Lar & Pimco Sell A Luxury Home In Lagasca 99 For €16,000/m2

15 December 2016 – El Confidencial

They have exceeded all expectations and broken a new record in the luxury residential market in Madrid. The Socimi Lar España and the US fund manager Pimco, which jointly own (50% each) the most exclusive housing project in the capital, Lagasca 99 (previously known as Juan Bravo 3), have already sold half of the 42 super-luxury homes that make up the development, where the average sales price stands at around €10,000/m2.

But that is not the most interesting part of the story. One of the homes, measuring 800 m2 (one of the largest in the development) has been sold for around €16,000/m2, bringing its final sales price to around €13 million, including the price of the parking spaces (four or five), according to sources close to the project.

Moreover, these same sources also confirm that the project has just received the green light from the Town Hall of Madrid for the last urban planning licence necessary, not only for the definitive launch of the project, but also so that the sales of the homes can be formalised. Until now, only reservations have been accepted.

The price of €16,000/m2 undoubtedly breaks all records in the high standing market in the capital, where, until a few weeks ago, a 600 m2 penthouse on Calle Serrano 7 boasted the honour of being the most expensive multi-family home ever sold in the heart of Madrid. It was sold for €9 million, equivalent to €15,000/m2.

The transaction signed now at Lagasca 99 has even exceeded Pimco and Lar’s initial expectations, given that they had fixed a price range of between €10,000/m2 and €14,000/m2 for the properties. (…).

The identify of the purchaser has not been revealed and the utmost secrecy is being maintained. Nevertheless, several sources indicate that the buyers of Lagasca 99 include some very wealthy Latin American and Spanish investors, primarily from outside of Madrid.

The homes will be ready in 2018

The plot of land on which this exclusive development, designed by the architect Rafael de la Hoz, is going to be constructed, was sold to Lar España and Pimco at the beginning of 2015, when the two companies joined forces to purchase Eurosazor. The property developer was previously owned by Rafael Ortiz and the businessman Fernando Fernández Tapias, and owned a 26,023m2 plot of land on Juan Bravo 3 and a 5,328 m2 plot of land on Claudio Coello 108. Lar and Pimco paid €120 million for the business and since then, this asset has appreciated in value by more than 10% – the building on Claudio Coello was sold to the German firm Patrizia Inmobilien for €22 million. (…).

The homes are expected to be finished during the first quarter of 2018.

Luxury homes gain momentum

The luxury residential market in Madrid is enjoying a real boom. At the beginning of October, the homes on José Abascal 48 went on sale, with the first luxury properties now ready for their owners to move in. The building contains 17 homes measuring between 100 m2 and 400 m2, whose prices range between €6,000/2 and just over €10,000/m2. But there are also several important renovation projects being carried out right in the heart of the capital, such as on Príncipe de Vergara 11, Recoletos 13 and 8, Salustiano Olózaga 12 and Lagasca 19. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Alcaraz Family Buys Caja España’s Former HQ In Madrid

23 November 2016 – Expansión

Another new luxury housing development is going to be built in Madrid. The family office owned by the Alcaraz family has purchased the building located on Calle Velázquez 23 – which used to house the headquarters of Caja España – from Banco Ceiss, where it plans to construct luxury homes.

The financial entity, which was created as a result of the merger of Caja Duero and Caja España, has taken advantage of the increase in prices driven by the economic recovery in Spain and the lack of high quality products to sell this iconic asset, located in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood. The operation has been advised by Aguirre Newman.

The Alcaraz family plans to demolish the property and build a new residential development, but it will respect the façade and arquitectural value of the asset. Velázquez 23 has an above ground surface area of 2,548 m2, as well as 450 m2 of basement space, which may be used for retail purposes and parking.

This building is located on one of the most sought-after axes for the development of high quality residential properties, just a stone’s throw from the Retiro Park and Calle Serrano, which is home to lots of major luxury brands. The price of homes in this area exceeds €10,000/m2 in some cases.

Other developments

This project is the latest in a long line of luxury developments that are already on the market, such as the one on José Abascal 48, comprising 17 homes with a surface area of between 100m2 and 400 m2; as well as others that are underway at Juan Bravo 3 and Canalejas.

The former, now known as Lagasca 99, which is being promoted by the Lar Group, is located in the neighbourhood of Salamanca and is expected to be sold in 2018. Meanwhile, the group of seven properties in Canalejas, a project being undertaken by Inmobiliaria Espacio and OHL, is located between Calles Alcalá, Sevilla, Plaza de Canalejas and Carrera de San Jerónimo. In addition to a hotel and shopping arcade, the Canalejas plan includes 22 luxury residences, which will be operated by the Four Seasons chain, along with the hotel.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Housing Paradox: Supply Is Failing To Match Demand

21 June 2016 – El Confidencial

Spain is going to need 180,000 homes per year until 2025 to meet the demand being created by new households. In the Community of Madrid alone that means 25,000 new units. Those are the forecasts published by the real estate consultancy CBRE, which estimates that the existing stock contains around 300,000 homes, of which between 20-25%, in other words, around 75,000, will never be sold because no-one wants to buy them, either because of their locations or other characteristics.

(…) According to Samuel Población, the National Director of Residential Assets and Land at CBRE, “by the beginning of 2017, the stock of new homes will have pretty much been absorbed; what is left will be very localised and technical, which will drive the launch of new developments”. To give us an idea, in the centre of Madrid, there are currently only 800 (new) homes up for sale and in Barcelona, there are just over 1,000, according to estimates from Sociedad de Tasación.

Specifically, markets such as Madrid, where demand is high – house sales have risen by 13% in the capital in the last year – and where there is a shortage of new homes being constructed, account for almost one in seven of the new homes being built. Nevertheless, the available land inside the M-30 ring road has capacity for less than 1,500 homes. In Cataluña, demand amounts to 14,000 homes, of which Barcelona accounts for 7,900 units, ahead of the Balearic Islands, where demand reaches 7,544.

In fact, Madrid has become one of the most active markets from the point of view of the residential sector, given that almost 30 operations have been signed there in the last year and a half, which have involved a total investment of almost €1,000 million, in some cases exceeding €100 million each (such as the cases of the plots in Raimundo Fernández-Villaverde and Juan Bravo, 3). However, that activity contrasts with the paralysis that exists in other autonomous regions, such as Extremadura, Castilla y León and Castilla La Mancha, where demand is currently non-existent, according to Lola Martínez, the Head of Research at CBRE.

According to Samuel Población, this strong demand in Madrid has already had a direct effect on prices. “We have seen operations involving land, where prices have doubled in just a few months…”. In fact, although the consultancy firm forecasts that house prices will rise by 6% on average across Spain in 2016, it does not rule out the possibility of higher price increases in the centre of Madrid, where the average price of new homes amounts to €3,000/sqm, and where prices for new developments in the neighbourhood of Salamanca are as high as €10,000/sqm.

The lack of buildable land inside the M-30 ring road, the paralysis of the sale of public land and the high prices of plots owned by private developers means that the market for renovations is gaining strength in the centre of Madrid. Some of the most notable operations in recent months include the refurbishments of the former Agencia EFE building and the former tenement building in San Juan de la Cruz, which are both going to be converted into luxury homes. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

International Investors Team Up With Local RE Developers

18 June 2015 – Expansión

International investors are forming partnerships with local real estate developers to manage and develop new properties in Spain, whereby leveraging their market knowledge.

Spanish property developers are finding it difficult to access credit and foreign funds are looking for opportunities in the real estate sector, and so, alliances between the two are proliferating. International investors are interested in the high yield on certain Spanish assets and are reactivating the sector together with local companies, by making significant purchases.

There is a clear upwards trend and “it is going to strengthen”, since “it is becoming an alternative to bank financing”, says Jorge Almagro, Commercial Director of Residential, Urban and Land Development at the consultancy firm JLL. “Funds are looking for the expertise of local developers, who know the market well and who provide guarantees and even participate in transactions, by taking a percentage stake. In this way, the risk is minimised”, he adds.

One example is the agreement that was signed between the Socimi Lar España and Pimco. It is a framework agreement for a joint venture whereby the fund holds a 12.5% stake in Lar España, which has increased with the purchase of the plot of land located at Juan Bravo, 3 (Madrid). “Funds are looking for stable companies and the existence of strong, reasonable business projects”, says Miguel Pereda, CEO at Lar España.

Another example is the alliance between the real estate company Renta Corporación and the fund Kennedy Wilson, which began with the purchase and refurbishment of an office building into luxury homes in the neighbourhood of Chamberí in Madrid in December. Their second joint operation was closed in May, after Commercial Court number 3 in Barcelona awarded Kennedy Wilson and Renta Corporación ownership of the building at Puerta del Sol, 9 in Madrid.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

A Peak Inside The Luxury Homes On Juan Bravo, 3

12 March 2015 – Expansión

The Socimi and the North American management company are investing €120 million to rescue the most exclusive residential project in the city. Designed by Rafael de La-Hoz, its 50 apartments will cost around €4 million (each).

Three months ago, the Socimi Lar España and the North American management company Pimco agreed to purchase the company Juan Bravo, 3. The agreement will result in the revival of one of the most exclusive residential projects in Madrid, which has suffered from the full force of the real estate crisis.

“It was a transaction that was in the market and we were not the only interested party. Nevertheless, many funds dropped out when they saw the complexity of the project. There were lots of stakeholders: from the judge overseeing the bankruptcy process to the former owners of the company and its creditors”, explains Jorge Pérez de Leza, who heads up Lar España.

The Socimi proposed that the company be brought out of bankruptcy, rather than be liquidated, through the purchase of the remaining loans from its main creditor (Santander). In total, both partners invested €120 million in the land and (associated) loans, as well as in a residential building adjacent to the plot, which used to belong to the former owners of Juan Bravo 3. “The existing creditors are going to be paid, which is the innovative part (of the transaction), and we hope that the bankruptcy proceedings will be lifted within the next few days”, said Pérez de Leza.

The investment has been made through a company whose share capital is owned split 50:50 between Lar and Pimco, one of the largest fund managers in the world. “When Pimco joined the Socimi as an ‘anchor investor’, it suggested that we make a number of joint ventures in the Spanish market. Pimco wants to continue investing in Spain and we think that the next wave of investment will be in the residential market”, predicts the director. With this project, Lar does not exceed the threshold set for Socimis (that no more than 20% of the assets in their portfolio may not generate returns) and therefore it does not rule out continued investment in the premium residential sector.

After closing the acquisition of this land, Lar España hired the architectural firm Rafael de La-Hoz, which had also been appointed by the former managers to design the project. “Juan Bravo 3 offers the opportunity to construct a new building concept with four façades. The homes, from the garages to the bedrooms, will be completely new. As such, we will have almost total freedom in terms of the form (it takes) and we will be able to do without elements such as common areas and patios”, says Rafael de La-Hoz.

This architect will be responsible for designing the block of homes, which will contain between 50 and 55 units, on a plot of land measuring 26,203 square metres. “Last summer, we conducted a study in the market to see what type of project would fit best and we identified that there is room for luxury (properties) in this area. Therefore, each home will measure at least 250 square metres and on average, will measure between 400 and 450 square metres, as well as having three parking spaces”, says Jorge Pérez de Leza.

The homes will have an average price of €10,000/m2 (prices will range from €8,000/m2 to €12,000/m2 depending on the floor). “It will be different to anything else that exists in the area. There will be common areas with a gym, spa and a space for events. We are going to customise the product and for that reason, we have created a specific team of technical architects to advise clients in their choice of materials and the distribution of their homes, as well as on implementation costs and timings”.


The sale of these homes will begin this summer, although the developers have already received a number of requests. “We expect 60% of the homes to be sold to foreigners; and the remainder to be sold to people who live in the area and want a new home, or who have a home in La Moreleja or Somosaguas and now want to move to the centre”. The construction work will begin at the start of 2016 and will be completed in mid-2018. “Some of the below-ground work has already been completed, but we will have to improve it because it is somewhat dilapidated”.

In addition to fifty homes, the property will also have a shop space measuring around 1,000 square metres, which will be rented out.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Comes To The Rescue At Juan Bravo 3

2 February 2015 – Cinco Días

The largest luxury residential project in the neighbourhood of Salamanca had previously filed for bankruptcy.

The Spanish Socimi Lar has teamed up with the Luxembourg fund LVS II LUX XIII to re-launch the luxury housing project on Calle Juan Bravo, 3. After its acquisition of the developer’s shares , construction at Juan Bravo Plaza will commence within days.

On Friday, the real estate company reported to the CNMV that it has invested €120 million in the acquisition of this building and another one on Calle Claudio Coello. As a result of the deal, Juan Bravo Plaza will exit from its bankruptcy proceedings, in light of its commitment to pay all of its creditors. The developer Eurosazor will also emerge from its state of insolvency, according to the agency EFR.

Juan Bravo Plaza was led by the developer Eurosazor (owned by Rafael Ortiz) and owned by Fernando Fernández-Tapias and Paloma Mateo. The real estate project in the neighbourhood of Salamanca was destined to be a landmark development in the European luxury housing market, inspired by the British skyscraper One Hyde Park, in London.

Located on a plot of land on Calle Juan Bravo, on the corner with Calle Lagasca, the complex was to due to comprise 60 luxury homes (flats worth more than €2.5 million). The plans were developed during the “boom” years (2006) but were paralysed by the burst of the housing crisis.

The initial project included 19,400 square metres of constructible surface area, spread across two-, three- and four-bedroom flats.

It was being led by the prestigious architect Rafael de la Hoz and the best interior designers. To carry out the Juan Bravo Plaza project, better known as Juan Bravo 3, the real estate company spent €131 million in 2002 to acquire the two buildings that were located on the site: Juan Bravo B and Juan Bravo C.

In 2009, the initiative was resumed following the presentation of a special plan for the change of the use of the property, but it was paralysed again in mid-2012. Eurosazor has been advised through the process by Bazarra Abogados and Cuatrecasas, whilst Lar España has been advised by Freshfields.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake