The Sometimes Overrated Boom of Spain’s Socimis

20 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

BME and JLL recently presented a study of the state of Spain’s 73 socimis. From 2016 to 2018, a total of 54 socimis, 70% of the current total, debuted on the market. Last year, those same socimis paid an average dividend yield of 3.8%. The firms distributed €879 million in dividends in 2018, up from €581 million in 2017, +51.4% year-on-year.

While the total stock market capitalisation of the socimis increased by 19.6% last year, compared to the IBEX 35’s fall of 15%, the Spanish market is still relatively small compared to the rest of Europe.  Only four of the socimis listed on the continuous market. The Spanish market ranks fourth out of eleven, behind the United Kingdom, France and Holland. Moreover, while Spain accounts for 31.5% of the total number of socimis in the EU, their assets represent just 12% (26.740 billion dollars at the end of March). The average socimi in Spain is valued at 371 million dollars; compared to €1.371 billion in the United Kingdom; €1.99 billion in France and a whopping €5.35 billion in the Netherlands.

Foreigners also accounted for the lion’s share of investment in Spanish socimis. According to the study, 75% of the investment in the office sector came from outside of the country, 85% of that in logistics and 80% of the investment in retail.

Original Story: ABC Inmobiliário

72 Socimis Have Made €50 Billion in Investments Since 2012

5 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

A new study by the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) and JLL, called ‘Socimis. Stability and investment in the real estate sector. Market Report 2019,’ emphasised the growing importance of socimis in the Spanish economy and capital markets. Socimis have provided an alternate source of financing for the real estate market, coming at an opportune time after the financial crisis at the beginning of this decade.

Since the regulatory framework governing the investment vehicles, similar to REITs in the United States, was established in 2012, investors have created 72 socimis. Those firms have a total current real estate investment volume of 50 billion euros and a capitalization of more than 22.3 billion euros. Those same socimis have generated more than €2.1 billion in rents (+ 25% y-o-y) and net profits of 2.37 billion euros, with a dividend yield of 3.8% last year.

Original Story: Valenciaplaza

 

MVGM Acquires JLL’s European Operations

3 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The Dutch real estate management group MVGM is acquiring the European property management operations of the American real estate services firm JLL. The deal will make the combined company one of the five largest European companies in the sector, with a presence in 10 countries.

After the deal, MVGM will have a presence in eight additional markets (Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia), while increasing its footprint in the Netherlands and Germany.

Original Story: Expansion

 

JLL: Foreign Investment in Catalan Real Estate Rose by 137% in 2018

15 June 2019 – La Vanguardia

According to data published by the real estate consultancy JLL, overseas investment in the Catalan real estate sector rose by 137% during 2018, despite the fact that total investment fell from €1.13 billion in 2017 to €995 million in 2018.

In fact, domestic investment plummeted by 85% to €363 million from €859 million, but almost all of that decrease was offset by the arrival of funds from overseas. Of those, investment funds deposited 57% YoY more in 2018 (€574 million) and Socimis invested 47% YoY more (€326 million).

Having overcome the political uncertainty seen in 2017, international investors showed their commitment to Cataluña in general and Barcelona in particular, not least because the city has been declared as one of the world’s influencer cities by JLL.

In the business context, the city is particularly attractive for investment in the office, logistics and commercial sectors, ranking in first place in all 3 markets when compared with its European counterparts.

Specifically, the Catalan capital’s offices generate yields of 3.75%, whereby outperforming Milan (3.6%), London, Madrid and Stockholm (all 3.5%). Its logistics assets generate returns of 5.10%, compared with 5% in Madrid, and its shops in central locations generated yields of 3.25% in Q1 2019, compared with Madrid (3.15%) and Paris (2.75%).

All of this is welcome news for the region that has been hit hard by the political uncertainty of recent years.

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Pilar Blázquez)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Socimi Lar Sells its Last Office Building in Madrid to Swiss Life for €40M

24 April 2019 – Idealista

Lar España has sold the last office building left in its portfolio as it continues its strategy to specialise in the retail sector.

The Socimi has sold the property located at number 27 Calle Eloy Gonzalo, in the centre of Madrid, to the manager of the Swiss insurance company Swiss Life for €40 million. The building spans a surface area of 6,300 m2, distributed over 9 floors with various retail premises on the ground floor. The upper floors are leased in their entirety to the US coworking specialist WeWork.

Lar España acquired the property, which was constructed in the 1960s, for €12.7 million at the end of 2014.

Following this sale, the Socimi can now focus on the 14 assets in its retail portfolio (shopping centres and retail parks), which will become 15 after the summer, once the Lagoh shopping centre has been opened in Sevilla.

This represents the Swiss manager’s second purchase in Spain, following its acquisition of 13 retail premises from Corpfin Capital Prime Retail Assets in July 2018 for more than €83 million.

Various high-profile consultancy firms participated in the operation, with Cushman & Wakefield advising on the buy side and JLL and Knight Frank on the sell side.

Original story: Idealista (by Ana P. Alarcos)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

JLL: 47 Halls of Residence for Students are Under Construction in Spain

24 April 2019 – El Confidencial

The student hall sector is on a roll. With almost fifty projects underway (47) and 17,500 new beds to be added to the existing portfolio by 2022, experts forecast total investment of €1 billion in the sector over the next 4 years.

In 2017, investment in the sector amounted to €560 million, ten times higher than the figure recorded in 2016 (€50 million). Last year, the number dropped to €141 million, but according to Nick Wride, Director of Living and Alternatives at JLL Spain, that was “due to a lack of residences in operation available for sale”. Moreover, it was still the highest figure ever recorded excluding corporate transactions – the data in 2017 was impacted by the completion of 2 large corporate deals.

Last year, 18 operations were closed involving the purchase of land or buildings for conversion. 55% of the investment was undertaken in Madrid and Barcelona, with the remaining 45% made in the main regional cities, such as Málaga, Sevilla and Granada. The operators behind the new beds under construction include Nexo, Resa, WPCarey, Invesco, CBRE GI, Axa and GSA, amongst others.

Student halls offer some of the highest yields in the sector: 5.5% in the secondary cities and 5% in Madrid and Barcelona, in line with those generated by nursing homes (5.5%) and logistics assets (5%), but well above those seen in other segments such as retail premises (3.15%), offices (3.50%), residential (3.50%) and hotels (4%).

The reason is the enormous demand that exists for these types of assets. In Spain, almost half a million students need accommodation, but there are currently just 91,000 student beds. The gap is clear, and growing, boosted by an increase in the number of domestic and international students travelling away from home to study. Those not finding student accommodation have to rent in the private market – an informal, heterogeneous, inflexible and potentially expensive option (particularly in Madrid and Barcelona where prices are soaring).

All this makes the market for student accommodation extremely attractive.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

JLL: Prime Retail Rents Grew During Q1 2019

23 April 2019 – Eje Prime

The rental prices of prime premises are growing in Spain. In 2018, the rental prices of retail parks rose by 5.4%, whilst high street rents increased by 5% and shopping centre rents by 2.6%.

According to a study by JLL, the growth in the rents of prime premises in Spain is forecast to be amongst the highest in Europe over the next five years, albeit more moderate than in previous years.

Investment in retail assets amounted to €208 million during Q1 2019, with Corpfin’s acquisition of the retail space in Edificio España (Madrid) accounting for the lion’s share (€160 million). Yields remained stable during the quarter.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

WeWork to Launch its ‘Custom Buildout’ Business in Spain

28 March 2019 – Idealista

The US co-working company WeWork is studying the rental of entire buildings in Spain to dedicate to its custom buildout business. The service offers large corporations assets fitted out and managed by the brand. The company is already looking at potential properties in Barcelona.

WeWork now has ten co-working office spaces in Madrid and Barcelona (5 in each city), but its plan is to offer large corporations a new service that would house their headquarters and manage all of their needs, leveraging the firm’s know-how in the office management segment.

According to its business model, WeWork speaks to its clients first to understand their needs and desires. It then searches for the best offers, assumes the risks of a long-term contract and the capital investment, and manages the property for the company on an on-going basis, offering services such as fresh fruit, water and security, as well as events for employees.

In this way, the firm would start to compete directly with stalwarts of the sector such as CBRE, JLL, Savills Aguirre Newman and Cushman&Wakefield.

WeWork already offers this service to several corporates around the world, including Starbucks, Facebook, Adidas, Salesforce, Blackrock and Citi, amongst others.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

JLL: Investment in Offices in Barcelona Amounted to €611M in 2018

21 March 2019 – Eje Prime

According to the consultancy firm JLL, direct investment in the office sector in Barcelona amounted to €611 million in 2018. That figure represented 24.4% of the total investment in office spaces across Spain, which amounted to €2.6 billion. Direct investment in offices in Madrid reached €1.9 billion last year.

In Barcelona, the largest operation of the year in the office segment saw Blackstone acquire the Planeta building for €210 million.

Meanwhile, 356,000 m2 of office space was leased in the Catalan capital, up by 8%. The real estate firm forecasts an upwards trend with the leasing of office space amounting to 360,000 m2 in 2019, 368,000 m2 in 2020 and 370,000 m2 in 2021.

In terms of rental prices, prime rents grew by 8.6% in 2018 to reach €25.25/m2/month on average. JLL forecast that rents will rise by 5% p.a. until 2021 to €30.34/m2/month within five years.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lone Star & Cerberus Increase their Commitment to Spanish Property

21 February 2019 – Expansión

The need for the banks to reduce their exposure to property and the funds’ appetite for the Spanish real estate sector have converged in recent years leading to the transfer of portfolios of debt and foreclosed assets worth millions of euros. Blackstone, Cerberus, Lone Star, the Canadian pension fund (CPPIB), Bain, Axactor and Lindorff are the funds that have been behind most of the major transactions involving portfolios of bank debt secured by real estate collateral during that period.

Emilio Portes, Director of Quantitative & Risk Management at JLL for Southern Europe, said that, following a frantic 2017 when more than €55 billion was transacted, last year saw portfolios sold with a gross value of more than €45 billion (…).

In 2018, the indisputable star was Lone Star, which took control of a portfolio worth around €12.8 billion from CaixaBank. Specifically, CaixaBank sold that portfolio along with Servihabitat to a company called Coral Homes in which Lone Star owns an 80% stake. Cerberus was also active last year with the purchase of several portfolios from Sabadell, Santander and CaixaBank with a total gross value of €12.5 billion. Behind it, came CPPIB, Axactor, D.E. Shaw and Lindorff, according to data provided by JLL.

“The sum of the transactions recorded over the last two years exceeds €100 billion, which places Spain as one of the countries with the largest transaction volume in Europe and the most liquid in terms of real transactions”, says Portes. In those portfolios, there are various types of assets, mainly residential, but also land, offices, premises and hotels.

The year ahead

During 2019, the banks will continue to divest assets, although with smaller portfolio sales. “In 2019, we expect a transaction volume of €20 billion, in addition to whatever Sareb ends up doing”, revealed Portes. He explains that most of the large Spanish banks have now reduced their NPA (non-performing asset) ratios to below 5%.

Following the activity undertaken by the large banks, all eyes are now focused on the medium and small-sized entities, particularly those with the greatest property exposure and therefore most pressure, as well as on Sareb, which has assets worth more than €35 billion still left to sell (…).

The heirs of the banks’ property, having purchased at significant discounts, have an average investment horizon of five years before they undo their positions (…)

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake