Construction Companies Look for Land in the Canary Islands for 2,000 Subsidised Homes

3 October 2018

The Association of Construction Companies is analysing Sareb’s real estate portfolio, which includes 2,900 properties on the Islands.

The builders are looking for land in the Canary Islands to finalise a “quick and complementary” housing plan before the end of the year that benefits the most disadvantaged segments of the population. The Association of Construction Companies and Developers of the Province of Las Palmas (AECP) met yesterday with a delegation from the Bank Restructuring Asset Management Company (Sareb), Spain’s so-called bad bank, to analyse the company’s assets on the Islands and potentially acquire the land necessary to follow through on their plan.

The president of the association, María de la Salud Gil, stated that the construction of some 2,000 subsidised homes, both for sale and for rent, is the goal of the initiative. “We have decided to develop a public-private housing policy and treat housing needs from a generalised perspective, creating a housing policy capable of serving every stratum of the population in function of their profiles,” she stated. For this, the builders are negotiating with different financial entities and developers to locate plots of land and “unfinished assets.”

Ms Gil explained before the meeting that the Government of the Canary Islands has full powers and jurisdiction in housing matters. “Therefore, it can structure procedurally agile rules and eliminate all the bureaucracy surrounding the creation of subsided housing.” She also stressed that housing and developments must attend three basic parameters: price per square meter, people who may buy or rent the properties and any support received by the interested parties.

Real estate assets

Sareb, which was formed in 2012, as a result of the nationalisation of four Spanish banks, has assets in the archipelago valued at 240 million euros. The portfolio is made up of some 2,900 properties, including land and housing, representing 2.5% of the company’s holdings in the country as a whole. Sareb has one thousand homes and 300 plots of land in Las Palmas, while it has 450 houses and 130 plots of land in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The value of Sareb’s loans, which are secured by properties, is €550 million. In the Islands, the so-called bad bank has about 1,000 financial assets, representing 2% of the company’s total.

Ms Gil also explained that the development of subsidised housing is not linked with the construction of free housing or any size of homes. “It’s not just about building subsidised housing; it’s about addressing the housing market from a universal perspective,” she said. Even so, she explained that the association is trying to convince developers not to abandon subsidised housing because she believes that it helps “structure and balance the market and rental prices.”

Despite noting that the sector is currently held back by the delay in signing the pending state agreements, the president of the AECP stated that the construction industry already has “the muscle” to address the initiative.

Original Story: La Opinión de Tenerife – A. Rodríguez

Translation: Richard Turner

A Private Healthcare Tycoon Buys Can Oleza for €10 Million

19 August 2018

The Asturian millionaire and developer Víctor Madera finalised the transaction last month, returning the property to Spanish hands. Madera is acquiring ruined palaces and castles throughout the country and already owns six estates in Menorca.

The historic manor in Palma Can Oleza is changing hands. Moreover, it is doing so for millions of euros. The Spanish private healthcare magnate Víctor Madera, the Quirón Group’s non-executive president for hospitals, has acquired the property for approximately 10 million euros, as El Mundo/El Día de Baleares learned from sources familiar with the operation. The purchase agreement was finalised at the beginning of July in the Balearic capital and constitutes the acquisition of one of the last of the city’s iconic buildings.

Secrecy has been high for one of the year’s most important real estate transactions in the Balearic Islands. Negotiations were conducted very discretely, and the transaction has returned the ownership of Palma to Spanish hands after it was acquired by Swedish investors in 2013. At the time, those investors paid about six million for the property and have now sold it for a 50% markup, a fairly good return on their investment.

Sources in the premium Mallorcan real estate sector were not surprised. Mr Madera has been acquiring ruined palaces and castles throughout Spain in recent months. The Baleares were not left out of his investment strategy. Last spring brought the news that the wealthy entrepreneur and developer from Oviedo had acquired six important estates in Menorca in the last year.

Now it seems like it is Mallorca’s turn. Can Oleza, foreign-owned since 2013, when it was sold to a Swedish investor by the Oleza family, which had owned the manor since the seventeenth century – is located on Morey Street and was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1973. It received development protections when it was declared to be an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) and received additional protections from Patrimonio three years later.

Thus, the movable assets, which are also of great value, also benefited from the measure, since they have remained largely intact to date. The modification by Patrimonio affected the decoration of the building’s main rooms, which enjoy special protection. The reason for this is simple. Can Oleza was declared a national monument, obliging authorities to grant the maximum level of protection to the property.

What has not been revealed, at least so far, are the Asturian developer’s intentions for the property. Some sources referred to the possibility of developing a high-end boutique hotel on the site, although the current regulations would make that difficult.

What is known is that Víctor Madera has been attempting to restore the forgotten jewels of Spanish architecture. His passion for rebuilding ruined palaces has a long history and has been a well-known fact for years in Asturias. People there first began hearing about Paisajes Asturias S.L. (Asturian Landscapes), one of Madera’s real estate companies. With a social capital of 53.69 million euros, it is specialised in rescuing ruined, iconic buildings and converting them into hotels.

Original Story: El Mundo – Hugo Sáenz

Photo: Jordi Avellà

Translation: Richard Turner


Transactions and Prices for Land Recovering on the Canary Islands

26 August 2018

Transactions for land are once again taking off thanks to the housing market, particularly rentals. In the first quarter of 2018, 182 operations were carried out for 36 million euros, up 35% y-o-y.

The land market is once again taking off in the Canary Islands. The observation comes from data published by the Ministry of Development and is largely due to the growing demand for housing, especially for rental. In the first quarter of this year, the most recent available data, 182 urban land transactions were carried out on the Spanish archipelago, an increase of 29% over the previous year. The increase reached 10% with regards to the previous quarter.

The figure places the Canary Islands among the Spanish regions with the highest increase in land operations. When broken down by province, there was the same number of transactions in Las Palmas as in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, though the rebound in the eastern province was higher in relative terms, going up by 34% compared to 25%. These are the highest figures for land operations since 2009. In recent years, less than one hundred plots of land were being sold per quarter, according to the Ministry’s data. Before the crisis, nearly 1,000 plots of land were sold on a quarterly basis.

The transactions for land included a total area of 195,000 square meters, almost 20,000 more than a year before. The figure is similar to the 165,000 square meters transacted in the first quarter of 2008, although the crisis even saw a few years with high levels of square meters of land sold, such as 2016 when transactions were made on 463,900 square meters or 475,600 2014.

These operations, however, stem from construction records not always linked to housing.

Despite the improvement, the total amount of square meters sold continue to be well below those before the crisis, when sales exceeded one million square meters per quarter. However, the quantity of funds involved has shown a real recovery. The 182 transactions in the first quarter had a value of 36 million euros, 35.4% more than the previous quarter and 36.2% more than the previous year.

This upturn explains the rise in the housing prices of around 4-5% this year.

At the provincial level, the land in Las Palmas has greater value, since 91 transactions were closed for more than 20 million euros, while in Santa Cruz de Tenerife the same number of transactions was carried out for less than 16 million euros.

The last year that saw such a high level of sales was in 2009. Then, 282,200 square meters were sold for 36 million euros.

The quarter that saw the lowest value since the beginning of the crisis and to date was the first quarter of 2010. At the time, 72,000 square meters of land sold for a value of 12.5 million euros. The cost per square meter of land reached 195.6 euros in the first quarter, according to the Ministry of Development’s data.

The trend in land transactions in the Canary Islands in the first quarter is in tune with its growing real estate market, especially in city centres. These days, it is possible to see cranes and buildings under construction and land being prepared for new buildings in the cities in the Canaries. The new reality is still a far cry from the boom years. Experts believe that those records will never be reached again.

Original Story: – Silvia Fernández

Translation: Richard Turner


Spain’s New Gov’t to Promote Construction of 20,000 Affordable Homes for Rent

12 July 2018 – El País

The Ministry of Development is preparing an ambitious range of measures to increase the supply of rental homes, put a stop to escalating prices and facilitate access to housing for young people and low-income families. Its proposals include a plan to build 20,000 rental homes, which will be allocated at controlled prices in cities where prices have soared, according to sources speaking to El País. Moreover, the Ministry wants to extend the duration of rental contracts from three to five years, limit damage deposits and stimulate the supply of rental housing with tax incentives and the moderation of rents.

More funding, regulatory changes and a tax reform are the three components of a broad plan through which the Ministry of Development says it wants to give a social twist to the housing policies and whose main lines will be announced in Congress today by their owner, José Luis Ábalos. The objective is to avoid a new housing price bubble from destabilising the economy once again, according to government sources, and, in particular,  to help families with limited resources and young people.

The package includes urgent measures aimed at alleviating the increase in rental prices, which have soared by up to 50% in large cities over the last four years due to the emergence of tourist apartments and the reactivation of the real estate market. The Government is going to launch an inter-ministerial working group tasked with developing a set of urgent policies for housing and rent.

Amongst the initiatives that the Ministry of Development is going to implement is a plan to build 20,000 affordable rental homes over the next four to six years. The State will promote the construction of these 20,000, mostly public, homes (although this has not been finalised and all of the possible formulae are going to be considered because the most important thing is for the homes to be built quickly). The homes will be destined for rent or transfer of use, for an indefinite period, with a limited rent or price, in cities with accredited demand and where rental prices are higher.

Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Málaga, San Sebastián and Sevilla are the cities that have experienced the largest increases in rental prices over the last four years, which have risen by up to 50% on the islands, according to data from Idealista.

Last year in Spain, work was completed on 48,853 private homes and 4,938 social housing properties, according to data from the Ministry of Development. At the height of the real estate bubble, in 2007, almost 650,000 homes were being constructed per year.

The plan will be carried out in collaboration with autonomous communities and town halls, which will be asked to identify and facilitate the most appropriate plots of land on which these housing developments can be built. The State will involve SEPES, the public land entity, in this program and will contribute its own momentum and financial support. The ICO will also play a role in the design of the policies (…).

Original story: El País (by Elsa García de Blas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Silken to Manage Boutique Hotel in Las Palmas

2 November 2017 – Alimarket

The hotel chain Hoteles Silken has embarked on a new project, which will see it take over the management of an urban boutique hotel. The property, which is currently under construction, is located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, specifically on Calle León y Castillo, 329-331. The building has a surface area of 3,300 m2 and overlooks the beach (Playa de Las Alcaravaneras). It will comprise six floors and offer 66 category 4E rooms. In this way, Silken has added its second unit in the Canary Islands, after it inaugurated ‘Silken Atlántida Santa Cruz’ (4E-144), in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in 2001.

The hotel is owned by Sanjay Bhagvanji Bhagvanji and Amarsi Ajay Bhagvanji Pradhan, through the company Saaj Hotels Invest, which was constituted in December 2015 and endowed with share capital of €1 million. It is the first hotel project that these businessmen have embarked on together, although they may undertake more in the future. For the time being, the construction work on the new establishment is progressing well and is expected to finish between September and October 2018. The final name of the property could be ‘Silken Saaj Las Palmas’.

Silken will not only manage the new hotel in Las Palmas once it is fully operational, it will also assume responsibility for everything relating to its launch from now on. The building, which will have a diachronic façade made from glass panels with changing colours and reflections, will house a double-height lobby on the ground floor, where the reception, breakfast room and a multi-use space will be located. The 66 rooms will be distributed evenly (11 per floor) whilst the top floor will be reserved for a restaurant and a chill-out area linked to the gastronomic space. Moreover, the hotel will incorporate strict light and sound control insulation measures. The design of the facilities, moreover, will result in an energy efficient building, “a property that is the hallmark of Hoteles Silken”, according to a statement. Meanwhile, “the attention to detail of the interior design project will translate into environments that will distil elegance and domesticity, offering users a familiar experience, with the benefits of the latest advances in home automation and light design”.

Original story: Alimarket (by Paco Mota)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lopesan and Satocan Bid for BBVA Shopping Centre


9 August 2017

Two companies from the Canary Islands, Lopesan and Satocan, investors in the Sacyr construction company, will jointly bid for the El Muelle shopping centre located in Las Palmas and owned by BBVA. Another company from the Canary Islands, Germán Suárez (Astican and Astander), will participate in the deal, along with the Syrian investor Amid Achid (Almacenes Número 1). They are offering roughly 15 million euros for the 90,000-square meter centre. The total investment, including renovations, would rise to 35 million euros, as confirmed by Amid Achid to Expansión.

Lopesan belongs to the tourism entrepreneur Eustasio López, who acquired 2.44% of Sacyr this year. Juan Miguel Sanjuán (Satocan) maintains a stake with Demetrio Carceller (Disa-Damm), with almost 15% of the construction company.

Having almost closed nine years ago, El Muelle managed to become a key part of the tourist development of Las Palmas. The 90,000 square meters in the port area have received investments of 100 million euros. The most prominent is the German company Kiessling (Loro Parque), which invested €60 million to develop one the largest aquariums in Europe, next to El Muelle.

The shopping centre was inaugurated in 1989 by Riofisa. A decade later, in a state of advanced deterioration, the centre was sold to Caixa Catalunya, and then Sareb, which in turn sold it to BBVA. Riofisa agreed with Amid Achid to manage the centre. The president of the Port Authority, the socialist Luis Ibarra, extended the concession term until 2029. El Muelle, which is next to the cruise ship terminal, was valued at 90 million before the housing bubble burst. The centre has a supermarket owned by the group HD-Dinosol, a leader in the Canary Islands, and is also home to stores including Inditex, Cortefiel, Benetton, Pepe Jeans, Fund Grube, McDonald’s and Burger King.


The islanders are trying to accelerate negotiations with BBVA before the inauguration of a new shopping centre in Las Palmas, owned by the Domínguez brothers (co-owners of Dinosol).

The centre will be called Alisios and was designed by the same architectural office that designed El Muelle, Champ Taylor. Alisios, with an investment of 150 million euros, will have 120 shops, 2,500 parking spaces and 70 restaurants. It will employ 1,500 people.

In addition to El Muelle, other shopping centres such as Las Ramblas, La Minilla and Siete Palmas (all three include a Mercadona supermarket and are very close to Alisios) could change hands.

Original Story: Expansión ProOrbyt / José Mújica

Translation: Richard Turner

Manuel Jove Joins Forces With BBVA To Construct New Homes

8 November 2016 – La Opinión A Coruña

Inveravante, the corporation owned by the A Coruñan businessman Manuel Jove, has joined forces with Anida, the real estate arm of BBVA, to create a new firm, Avantespacia Inmobiliaria, which will focus on building new homes in Spain, according to a statement made today by the two companies.

During the initial phase, the partnership will build 850 new homes in the centre of several cities such as Madrid, Málaga and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and, in a second phase, it will take on other new developments, also in large capital cities.

With this initiative, the Galician businessman makes a return to the residential property development business in Spain, given that it is the first project that he has undertaken in the sector in the last decade, following the sale of Fadesa to Martinsa in 2006. Nevertheless, during the intervening years, through Avantespacia, the real estate division of Inveravante, Jove has developed housing complexes in cities in the north of Africa, specifically in Casablanca and Tanger, and is considering embarking on projects in Mexico and Brazil.

Now, “given the strong outlook for the real estate sector in Spain”, Jove’s firm and the subsidiary of BBVA have decided to unite some parts of their respective buildable land portfolios in a return to house construction.

Inveravante will control 70% of the partnership, called Avantespacia Inmobiliaria, whilst Anida will own the remaining 30% stake.

The two partners have already launched their first project in Malaga, involving the development of 135 homes, which will be constructed on a plot of land formerly owned by Tabacalera, in one of the areas “with most potential” in the city, next to the new Paseo Marítimo.

The next initiatives, which have already been put on the market, will be undertaken in Madrid, on Calle Francisco Silvela and in the neighbourhood of Las Rosas.

Avantespacia will be in charge of the architecture and construction aspects of the properties, as well as the marketing, although the homes will be included on BBVA’s specific websites. Manuel Jove used to be a shareholder of Spain’s second largest bank.

Original story: La Opinión A Coruña

Translation: Carmel Drake