Solvia: 71% Of Spaniards Think Now Is A “Good Time” To Buy A Home

19 April 2017 – El Mundo

71% of Spaniards think that now is a “good time” to buy a home, according to a study conducted by Solvia, a subsidiary of Banco Sabadell, and the research institute Kantar TNS, which have prepared a real estate confidence index to quantify the perception and expectations of Spaniards regarding buying a home.

According to the results of the index, which ranges between values of zero (for the most unfavourable perceptions) to 200 (for the most favourable), the situation in terms of real estate confidence amongst Spaniards is “positive”, since the index value currently stands at 112. The index, which has been prepared on the basis of interviews with 1,000 people, reveals that 71% of those surveyed believe that, in general, now is a “good time” to buy a home. The report’s authors highlight the following main arguments as justification for respondents’ answers: “the decrease in prices that the housing market has seen; the notion that buying is a good investment; and the fact that the market is currently offering some genuine opportunities”.

By contrast, the study adds that the interviewees’ perception changes when they are asked about their personal circumstances. In this sense, 61% of Spaniards consider that from their own individual perspective, now is a “bad time” to buy a home.

In this regard, employment conditions and the limited capacity to save, with the consequent difficulties involved in accessing financing, explain the negative perception held by Spaniards when it comes to acquiring a home now. Nevertheless, the people interviewed hope that, within two years, they will be in a better position financially to buy a home, thanks to improvements in their employment conditions.

In terms of the evolution of house prices over the last year, 35% of Spaniards think that prices have risen, compared with 43% who believe that house prices have remained stable and 22% who consider that they have decreased.

Finally, buying a home is the option that the majority of those interviewed (55% of the total) would recommend to family and friends thinking about their primary residence.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gomez-Pintado: “We Will See Real Estate Companies On IBEX 35 Again”

8/01/2015 – Expansion

Juan Antonio Gomez-Pintado, the newly named chairman of Madrid’s Association of Developers, abbreviated to Asprima by its name in Spanish, holds a degree in Economics from the Esite business school and a Master degree in Real Estate and Construction Management.

Mr Gomez-Pintado (pictured) stepped into the chairman’s shoes when long-standing president Jose Manuel Galindo had left.

His ample, 30-year experience in the sector, first acquired in family office Agofer and then in Via Celere, pushed him to take an immediate decision about reorganization of the association’s structure.

“We must overcome an organizational paralysis. Before the recession, we had 276 members and now we are only 70. Our number-one goal is to get back our associates, and we have been doing it successfully so far. Some people disagreed with the previous management and now they are returning”, pointed out Mr Gomez-Pintado. The executive hopes to band together “125 to 150 members”.

Apart from getting the number of real estate firms back, Asprima’s new head works on better image of the entire industry. “I want to show a positive picture to the future society. We significantly contribute to job creation and the Spanish GDP. True, there have been some shameful cases, but that happens in every sector. The Public Administration has demonized us a lot”, he assures.

“We are an essential tool for Spain’s economic recovery as the industry encompasses 1.2 million jobless people”, the chairman adds.

The new growth stage has nothing to do with the previous boom. “We will be much more reasonable and instead of 800.000 homes, we will build 225.000. Besides, we will focus on the rehabilitation business and the Socimis” (REITs).

In this context, Mr Gomez-Pintado believes that the new players in the sector like Real Estate Investment Trusts or Socimis or servicers will play a relevant role in this beginning chapter for Asprima. “The Ibex 35 [the benchmark stock exchange market index of Spain’s principal bourse, translator’s note] will illuminate with big property managers again. On one side, there are the banks which have sold their REO platforms and now can go for trading, and on the other, there are the international funds teaming up with local companies [like Monthisa and Lar] to generate value within five-to-seven years”.

Next, Asprima will modernize and recycle both the member companies and the businessmen. To achieve that, the association will put a pressure on exchange of the knowlegde among the associates, something not practiced ever before. “We need all the real estate firms to be the leading ones because only one of such cannot be running the sector”, the chairman concludes.

 

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: AURA REE

Merlin: Catalonia’s Independence Movement Harmful to Property Investment

16/12/2014 – ExpansionPro

One of the leading companies of the real estate sector of Spain announced that the pro-independence movement observed across Catalonia is increasingly affecting property investments in the region. ‘The uncertainty in Catalonia is incredibly harmful to the real estate market, especially to the real estate market of this region’, said Ismael Clemente, chief executive of Merlin Properties.

Battered by the recession, Spanish housing is picking up. That attracts investors betting on its recovery. Merlin Properties is one of the REITs (known as Socimis in Spain) which were listed on the stock earlier this year. At its flotation June 30th, the vehicle raised 1.25 billion euros. A Socimi that had gone public just before it, Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios, gained trust of such prominent investors as John Paulson and George Soros.

In last month survey carried out among 2.3 million Catalans, 80% voted in favor of independence.

The Perception Change

‘We have noticed a change in investors’ sentiment about the region’, Clemente said. ‘They are asking about stress scenarios regarding revenues proceedig from Catalonia’s monetary switch resulting in depreciation of properties’.

Spanish Socimis pay out at least 80% of their profits in dividends. Merlin, buying both office and retail assets, is not leaving from the region. Around 9% of its portfolio is formed by properties in Catalonia and the Reit is going to expand the percentage.

Local authorities admitted the political tensions negatively impact Catalonia’s economy.

 

Original story: ExpansiónPro (by Thomas Hale, Lunes 15 de diciembre, pp 5)

Translation: AURA REE

Construction to Fully Emerge From Depression, Grow in 2015

11/12/2014 – Expansion

Recognized property market specialist Julio Gil, director at advisory firm Horizone and the new chairman of the Foundation for Real Estate Research (Fundación de Estudios Inmobiliarios), said in an interview with Expansion that after seven years of collapse, the worst is over and ‘adjustment in housing is practically a fact’. According to him, next year will be better than 2014.

‘A year and a half ago, signs of life in the property industry disappeared. Now we are at a turning point, marking the first phase of recovery. Prices in Madrid and Barcelona went stable and undoubtedly the prime markets of the main cities of Spain is emerging from the recession’, Mr Gil explained.

Moreover, the expert admitted that the year 2014 was the stabilization time after hitting the bottom. Prices still need some adjustments as by now they have achieved it in different ways. Thus, in Madrid the values dropped by 42 per cent and in other regions the correction has not crossed 25 per cent.

Asked about his opinion for the upcoming year, Mr Gil said ‘the real estate activity will rebound in 2015. If if comes to prices, there will be a moderate decline. Demand will be conditioned by demographics and employment‘.

Moreover, the economist reckons the moment to buy-to-lease is favorable as risk posts low and returns project well. ‘Demographic change will be the key to preventing subsequent property depreciation in the long run’, he assured.

The specialist also pointed out that still there are multiple opportunities of buying an interesting units at good prices.

In reference to banking sales, Julio Gil gives the following piece of advice: ‘this is the moment to implement a scheme of real estate sales to foreigners. This is one of the greatest potentials of the sector. Spanish residential tourism market is tremendously competitive all in terms of prices, infrastructures and services. What is more, holiday housing has cheapened by 50 percent. For these reasons, the time is perfect to export this type of product’.

Asked to specify the measures, the expert said the power lies in taxation and applying incentives to purchases by foreign investors. The plan would show a way out for the REO volume in banks and assets of real estate managers.

Morever, he is convinced that the industry needs better lending and a decrease of the tax on property rehabilitation.

 

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: AURA REE

AURA REE in the NYTM: Property Investors Flock to Spain

30/05/2014 – New York Times

Aside from the brief historical review on the way of the Spanish real estate market to the present popularity, from the article published recently in the New York Times Magazine we learn about the reasons and forecasts for the future activity on the once-rejected market explained by our CEO, Fernando Acuña at the recent interview with the author of the article, Jenny Anderson, at our office in Madrid.

Ms. Anderson recalls our head had said the number of investors coming in is beyond expectations as nowadays we observe a genuine frenzy about investing in the Spanish real estate. According to the journalist, not only small, start-up real estate advisory companies like ours are being stormed by eager buyers, but also mid- and global-investment banks.

They mostly target office buildings and apartments, real estate servicers and even loan portfolios. And there is a lot to sell, especially if it comes to foreclosed property.

The real jewels for them is the commercial real estate in Madrid and Barcelona whose pool is shrinking more and more, though. Therefore, the investors give up their 20% yield expectations and shift their interest to residential property.

Mr. Acuña admitted the shift goes in line with his future business strategy and after having gone through the boom and the recession, he´s preparing for the next property feast.

The journalist describes AURA REE´s birth as follows: “in 2006, Deutsche Bank hired him [Mr. Acuña] to build its mortgage business. When the market collapsed, he added the title of head of collections. In 2009, he started a business trying to sell repossessed houses for the banks and formed a database with 450,000 properties from banks and more than a million from private clients. When investors started calling and asked him for valuations of land, houses, buildings and portfolios, he started Aura to advise them and also to invest in the sector. Its website is in English because, he said, “all my clients are in Mayfair.””

Moreover, he believes the year 2014 will see an overhelming number of deals.

 

Read the entire article: Dealbook New York Times

Summary: AURA REE