Tauro Real Estate Buys Torre Ámbar in Madrid

3 July 2018 – Eje Prime

The new Tauro Real Estate is rearing its head in the Spanish residential market. The fund, which is now under the mandate of Globe Invest, the Israeli company that acquired the firm in April by paying €180 million to its former shareholders, has recently purchased Torre Ámbar in the centre of Madrid.

In the middle of May, Globe Invest, owned by the multi-millionaire Teddy Sagi, acquired the rights to purchase the residential block from the Inveriplus group. The tower comprises 64 prime homes very close to Paseo de la Castellana, according to confirmation from sources involved in the operation. The amount of the transaction has not been revealed. The vendor in this operation, Inveriplus, is a group dedicated to investment in real estate assets for their subsequent management and value generation. The company, which is headquartered in Madrid, is led by Óscar Bellette.

The asset has been acquired after the clean-up that Inveriplus conducted of the tower. It, in turn, had purchased the homes during the crisis from several merchants of the Proinlasa real estate group. For the last few years, the manager has succeeded in leasing the block in its entirety.

Torre Ámbar is one of the skyscrapers that comprises the residential area of Isla Chamartín, located to the north of Madrid. The building, whose first homes were handed over in 2009, was designed for sale, but the change in economic cycle forced a change in the objectives and it was put up for rent in 2014.

The sale was signed “at market price”, according to sources close to the operation speaking to Eje Prime. “The returns that the property could generate are of much greater interest than the purchase opportunity”, say the same sources.

Torre Ámbar comprises luxury one and two bedroom homes, as well as several studios. The urbanisation is private and has security gates, a swimming pool, garages and storerooms, a padel court and private green spaces, according to Proinlasa’s corporate website.

The owner of the property has real estate assets for sale and rent in Madrid, Valladolid, Palma and Córdoba. In its property development plan, the group says that, in addition to residential land, it is also backing the tertiary and industrial market.

The owner of Camden Market’s commitment to Spain

Teddy Sagi is an Israeli multimillionaire and owner of the renowned Camden Market in London. The businessman, through Tauro Real Estate, has acquired 600 homes spread between Madrid and Barcelona.

Tauro has fattened up its portfolio in less than four years with the purchase of assets, primarily from banks, involving the investment of up to €160 million. In Madrid, it owns 350 homes and in Barcelona, it has another 250 properties. In the Catalan capital, it owns tourist apartments, which comprise 30% of the assets that Tauro owns in the city (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo & P. Riaño)

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

Can Spain’s Rental Price Hikes Be Contained?

6 February 2017 – El País

(…) A strong increase in demand and a shortage of supply have led to increases in rental prices, which soared by 15.9% in Spain last year, according to Idealista. Barcelona and Madrid recorded historical rises, with increases of 16.5% and 15.6%, respectively.

No-one in the sector is talking about a bubble, but rather about an imbalance between supply and demand. Nevertheless, this mismatch has raised alarm bells in the two hardest hit cities. The Town Halls of Madrid and Barcelona have asked the Government to change the Law governing Urban Leases (LAU) in order to regulate prices and prevent disproportionate increases.

And the Government of Cataluña has gone even further: it is going to punish landlords who charge expensive rents. The regional government is going to establish a rental price reference index in the Spring, which will establish orientative prices per square metre, based on the size of the home, age of the building, characteristics of the home and its location. Work will be performed on the mathematical formula over the next two months.

Carrot and stick

The tool will reward or penalise ownera through the tax system, in the form of the Property Tax (IBI), in the autonomous section of the Income Tax Return (IRPF) and in renovation work. Moreover, empty home owners may even avoid fines if they rent their properties out in line with the “benchmark price”. “If the rent is lower than the reference index, then the incentive will be positive and if the rent is higher, then the incentive will be negative”, explain sources in the Housing Department at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) – which (…) at the guidance of its director, Sergio Nasarre, has coordinated the working group whose conclusions form the basis of the Generalitat’s new initiative.

The rental market is gaining weight in Spain. “It has gone from accounting for 17.9% of the market in 2001 to 22.3% in 2015”, said José Peral, Director of Sales and Marketing at Solvia, who notes that the rental sector is undergoing a seismic change. Moreover, we are seeing “market convergence towards average volumes and prices that are more aligned with those observed in other European countries”, said David Calzada, CEO at the Socimi Vbare. Calzada expects prices to continue to rise in Madrid and Barcelona, at a sustained, albeit more contained rate. Oscar Bellette, CEO at Inveriplus, forecasts that rental prices will rise by 7% in both cities this year.

Despite this, the creators of the index consider that Spain still has the smallest residential rental market in Western Europe. Moreover, “it is dysfunctional, expensive and poor quality in nature; 46% of homes are rented on the black market and more than 3.5 million homes are empty”, says Nasarre. (…).

The Catalan method, the first of its kind in Spain, is based on a methodology that has worked in Berlin for years, where 95% of rents are open-ended. The index fulfils its objective in the German capital: indexed rents rise by between 2.7% and 3% per year, whilst those not subject to the index increase by between 5% and 10%, p.a., says Jutta Hartmann, from the Berlin Tenants’ Association. (…).

Nevertheless, the initiative is generating a lot of questions and concerns amongst agents in the sector in Spain. “It is a useless and counterproductive measure, which will lead to an increase in black market activity and in the number of empty homes”, says Sergi Gargallo, Director General at Alquiler Seguro. (…).

Nevertheless, all of the agents agree that the market will benefit from professionalization, thanks to the arrival of companies such as Socimis. “In Spain, 3.8 million primary residence homes are rented out and 97% of those are owned by individuals”, says José Peral, at Solvia.

Original story: El País (by Sandra López Letón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Rental Housing Is Booming Following The Crisis

26 October 2016 – El Economista

The rental market, which had never really caught on before in Spain, is now enjoying a genuine boom following the economic crisis. The employment instability experienced in recent years and the inability of people to buy a home in the face of mortgage restrictions have raised the prominence of the rental market in Spain, which now accounts for 15.6% (of the total housing stock), a ratio not seen since 1987, according to the latest data from the Bank of Spain and reported by Idealista. By contrast, the percentage of owned homes has decreased to 77.3%, a figure not seen since 1988.

With this data on the table, it is logical to think that the decrease in owned homes this year will exceed the figure recorded in 2015. Specifically, last year, there was a decrease (in the number of rental properties) of almost 9% from the peaks registered in 2002, when owned homes accounted for 84.72% of the total housing stock.

The increase in demand for rental properties has had a significant impact on prices. After seven years of continuous decreases, which peaked at 25% in some cases, the first increase – of 3% on average – was recorded in 2015. The impact on rental prices was felt most acutely in the country’s ten largest cities, led by Barcelona, where prices rose by 17% on average.

Although the supply has also increased since then, average rental prices have continued to rise and according to pisos.com, they increased by 5.09% during the third quarter of 2016. In this way, the average rental price amounted to €661 in September 2016 for a typical home with an average surface area of 112 m2. In comparative terms, this figure represents a 0.3% increase compared to August. Nevertheless, the YoY increase amounted to 9.26%.

These average increases are symbolic if we focus on specific areas in Madrid and Barcelona, where potential rental clients look for properties in central, prime areas, that are well connected (in terms of transport links). Thus, in the Catalan neighbourhoods of Sant Martí, Gràcia and Sants-Montjuïc, prices are rising by between 12% and 16% p.a..

The real estate market itself is not oblivious to this trend and for this reason, a wave of Socimis are getting reach to focus on the rental housing sector.

For the time being, Fidere and Optimum III are the only Socimis that are actually up and running. Imminent debuts are expected from Alquiler Seguro, with its Socimi Quid Pro Quo, which will have 625 units in its first phase, and Domo Activos Socimi, the cooperative manager, with its portfolio of 1,400 units. The Valencian group Inveriplus, the US fund Blackstone – with Albinara Properties, Pegarena and Tourmalet – and Testa Residencial, with 4,700 homes, are also expected to enter the market.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla and Cristina Alonso)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Owner Of Torre Ámbar Will Debut On MAB In 2017

25 October 2016 – El Economista

Inveriplus, the owner of Torre Ámbar, one of the skyscrapers that makes up the residential area of Isla Chamartín, will debut on the MAB next year. The firm, which specialises in the transformation of toxic assets into liquid assets, has already created a company under the Socimi framework and wants to complete its first operations before the end of the year.

“We have not chosen a trading name yet”, explained Oscar Bellette, the Executive Director of the firm, but he assured that advanced negotiations are already underway regarding the Socimi’s purchase of two residential properties in Madrid.

One of them is the iconic Torre Ámbar, located in the north of Madrid, which was constructed during the years of the property boom in Spain. Inveriplus already owns 50% of the homes in the building – it managed to sell the rest – but is currently holding conversations with the creditor banks to cancel the debt.

Bellette explained that his firm is also working with lenders of a property on Calle Apolonia Morales and that it has already reached an agreement with BBVA to cancel the debt relating to a group of chalets in a town in Valencia.

All of these assets already form part of its portfolio, but the investment that has been earmarked for their financial clean up operations amounts to between €22 million and €24 million.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Socimis Set Their Sights On Rental Housing

30 August 2016 – Expansión

After buying up offices, shopping centres and hotels, many Socimis are now setting their sights on rental housing.

The Socimis owned by Domo, Alquiler Seguro and Inveriplus, amongst others, are preparing to start trading on the stock market. (…).

At least five new Socimis, focusing on rental housing, are expected to debut on the stock market over the next few months. Some of these Socimis have already started the process to join the MAB by preparing their Information Memorandums for Incorporation onto the Market (DIIM), which will, subsequently, be submitted for review by the MAB’s Coordination and Incorporations Committee and the Board of Directors. These bodies must analyse the document and decide whether or not to approve their debuts on the market.

The potential new joiners to the MAB include the Socimi owned by the management company Domo, which has the distinction of being able to offer its investors the possibility of participating in every project phase – from the acquisition of land, to the monitoring and control of developments, to placing homes up for rent and, subsequently, where appropriate, the sale of the assets. This Socimi is scheduled to join the MAB in September.

New joiners

Domo Activos Socimi, which was constituted on 11 June 2015, aims to raise up to €50 million in initial capital and then carry out capital increases to raise up to €250 million.

Meanwhile, the Socimi owned by Alquiler Seguro – Quid Pro Quo – is planning to debut on the stock market before the end of the year. The company initially wants to raise €50 million, which it will use to purchase properties for their subsequent rental.

The company’s plans involve incorporating 500 homes into its portfolio during the first phase, and its five year objective is to own around 6,000 homes and reach a fund volume of €500 million through subsequent capital increases.

Another Socimi that is finalising its debut on the stock market is owned by Inveriplus, a firm that specialises in the clean up of real-estate assets. This company will be created with €10 million, which will be used to purchase developments. In addition, the company plans to invest €60 million in assets before its debut on the stock market.

Armabex – which specialises in the constitution of Socimis and their subsequent incorporation onto the stock market – is working with two other companies that it expects will be ready to debut on the MAB before the end of the year. One of those Socimis is the subsidiary of a real estate company and the other is a company owned by two architects with projects in the south of Madrid. (…).

Currently, the average gross yield on rental housing amounts to 4.6%, according to the latest available data from the Bank of Spain. If we include future capital gains, from the sale of assets, those yields can soar into the double digits. (…).

For the time being, the ratio of rental properties to owned properties in Spain stands at around 20%, whilst the European average is closer to 35%, with some cities, such as Berlin, reporting percentages of almost 60%. These figures indicate that there is still a lot of potential (in Spain). (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake