Sabadell Lowers Its 20-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage To 2.90%

3 March 2015 – Expansión

Banco Sabadell has reaffirmed its commitment to fixed rate mortgages. The bank chaired by Josep Oliu has decided to convert its fixed rate mortgages into its star home loan product, and it will therefore recommend that its clients opt for fixed rate products to ensure the stability of their mortgage payments over the long-term. 16% of the bank’s new mortgages are now fixed rate, compared with 10% in 2014.

To demonstrate its commitment, Sabadell has just reduced the interest rate on its 20-year fixed rate mortgage from 3.7% to 2.90%. If the client prefers a 30-year term, a fixed rate of 3.10% will apply.

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During the real estate boom, people paid rates of up to 4.75% when Euribor was at 4.1% in 2007.

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Other entities, such as Bankinter, Bankia and BMN are also backing fixed rate mortgages, offering interest rates of between 3.4% and 4.60%. CaixaBank offers a rate of between 2.5% and 3%, depending on the degree of connection (of the client with the bank’s other products).

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa Heralds A New Era For The Hotel Sector

24 February 2015 – Expansión

More specialisation will be required to combat the maturity of the market.

According to Tinsa, the number of hotels has grown by 13.7% over the last seven years. By the end of 2014, there were 7,840 establishments and 1.26 million rooms in Spain.

In its Hotel Market 2014 study, prepared on the basis of the assessment of 2,700 establishments – 35% of the total market in Spain – the appraisal company states that the construction of a five star hotel requires an average investment of €262,000 per room, compared with €135,000 per room for a four star hotel, even though the number of rooms is typically similar in both cases – around 140. For three star accommodation, the investment required is around €89,000 per room. The report shows that profitability increases in line with the category. A five star hotel generates €29,600 per room per year, compared with €14,800 for a four star establishment. Revenue per available room (RevPar) is €117 for five star hotels and €60 for four star properties.

Tinsa indicates that, over the coming years, differentiation will become increasingly important. The hotel industry will undergo a similar transformation to that experienced by the airlines with the arrival of low cost competitors; some chains are already beginning to distinguish themselves with services such as mobile check-in.

Original story: Expansión (by Y. Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Prologis: Sales Grow By 16% In 2014

20 February 2015 – Cinco Días

The logistics space developer recorded sales of €37 million in 2014 and increased its leasable area by 31%.

Prologis, the multinational developer of industrial land increased its turnover in Spain by 16% to €37 million in 2014. The company improved its sales after investing €124 million in the country in one year.

Gustavo Cardozo, Vice President of Prologis and Director of the subsidiary in Spain stresses that “2014 was a very positive year” in which, he considers “we exceeded all market expectations”. Cardozo argues that Spain is attracting interest due to the “improvement in its image and in its economy”.

The company has had a presence in Spain since the end of the 1990s. In the last three years alone, it has invested a total of €160 million and 2014 was its busiest year. According to Cardozo, the market has been boosted by an improvement in the trade balance. “Spain is no longer a country where the domestic market comes first”. Through these acquisitions, Prologis has increased its portfolio by 152,000 square metres, representing an increase of 31%.

Prologis’ main focus of activity has been along the A-2 corridor, with Madrid and Barcelona as the primary targets. Nevertheless, according to Cardozo, the company is going to begin operating in other areas, starting with the south of the capital and the north of the Catalunian city.

“We are open to investing in wherever we see has a future”, explains Cardozo, who does not put any limit on the acquisitions that his company may undertake. Nevertheless, he considers that it will be “very complicated” to repeat the investment volume achieved last year since that was “an extraordinary period”.

In the acquisition sphere, Cardozo sees “increased competition” following the arrival of overseas investment funds. He states that Prologis will focus on tailoring its properties to the specific needs of its clients in Spain, as it has done in previous transactions, such as the one undertaken with TNT Express at the end of last year.

Spain accounts for barely 1.7% of the multinational (group’s turnover), although Cardozo believes that “it will continue to grow”. Prologis has a strong presence in USA, Asia and Europe and generates global turnover of $1,700 million (approx. €1,500 million). Moreover, although the group’s total sales grew last year, “Spain outperformed the average”. The increase in the group’s turnover was driven by improved rental prices.

Prologis closed 2014 with an occupancy rate of 84.9% across the almost 900,000 square metres of space it owns (in Spain). The objective of the company is to close this year with an occupancy rate of 90%. To this end, the launch of the Prologis Park San Fernando in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid) will play an important role.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Diego Larrouy)

Translation: Carmel Drake