RE Funds Puts Their Investments On Standby

27 January 2016 – Expansión

The major European real estate funds have strict internal rules and so are not willing to make political assessments. But the firms that work with them confirm that these funds demand the same rigour that they apply internally from the governments in the countries in which they invest. Investors need stable legal frameworks and “are starting to feel nervous”, say their intermediaries in Spain.

Juan Antonio Gómez Pintado, President of the property developer Vía Célere, which has recently invested in Spain in partnership with several overseas funds, says that “operations are currently on standby”. “Given their Anglo-Saxon mentality” he says “since 20-D, investors think that the parties that received the most votes will join forces, but the issue is getting more complex and so they are getting nervous”.

The President of Vía Célere says that “the funds are extrapolating what has happened in Cataluña. “It is not that they doubt Spain’s economic viability, they are still evaluating operations, but they are waiting to see what the outcome of the (latest political) agreements will be”, he said.

And this question mark over the future Spain’s government is just one of several uncertain scenarios affecting the country, such as the Catalan independence process and the change in the local governments in Madrid and Barcelona.

The Managing Partner of Cushman & Wakefield in Spain, Oriol Barrachina, said that the political change that has caused the greatest concern for overseas investors has been the change in local governments. The arrival of Manuela Carmena and Ada Colau (last May) stalled projects, such as Operación Canalejas in Madrid and the (renovation of the) Deutsche Bank building in Barcelona.

The Vice-President of CBRE in Spain, Enrique Martínez Laguna, says that “any situations involving uncertainty, such as the one we are currently experiencing, impacts investor confidence, both in the real estate market as well as in other sectors. And the CEO of Neinor, Juan Velayos, says that “it would be much simpler and better for everyone if we could work in a more certain (political) environment”.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake