26 February 2016 – Invertia
In the context of the 2nd Meeting of the Real Estate Sector, organised by the IESE business school, Ismael Clemente (pictured above), the President and CEO of Merlin Properties, explained that the investments made in recent years have been due to the improvement in the economic situation, following years of recession.
In any case, Clemente has said that “we are seeing good things in the market”, but we need to “good governance of the country” to confirm the trend.
“It seems like there is little hope for 2016. We would like our political leaders to have a sanity attack and start reaching agreements”, he said.
With regard to this political instability, he has said that some companies “cannot wait” for the situation to be resolved.
When asked about the future of the sector, Clemente forecast a “slight decrease” in demand for offices and explained that companies depend on the fact that “a proportion of their employees are ‘floating’”, which leads to situations of “overbooking”.
“There are companies with 1,400 employees looking for spaces for 1,000 employees”, he said.
Regarding the refinancing of Testa, Clemente criticised the change in the value of the risk premium, and explained that “the widening of 50% of the risk premium is not good business for anyone”.
In terms of new technologies and the changes that they may generate in the real estate market, Clemente explained that Merlin wants to increase its portfolio of logistics facilities in Spain’s main hubs with a view to supporting the growth of online businesses.
Meanwhile, he also pointed out the (wider) need to adapt to new technologies: “Either we start to adapt ourselves now, in the form of training, or we will end up with the destruction of lots of jobs and, therefore, with fewer consumers”.
Original story: Invertia
Translation: Carmel Drake