Lar España Invests €2M on Renovation of As Termas Shopping Centre in Lugo

31 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Lar España is revaluing one of its assets. The Socimi specialising in retail is going to invest €2 million in the renovation of its As Termas shopping centre, located in the city of Lugo.

The building work will begin in September and is expected to be finished by the end of the year. The company has set itself the objective of improving the restaurant areas and the overall comfort of the centre to “allow greater convenience for both customers and tenants”.

The company is also going to launch other renovation projects soon, including the refurbishment of the following shopping centres: Megapark in Vizcaya; Ànec Blau in Barcelona; and Portal de la Marina in Alicante. As at 30 June 2018, the market value of Lar España’s asset portfolio amounted to €1.58 billion.

During the first half of 2018, Lar España invested €41.3 million, with the largest amount being allocated to the development of the Palmas Altas shopping centre in Sevilla, followed by the Lagasca 99 residential development in Madrid and the VidaNova Parc retail park in Valencia.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lugo’s Only 5-Star Hotel Goes up for Auction for c. €5M

16 May 2018 – El Confidencial

It has been closed for four years and weeds are spreading uncontrollably across the estate. The only luxury five-star hotel in Lugo has gone up for auction for just over €5 million – the auction price includes the hotel’s furniture and a chapel in two separate lots – as part of the liquidation plan that is being followed since Mercantile Court number 12 of Madrid ruled against its owner, Alvaher 98. That company purchased the property in 2007 and built on the ruins of what used to be the Palacio del Conde de Lemos. Alberto Vázquez wanted to turn around his business activity, which focused on meat products and recover this historical and artistic gem, which originally belonged to the López de Lemos family and which had been abandoned since the beginning of the 20th century.

The bidding has now concluded with a single bidder offering €2.4 million for the hotel, below the €4.7 million auction price. As such, we will have to wait and see whether the court authorises the sale or not, given that it would not cover the debt. Meanwhile, in the other lots, €60,000 has been offered for the furniture, compared with an auction value of €450,000, and €6,000 has been offered for the chapel, above the auction value of almost €1,800.

The Hotel Palacio de Sober, whose refurbishment cost several million euros – most of which came from public funds – is also the oldest civil architecture building in Galicia, the largest estate in the autonomous region, and its chapel dates back to the 7th century. A year ago, the same court opened a sales process for possible interested parties to bid, and although several companies expressed their interest, no firm offer was submitted. Now, as part of the liquidation process of the owner company, its fate is being put to the test through a public auction (…).

The property has several financial charges, including a mortgage in favour of the Galician Institute for Economic Development (‘Instituto Galego de Promoción Económica’ or Igape), the public entity that backed the project to open the hotel at the time through loans and subsidies, as well as embargoes for non-payments to the Social Security department.

Located in the south of the province of Lugo in a natural setting, 10km from Monforte de Lemos and 38 km from Ourense, it opened its newly renovated doors in 2010 (…). It had 43 super-luxury rooms, all of which measure more than 25 m2 (…).

The price per room used to cost no less than €300 per night for the cheapest rooms, whilst sleeping in one of the suites cost upwards of €750 (…).

At the beginning of 2012, just two years after its inauguration (…), the Palacio de Sober stopped receiving guests and it definitively closed its doors in March 2014 (…). In February 2015, the owner company was declared bankrupt (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Galician Gov’t Sells 24% Of Its Discounted Industrial Land In 2 Years

23 January 2017 – La Opinión A Coruña

The Galician regional government (La Xunta) has recorded turnover of €31 million from the sale of 304 plots over the last two years, after applying a discount of €23.7 million. Its sales increased ten fold during the first year, but decreased by 55% in 2016.

The sale of industrial land by La Xunta decreased by 55% last year, despite significant reductions, of up to 50%, on the initial prices. Acquisitions of plots of land in public business parks have slowed, even though the large discounts and payment facilities have continued. Two years ago, the Executive launched a plan to lighten its stock of industrial land. The result is the sale of 24% of the land it put on offer.

In 2015, the Galician autonomous government, through Xestur and IGVS, managed to sell off 200 plots of land, covering 491,140 m2, after it launched its industrial land sales plan. It was a wake up call, given that it multiplied the surface area sold in the previous twelve months almost ten-fold, up from 53,515 m2 to almost 500,000 m2. Nevertheless, one year later, only 104 plots were purchased, covering a surface area of 195,722 m2. As such, four times more land was sold than before the discount plan was launched, but half as much than during the debut year.

Why the decrease? “There was a significant amount of activity in 2015 because business people made a huge effort to buy, as they expected the discounted prices to apply for one year only. In 2016, they realised that the discounts were permanent and so they were no longer in such a hurry to buy”, say sources at the Regional Ministry of Infrastructure. (…).

After two years, the Galician regional government has sold 304 plots, covering a combined surface area of 686,863 m2, which represents 23.8% of the total space it initially put up for sale. (…).

674 more plots are still on the market, covering a total surface area of 2.1 million m2 and with a global sales price of €139 million.

The sales volumes of plots in industrial parks vary by province. A Coruña was ranked second in terms of the number of operations (19.4%), behind Lugo (46%). It was followed by Ourense (18.6%) and Pontevedra (8%). (…).

Original story: La Opinión A Coruña (by P. Pérez, I. Bascoy and J. Carneiro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Housing: Rental Prices Increase By 2.6% In 2014

21 January 2015 – El País

Barcelona is the most expensive regional capital in Spain and Lugo is the most economical.

House rental prices in Spain closed the year (2014) with a slight increase of 2.6%, to reach €7 per square metre per month. During the last quarter of the year, prices continued to rise, up by 0.2%.

“The data shows a stable outlook for the rental market, which although is now recovering, is not showing any signs of a sudden increase in prices. In any case, as with the market for house sales, we have to recognise that the rental market has two speeds. Thus, the increases recorded in markets such as Madrid, Barcelona, tourist areas and specific areas of the País Vasco have sparked interest from investors towards these regions, however this has been at the detriment of other less profitable areas”, says Fernando Encinar of idealista.com.

By autonomous region, the greatest increase was recorded in Cataluña, where landlords are now charging 9.8% more to let their properties than a year ago. It is followed by the regions of Extremadura (3.9%) and the Balearic Islands (2.4%).

By contrast, Murcia and Galicia have experienced price reductions of around 4% and 3%, respectively.

Madrid continues to be the most expensive autonomous region, at €10.20 per square metre. It is followed closely by the País Vasco (€10.00/m2) and Cataluña (€9.20/m2).

Barcelona consolidated its position as the most expensive regional capital in Spain, with an average price increase of 11% to take it to €12.50 per square metre; it is followed by San Sebastián (€11.80/m2) and Madrid (€11.40/m2). At the opposite end of the table, we find Ourense and Lugo, as the cheapest regional capitals, with an average price of around €4.10/m2 in both cities.

Notably, Jaén was the regional capital that saw the highest increase in rental prices in 2014, which grew by 10.4%.

Original story: El País (by Paula Cossío)

Translation: Carmel Drake