryconsa, with long-term holdings in the area, and the newcomers Twin Peaks and Oaktree.

Four months ago, the city council of the district of Madrid finally approved the Partial Plan for the development. The procedure triggered the first real estate transactions and had caused the developers to begin taking positions before the final approval of the reparcelling and urbanisation plan takes place, the last procedure needed before the first homes can begin to be built. Also, fifteen days ago the project for a rainwater collector for Pozuelo, which will have to supply water to the new homes, was also definitively approved.

With an approximate cost of about 40 million euros, the Pozuelo de Alarcón city hall will contribute 20% of the amount, and the rest will be invested by the private landowners. ARPO, for example, corresponds to 52%, Eje Pinar 11% and Huerta Grande 7% – there are 16 urban sectors in Pozuelo. “This approval opens the way to launch public tenders for the works, with execution possibly beginning at the start of 2019. Also, it will also permit the execution of the urbanisation works in the rest of the sectors and make Pozuelo’s 2002 PGOU a reality”, the Board of Compensation for the region noted. “The collector is now a reality thanks, to a large extent, to ARPO’s new management team – the manager is the architect José Luis Oñate, while Pryconsa holds the presidency of Arpo and Ikasa has the vice-presidency – and the city hall’s technical-political team, which has demonstrated a true desire to move things ahead.”

The same sources assured El Confidencial that in a few months, construction for the collector would be tendered and the approval of the project of urbanisation and reparcelling of the Arpo is foreseen for the end of the year. “The plan is to combine construction on the collector with the urbanization, for which the approval of the Hydrographic Confederation of the Tagus will be needed and, subsequently, to be able to combine the urbanization works with the construction of the houses, for which the City Council of Madrid’s authorisation will be needed.”

Of all these urban procedures will depend, to a large extent, on the price that developers will be willing to pay for the land and, consequently, the final price of future homes will depend on a location with high demand and a very limited supply of new construction.

According to sources, the residual land value is at present around the 1.000 euros per square meter, well below the 1,600-1,800 euros currently paid in Valdebebas. “There are still urban procedures ahead, the land is not yet ready for construction, hence the price differential,” the same sources explained. At those prices, future homes could go on sale starting at 2,250 euros per square meter.

“Taking into account the price that is being paid for the land, the venture would already be profitable for the developers. That does not mean that, if the urbanization proceeds without complications, the prices might not be higher, considering the high level of demand in Pozuelo by people with elevated purchasing power who have been displaced to Majadahonda, Las Rozas and Boadilla del Monte in the absence of new builds,” says a real estate expert at El Confidencial.

The Madrid municipality was not oblivious to the crisis. From its high of 2007, when the square meter reached 3,807 euros, the price of new housing fell by 38% to 2,360 euros, just below the 40% nationwide, according to data from the appraiser Tinsa. However, in two and a half years, prices have increased by around 20%, largely due to the enormous shortage of product in the area and the elevated demand.

According to data from Foro Consultores, the average price of multi-family homes in Pozuelo de Alarcón hovers, on average, at 3,500 euros per square meter, with the average per house going for 610,000 euros, without garage or storage. Single-family homes average roughly 900,000 euros and 3,000 euros per square meter. However, as pointed out by this company, what characterises this municipality is that, depending on the location, you can find affordable housing in apartment buildings, while prices in better areas easily surpass one million euros, both for flats and single-family homes.

Venezuelans, Argentines, Chileans…

Since 2014, when the real estate market hit bottom in Spain, numerous Latin American investors have put money into Spanish property. The biggest Venezuelan investors have been the most active, especially in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, where, for four years they have rehabilitated many buildings to place on the luxury market.

The entrepreneurs Miguel Ángel Capriles and Axel Daniel Capriles, relatives of the Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles, bought, through Gran Roque Capital, more than a dozen properties in the most exclusive neighbourhoods of Madrid, totalling more than a hundred luxury homes. Barquillo Doce, Serrano Anguita, Pablo Aranda, Lagasca 38, Fernando VI and their latest project, Españoleto 19. However, the Capriles has also extended their investments to “more modest” projects. For example, they bought land in the vicinity of the Vicente Calderón stadium from Prosegur, while they are the financial partners of Grupo Ibosa in the purchase of ready-to-build land north of Madrid. The Venezuelan family Pizzorni, through Italinmuebles, is also behind several luxury projects in the capital such as Alfonso X and Montalbán 11.

On the other hand, the Argentines Jorge Pepa – brother of Juan Pepa, former head of Lone Star in Spain and architect of Neinor’s IPO – and Francis Btesh, manage through their company 1810 Capital, investments by the Argentine-Israelis Zev and Sergio Gustavo Marynberg. The firm’s purchases include properties at Santa Isabel 21, Tirso de Molina and Barceló. All of them are being converted into luxury homes.

Among the Mexicans, the best known and most active investor has undoubtedly been Carlos Slim (FCC, Realia …), while the less known Mexican investor Moisés El-Mann Arazi has also carried out operations in Spain, and is behind the purchase 253 branches leased to Banco Sabadell from Moor Park Capital Partners for €290 million.

After the fiasco at Banco Popular, the Luksic family will bet on the Spanish property market, where it plans to invest a total of 480 million euros

The Chilean family Luksic, the main shareholders in the mining company Antofagasta, Banco de Chile and the Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU), took a 3% stake in Banco Popular last year, valued at more than 2.9 billion euros. Óscar Lería and Paola Luksic’s plans for Spain, after their family’s failed investment in the financial institution, are limited to the Spanish property market, where they expect to invest a total of 480 million euros, Lería revealed to La Tercera. In the short term, they will invest 200 million euros, focusing on Seville and the Balearic Islands, especially Ibiza.

In fact, the couple signed an agreement with Mediterranean Capital Management, a firm based in Barcelona, to search for land. The two groups are going to begin developing a project in Mallorca in the next few months, near the Marivent Royal Palace, resulting in about twenty luxury flats costing between 1.3 and 1.5 million euros, according to the Chilean newspaper.

Pozuelo is Óscar Lería Chateau’s most recent investment. Through the Osler company, he has been making important real estate investments in Spain since 2012, during the middle of the property crisis, working with local investors. He currently has several second-residence projects in Marbella, between Estepona and Puerto Banús.

Original Story: El Confidencial – E. Sanz / Ó. Giménez

Translation: Richard Turner

Grupo Ibosa Acquires 10,000m2 Plot on Paseo de la Habana for c. €70M

24 July 2018 – El Confidencial

It has undoubtedly become the most expensive land operation since the start of the real estate recovery. Paseo de la Habana, 147 has smashed all records, given that almost €70 million has been put on the table for its 10,000 m2, which represents a repercussion price of between €6,500/m2 and €7,000/m2. That figure is significantly higher than the expectations of the plot’s vendors, which had set a sales price range of between €60 million and €65 million.

Since the real estate bubble burst, no one has paid such a high repercussion price for a plot of land. The figure comfortably exceeds the €5,000/m2 that the builder Rafael Ortiz and the popular shipping entrepreneur Fernando Fernández Tapias paid in 2007, at the height of the boom for a plot located on Juan Bravo 3, where the Spanish capital’s largest luxury development is currently being constructed, Lagasca 99.

Since coming onto the market just three months ago, the plots have passed through the offices of more than a dozen property developers and private investors and, although many of them agree on the high price of the operation, the fact is that the plot has had half a dozen suitors in the end.

The companies that placed an offer on the table include Nozar, Grosvenor, Domo and Pryconsa, although the successful bidder in the end was Grupo Ibosa, according to some of the candidates that have been left out of the process, speaking to El Confidencial. Both JLL, the consultancy firm advising the sales process, and Ibosa declined to comment in this regard.

The plot in question is located in the heart of Madrid, opposite the Cuban consulate, just 700 m from Paseo de la Castellana and 1km away from the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, where the supply of buildable land for sale is very scarce. In fact, the vast majority of the projects in the area are being built in renovated properties.

Five detached homes are currently being constructed on the acquired plot, with surface areas of between 300 m2 and 400 m2 each, which will have to be demolished to make way for the buyer’s future project. All indications are that a luxury apartment development will be built on the plot, which will be added to the high-end projects that Ibosa currently has underway in Valdemarín – on some plots it acquired from Blackstone – and in Aravaca, and marketing of which has just been launched.

The lack of new build product in the area and the high demand explain this pressure on prices. The development will be built in the Chamartín district, which is home to some of the most sought-after residential areas in the centre of the city, such as El Viso, where the Venezuelan investors Miguel Ángel and Áxel Capriles arrived in April last year to purchase Villa San José on Pablo Aranda 3, just opposite Florentino Pérez’s real estate bunker.

In terms of benchmark prices, one example is the 11 homes that are being built on the plots of the former headquarters of RTVE. The Ministry of Finance put that plot up for auction at the end of 2015 and it was awarded to Martell Investment for €10.8 million, which represents a repercussion price of €4,800/m2. Construction of those homes has now begun and the prices fluctuate around €7,000/m2.

Boom in prices

In just two years, the prices in the most sought-after neighbourhoods of the Spanish capital have soared by more than 20% (…).

According to a recent report from Engel & Völkers, maximum prices in this Madrilenian neighbourhood amount to €6,000/m2, although, as sources specialising in the sale of luxury homes at the agency explain, “there are no new build properties in the area, and so the final prices depend a lot on the features of each project”.

In terms of the area, like in the most trendy areas of Madrid, prices have risen sharply over the last year. According to Engel & Völkers, prices have risen by 10% since 2017, “although, at the moment, more operations are being closed than last year because there is greater access to credit, but, nevertheless, prices are barely rising”.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Arrasate & Ibosa: Favourites in the Bid to Build Bilbao’s Star Residential Project

28 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Up to eight property developers are willing to pay between €30 million and €50 million to build residential properties in Bilbao. The two favourites in the battle are Arrasate and Grupo Ibosa, which have submitted two of the highest offers for this housing plan, which forms part of Project Garellano and which is being managed by Bilbao Ría 2000.

One of the key factors behind Arrasate and Ibosa’s strong chances of winning the tender is that both have the architect Richard Rogers in their project, which gives them an extra 5% in their scores. The vast majority of the score (75%) in the auction corresponds to the economic offer, and the remaining 20% relates to the assessment of the business plan and the construction, according to El Confidencial.

The future tower will be 119 m tall and will comprise 36 storeys in which 200 homes will be constructed. The location of the residential property will be prime, given that it is being built right in the heart of the city.

The plot that the public company Bilbao Ría 2000 has put up for sale has a surface area of 2,247 m2 and a buildability of more than 25,000 m2. The building will also have five underground floors with 235 parking spaces and storerooms for its future inhabitants.

In addition to Arrasate, a Basque cooperative manager (…) and Ibosa, the company led by Juan José Perucho, other companies participating in the auction for this development include the listed company Neinor Homes, ACR and a JV between the Madrid-based property developer Pryconsa and the local firm Amenabar.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Sells 19 Plots of Land in NW Madrid to Ibosa

12 March 2018 – El Confidencial

A large-scale operation has been closed in the real estate market in Madrid. Grupo Ibosa has purchased the largest batch of “finalist” land – also known as land that is ready to be built on – in the north of Madrid from the US fund Blackstone for €16 million. The plots are located in one of the areas with the highest purchasing power in the whole Spanish capital, next to La Zarzuela race track, in Valdemarín (Aravaca), where properties, the vast majority of which are family homes, cost upwards of €1 million.

According to various sources, the cooperative manager is working with Gran Roque Capital, the real estate management company owned by the Venezuelan businessman Miguel Ángel Capriles, and the fund Urbania Internacional, with whom it has constructed various projects in the area.

The acquired land is divided into 19 plots – with surface areas ranging between 500 m2 and 750 m2 each (…). They used to belong to Jardines del Hipódromo, a company owned by Inmobiliaria Monteverde, which filed for creditors’ bankruptcy at the end of 2011. At the end of 2016, Mercantile Court nº8 in Madrid convened the auction of the plots – the company’s only asset – which ended up in the hands of Blackstone, one of its creditors after it purchased the debt that the company had taken out with Banco Sabadell and La Caixa (…).

Grupo Ibosa has also purchased land in Aravaca from Blackstone, specifically, on Calle Diplomáticos, where it is going to build eight luxury family homes measuring 700 m2 on plots spanning 1,000 m2. And, it has an agreement with another owner for another plot in Valdemarín to build another dozen houses.

In total, three transactions – which amount to around 24,000 m2 in total – involving a very scarce asset in the capital, which has led to real competition between property developers and investment funds and an important upwards pressure in prices. In total, Grupo Ibosa is going to build almost 40 units from whose sale it expects to obtain revenues of more than €55 million. In all three cases, the developments will be carried out under the cooperative regime (…).

A sought-after neighbourhood

Valdemarín is one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Madrid for young directors and Spanish executives. A neighbourhood where homes cost upwards of €1 million and where plots of land – like in the neighbouring El Barrial – are really scarce. New build properties are also in short supply, which has led to significant price increases of 20% (10% per annum) in recent years. According to the sources consulted, everything that comes onto the market is sold very quickly.

“Within Aravaca, Valdemarín has become fashionable thanks to its good schools and access to Madrid,” say sources at Engel & Völkers, which places the maximum price that can be paid in the area at €6,300/m2 (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aguirre Newman: Tertiary RE Inv’t to Exceed €10bn in 2017

30 November 2017 – Expansión

After the odyssey experienced during the years of the crisis, with the drastic fall in the volume of investment, the tertiary real estate sector in Spain is now going through a stage of consolidation. As such, for the third year in a row, the volume of transactions involving non-residential assets is going to exceed the €10 billion threshold again in 2017.

According to the conclusions of a seminar organised by Aguirre Newman and KWM, which included presentations from some of the main players in the sector, this positive trend will continue for the next few years, despite certain risks in the environment, such as the political uncertainty, the inevitable rise in interest rates in Europe, the ageing population and the salaries that continue to stagnate.

At the meeting, which was attended by the main executives and directors of listed companies such as Merlin, Neinor, Aedas and Colonial, amongst others, as well as by property developers and investors such as Grupo Inmobiliario Roca, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Grupo Ibosa, ASG Iberia and Stoneweg. Together, they discussed the evolution of the sector and the challenges for 2018, amongst other topics.

“The tertiary investment market is going through a growth consolidation phase after the deep recession that we suffered between 2008 and 2013. According to our estimates, the volume of investment in tertiary assets will exceed €10 billion for the third year in a row in 2017”, explained Susana Rodríguez, Director General of the Consultancy division at Aguirre Newman.

According to data from the consultancy firm corresponding to the first three quarters of this year, hotel assets have been one of the stars of the real estate sector, with investment of €1.9 billion during the 9 months to September, up by 29% YoY. The high street segment also experienced significant growth, of 37%, with an investment volume of €605 million. Whilst, investment in the logistics segment amounted to €665 million, up by 26% YoY. By contrast, investment in offices during the first three quarters decreased by 23% to €1.9 billion and investment in shopping centres decreased by 3% to €3 billion.

Slow down

In terms of the threat of a rise in interest rates in Europe, the experts agree that there will be at least one or two years of stability and that when the time comes for the rate hike, it will be managed in a moderate way: “They do not consider that it will affect the valuation of assets, given that we are in a phase of growing rents”.

Another one of the challenges facing the sector is caused by the political uncertainty generated in Cataluña following 1 October. The speakers agreed that, for another year, the country risk is going to be one of the issues that concerns investors.

Rodríguez said that the figures in the Catalan market are “very positive” at the end of the third quarter. Specifically, the leasing of offices in Barcelona rose by 8% to 265,470 m2 and the average prime rent rose by 9% to €18.25/m2/month.

“It is undeniable that, since October, we have felt a slowdown in the volume of real estate operations. Both business people and investors alike are postponing decision-making whilst they wait to see how the political tensions and uncertainties that are affecting the market today are resolved”, she added.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake