College of Registrars Creates New CPI Indicator for RE Sector: the IRAI

4 December 2017 – El Confidencial

The recovery of the real estate sector is now a reality that nobody doubts. In fact, activity in the sector in Spain has been growing in a sustained way since 2014, far from the minimum levels of 2013, but also a long way from the peak heights. The volume of – new build and second-hand – transactions is rising; more mortgages are being granted; property prices are recovering; and new build permits are increasing. Moreover, the number of companies linked to the sector filing for creditor bankruptcy is also decreasing. Each one of these parameters has its own indicators proceeding from different sources (e.g. Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), real estate websites, appraisal companies, Ministry of Development…), that show the evolution of those specific parameters.

Nevertheless, from now on, there is going to be a new indicator that groups them all together and, through a complex weighting system, shows the overall evolution of activity in the real estate sector. This new indicator is the Real Estate Activity Registry Index (IRAI), compiled by the College of Registrars. According to its creators, it is set to be called the CPI of the real estate market, given that its preparation adopts a very similar methodology to that used by INE to measure inflation.

The indicator takes the year 2003 as the base year (100); it serves as the reference for analysing the evolution of real estate activity. In this way, for example, during the third quarter of this year, the IRAI amounted to 98.26% points, 30% below the maximum levels of 2007, the year the real estate bubble burst. During the first 3 months of that year, the index reached its maximum, 139.90 points. Nevertheless, since the historical minimum of 68, to which it fell in 2013, the sector has risen by 45% to date. Like in the case of CPI, the IRAI can be softened or purified to avoid seasonality, in which case, it amounts to 94.34 points.

This new index is a synthesis of different indicators. It includes real estate transactions, mortgage financing and, in addition to the above, another set of commercial activity indicators, such as the number of company constitutions, economic variables from filed annual accounts and bankrupt companies, in all cases relating to the construction and real estate sectors. For its launch, the College of Registrars has constituted a Committee of Experts, advisors from the college in each aspect listed above, who have been responsible for preparing the index and determining the weighting of each one of the indicators in the index. The IRAI will be prepared on a quarterly basis (…).

Evolution of the IRAI so far this year

The variation in the IRAI since January has been an increase of 10.12%, representing the cumulative impact of the ownership element (9.55%) and the commercial element (0.57%). In other words, the part corresponding to house sales and financing has pushed up the index by the most, compared to the boost from commercial activity. In December last year, the IRAI amounted to 89 points, compared to 98.26 now.

In this way, the groups with the greatest positive cumulative impact so far this year have been sales (cumulative impact of 6.98%) due to the significant rise in the number of sales (cumulative impact of 6.11%), especially of new and second-hand homes with growth rates of 31.87% and 27.06% and cumulative impacts of 1.19% and 4.14%, respectively.

Sales prices also grew by 3.74% (impact of 0.87%) with the price of second-hand homes having a greater impact (impact of 0.9% with a growth rate of 5.91%). Meanwhile, mortgages (cumulative impact of 2.56%) due to the significant increase in the number of mortgages (cumulative impact of 2.05%), especially for new and second-hand homes with growth rates of 21.65% and 15.42% and cumulative impacts of 0.92% and 0.94%, respectively.

From the commercial perspective, the greatest boost to activity has come from the decrease in the number of creditor bankruptcies involving both construction companies, which have decreased by 83%, and real estate companies, which have fallen by 57% (…).

Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: Carmel Drake

Atlético De Madrid Wants To Sell Operación Calderón Land For €3,300/m2

10 November 2017 – Cinco Días

Atlético de Madrid is looking to shake up the real estate sector with a record-breaking operation. The club is heating up the housing market with an operation to sell the plots on the site of its former Vicente Calderón stadium, through which it wants to achieve much higher prices than are currently being paid for land in the surrounding area.

The club, chaired by Enrique Cerezo and controlled by Miguel Ángel Gil, has engaged the consultancy firm CBRE to sell the plots of land, and the first round of offers have already been received. Atlético has already been sounding out potential buyers regarding a land asking price of €3,300/m2, according to four companies in the real estate sector, which would represent a record in this part of the Spanish capital.

That high land value would mean that the houses built on the site would have to be sold for approximately €6,000/m2, according to the calculations performed by several sources. That figure is equivalent to other more expensive areas in the capital and represents almost twice the current sales price of new build homes in the district of Arganzuela, where the stadium is located. According to the appraisal company Tinsa, new homes in this neighbourhood are currently being sold for prices ranging between €3,000/m2 and €4,000/m2, based on data as at 2017.

Specifically, Atlético is selling three plots of land, which have a total surface area of 63,076 m2, of which 57,094 m2 corresponds to residential use and the remaining 5,892 m2 to commercial use. Around 500 homes are expected to be built on the site. If the club manages to find a buyer willing to pay €3,300/m2, it will receive proceeds of €210 million. If the price ends up being €3,000/m2, the purchaser will have to spend around €190 million.

This urban planning operation is linked to the club’s change of stadium after it moved this season from its former pitch next to the Manzanares River to the new Wanda Metropolitan (…). Moreover, the football team needs to sell these plots to repay Inbursa – owned by the magnate Carlos Slim – for a €160 million loan that it was granted to build its new stadium.

The so-called Operación Mahou-Calderón, which also includes the adjacent plots on the site of the former brewery headquarters- but which are not included in the sale now being undertaken by Atlético – was approved by the municipal plenary in September. The buildability of that environment has decreased from 175,000 m2 to 147,000 m2 with respect to Ana Botella’s plan dated 2014.

Sources in the sector explain that CBRE has already received at least five offers during the first phase of the process, which is expected to close at the beginning of 2018. For the time being, it is not known whether any of these bids exceeds the figure of €3,000/m2 that Atleti is looking for (…).

Sources at the real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank calculate that the price of land in this neighbourhood amounts to a maximum of between €2,400/m2 and €2,800/m2. They explain that recent similar purchases in the district of Arganzuela, in the Méndez Álvaro area, for example, were closed for a price of between €2,000/m2 and €2,220/m2.

However, some experts in the residential market do believe that the €3,000/m2 threshold may be broken due to the high purchase pressure currently in play, primarily due to interest from international funds. They also consider that these plots are very attractive, located as they are in the Madrid Río area, and so they expect the degree of interest in them to be high.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, in the Usera area, Neinor Homes is marketing quite an exclusive development called Riverside at prices that exceed €4,000/m2, according to the portal Fotocasa, and the penthouses are going for €6,000/m2.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake