Spain’s Banks Are Queueing Up to Finance Rental Housing

4 July 2018 – El Economista

One of the major challenges facing Spain in the residential market is the organisation of the rental home segment in light of the fragmentation that exists and the boom that is currently underway. There is currently a great deal of demand, but there is also a distinct lack of supply, and the new Housing Plan approved by the Government is not proving sufficient to incentivise the supply with the granting of aid to property developers that build rental housing. In light of this situation, we ask ourselves whether the opportunity that currently exists in Spain to organise the rental market is being taken advantage of?

“I think that the professionals and investors who have launched portfolios thanks to the creation of Socimis are taking good advantage of the opportunity, but I believe that some important players are simply not supporting the sector, such as the Public Administrations. Both nationally and locally, but above all locally, they are failing miserably and this is generating price tensions due to a lack of supply”, explains José Luis Ruiz Bartolomé, Director General of the consultancy firm Chamberí Asset Management.

Along the same lines, José María Cervera, Corporate CEO of Renta Corporación agrees and states that the public sector has been left on the sidelines. “Private capital has taken the initiative in this new segment of the market because it has seen a business opportunity and is looking for returns. And the public sector is going to have to enter, but now the arbitrage and those who are institutionalising it are in the private sector, and so they are going to place more rental properties on the market”.

For all of these reasons, during 2018, we are observing the creation of a new industry. Given that in Spain there are 18.5 million households, according to the latest figure from the Active Population Survey (EPA), and of those, 22% are rental homes, there are 4.7 million rental homes in total. Of that portfolio, only 5% are owned by institutional companies; the remaining 95% are owned by individuals.

“The Public Administration has done something important, which is to reorganise the real estate sector and separate property promotion and development activities, by creating Socimis that operate under a special framework. That has brought us closer to a situation that is more similar to those seen in other European countries. Now, we will have to see how the different players that are emerging in this market position themselves, and in two or three years, we will see the consolidation of this sector, which means that the Public Administrations will have to continue refining their regulations so that the sector can develop and be brought into line with those of other European countries”, says Nicolás Díaz-Saldaña, CEO at Témpore (Socimi of Sareb).

Nevertheless, not all of the experts in the sector concur. David Botín, Director of Real Estate Development at the ACR Group, says that this opportunity is not being leveraged. “It is possible that we are seeing the beginnings of a new rental market, but to date, just 22% of our households are renting and that supply is being provided almost exclusively by individuals. As such, it is very hard to fathom how we will reach the percentages seen in other countries such as Germany, where rental properties account for 48.3% of the market or the United Kingdom (36.6%). It is really hard to increase the stock in Spain because there are 19 million homes, and so a 1% increase means placing 190,000 more homes on the rental market, and that would take between three and four years (…). At that rate, nothing is going to happen quickly. No market works if there is no equilibrium between supply and demand. We need a large and varied supply for this market to work effectively”, he adds.

It is true that, historically, Spain has been a country of property owners, but the cultural and socio-economic changes that have been happening in recent years are drawing some new business lines, where the rental market is taking centre stage and is starting to become institutionalised. The new players in this market are: on the one hand, the Socimis, which are listed companies that serve as investment vehicles with tax benefits. The largest of them is Testa, which will debut on the stock market soon and which is owned by Santander, BBVA, Acciona and Merlin Properties. There are also others such as Azora, Vivenio (Renta Corporación), Témpore (Sareb) and Fidere, amongst the largest. Within this market, we can also include the servicers, which although they do not own properties, manage them, such as Solvia (Sabadell), Anticipa (Blackstone), Haya (Cerberus), Altamira (Apollo and Santander). And then, there are companies owned by the banks, such as Building Center (Caixabank) and other types of companies such as Alquiler Seguro, family offices, etc.

Therefore, now that the new players required to institutionalise this market are starting to be created, the next step is to develop a portfolio of assets. “We are going to need to reach agreements with property developers to build homes for rental (…), and at Sareb, we are going to use some of the land that we have for the co-development of rental homes (…)”, says Nicolás Saldaña.

That is a formula that is starting to spark interest. According to the experts, property developers have always been reluctant to enter the rental market, because they didn’t see it as their business, but in the end, the market trend has changed and whilst the sale and purchase segment will continue to exist, so too will the rental sector and property developers will have to participate (…).

The rental segment is a market that has always existed in the hands of individuals, but now, it is being professionalised, thanks to the arrival of overseas capital. “Investors have contributed many things, besides capital. They have contributed methodologies, rigour, professionalism (…). The banks were not open to this business before, they only financed promotion, but that has changed. For six months now, everyone has been wanting a piece of the pie and now there is a queue of financial institutions wanting to finance this type of business (…)”. Says José María Cervera (…).

Investing in residential properties is profitable. The gross return from investing in rental homes has increased to 7.3% from 6.3% a year ago, due to the strength of demand for rental properties, according to the real estate portfolio Idealista (…).

Original story: El Economista (by Luzmelia Torres)

Translation: Carmel Drake

British Fund Behind Purchase of Benidorm’s Kronos Building for €20M

21 March 2018 – Alicante Plaza

A British fund is behind the purchase of most of the apartments in the Kronos building in Benidorm. According to local sources, of the more than 150 homes that are owned by Sareb, 136 are going to be taken over by a British fund. The operation is worth more than €20 million and just needs to be signed, something that should happen within the coming days.

As Alicante Plaza published on Tuesday, the so-called “bad bank” has managed to sell the properties that it owned in the city’s skyscraper in just one year. Around 20 homes have been sold to individuals, whilst the remainder will end up in the hands of a British fund.

But that is not the full story. It would seem that, at the end of last year, Sareb sold the storerooms and garages that it also owned in the building, the fifth highest skyscraper in Benidorm, and one of the tallest in Spain.

The tower has 41 storeys and was conceived as a luxury residential property: the structure occupies less than 20% of the plot. The remainder is used for common areas and recreation with two swimming pools, one for adults and one for children, a gym, a football pitch, padel and tennis courts, as well as extensive green areas.

The building was constructed by the Valencian property developer Grupo García Ojeda in 2005, and the keys were handed over three years later. But the crisis hit the sale of the apartments and ten years later almost all of the flats were still on the market

In this way, Sareb is getting rid of one of the skyscrapers that was hit the hardest by the “bursting” of the real estate bubble. It is worth remembering that Sareb rescued nine savings banks, including properties and loans to property developers. The latter was an operation that saw the skyscraper awarded to the “bad bank, whose debt used to belong to one of the companies owned by Grupo García Ojeda. Kronos has more than one link to Valencia, given that it was designed by the architecture firm MAPRC, which is also from that city.

Original story: Alicante Plaza (by Alba Mercader)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inveriplus Will Spend €20M On Its First Purchases As A Socimi

26 April 2017 – Eje Prime

Inveriplus is one step closer to becoming a Socimi. The company, led by Óscar Bellete, will spend €20 million on its first purchases as a Socimi, according to comments made by the company to EjePrime. Moreover, Inveriplus, which specialises in the transformation of toxic assets into liquid assets and in converting struggling real estate companies and property developers into profitable enterprises, plans to add around 450 new assets to its portfolio over the next few months.

The group has already started the countdown to become a Socimi and is waiting to debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) before the first quarter 2018. “We are expecting to raise funding amounting to approximately €160 million, which will be spent on the acquisition of residential assets”, said Bellete.

Currently, the portfolio of properties that Inveriplus manages comprises approximately 5,700 assets. “In the short term, we will add 450 new assets to our management of developments that have not been marketed yet”, added the Director. In this way, Inveriplus will incorporate assets in Galicía and Andalucía, specifically on the Costa del Sol and in Sevilla.

For the time being, the group is not planning to invest outside of Spain or in any other products besides residential. (…). Inveriplus’ capital is owned by investors ranging from family offices to small and institutional investors.

The next step for Inveriplus is to carry out its first purchases as a Socimi, which will happen later this year. According to the Director, the group is already holding advanced talks to acquire “one building in Madrid, a couple of chalet developments in Valencia and a residential complex on the Costa de Almería”, although no more details can be provided about these operations at the moment.

These assets will involve an investment of between €15 million and €20 million (…).

Services to individuals

Nevertheless, Inveriplus is not only playing in the Socimi league, it is also in contact with property owners and end consumers. At the beginning of the year, the group launched a new service onto the market, known as AR36, whereby it commits to renting out a home to a tenant for 36 months and paying the owner all of the monthly payments, together and in advance.

The company has already convinced around 100 homeowners to sign up to the service, and the group forecasts that between 500 and 700 assets will have adopted this new way of leasing a home by the end of 2017. (…).

In this way, AR36 is aimed at people who own a property or who have the option of renting one out and who want to ensure the collection of the full rent. For the time being, this solution is only being offered in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona and Málaga, although Inveriplus plans to extend the service to other cities over the next few months.

The Inveriplus group has more than fifteen years experience in the real estate sector and its team specialises in capital markets and the management and restructuring of assets. Currently, Inveriplus, which already manages more than 140 clients, has an average occupancy rate of 88%.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Town Hall Of Madrid Launches Campaign To Buy 150 Homes

7 February 2017 – El Confidencial

The Town Hall of Madrid, governed by Ahora Madrid, wants to increase its stock of social rental housing. The decision was taken last September by the Board of Directors of the Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo de Madrid (Madrid’s Municipal Land and Housing Company or EMVS), but the marketing campaign has not been launched until now.

Its aim is to attract the attention of individuals and companies that are looking to sell off their homes. However, not all properties qualify. Homes must be “free from charges and levies, tenants, occupants and squatters”. In other words, they must be empty. Moreover, the Town Hall has said that it will pay between €65,000 and €160,000 per property. The EMVS is hoping to acquire 150 homes in total (…).

Nevertheless, the Town Hall is not willing to pay any price, not even for those homes located in the best neighbourhoods. (…). It has established fixed prices for the homes it is will to buy, which vary depending on location. In this way, the price per m2 may not exceed €1,300 in Puente de Vallecas and Villaverde; €1,500 in Carabanchel, Latina, Usera, Vicálvaro and Villa de Vallecas; €1,800 in Arganzuela, Ciudad Lineal, Hortaleza, Moratalaz, San Blas and Tetuán, and €2,000 in Centro, Chamartín, Chamberí, Fuencarral-El Pardo, Moncloa-Aravaca, Retiro and Salamanca.

On the basis of these figures, the Town Hall is going to spend, at least, €9.7 million (assuming that it buys 150 homes measuring 50 m2 and pays €1,300/m2 for each one). (…).

To put these figures in context, the price per m2 of second-hand homes in the neighbourhoods of Salamanca and Retiro amounted to €4,590/m2 and €3,734/m2 at the end of 2016, according to data from Idealista. Meanwhile, prices stood at around €1,400/m2 in Puente de Vallecas and Villaverde. (…).

Interested vendors should submit their tenders by 14:00 on 1 March 2017 in the EMVS’s General Registry in Calle Palos de la Frontera, 13. Further information is available on the EMVS website.

Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: Carmel Drake

Popular Stakes Its Future On The Segregation Of Its RE Arm

4 November 2016 – Expansión

Banco Popular is in the eye of the storm. The bank’s senior officials are facing the future by effectively placing a firewall between the entity’s normal banking activity and its real estate risk, however, the markets do not seem to be able to trust that they will succeed in finding their way out of the tunnel the entity entered when the real estate bubble was about to burst.

Following two major capital increases, amounting to €2,500 million each, and a third, smaller, capital injection of €450 million, as a result of which a Mexican investment group, led by the Del Valle family, became a shareholder of the group, the value of the bank (based on its share price) currently amounts to less than €4,000 million, making it the domestic financial entity that has seen its market capitalisation decreased by the most this year.

Popular has two lives: one afforded by its traditional business, which focuses on rendering financial services to individuals, self-employed people and SMEs, and where its efficiency and profitability ratios are high; and the other one, linked to the real estate sector, where the cumulative losses due to the impairment of its assets represent a real threat to the rest of its activity. (…).

Although the bank has received several offers to join a larger and more powerful financial group, the Board of Directors and the main shareholders who serve on the Board have categorically rejected them all, preferring instead to continue to lead the entity along its own path. “We do not want Popular’s intrinsic value to benefit others”, the entity has said time and time again, in order to justify its negativity towards a corporate operation in which it would fail to take over the reins. (…).

The two capital increases (the first one was carried out in December 2012 and the second one at the start of the summer) were accompanied by the appointment of Francisco Gómez (a man who has worked at the bank for his entire life) as the CEO (in the case of the first) and by his replacement by Pedro Larena, previously from Deutsche Bank and Banesto (in the case of the second). The aim was the same in both cases: to try to convince the market each time that the change in management was going to effectively deal with the recurrent problems, in other words, to eliminate the real estate risk.

Popular has tried to resolve its problems in the traditional way…by selling off its damaged assets at significant discounts, offset by growing provisions…but this has not proved sufficient, not least because the entry of damaged assets onto the balance sheet has been higher than the volume it has managed to sell through individual sales. (…).

Now, Popular is pursuing a strategy to segregate a substantial part of the real estate risk that it holds on its balance sheet (€6,000 million in book value), by placing it into a company that it will also endow with sufficient capital (around 20% of its liabilities). This capital will distributed free of charge amongst Popular’s existing shareholders in a way that will completely dissociate the entity from the transfer/sale. (…).

However, even once Popular has managed to eliminate a significant part of its real estate risk, the bank’s problems will not be over. That is reflected in the ERE that it is currently negotiating with the trade unions (which should be finalised by Sunday 6 November at the latest), which proposes the closure of 300 branches and a reduction in personnel of around 1,600 people through early retirement and voluntary redundancy packages. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Salvador Arancibia)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ECJ Puts An End To The Eviction Of Family Guarantors

21 October 2016 – Cinco Días

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that mortgage guarantees from individuals to companies are protected by the European directive on unfair terms. In this way, the EU judges have opened the way for the cancelation of this kind of guarantee and its most draconian conditions, when the contracts favour financial institutions in an unfair way. The ruling also jeopardises the execution of guarantees between individuals, which are very common in the case of house purchases.

In less than a year, and thanks to one case in Italy and another in Romania, the European Court of Justice has revolutionised the treatment of mortgage guarantees, many of which will be protected by the European directive on unfair terms from now on. Until now, it was assumed that the guarantors of a company were responding to a professional relationship and therefore, they were not covered by the rules governing consumer protection.

However, that interpretation did not consider numerous guarantors whose relationship with the company was of a family or friendly nature, without any commercial interest whatsoever. And so, the European Court of Justice has put an end to the gap by classifying these types of guarantors as consumers.

In November 2015, the EU judges indicated and they have just reiterated (14 September 2016) that the European Directive 93/13 governing unfair terms should protect people who guarantee the credit of a company that they do not manage or hold majority shares in.

In such cases, the new European legislation considers that the guarantor is acting as a consumer and therefore, the national courts may cancel the guarantee if they consider that the contract did not inform them properly about the risks or if the contract grants an unfair advantage to the financial institution.

The lawyer Juan Ignacio Navas, Partner-Director of the law firm Navas & Cusí, classifies these types of guarantees, which do not generate any economic benefits for the guarantor, as “altruistic”. And he says that they are granted regularly, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized companies. (…).

Navas believes that the new legislation will not only affect guarantees for loans to companies but will also be extended to all types of individual guarantors. (…).

The lawyer said that many mortgage loans are signed with these altruistic guarantees: “Cousin, brothers, daughters, parents and friends, in other words, people linked by family or friendship ties, without any economic interest”.

Legal sources stress that in these types of contracts “the guarantor is risking something as important as his/her home without gaining anything in return and he/she does so because of the pressure exerted by financial institutions”. (…).

Nevertheless, other lawyers, such as the Partner of the law firm Jausas, Jordi Ruiz de Villa, warn that the rulings from the European Court only ensure that the conditions of these guarantees will be reviewed from the perspective of consumer protection and that even if a contract includes an unfair term, a judge may decide to just cancel that term or amend the commission charged without the need, for example, to cancel the entire guarantee.

As a result, some Spanish judges have already declared some mortgage guarantees to be null and void as they considers that they include unfair terms, which means that the rulings from the European Court may help halt the evictions of these kinds of family or friend guarantor.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Bernardo De Miguel and Juande Portillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas: Hotel Inv’t Will Reach €1,300M In 2016

29 September 2016 – Diario Vasco

Real estate investment in the hotel segment is expected to reach €1,300 million by the end of 2016, according to a forecast prepared by BNP Paribas Real Estate, which was revealed yesterday at the presentation of the entity’s Hotel Report for Spain.

An economist from BNP Paribas, Ramiro Rodríguez, indicated that the forecast is based on actual figures for the first seven months of the year.

During the 7 months to July, direct investment in the hotel sector in Spain grew by 18%, to reach €996 million, compared with €840 million during the same period in 2015, according to Rodríguez, who added that this trend shows that “investors are still interested in the market”.

The report provides an overview of the Spanish hotel network, both in terms of occupancy rates, as well as investment and prices. It also gives details of the key players behind these investments – Socimis, funds, individuals…

Sources at BNP Paribas forecast that 64 new hotels will open between 2016 and 2017, primarily in the 4- and 3-star categories. Of those, 18 will be in Barcelona, 15 in the Balearic Islands, 9 in Madrid, 6 in Gerona, 6 in Málaga, 6 in Valencia and 4 in Sevilla.

In terms of prices, increases have been recorded primarily in the 3- and 4-star categories, of 4%, whilst prices for 5-star hotels have increased by 3%.

At the end of 2015, average prices amounted to €173 per room for 5-star hotels; €84 for 4-star hotels; €64 for 3-star hotels; €54 for 2-star hotels and €53 for 1-star hotels.

Original story: Diario Vasco

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axactor Buys Its Fifth Debt Portfolio In Spain For €565M

2 August 2016 – Cinco Días

The Norwegian company Axactor is continuing with its commitment to Spain. Yesterday, it announced the purchase of a new debt portfolio in the Spanish market for €565 million, which represents the company’s fifth operation this year. In this way, Axactor is pushing ahead with its growth strategy in Spain and is strengthening its position as one of the main operators in the debt management sector. Juan Manuel Gutiérrez (pictured above right), Head of Axactor in Spain, confirmed that “ we are totally focused on growth: this acquisition forms part of our plans to continue increasing our presence in the Spanish market, through both the purchase of portfolios and the management of debt for third parties”.

The new debt portfolio acquired by Axactor comprises secured and unsecured loans amounting to €565 million. The portfolio includes almost 30,000 accounts held by individuals and small and medium-sized companies. This acquisition comes after the firm closed another deal in July in the primary market, when it purchased a debt portfolio for €144 million from Banco Mare Nostrum.

Since December 2015, the company has tripled the number of cases under management (from 250,000 to 780,000) and it has quadrupled the total volume of debt under management (from €2,140 million to €9,035 million). Spain has become the fastest growing market for the group and is at the centre of its strategy to become the leader of the debt management market in mainland Europe. Its progress was boosted by the acquisition of Geslico, an operation that allowed the Nordic firm to become the second largest operator in this business segment.

In addition, the incorporation of that company into the group has allowed Axactor to cover the entire value chain of the debt business and has facilitated operations involving collections and debt purchases thanks to a complex IT system to which Axactor has obtained access as a result of the integration of Geslico.

Axactor bought the management company of the former savings banks from the opportunistic fund Fortress, following the US firm’s withdrawal from the country. In this way, Axactor began its international expansion several months ago and chose Spain for that purpose. Its strategy involves becoming the leader of the debt management market in mainland Europe. “Spain has become the launch pad for this strategy and a key market for the Norwegian group”, said the firm, which is listed on the stock exchange.

Original story: Cinco Días (by A.G.)

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

Bank Of Spain: Housing Yields Soar By 10.9% In Q1 2016

18 July 2016 – Expansión

(…). According to the latest data from Bank of Spain relating to the first quarter of this year, the average gross annual return on housing amounted to 10.9% in Q1 2016. Three months earlier, the same indicator amounted to 8.8%, which gives an idea of how much the pace is speeding up.

This gross yield figure measures the combined effect of the appreciation in house prices, plus the income obtained from putting those houses up for rent, before tax. In other words, the figure takes into account not only the amount that each investor obtains from renting out his/her property, but also the amount that he/she would earn from selling it after twelve months, which is the most important information for investors.

Specifically, house prices rose by 6.3% YoY during Q1 2016, whilst rental income generated additional returns of 4.6% over and above the value of the asset. And that profit may increase over the coming years, given that Fotocasa calculates that rental prices increased by 4.8% YoY in June, the second highest rise since 2006.

Moreover, this figure is more significant in the context of depressed interest rates, where investments presented as alternatives to fixed income options are shining. For example, housing yields are six times higher than the returns on 10-year Spanish public debt, which is the reference rate used by the financial supervisor; moreover, housing has also offered a safer refuge against uncertainty than the stock exchanges in recent months. (…).

This gap between housing yields and the returns on other assets means that now is a great time to invest in rental housing, for both individual buyers and investment funds, given that the cost of mortgages are also at historical lows.

In fact, the College of Property Registrars indicates that last year, 12.71% of house purchases were made by legal persons, which shows the interest that housing is sparking amongst companies, due to the double returns it offers.

The business model of these businesses and individuals is clear: obtain fixed income from renting out the asset, for an amount that comfortably exceeds the associated operating costs, and also benefit from the appreciation in the property value, so that they can more than double their returns.

Overall increases

In addition, it is a pretty safe bet, given that house prices are rising in most autonomous regions (and the improvement in the labour market should prolong this rise) and rental prices are rising four times as quickly as purchase prices, according to data from Fotocasa. (…).

The percentage of citizens who prefer to rent rather than buy is increasing, from 19% to 21.2% of Spaniards in 2015. In the last three years, the rental market has absorbed more than 1 million homes and is 42.5% larger. For this reason, investors looking for high returns have thrown themselves into the hunt for properties in established locations, with demand, in order to rent them out.

Location and quality

In fact, the experts recommend paying special attention to the location and quality of housing, because Spain is no longer a homogeneous market…but rather a market evolving at two or three speeds, in which prices have not bottomed out yet or are stable in certain cities and neighbourhoods, whilst prices are clearly recovering in others. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by P. Cerezal)

Translation: Carmel Drake