Catalana Occidente Acquires Turn-Key Office Building in Las Tablas, Madrid

18 November 2019 – Metrovacesa announced that it had sold a turnkey office building in the Las Tablas area of Madrid to the Catalana Occidente group for an undisclosed amount.

The property Catalana Occidente is acquiring will have a total surface area of 11,250 square meters, with six above-ground floors and two basements with enough room for about 300 parking spaces. The building, the architecture studio BOD designed, will have a highly-energy efficient, avant-garde design. Metrovacesa expects to deliver the finished property in 2022.

The operation follows the insurance group’s strategy of acquiring prime assets for its real estate investment portfolio. The firm focuses on office buildings located in prime areas of Madrid and Barcelona.

Original Story: Cinco Dias – Alfonso Simón Ruiz

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Banco Santander Mulls a Possible Sale of its Stake in Metrovacesa

28 October 2019 Banco Santander is studying a possible sale of its stake in the developer Metrovacesa. The bank currently has a 49.4% stake in the firm, while BBVA controls 20.8%. Santander sees its investment as non-strategic, while the Bank of Spain continues to pressure the country’s financial institutions to reduce their exposure to the real estate market.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Castlelake Acquires Land for 1,000 New Homes in Valencia

27 September 2019 – The US fund Castlelake, the majority shareholder of Aedas Homes, has acquired sufficient land, 100,000 square meters, to develop 1,000 homes in Quart de Poblet (València) from the real estate developer Grupo Ática.

Grupo Ática owned 60% of the total land in the new development, enough to build 1,400 homes out of a total of 2,300.  After the sale Ática will still own land for 400 homes, all of which will be subsidised (VPO). The two firms declined to reveal details of the transaction.

The remaining 40% of the land is owned by: Metrovacesa, with 6%; Dosval, with 3%, and the Quart de Poblet City Hall with 11%. Small property owners account for the remaining 20%.

Castlelake’s investment in the new development is expected to exceed 28 million euros, with €23 million in infrastructure works.

Original Story: Valencia Plaza – Estefanía Pastor

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Metrovacesa to Develop Offices and Hotels on 1.2 Million Square of Land by 2023

20 August 2019

Last year, Metrovacesa revealed that its holdings include a gigantic, 6-million-m2 portfolio of land, enough to build 40,000 new homes. That total also 1.25 million square meters of land slated for the construction of offices, hotels and logistics assets.

The firm announced its intention to “sell or develop” most of the 1.25 million square meters by 2023. Metrovacesa revealed plans for four major developments, accounting for 60% of the land bank, in a total investment of almost €390 million. The projects include La City and Loinsa in Barcelona and Clesa and Valdebebas in Madrid. Spain’s two biggest cities account for 86% of the portfolio, and 94% of those lands already have urban planning permits.

The largest of the four is City Metropolitana, in Barcelona’s L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, with a buildable area of ​​135,000 m2. The property company plans to build mostly offices on the site, along with up to 20,000 m2 for hotels. Metrovacesa also has 58,131 m2 of buildable land in Madrid, where it plans to build Valdebebas. That project will likely consist of a 4-building office complex.

Original Story: Cinco Días

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Initial Approval Given to Metrovacesa’s Plans to Build 1,345 Flats in Benimaclet

6 August 2019

31 years after the project was initially presented, the Valencian government has taken the first step towards authorising the construction of 1,345 homes in the neighbourhood of Benimaclet. Now, Metrovacesa must submit its plans to develop the area, where a change in planning is taken for granted. The municipal government must subsequently authorise the number and possible distribution of the homes, as well as everything related to public facilities.

The developer had already presented a project with towers of up to 30 floors, in the area near Avenida Catalonia Avenue and Calle Emilio Baró. An area for orchards of similar size is also in the plans, as requested by local neighbourhood associations. Even so, those same associations are requesting a decrease in the number of homes and a change in the planned distribution.

Original Story: Las Províncias – Paco Moreno

Photo: J. Monzó

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Metrovacesa to Invest Up to €1 Billion in Four Major Developments

17 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Metrovacesa, a real estate developer owned by  Banco Santander and BBVA, expects to build a total of 6,000 homes, along with office buildings, hotels and commercial premises around Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Sevilla and Valencia over the coming six years.  The firm is forecasting a total investment of one billion euros.

The project that is furthest ahead is 67-hectare complex in Palmas Altas, Seville. Metrovacesa is investing 400 million euros to develop 2,189 homes.

Original Story: EjePrime

ASG Homes Negotiates the Sale of 1,000 Rental Homes to Institutional Investors

19 June 2019 – Expansión

ASG Homes, the property development arm of the European manager ASG, is following in the footsteps of many of the major property developers in Spain by putting up for sale 1,000 rental homes.

The announcement comes in response to interest from institutional investors in acquiring and managing portfolios of rental homes, given the booming demand in the rental market.

Specifically, ASG Homes is negotiating the sale of 3 of its developments in San Sebastián, Madrid and Sevilla, which will be worth €200 million once finished, with investment funds, Socimis and family offices.

ASG Homes had planned to hold onto the properties and manage them itself but the strong interest from investors has resulted in a change of tack. In this way, the company is emulating the strategies of several listed property developers, such as Metrovacesa and Aedas Homes.

In total, ASG Homes has a landbank spanning 500,000 m2 with the capacity to build 5,000 homes distributed across Madrid, Alicante, Estepona, Marbella, Salamanca, Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia. It launched its business in Spain in 2013 and invests not only in the residential sector, but also in the hotel, shopping centre and office segments.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Insur Delays the Scheduled Delivery of 650 Homes by 2 Years

3 June 2019 -Eje Prime

Insur has announced that it is delaying the scheduled delivery of more than 650 homes by two years. However, the real estate group claims that the delays “are not significant” and are due to external factors, such as the entry into force of the mortgage law, the strategy replanning of the company and “the redesign of plans to reflect the demands of clients”.

Nevertheless, the news follows the announcement of similar delays, and profit warnings, by rivals such as Neinor, Metrovacesa and Quabit, and so the market is understandably nervous about this latest news.

In the case of Insur, the company is delaying the delivery of more than 650 homes in 11 different promotions, including the BA-2 and BA-3 developments in Entrenúcleos, located in the municipal district of Dos Hermanas in Sevilla.

Nevertheless, the property developer claims that the delay in the scheduled delivery of its homes has nothing to do with Neinor’s profit warning and assures that the company’s analysts are not worried.

Currently, Insur has 275 homes under construction and 1,625 properties in developments through joint businesses. It also owns a portfolio of land spanning 95,000 m2 on which to build another 880 homes and has long-term purchase options over twelve plots with a buildability of 208,000 m2.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Sabadell’s Board Evaluates 3 Offers Amounting to c. €850M For its Property Developer

28 May 2019 – El Confidencial

On Monday, Banco Sabadell received three binding offers for its property developer, Sabadell Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, from the funds Cerberus, Oaktree and a third unknown candidate, amounting to between €800 million and €900 million.

The board of directors of the Catalan entity chaired by Josep Oliu now needs to decide whether to accept one of them and thereby pave the way for the creation of a new major player in the Spanish property developer sector to compete alongside the likes of Neinor, Metrovacesa, Vía Célere and Aedas.

Oaktree has been the favourite in the bidding for the last few months given its good relationship with Sabadell and with the property developer itself, with which it already operates at least one joint venture. It would represent the US investor’s first operation of its kind in Spain, where it currently has a small platform with just 20 employees.

Nevertheless, Cerberus has been gaining ground. Unlike Oaktree, the US giant already has a property development platform in Spain, Inmoglacier, to which it wants to supply new land (which SDin owns). Cerberus could also benefit from synergies between the two firms.

Meanwhile, the identity of the third candidate remains confidential, but possible contenders include Habitat (Bain Capital), Aedas and the Canadian fund CPPIB, which were all reported to be evaluating the purchase during the preliminary phase.

Initially, Sabadell was hoping to receive more than €1 billion for its property developer, but following uncertainty in the sector in recent months and the sale of several assets, it will have to accept a more modest price if a sale is to be agreed.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Property Developers Glimpse the First Signs of a Moderation in Prices

29 May 2019 – Expansión

Yesterday, several of the largest property developers in Spain met for a Medcap roundtable event moderated by Deloitte to discuss the outlook for the residential market.

Specifically, representatives from Metrovacesa, Aedas, Quabit, Insur and Lar participated in the discussions, during which they observed that house prices in Spain are starting to moderate in some of the more mature markets, although they acknowledged that there are still many secondary cities where the new (growth) cycle is just beginning.

In this context, the representatives identified a number of focuses and challenges facing the sector, namely:

Licences: All of the property developers are pushing for great agility from the public administrations when it comes to the granting of construction permits.

Construction: The labour shortage in the construction sector is pushing up prices and leading to delays in project finishes.

Concentration: Property developers are larger and more professionalised now than before the crisis; they require critical mass to be resilient to real estate cycles.

Industrialisation: Prefabricated homes allow construction periods to be shortened and for greater control over the processes.

Access: Young people are finding it increasingly difficult to afford to buy a home.

Overall, the experts consider that the residential sector is still immersed in the early stages of the new cycle, but only time will tell whether they are right.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake