Insur Teams Up with Wealthy Andalucían Families to Grow its Property Business in Madrid

18 April 2019 – El Confidencial

Wealthy Andalucían families are teaming up with the real estate group Insur to work on projects in the housing, office and commercial sectors. That is according to various sources in the property sector speaking to El Confidencial. The company itself has declined to comment.

Having previously joined forces with the Moya Yoldi (Persán) and Cosentino families, the company is now looking to expand beyond Andalucía in partnership with other family offices. Possible candidates include the Domínguez de la Maza family, owner of Mayoral and the Guillén family (owner of Acesur-Coosur), with which it has already invested in Sevilla.

Insur is keen to diversify its geographical market (75% of its assets are currently located in Andalucía) and Madrid is an obvious option, thanks to the liquidity of the market. The firm is already building 250 homes there in the towns of Valdemoro, Boadilla and Villaviciosa.

The aim of the company chaired by Ricardo Pumar is to generate stable annual revenues of €20 million from rental income, up from the €12 million recorded last year.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carlos Pizá)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Real Estate Sector Condemns the Government’s New Rental Act

1 March 2019 – Ok Diario

The real estate sector has expressed its widespread disapproval of the Royal Decree Law approved by the Government on Friday containing urgent measures for the housing and rental sectors.

Investment funds, real estate experts and rental associations alike have all condemned the new law as discriminatory, restrictive and short-termist.

Claudio Boada, Head Consultant at Blackstone España, said that the new legislation will undoubtedly result in more upwards pressure on prices and a reduction in supply, whilst sources at Fotocasa criticised the lack of tax incentives for landlords who rent their homes at affordable prices.

If this royal decree is ratified, then “rental contracts will have been subject to three different sets of rules in less than three months”, observed Gustavo Rossi from Alquiler Seguro, which is both confusing and unsustainable.

Original story: Ok Diario 

Summary translation by: Carmel Drake

CBRE: House Prices Will Rise by 6% in 2018

25 May 2018 – Expansión

Good omens for the Spanish residential market. After experiencing a serious setback five years ago, with a significant decline in demand and, as a consequence, a decrease in prices, the housing market is now well on the road to recovery, with a positive outlook for the year ahead. In this sense, for 2018, the predictions are optimistic, with an estimated increase of 6% in average house prices at the national level, according to data compiled by the real estate consultancy firm CBRE.

“We expect strong growth over the next six to twelve months, which will reach 6% compared to the current YoY rise of 5% and, then growth at a lower intensity from then on of between 3% and 5% for 2019”, says Álvaro Martín, Head of Research at CBRE.

This growth rate of 6% will be more acute in the large cities such as Madrid and Valencia, as well as in tourist towns such as Málaga and the Balearic Islands, where the YoY increases will reach up to 10%, according to the consultancy firm.

“In large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, we have seen price tension but prices are still 50% lower than the average prices over the last ten years”, explains Samuel Población, National Director of Residential and Land at CBRE España. According to estimates from the consultancy firm, house prices in Madrid will increase by between 8% and 10% this year with respect to 2017.

Despite these price increases, the absolute values are still well below those seen during the real estate boom. In this way, although house prices have been rising at the national level since 2014, the intensity of that growth has been moderate, with YoY increases of around 5%. “In recent years, price rises of between 5% and 6% have been recorded, but during the boom, those figures reached 12%”, recalls Población.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to that moderate rise: such as the case of towns like Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, where new build house prices have risen by 23%, 34% and 13%, respectively with respect to the historical minimums recorded at the beginning of 2014. Meanwhile, in the second-hand segment, the increases registered amount to 28% in Barcelona, 27% in Palma and 21% in Madrid (…).

Transactions

The price rises are being accompanied by an increase in demand, which, currently, is focused on those buyers who are looking for homes to reposition themselves or as investments.

“House sales have grown at a constant rate since 2015, but they have been very oriented towards the second-hand market, which accounted for 90% of transactions in 2017, due to the lack of supply in the new build segment and the absorption of much of the unsold stock”, says Población (…).

The consultancy firm predicts that demand for housing will continue to grow, with more than 575,000 transactions being closed in 2018, up by 8% compared to the previous year.

Of those operations, foreign buyers will retain an important role, above all, in the market for second homes. “The bulk of that demand is concentrated around five provinces, with established tourist infrastructure: Alicante, Málaga, Barcelona, the Balearic Islands and Tenerife, which accounted for more than half of the average annual volume of transactions by overseas citizens between 2006 and 2017”.

Another buyer cohort will be investors who buy properties to let them out, taking advantage of the growth in the rental market, which currently accounts for around 22.5% of the total stock of Spanish households. “The expansion of the rental market is attracting lots of investors, something that wasn’t happening ten years ago, given that they can now achieve returns of between 4% and 6% on average”, says Martín. By city, in Madrid, the average gross return amounts to 4.7% p.a., compared with 5.4% in Barcelona and 5.8% in Sevilla.

“If we also consider gains from the appreciation in property values, we see yields of up to 9% in the large cities”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Capital To Launch A Fund Specialising In Rental Housing

9 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Meridia Capital is taking another step forward in its real estate adventure. The company, founded and chaired by Javier Faus (pictured below, far right), is considering entering the residential rental business. To this end, the group has already negotiated the cost of capital and returns required to raise a new fund, as the director explained on Tuesday at the Economy Circle in Barcelona.

The fund will be aimed at institutional investors who work regularly with the investment fund, according to Crónica Global. The businessman acknowledges that it will be a tough market to enter, but he considers that it is “basic” for the future of this type of real estate vehicle.

At the same meeting, Pere Viñolas (pictured above, second from left), CEO at Colonial, said that the entry of listed real estate companies into the rental housing market in countries such as Germany has boosted the sector and helped to adjust prices.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: Residential Land Prices Rose By 4.1% In Málaga In Q2

17 July 2017 – Diario Sur

The housing sector in Málaga is continuing to grow. The price of residential land in the province rose by 4.1% during the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, to reach €1,399/m2, which is €154/m2 higher than the national average, according to data from the appraisal company Tinsa. It represented the highest increase in Andalucía and the sixth highest in Spain as a whole; and it consolidates the upward trend seen over the last two years, a situation that has generated concerns about the possibility that the sector is heading towards a new real estate bubble.

The Director General of the Institute of Business Practice (IPE), José Antonio Pérez, said that, for the time being, the growth is “sustainable”, although he warned that the lack of buildable land on the Costa del Sol to meet the current demand from property developers and investors will limit this trend and may lead to a disproportionate rise in prices in some enclaves. Pérez attributes the lack of supply to “restrictions” imposed by the general urban planning orders in certain municipalities and the slow pace of urban planning procedures. (…).

Tinsa’s report also reveals that the average mortgage granted to Malagan households amounts to €126,815, the seventh most expensive in the country, with a monthly instalment of €592. The percentage of household income spent on paying the first year of a mortgage is 27.6%, almost eight points above the national average (19.9%). The appraisal company highlights that this statistic makes Málaga the province where families spend the highest percentage of their income on mortgage repayments, above the Balearic Islands and Barcelona (21%).

Málaga also leads the list of provinces with the highest number of house sales closed in the last four months, with respect to the size of its housing stock: 32.1 for every 1,000 homes. It was followed by Alicante and the Balearic Islands, which also have “a clear tourist component”, said the report. The appraisal company reminds its readers that the province is home to “a large number of high-end homes” aimed primarily at foreign buyers, which put upward pressure on average house prices.

By contrast, the IPE considers that it is “a mistake” to draw conclusions at the provincial level “because you cannot compare the situation in Villanueva del Trabuco, for example, with that of Marbella”. The institute, which specialises in the real estate sector, highlighted the sea fronts and golden triangle formed by Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís as the areas where demand for residential land is highest, as well as the capital, where Limonar and Valle del Guadalhorce are positioning themselves as the new enclaves for future urban development.

House sales

The Real Estate Pulsometer compiled by IPE confirms that Málaga is seeing one of the strongest recoveries in the sector, together with Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands. Investors, savers, funds and individuals comprise current demand, which caused house sales to grow by 6% last year; and a similar rise is forecast this year. Currently, half of all purchases are paid for in cash and the other half are financed through mortgages (…).

Original story: Diario Sur (by Alberto Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Insur To Invest €135M Building New Homes In Madrid

25 November 2016 – Expansión

The real estate group Insur is planning to invest around €135 million on the development of new homes in Madrid over the next three or four years. These homes will be constructed on land that the company has already acquired in the capital, according to comments made by the firm’s Chairman, Ricardo Pumar.

The real estate market in the capital, along with the Costa del Sol, constitutes Insur’s “major focus” for the geographical diversification of its business, which until now, has been centred in the south of the country.

Insur will take a step forward in its diversification strategy to grow in Madrid, which is a “more competitive, but safer market”, said Insur’s Chairman. To this end, the company has invested around €45 million buying plots of land in the capital.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Revises Down Its Forecasts For Housing Investment

17 May 2016 – Expansión

BBVA Research, the research service arm of the financial institution, has revised down its growth forecasts for housing investment in Spain to 2.8% in 2016 and 4.4% in 2017, from its previous estimate of 4.2% and 8.2%, respectively, due to political uncertainty, according to reports by Servimedia.

According to the bank’s latest ‘Situation in Spain’ report, “the recovery of the real estate sector is continuing, but at a slower rate than expected”. In addition, the report highlights that the fundamentals of residential demand (the recovery of the labour market and low interest rates) remain “solid”, which means that we can expect to see increases in sales over the coming months.

According to the study, construction activity, which has showed “significant” momentum in the last year, is going to continue to respond to the increase in sales. With this, added BBVA “we expect that residential investment will continue to grow over the next few years”.

Nevertheless, the bank warns that the “persistence of uncertainty surrounding economic policy, and the negative surprises recorded throughout 2015, have driven down its forecast for growth in residential investment over the next few quarters”. In terms of investment in construction, BBVA Research forecasts that it will grow by 3.1% in 2016 and by 4.1% in 2017, down from its previous estimates of 3.8% and 5.9%, respectively. (…).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: Renovation Permits Rose By 5.6%

10 May 2016 – El Mundo

The number of permits granted for the refurbishment or renovation of homes in Spain amounted to 3,867 in January and February 2016, which represents an increase of 5.6% with respect to the same period last year (3,663 permits), according to data published by the Ministry of Development.

In this way, the number of permits granted for home renovation recovered its positive trend in the second month of 2016, after decreasing in January (-8.3%). Permits for home renovations recorded positive growth in February, after closing 2015 up by 13.4%.

In 2014, the number of permits granted for home renovations recorded four consecutive years of decreases and hit a low in the historical series prepared by the Ministry of Development, however that trend was broken with the aforementioned increase in 2015. Meanwhile, the number of approvals granted for property extensions decreased by 4.3% during the two months to February 2016, to 223 units.

The drive towards renovations was one of the strategic initiatives proposed by Mariano Rajoy’s Government for the housing sector. The acting Executive approved the Law for the Refurbishment, Regeneration and Renovation of Urban Properties, as well as the State Plan for Rental Housing and Refurbishments 2013-2016, which provide aid for this activity.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: Mortgage Signings Rose By 15.9% In February

28 April 2016 – Expansión

The signing of new mortgages to purchase homes increased by 15.9% in February, up from the 10.6% increase recorded in January, but well below the rises seen in years gone by. In total, 24,887 mortgage contracts were signed, according to the provisional data published yesterday by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Experts in the sector point to a slight slowdown in the recovery, given that although the data is positive and growth remains in the double digits, it is significantly lower than the rate of growth recorded just a year ago, according to Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at the real estate portal idealista.com.

In the same vein, Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at fotocasa.com, notes that we have seen a moderation in the growth of mortgage lending in Spain in January and February, and that this has come despite the broad and competitive range of mortgage products that the banks are offering. Nevertheless, Toribio points out that we have now seen 21 consecutive months of increases “and that tells us that mortgage lending is now normalising in our country”.

In her opinion, for the real estate sector to recover completely, the lending figure has to be consolidated because without financing, there will be no recovery.

Meanwhile, the Director of Research at pisos.com, Manuel Gandarias is more optimistic. He thinks that “the annual variation will continue to grow in a significant way, and if it does so throughout the next quarter, then we will be talking about continuous growth in mortgage lending for two consecutive years”.

During 2015, and so far in 2016, the number of homes purchased using financing has grown stronger as a percentage of the number of total purchases to account for three out of every four acquisitions.

The value of mortgages constituted over homes in February amounted to €2,699.2 million, up by 14.4% compared with the same month in 2015 and by 9.7% compared with the previous month. This type of loan, for the acquisition of homes, accounted for 54.2% of the total in February. One of the main findings to emerge from INE’s data relates to the interest rates being applied to loans.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Investment Returns To The Residential Market

11 February 2016 – Expansion

Experts say that this trend is heterogeneous, with regions that need to dispose of their stocks and other in need of developable land.


The residential business – until recently the ugly duckling in the housing sector – emerges again as one of the values on the rise, in part thanks to the return of large reals estate companies to this activity, one of the most affected by the economic crisis. Thus, for the first time since in mid-2007 the gradual deterioration of the housing market situation began, the sector turns its attention to this business, since in 2014 it showed the first signs of improvement, although with a concentrated demand in very well located and high segment product.

Ongoing projects  

Some of the most recent examples are the Socimi Lar-Pimco España, which will soon begin “Lagasca 99 project” on the site at Juan Bravo, 3, Madrid, or Metrovacesa, with “Ciudad del Sur” in Tarifa and the study of new projects in Madrid. Likewise, Realia has residential assets in the Madrid suburb of Valdebebas and Quabit has strongly returned to this activity thanks to the capital increase undertaken last year. At the same time, developing companies like Via Célere, Pryconsa, Aelca, Inmobiliaria del Sur or Neinor Homes are making a move in this segment with the aim of becoming the first residential developer of Spain, as well as cooperatives as Momentum, Domogestora and Ibos. 
The director of the National Residential and Land area of CRBE España, Samuel Población Blanco, emphasizes the “great heterogeneity” in this trend, with differing behaviors. 
Thus Población highlights that while in Madrid there is a great need for developable land, with the risk that in one year the housing demand can be much higher than the existing supply, other regions still need to dispose of their stock. 
Likewise, Población notes that SOCIMIs and asset management companies will be increasingly interested in the residential renting area, coinciding with the change of mentality in Spanish society, the higher functional-geographical mobility and the professionalization in this activity. 
For his part, the Chairman of Armabex, Antonio Fernández, explains that there is a gap between renting demand in Spain and Europe, which tends to shorten due to the new working conditions and the lack of funding. 
”In Madrid, for example, they lack efficient product; no large blocks or buildings dedicated to renting” says Fernández.

Original story: Expansion (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Aura Ree