22 October 2015 – Expansión
They are the most desirable assets in the sector and Socimis, investment funds and traditional real estate companies alike are all bidding for them. They are office buildings. During the first nine months of the year, this type of property has starred in investment operations amounting to €2,500 million, an increase of 15% compared with the total investment volume recorded in 2014 as a whole.
“Last year, €1,665 million was invested (in offices), of which €655 million was spent during the third quarter. This strong level of activity coincided with the closure by many Socimis of their first operations, which accounted for almost 40% of the quarterly total. This year, the figure for Q3 was 5% higher than the amount recorded during the same period in 2014, but if we look at the year to date, the cumulative total exceeds the total for the whole year 2014, by 15%”, said Pablo Pavía, National Investment Director at Savills España.
Some of the most active players include the large Socimis, such as Axiare, which has invested €243 million on the acquisition of ten buildings, mostly in Madrid and Hispania – which is not a Socimi itself, but which channels the majority of its investments through a subsidiary that is –, which has spent more than €97 million on the purchase of four office buildings.
Alongside the Socimis, which accounted for just over one third of the market, we have the funds and managers, such as Iba Capital, which has purchased several headquarters, including Vodafone’s. Insurance companies such as Axa and Mapfre monopolise the buying ranking, together with traditional real estate companies such as Colonial, which is currently analysing purchases worth €1,000 million.
Thanks to this investor boom, the average availability rate in Madrid is now 10.6%, a figure that has fallen below the 11% threshold for the first time since 2011 and which confirms the trend that began in the middle of 2014, according to JLL. In the case of Barcelona, the availability rate is 11.4%, a similar figure to the levels last seen in 2009.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake