Barcelona’s Office Market Surges Two Years After Push for Catalonian Independence

4 September 2019

Barcelona’s office real estate market continues to break new ground as a record 256,000 m2 of office space were allocated in the first six months of the year, 30% more than the year before. The Catalan capital is considered one of the world’s best cities to work in, as evidenced by the fact that 48% of the allocations went to foreign firms.

The volume of investments also set a new record, reaching more than 600 million euros in the semester, a ten-year high. The increasing inflow of foreign investment capital is boosting the market, leading to the development of new buildings and a flurry of portfolio sales as firms sell off non-strategic assets to focus on their core activities. Two years after a referendum on Catalonian independence led thousands of companies to flee the region, new companies and investors are pouring in.

Tech companies have accounted for 27% of the allocated surface area, while co-working firms had another 22%. In the first six months of the year, co-working firms have snapped up 56,080 m2 of offices, more than the total for 2018.

The fervour in the market is leading to tightening supply, and the office vacancy rate has fallen to just 6.8%. That fall has led office rents in Barcelona to increase steadily for the last six years, and rents went up by 3% in the first semester of this year, largely powered by the prime and new business districts.

Original Story: El Confidencial

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

 

BNP Paribas: 22@ Accounted for 36% of Office Investments in Barcelona in 2018

8 April 2019 – 20 Minutos

Investment in the office market in Barcelona amounted to €695 million in 2018, of which €253 million (36%) corresponded to the 22@ district, according to a report compiled by BNP Paribas Real Estate España.

The forecasts for 2019 reveal that almost 77,800 m2 of new office space will be handed over in the technological district alone this year, more than doubling the figure recorded in 2018.

In terms of the sizes of the offices leased last year, 40% measured between 1,000 m2 and 2,000 m2 and 30% spanned between 301 m2 and 1,000 m2. Meanwhile, just 18% exceeded 2,000 m2, whilst 13% were smaller than 300 m2.

The average purchase price rose by 20% to between €1,500/m2 and €1,600/m2 in prime locations of the 22@ district. In turn, rental prices grew by 8% last year, to an average of €16.7/m2/month.

The 22@ district is home to 42% of all of the companies in Barcelona with high-profile tenants of the calibre of Facebook, Hewlett Packard and King, as well as Glovo and Llacuna.

Original story: 20 Minutos (by Puri Caro)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Office Leasing in Madrid Records Best Third Quarter for a Decade

17 October 2018 – Real Estate Press

The office market in Madrid recorded its best quarter of the year between July and September with almost 142,000 m2 of office space leased. That figure makes it the sector’s best third quarter for a decade, according to the latest data published by the real estate consultancy CBRE.

“Leasing figures during the third quarter are traditionally characterised by less activity due to the holiday period, so this latest data highlights the strength of the office market in Madrid”, says José Mittelbrum, National Director of A&T Investor Leasing Offices at CBRE España. “Looking ahead to the end of the year, it is very likely that, if some of the large deals currently active in the market are closed, then 2018 will see office leasing figures in Madrid very similar to those of 2017, which amounted to more than 600,000 m2, figures that have not been seen since 2007”, added Mittelbrum. Since January, almost 400,000 m2 of office space has been leased, the best figure since 2008.

Increase in rents

The increase in demand, boosted by demanding occupants with respect to the quality of the properties, and the reduction of the available supply, especially in renovated buildings and new properties in the central business district (CBD), led to a YoY increase of 9% in prime rents during the third quarter of the year to around €33/m2/month.

Empty space in high-quality Grade A buildings has decreased by 26% over the last year, which has led to situations of competition between several candidates for the same building.

Since the lowest point of the previous cycle, prime rents have grown by 35%. Other submarkets are also rising: average rents, calculated on the basis of actual operations, between July and September, increased in all submarkets with increases of more than 30% in the CBD and Secondary Centre (inside the M-30) and of between 15-20% on the Northern (A-1) and Eastern (A-2) axes of Madrid. Rising rents and the prospect that this trend will continue is one of the reasons why the office market in Madrid is the priority objective for a large number of domestic and international investors.

Notable operations

Madrid Norte saw significant activity in the last quarter, with two high-profile operations: the rental of the Oxxeo building in Las Tablas to Cap Gemini (9,300 m) and the rental of 7,000 m2 in Torre Chamartín by Deloitte; both new build properties.

The Public Sector reaffirmed its return to the Madrilenian office market, by closing two of the ten largest operations in the third quarter, namely, the rental of 4,200 m2 in the Agustín de Foxá, 25 building by the Ministry of Finance and of 2,400 m2 in Fray Luis de León, 11 by the Community of Madrid.

Finally, the flexible space operators continued their expansion: WeWork moved into Castellana, 77 to occupy more than 4,600 m2 in that building, the first to obtain the WELL Qualification in Spain. It is worth highlighting that so far this year, 10% of the office space leased in Madrid was taken up by flex-space companies, compared with 4% in the third quarter last year.

Available supply

At the end of September, the available surface area in the Madrilenian office market amounted to around 1.22 million m2, equivalent to 9.7% of the total stock of offices in the capital, compared to 11.7% a year earlier.

Over the coming months, investors’ commitment to reposition existing offices means that iconic buildings are going to come onto the market such as the Los Cubos building in Plaza de España and the Axis building in the heart of Plaza de Colón (…).

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Stoneweg Plans to Build New Homes in Barcelona & along the Costa Brava

10 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Stoneweg is continuing to grow its portfolio of projects in Cataluña. The Spanish-Swiss fund is strongly committed to the territory and has already announced new developments in Barcelona and the Costa Brava.

Two of the most important projects are going to be developed on two prime streets in the centre of Barcelona, namely Rambla Catalunya and Pau Claris. The company led by Joaquín Castellví and Jaume Sabater declined to share more details about these future homes, according to Expansión. The real estate company is going to unveil the two developments at the next Barcelona Meeting Point, which will be held in the Catalan capital between 25th and 28th October.

Meanwhile, in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, the fund is going to build two towers containing 276 homes on the site of the former Cosme Toda factory, a plan that was announced in March, when a €370 million investment plan was registered to build 800 new homes in Cataluña.

The sought-after 22@ district for the office market is also of interest to the company, which is planning a development on Calle Llull. In the meantime, on the Costa Brava, Stoneweg has started projects in the residential market in Palamós, Platja d’Aro, Roses and Begur.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Valencia, in Search of Land for Construction

21 August 2018

The lack of available land is the reason that only 2% of the acquisitions of homes are for new housing in Spain’s third biggest city by population.

Valencia is after new land to re-energise its real estate market. With stable prices and an increasing number of transactions, the absence of new buildings is palpable in the statistics for the first quarter of this year, when just 2.3% of purchases (a total of 2,658) were for newly-built homes.

With a population that has been relatively stable in recent years, around 790,000 inhabitants, the city of Turia has doubled the number homes sold in the city since 2013, from 4,922 operations that year to 10,973 last year.

This has not yet pushed up prices, but it has been the basis for recovery. After the harsh effects of the crisis (apartments are 45% cheaper today than in 2007), housing prices reached 1,235.60 euros per square meter in the first quarter of this year, according to data on bank valuations at the Ministry of Public Works.

In homes less than five years old, the average price rose to 1,536.90 euros in the first quarter, while in second-hand homes, the investment needed to acquire a home fell to 1,233.70 euros per square meter.

The absence of development ready lands is a fact for the Spanish city’s real estate developers. According to a report by CBRE, the city is currently in the midst of desvloping and marketing sixty new construction projects, and it is expected that twenty more will be put on the market by the end of the year. Companies such as Neinor, Aelca and Aedas have housing developments in neighbourhoods such as Quatre Carreres, Patraix, Nou Campanar and Malilla Norte.

However, the high demand will cause prices to rise if more land is not made available, according to the consultancy. Metrovacesa’s project for the development of Benimaclet could be one of the most outstanding in this regard in Valencia. The real estate company controlled by Santander and BBVA is pushing for an agreement to present to Valencia City Council a project to build 1,500 homes in partnership with the local developer Urben.

Vía Célere is another of the developers active in the city: the company will build 22 homes in the Pechina neighbourhood, next to the Turia gardens. Aedas Homes is more advanced: the Spanish developer has sold another 120 homes in Turia’s capital through its Torres project, a residential complex that will be composed of two 16-floor apartment blocks. Aedas also has 252 flats in Valencia.

Residential prices in Valencia are now 45% lower than before the start of the crisis, but the city has great appeal, and the activity of private operators has been intense. Attikos is another local developer that has carried out work in the city, with the purchase of 1.9 million euros of development-ready land, where it will build 27 houses.

Offices on the rise

With a total of 63,480 companies, 88.2% of which are in the service industry, the office market in Valencia saw record allocations last year. According to a report by BNP Paribas Real Estate, the contracting amounted to 39,500 square meters in 2017, which caused a slight upward trend in rental prices, which are close to 14.5 euros per square meter in the city centre.

“Since the end of 2013, the last year of economic recession, demand has been positive,” the consultancy noted. “The good pace of allocations in recent years, together with the lack of new projects, are generating a considerable adjustment in the vacancy rate of the Valencian market which, fell to 10.4% at the end of 2017, out of a total stock of 774,000 square meters. This means that there are currently 80,546 square meters of available offices on the market,” they added.

One of the most notable operations in recent months was the rental of the former headquarters of CAM, leased by Solvia to the architectural firm Join Contract. The property’s new tenant will remodel it to transform it into a luxury hotel.

Original Story: EjePrime – C. De Angelis

Translation: Richard Turner

 

Malaga, or How the Sun is Shining Again on the Costa del Sol

14 August 2018

With sales and prices in rapid ascent, the real estate sector is firmly committed to continuing the recovery of the property market in the Andalusian city.

The sixth largest city in Spain, with 569,002 inhabitants in 2017, Malaga is the Andalusian city where housing prices have increased the most in the first quarter of this year, according to data from Urban Data Analytics, with a year-on-year increase of 19.4%. According to data from the Ministry of Development, valuation prices rose by 10.8% to 1,506.8 euros per square meter. The increase was also substantial compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 when the square meter in Malaga was priced at 1,440.40 euros per square meter.

The recovery of the residential property market in the city on Spain’s Costa del Sol can be largely explained by the rapid pace of acquisitions, which are being carried out by domestic and international buyers, and which have steadily increased in recent years. While there were around 3,150 transactions in 2013, there were close to 5,000 in 2015 and over 7,000 in 2017.

Also, compared to the token level of new construction in other Spanish cities, new developments in Malaga have been substantial. Just in the first quarter of 2018, 242 purchases of new homes were finalised in the city, equivalent to 12.3% of the total.

In its report, Vision 2018: the Real Estate Market in Malaga, the consultancy Savills Aguirre Newman notes that the market’s strength in the city will cause the Costa del Sol to reach record sales for the year, adding that Malaga has positioned itself as the main power in Andalusia, even ahead of the capital, Sevilla.

Thus, the consultancy stresses that construction began on 5,236 homes in the Andalusian city, compared to the 2,980 in the capital. As for deliveries, Malaga finished a thousand more homes than Sevilla: 2,580 finished units compared to Sevilla’s 1,511.

Projects underway in Málaga

Faced with this data, operators such as VBare, Inbisa and Quabit have already finalised operations in the city, which also stands out for the demand for land for logistics platforms, large commercial projects and student residences.

In April, Quabit stated that it owns 200,000 square meters of land in the province of Malaga for the construction of 1,700 homes, equivalent to 20% of the developer’s portfolio of land. For its part, VBare completed the acquisition of 14 homes in the city in June for 1.35 million euros for placement on the rental market, for which it expects a profitability of approximately 5.1%. Gilmar, a real estate agency, also chose Malaga’s city centre as the site of its 32nd office.

With the presence of 40,087 companies, of which 87.1% are in the service sector, Malaga’s office market has also once again taken off. Another report by Savills Aguirre Newman places the occupancy rate of offices in the city’s prime area at 90%. Rents are also increasing, reaching 18 euros per square meter in the central street Larios. According to the consultancy, the trend will continue in 2018, which will cause buildings that have been unoccupied for nearly a decade to be taken up. The demand for land for logistics platforms is also increasing in the city, particularly for areas exceeding 5,000 square meters, which are rare.

On the commercial side, one of the larger projects underway is the Designer Outlet Centre, which Sonae Sierra and McArthurGlen have added to the Plaza Mayor shopping centre, with an additional 85,198 square meters (added to the rest of the existing complex), housing a total of 107 stores.

Also, the new wave of student residences has also reached the Andalusian city. Syllabus, a subsidiary of Urbania, will build a new student residence in the historic centre of Malaga in a ten million euro investment. The new development will have 143 rooms and an area of 4,600 square meters and will be ready by 2020.

Lastly, in June, the Malaga City Council approved a project for a luxury macro hotel in the city’s port. The hotel will be a 150-meter-high, 45,000-square-meter building that will be developed by the Qatari investor Abdullah Al Darwish. The building, which will involve an investment of 116 million euros and will be located in the Dique de Levante, will begin construction in 2020 and will be inaugurated three years later.

Original Story: EjePrime – C. De Angelis

Translation: Richard Turner

 

Savills: Investment in Offices in Madrid Will Amount to €2bn in H2 2018

19 July 2018 – La Vanguardia

Madrid is accumulating investment projects in the office market worth almost €2 billion, which will materialise during the second half of this year, according to the consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman, which estimates that the figure for Barcelona amounts to around €700 million.

In Madrid, there was an 11% reduction in the volume of office space leased during the first six months of the year, and absorption in the office segment of the capital amounted to 273,000 m2.

In Barcelona, the transacted volume amounted to 207,447 m2, and the peripheral area was where operations grew by the most during the six months to June, up by 78% YoY, to 56,030 m2.

In terms of average rents, in Madrid, the figure reached €17.70/m2/month, up by 12% compared to the first half of last year, whilst the theoretical “prime” rent in the central business district amounted to €32/m2/month, up by 10% YoY.

The report indicates that in Barcelona, the evolution of rental prices is continuing to rise, with growth of 6.2% on average over the last year.

The average price in “prime” areas in the central business district of the Catalan capital amounted to €19.35/m2/month, compared with the new business areas, which saw prices of €15.70/m2/month.

Of the operations planned for Madrid this year, the consultancy firm highlighted new developments and renovations in Vía de los Poblados (33,000 m2), Puerto de Somport (14,000 m2), Avenida de Bruselas (14,500 m2) and Príncipe de Vergara (11,400 m2), amongst others.

In terms of the main projects in the Catalan capital this year, Savills Aguirre Newman highlights the Luxa building, with a surface area of 17,000 m2, Tánger 66 (8,000 m2) and Parc Glòries (24,000 m2). In 2019, the Can Batlló project in Plaza Cerdà will be completed, with a surface area of 17,000 m2, as well the Hexagon in 22@, spanning 10,800 m2.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Facebook in Torre Glòries: CCC Will Provide Anti Fake News Services to the US Giant

7 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The US giant Facebook has chosen Barcelona. According to sources in the sector, the California-based company has engaged Competence Call Center, which announced its moved to Torre Glòries two weeks ago, to fight against fake content on its platform. In this space, CCC is going to employ more than 500 people who will work directly for the technology giant in the building owned by Merlin.

CCC is going to occupy 10 floors in the building located in the 22@ district. Facebook has already opened another content control centre in Europe together with CCC in Germany, a model that it is now going to replicate in Barcelona, according to Cinco Dias.

Measuring 142 m tall and with a gross leasable area of 37,614 m2, the building in Barcelona has received investment amounting to €15 million from Merlin. After the departure of the EMA, the Socimi decided to convert the property into a multi-tenant space aimed at the office sector.

The building was designed by the architects Jean Nouvel and Fermín Vázquez and inaugurated in 2005. It has 34 above ground floors and an auditorium with capacity for more than 350 people. In addition, the building has another four floors for parking with 300 spaces. In total, the property spans a surface area of 51,485 m2.

The real estate group acquired the building in January 2017 for €142 million. With this operation, the Socimi avoided the tourist moratorium imposed by the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, which prevented Emin Capital from opening a luxury hotel in the famous tower.

Emin Capital reached an agreement with Agbar at the end of 2013 to acquire the building for €150 million. That commitment materialised at the beginning of 2016 when the group made its first payment of €35 million.

The 22@ district is the main area of growth in the office market in Barcelona, having consolidated its position as a magnet for international innovative companies such as Cisco, Ebay, Yahoo, Deutsche Telekom, Sage, SAP, Capgemini and Indra, amongst others.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Leases 8 Floors in Torre Glòries to Competence Call Center

26 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Merlin has found a new tenant for one of the most iconic assets in its portfolio after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) decided to vacate the property. The Socimi, led by Ismael Clemente, has signed the lease for 9,000 m2 of space spread over eight floors to Competence Call Center. Merlin has been advised by Savills Aguirre Newman and CBRE.

Standing 142 m tall and comprising a gross leasable area of 37,614 m2, the building in Barcelona has received investment of €15 million from Merlin. After the decision by the EMA, the Socimi decided to convert the property into a multi-tenant space dedicated to the office sector.

The building was designed by the architects Jean Nouvel and Fermín Vázquez and was inaugurated in 2005. It contains 34 storeys and an auditorium with a capacity of more than 350 people. In addition, the property has four floors of parking with 300 spaces. In total, the property spans 51,485 m2.

The real estate group acquired the building in January 2017 for €142 million. Through that operation, the Socimi avoided the tourism moratorium imposed by the mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, which had prevented Emin Capital from opening a luxury hotel in the famous tower.

Emin Capital reached an agreement with Agbar at the end of 2013 to acquire the building for €150 million. That commitment materialised at the beginning of 2016 when the group made its first payment of €35 million.

The 22@ district is the main area of growth for the office market in Barcelona, having consolidated its position as a magnet for international innovation companies such as Cisco, Ebay, Yahoo, Deutsche Telekom, Sage, SAP, Capgemini and Indra, amongst others.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

RGA Rural Vida Acquires Office Building on c/Velázquez, 108 from Spanish Family Office

26 April 2018 – Press Release

The real estate consultancy firm Lassen Global has advised both the sale and rental of an office building in Madrid, on c/Velázquez, 108.

The property in question is very emblematic, located in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood. It comprises a surface area of 3,700 m2 and has 50 parking spaces in total. The consultancy firm has advised the vendor, a Spanish family office, throughout the sales process. The buyer is the insurance company RGA Rural Vida.

Following the acquisition of this asset by RGA Rural Vida, Lassen Global has also advised that firm regarding the rental of the building’s total available surface area, comprising approximately 3,000 m2 plus 39 parking spaces, which has been leased to the law firm Andersen&Tax Legal.

Lassen Global

Lassen Global is a boutique consultancy founded by Luis Cocero and Pablo de Luque Moreno-Luque. “It was created with the aim of providing a more transparent, personal and professional service to the real estate market”, explain its founding partners, both of whom have extensive experience in the provision of real estate services in the domestic market and who have carried out operations and provided consultancy services in various segments of the market, such as offices, retail and residential (…).

The company’s core business centres on the office and retail markets in Madrid and Barcelona (…).

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake