Ten Investors Bid for the Old Post Office Building and the Palacio de la Tinta in Málaga

19 November 2019 – Investors have submitted ten bids for the old Post Office (Correos) building and the Palacio de la Tinta in Málaga. The Junta de Andalucía launched the auction and expects to receive at least 30 million euros for the two properties.

The old Post Office building, located on the Avenida de Andalucía 1, has an appraisal value of 16.8 million euros; and the Palacio de la Tinta, at Paseo de Reding, 20, has a starting price of €12.54 million. The auction will feature a total of 22 properties worth a combined 47 million euros.

Original Story: La Opinión de Málaga – Miguel Ferrary

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Social Housing is in Very Short Supply in Málaga

17 March 2019 – Diario Sur

Social housing is in very short supply in Málaga. More than 27,000 families are registered on the waiting list for VPO properties, to purchase or rent, of whom 18,723 have been waiting for at least five years. 4,768 new families were added to the register last year alone. But only two out of every 100 families ever receive the good news that they have been selected to be awarded a home. Over the last few years, just 345 homes have been handed over.

Why are VPO homes not being constructed? There are several reasons, but one of the main ones is the lack of funding from the State and the Junta de Andalucía for public and private property developers. The most recent housing plans have focused on subsidising rental payments and undertaking renovation work rather than on the construction of new homes.

The Town Hall of Málaga has projects in the pipeline for the construction of 1,001 public housing units on land to the west of the extension of the Teatinos campus. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is willing to finance half of those homes, worth around €120 million, but the cost of that loan alone would have to be passed on to tenants in the form of rentals of €255 per month, which when combined with the cost of the financing the remaining 50% would not be affordable. Seven out of ten people waiting for a VPO home for rent earn less than €537 per month.

77% of applicants for a VPO home would prefer to rent, given that the option of buying is becoming increasingly less affordable. 72% of the applicants are aged under 35 years old. Public housing policies all but disappeared during the crisis and rents have risen significantly since then, hence the rise in the number of applicants on the register. In fact, the real demand for VPO homes is much higher as many families do not even bother to register given the limited chances they have of being awarded a property.

Across the province, according to data from the local council, 8,457 people are registered on the waiting list for a VPO home, with 1,613 in Torremolinos, 1,365 in Marbella and 1,359 in Estepona. Nevertheless, just 247 families have been awarded a home in any of the Málagan municipalities over the last seven years.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Jesús Hinojosa)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Andalucía’s Culture Department Approves ‘La Equitativa’ Hotel Project in Málaga

18 January 2019 – Málaga Hoy

The majority owner of the La Equitativa building, which is behind the partial restoration of the property for the installation of a 5-star hotel, now has the path clear to obtain the building permit for the work. The Delegation of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía has just issued a favourable report for the renovation project, plans for which were submitted almost eight months ago, which paves the way for the Urban Planning Department to grant permission for the intervention.

That was confirmed to this newspaper by sources close to the owner company, who indicated that it was the last procedure that was pending with the municipal entity. In terms of the timeframes that the company is working with to launch the work, the same sources said that it will depend on the announcements made by the municipal entity, which will have to validate compliance with the other technical requirements before proceeding to grant the permit.

The unblocking of the hotel project came on 22 June, when Key International, an investment fund headquartered in Miami, acquired 100% of the east part of the building, which comprises a ground floor plus seven upper storeys, through the firm Alameda Retail. The sale and purchase operation also involved one home and a commercial premise, and although they barely account for 3% of this section of La Equitativa, they were limiting the possibility of the project going ahead as a hotel.

That circumstance forced the private firm to not rule out the possibility of opting for residential use for that part of the building. Having closed the purchase of the remaining buildings, an operation that required several weeks of negotiations with the tenants, the investment fund has free reign to push ahead with its first objective: hotel use. It was precisely that purpose that sparked the firm’s interest in buying La Equitativa in the first place, closing the purchase of 60% of the historical building, which had been owned by Rubcapel until that time.

At the end of April, through the company Key Continental, a request was filed with the Urban Planning Department to proceed with the renovation of the property for that purpose. The data points to an establishment with capacity for around 80 rooms, with an investment of around €14 million. In addition, there will be commercial premises on the ground floors.

Once the position of Delegation of Culture, which is in favour of the intervention, has been defined, then the company may soon resume contact with hotel chains to close an agreement for the management of the establishment.

The other part of La Equitativa corresponds to the tower, comprising 14 floors, which will also be renovated but which will retain its residential use. For that, the owner, Ingomar, also requested a building permit from the Urban Planning Department last October.

The restoration of this building, which is still in the processing phase, is part of a major transformation process currently on-going in La Alameda area, with the future arrival of the metro and the semi-pedestrianisation work, promoted by the Town Hall, as some of the main features.

Original story: Málaga Hoy (by Sebastián Sánchez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Regional Property Taxes Will Rise in 74 Municipalities in Málaga From 2019

11 September 2018 – Diario Sur

The autonomic coefficients that are applied to cadastral values to adjust them to market prices for the purpose of calculating Property Transfer and Property Succession taxes are going to be updated from 2019.

If you are planning to buy a property next year or if you acquire one as a result of inheritance or a donation, then it is quite likely that you will be hit by an increase in the two autonomic taxes linked to the real estate market (the Property Transfer tax and the Property Succession tax) given that the index that the Junta de Andalucía uses to set the charge is going to increase in 74 of the 103 municipalities in the province of Málaga. With the recovery of the real estate market as the main justification, the multiplying coefficients that are applied to cadastral values to adjust them to market prices (to reflect the performance of the sector) will increase by an average of 12.05% in the Andalucían province with respect to the values in 2017, according to plans compiled by the Ministry of Finance (…).

Málaga province leads the rise

According to the corresponding economic report, Málaga and Almería are the only two provinces where increases are expected to be seen in global terms (of 12.05% and 10.83%, respectively). Many of the other provinces in the autonomous region will be moving in the opposite direction, with decreases expected in Huelva (-13.19%), Granada (-12.41%), Córdoba (-8.32%) and Sevilla (-7.26%) (…).

Original story: Diario Sur (by Francisco Jiménez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s First Logistics Megahub will Open in Antequera (Málaga) in 2019

19 April 2018 – Cinco Días

The first logistics megahub in Spain is starting to become a reality almost a decade after it was initially proposed. The entity known as Megahub Andalucía – a public-private initiative – has engaged the consultancy firm CBRE to search for the first major operators ahead of the imminent authorisation of the project that the Junta de Andalucía is expected to grant in June. At stake is €350 million of investment in an industrial hub for the south of Spain and north of Africa, which should be ready by 2019.

Megahub Andalucía is located in the municipality of Antequera (Málaga), in what the European Union calls a multi-modal hub, given that the European Atlantic and Mediterranean railway and road goods corridors meet at this point, the ports of Algeciras, Málaga and Sevilla are all close by, as is the AVE station in Antequera and the airport of Málaga (the fourth largest for cargo transport in Spain).

“Megahub Andalucía is located in the centre of Andalucía with respect to the large populations, both in terms of consumption and production”, says Ramón Vázquez, head of the project at CBRE. The word hub is used because several European transport networks converge on this point and the pre-fix mega has been added, in turn, because the warehouses that are going to be constructed on the plots will extend up to 200,000 m2.

The Junta de Andalucía holds a 40% stake in the company, through Red Logística de Andalucía, and the remaining 60% is held by a private company Puerto Seco de Antequera, which comprises, in turn, several companies, most notably Acotral, a local operator that has been an integrated supplier of Mercadona since 2003.

The Junta is expected to approve the special plan in June, which will allow work to start of the urbanisation of the area, after many years of delays. “The project was launched 10 years ago but has been delayed on several occasions due to urban development problems and due to the crisis. It was conceived as a logistics area and is now being reborn as a logistics megahub”, says the expert at CBRE.

The urbanisation work may begin in June and will have an estimated cost of €70 million, which will be funded by the Junta and the company Puerto Seco de Antequera. Later, around €280 million of funding will be received from investors and operators to build the macro logistics warehouses and production centres. In theory, the megahub should be operational by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.

The logistics hub in Antequera spans 3.3 million m2, of which 1.03 million m2 is going to correspond to logistics warehouses. There will also be an industrial park, destined to production activities, measuring 919,000 m2, plus a service centre (comprising a hotel, restaurant, training centre, businesses…) spanning 317,000 m2 and finally a railway terminal, which will connect with the goods station in Bobadilla (owned by Adif).

The project coincides with the huge boom that the logistics market is sparking in Spain, due to the reactivation of the economy, the pull from e-commerce and the needs of the major operators such as Amazon. Last year, more than 1.5 million m2 of logistics space was leased, according to data from CBRE, up by almost 20% (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Junta de Andalucía Awards 6,627m2 of Industrial Land in Jaén

23 March 2018 – 20 Minutos

Specifically, the Junta de Andalucía has sold nine plots of industrial land located on several industrial estates in Alcalá la Real, Arjona, Martos and Torredonjimeno for a total amount of around €0.5 million, according to a statement issued by the Andalucían Government on Friday.

Most of the sales have been recorded in Alcalá la Real, where four plots spanning a surface area of 2,800 m2 on the Llanos del Mazuelo industrial estate have been awarded, which will whereby continue its development with the upcoming installation of new companies and the expansion of existing firms that already operate there.

In Torredonjimeno, three other plots have been awarded, spanning a total surface area of 2,184 m2, whilst in Arjona, one plot measuring 700 m2 has been sold and in Martos, another plot has been sold for the expansion of the Cañada de la Fuente Industrial Estate, spanning 941 m2.

The Minister for Development and Housing, Felipe López, explained that the land sales by the autonomous community were reactivated at the beginning of this legislature, “a decision that aims to place public assets at the disposal of business initiatives for the generation of economic activity and employment”.

According to López, the proceeds that the government has been receiving since the beginning of 2015 for these sales “are allowing the autonomous Administration to look for and generate new plots for future industrial and business uses with the aim of boosting economic development and responding to the growth needs of the production fabric” in the province of Jaén.

Moreover, he highlighted that Jaén leads the ranking for the sale of industrial land in Andalucía to date during this legislature. In total, including the plots that have just been awarded, 96,655 m2 of land has been awarded in the province since 2015 for almost €8 million.

Meanwhile, he added that the first offer for land owned by AVRA this year has resulted in the award of 28,376 m2 in residential and industrial plots right across Andalucía, for a total amount of €5.6 million.

In addition to the plots of industrial land sold in Jaén, the award of land for social housing in Córdoba is also noteworthy, where a plot measuring 4,656 m2, with capacity for 88 homes, has been divested for €1.7 million.

Moreover, a free residential plot, spanning 15,450 m2 and with capacity for 86 homes in the Malagan municipality of Rincón de la Victoria, was sold for a price of €3.1 million. In addition, another free residential plot for 10 homes was also sold in the Cordoban municipality of Obejo, for €103,500.

The sale that has just been completed was opened on 26 January and remained open for the presentation of offers until 1 March. The offer, the first in 2018 involving the sale of industrial, tertiary and non-residential land, as well as residential plots and other real estate assets, contained almost 900,000 m2 spread over 772 plots across all of Andalucía’s provinces.

The residential plots that were included in this sale have capacity for 3,060 homes, of which 1,437 are social housing in nature and the remainder are for free/private development.

Original story: 20 Minutos

Translation: Carmel Drake

Junta Awards Plot for Construction of 88 Social Housing Properties in Córdoba

20 March 2018 – Diario Córdoba

The Junta de Andalucía has awarded one of the two plots of residential land in Córdoba destined for protected housing that were included in the most recent offer for the sale of real estate assets by the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía (AVRA), which will enable the construction of 88 social housing properties in the O-3 Residential Sector of the provincial capital. The plot, measuring 4,656 m2 and with a buildable surface area of 9,462 m2 over the ground floor and six storeys, has been awarded for €1,687,103, according to reports from the Junta itself in a press release.

The sale of this plot comes in addition to the sales that the Agency has been formalising in Córdoba over the last three years, where it has managed to dispose of 11 units of residential land in the O-3 sector, for a price of €11.3 million, with capacity for the construction of 710 protected homes, some of which are going to be promoted by private companies and others by municipal initiatives.

The total number of protected plots sold in Córdoba since 2015, including the plot that has just been awarded, now amounts to 12 plots for the construction of 798 homes, with a combined surface area of 54,817 m2. These plots have been awarded for €13 million in total.

The regional delegate for the Ministry of Housing and Development, Josefina Vioque, said that “sales of regional plots of land were reactivated at the beginning of the legislature after the Ministry decided to recover this activity as a strategic axis in the management of its public assets”.

Original story: Diario Córdoba 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Junta de Andalucía Puts 33,000 m2 of Land Up For Sale in Córdoba

4 February 2018 – La Vanguardia

The Junta de Andalucía’s Ministry of Development and Housing has launched its first regional land sale of the year in the province of Córdoba, comprising 15 residential and industrial plots, which span 32,989 m2 in total and with an asking price of €5.8 million.

In this regard and in statements to Europa Press, the delegate for Housing and Development at the Junta in Córdoba, Josefina Vioque, said that “with this initiative, we are continuing our strategy of selling some of the land owned by the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía (AVRA), which obtained such good results in 2017, with the award of almost 22,000 m2”.

The objective, according to Vioque, is “to generate revenues that allow us to strengthen the promotion of our activities of a social nature in terms of housing, especially the promotion of subsidised housing”.

This new tender for the sale of regional land includes seven plots classified as industrial and tertiary, measuring 10,871 m2, and eight units classified as residential, with capacity for 238 homes.

Of the latter, four are reserved for the construction of 188 social housing properties, on a surface area of 17,374 m2, whilst the other four, spanning 4,743 m2, have capacity for 50 private homes.

According to the delegate, the industrial plots are located in the municipalities of Adamuz, Cabra, El Carpio and Córdoba, whilst the social housing plots are located in the provincial capital and in Rute, and the private housing plots are also located in the capital and in the municipality of Obejo.

The tender, which will be open for the presentation of proposals until 1 March, and which will be resolved after the envelopes are opened, scheduled for 12 March, at AVRA’s central headquarters in Sevilla, also includes nine retail premises and 19 parking spaces in Córdoba, Lucena and Rute.

According to Vioque, “the drive to manage AVRA’s owned properties has become a priority since the start of this legislature, give our aim to put these assets on the market at the service of business initiatives, to promote economic development and the generation of employment in the construction sector, one of the hardest hit during the crisis”.

Josefina Vioque said that “with this initiative, the Junta also seeks to reactivate the construction of VPO homes, to facilitate access to housing for families in most need, since these operations are going to allow us to resume, once again, the promotion of these types of subsidised homes, which are more affordable for people with fewer resources”.

Land sold in 2017

This tender follows others carried out during 2017, which saw the award of a total surface area of 21,946 m2  and the generation of revenues amounting to €6 million (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Insur Carves Out its Property Development & Rental Businesses

29 January 2018 – El Confidencial

In order to adapt itself to the preferences of investors, Grupo Insur is carrying out the separation of its two main branches of activity: property development and real estate management – the latter arm will hold onto the rental properties. This carve-out could be described as historical given that the firm, which is listed on the main stock market and led by Ricardo Pumar, has used the combination of both businesses as its best antidote against the cyclical crises of the real estate sector. But now, although the two activities will continue to be owned by the parent company and consolidated for reporting purposes, they will generate independent income statements, belonging to the two subsidiaries.

According to sources close to the Sevillan company, the first step in this sense has been to increase the share capital of Insur Promoción Integral, the real estate parent company, to reach assets worth €80 million. The firm had a frantic 2017 in terms of house sales, with activity soaring by 41% in the last two quarters to reach €37.4 million between June and September (including the sale of properties jointly owned with third-party partners, whose amounts are not recorded by Insur).

In total, the group’s development activity generated sales of €60 million between January and September – up by 82% YoY – of which €28 million proceeded from revenues for the construction of housing developments, both in-house, as well as for initiatives with partners such as BBVA, Santander and the bad bank (Sareb). Insur planned to have 1,000 homes under construction distributed across 18 developments in Andalucía and Madrid by the end of last year.

By contrast, the real estate management activity is continuing to see a decline in its contribution, in line with previous years. Insur owns rental buildings spanning around 116,000 m2, almost all of which are located in Andalucía, although it is currently building a business park in Madrid. Its vacancy rate has fallen by 10 points in recent months, to 23% in September, and the rental income generated during the first three quarters of last year amounted to €7.5 million compared with €8 million during the same period in 2016.

The Junta de Andalucía, to which Insur has traditionally leased space, especially in Sevilla, vacated 12,000 m2 in May 2016 and whereby increased the total amount of space that it has stopped leasing during the final years of the crisis to 33,000 m2. Insur details in its accounts to September that the annualised rental income from tenants that have already signed contracts (not all of them have moved in yet as the offices are being refurbished) is €12.7 million. The picture of this business area is completed if we look at the request for additional information about the accounts for 2016 that Insur sent to the CNMV in October, which shows that each year it spends €6.8 million on these rental properties (…).

Coverage from Sabadell

For all these reasons, and according to the same sources, the managers of Insur rule out the creation of a Socimi to group together the real estate management activity, for the time being, given the need to improve its results and have better visibility over its evolution in the future. Moreover, there is no need for it to provide liquidity to its shareholders, given that 43% of Insur’s share capital is free-float. The company’s 15 directors control 37.5% of the share capital.

Insur’s share price has increased by more than 50% over the last 12 months, to reach €12.50. Its shares are soon going to be covered by analysts at Banco Sabadell, who will join the more specialist firms that have been following the stock until now: Arcano, Kepler and Fidentiis.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carlos Pizá de Silva)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Junta de Andalucía Sells 45,000 m2 of Land in Jaén for €3.8M

8 January 2018 – La Vanguardia

The four offers that were submitted relating to the sale of the properties owned by the Junta de Andalucía, which the Ministry of Development and Housing convened in 2017 through the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía (AVRA), have allowed it to award plots with a total surface area of 45,780 m2 for a value of €3.89 million in the province of Jaén.

The Minister for Development and Housing, Felipe López, stressed that most of the public land that has been sold in the province has been assigned for industrial use. “This is allowing us to contribute to boosting the economy and to creating jobs in the towns in which the plots are located, through the companies that are opening facilities on those plots”, he said on Monday in a statement.

He underlined the importance of this initiative, promoted by the Junta, with the aim of placing public assets at the disposal of the business community to boost the development of new projects and business initiatives that foster economic activity and employment.

The industrial plots sold in the province of Jaén during 2017 are mainly located in the towns of Alcalá la Real, whose Los Llanos del Mazuelo industrial estate recorded a significant increase in activity last year, and Martos, on the Cañada de la Fuente industrial estate.

Plots were also disposed of in the ZI-2 production area of Torredonjimeno, on the industrial estate on the Carretera de Los Arquillos, in Villacarrillo; in Los Rubiales (Linares) and on the Los Retiros industrial estate, in Huelma.

Moreover, other premises, parking spaces and storerooms were awarded in several towns in the province of Jaén, including in Andújar, Cazorla and Jaén, which generated revenues amounting to €385,061.

Most of the plots of land sold were owned by the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía, which, according to López took the decision to make land sales one of its strategic lines at the beginning of this legislature, after that activity had slowed down in previous years, during the toughest period of the crisis.

By contrast, some of the awarded plots belonged to the Junta de Andalucía, which engaged AVRA to manage its assets.

The Board said that the decision to recover this activity was taken in light of the fact that the markets are starting to show signs of recovery in terms of real estate activity and “with the aim of obtaining revenues to allow us to resume other activities pertinent to the Agency, such as the promotion of social housing for families with housing needs and scarce or no possibilities of accessing a home in the private rental market” (…).

The land sale activity resumed by AVRA at the beginning of this legislature has permitted the award of almost 300,000 m2 of land allocated to different uses for a total amount of €50.7 million over the last 3 years (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake