C&W: Investment in High Street Premises Soared by 70% in 2018 to €1.7bn

6 March 2019 – Eje Prime

According to the latest edition of Cushman & Wakefield’s Investment Insight report, investment in high street assets in Spain soared by 70% in 2018 to reach €1.7 billion. In total, 52 operations were closed last year, accounting for 38% of all investments in commercial assets. The fashion and banking sectors accounted for the most deals.

Meanwhile, 32 operations were closed in the shopping centre segment, where the total investment amounted to almost €1.9 billion, down by 25% compared to 2017. In addition, 7 retail parks were sold last year for €236 million.

In the office sector, investment rose by 29% YoY in 2018 to reach €3.1 billion, with Madrid accounting for 66% of that total (€2.1 billion) and Barcelona accounting for 31% (€950 million).

In the logistics sector, e-commerce drove a sharp increase in investment to reach €1.2 billion, with 890,000 m2 of logistics space leased in Madrid and 345,000 m2 in Barcelona.

In terms of alternative assets, investment in student halls amounted to €220 million in 2018, whilst investment in nursing homes leapt to €281 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Izilend to Spend €200M Financing Real Estate Projects in Spain

1 February 2019 – Expansión

Izilend has arrived in Spain with the launch of a vehicle, which has funding of up to €200 million to finance real estate projects in the country.

Since September, the alternative financing firm has already undertaken ten operations worth €20 million and it plans to finance operations amounting to €50 million during the course of this year.

Izilend, which has a presence in Portugal with a real estate crowdfunding platform, forms part of the holding company FS Capital Partners, which also includes a servicer, Fintech, Finsolutia and a financial advisory company (EAFI).

Izilend is thereby joining other alternative financing platforms specialising in the real estate sector that have made their debuts in Spain in recent months, such as Íbero Capital Management, from the US investment fund Oak Hill Advisors, and the firm promoted by Azora and Oquendo.

Focus

In the case of Izilend, the firm focuses on the financing of projects amounting to between €1 million and €10 million. To date, it has financed investors, property developers, cooperatives and Socimis for projects in Madrid, Málaga, Sevilla and the Balearic Islands. The financing fund intends to continue expanding the focus and to finance different types of assets ranging from housing, offices, retail and land in the main cities of Spain and Portugal.

Francisco Jonet, one of the people responsible for Izilend’s business in Spain, explains that the company offers a solution to property developers and real estate investors to develop projects that the traditional banks are not interested in either due to the type of product, the situation of the operation or the response times.

“To date, we have financed firms ranging from small property developers to Socimis, and products ranging from land to residential blocks, located in different provinces around the country”, said Jonet.

Gonzalo Gutiérrez de Mesa, the other person in charge of the fund, forecasts that the demand for alternative financing will double over the next five years and will thereby approach the market rates in more mature countries in Europe, where this type of financing accounts for between 30% and 40% of the total market. “We are creating a new niche in which we believe there is great potential”, adds Gutiérrez.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lennar Corporation Sells 30 Homes for €14M

22 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Lennar Corporation is continuing to squeeze its Socimi. Since October, Al Breck has sold thirty assets from its portfolio for €14 million. The operations have generated an accounting profit of approximately €5.8 million, according to a statement filed yesterday with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

This series of sales follows that of another 41 assets that the Socimi divested between June and October, whose volume amounted to €26 million and which generated a profit of €10.5 million.

The bulk of the divestments have been homes, together with storerooms and parking spaces. The plan forms part of the MAB entry strategy, which the company established when it made its debut. Then, the real estate firm owned around 639 rental homes, all located in the centre of Madrid. The Socimi formed its asset portfolio through a purchase operation from Segurfondo Investion in December 2014.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Savills: Logistics Leasing in Madrid Rose by 2% in 2018 to Exceed 935,000 m2

14 January 2019 – Savills Aguirre Newman

The logistics market in Madrid has registered a new leasing record. The boost from e-commerce has been the main driver behind the absorption of 935,000 m2 of space in 2018, which represents an increase of 2% with respect to the historical record figure in 2017, according to data from Savills Aguirre Newman.

During the last quarter, 23 operations were signed involving more than 300,000 m2 of space, compared with 24 operations and 308,000 m2 of space during the same period in 2017. During the year as a whole, 77 operations were registered in 2018, compared with 70 during the previous year. It is worth highlighting the importance of the cross-docking activity during 2018, where seven operations were closed.

In terms of rental prices, the €8/m2/month peak that established the annual maximum was recorded at T4 (Airport) in Barajas. Excluding that figure, due to the uniqueness of the Barajas market, maximum rents exceeded €6/m2/month in a cross-docking operation in San Fernando de Henares. The incorporation of new high-quality projects that are adapted to the requirements and expectations of the operators have favoured an increase in prime rents to €5.5/m2/month (+7% YoY).

In terms of the size of the operations, almost 50% of the space leased during the last quarter of the year was concentrated into four operations spanning more than 30,000 m2 each, all of which were signed in the third ring.

By area, the distribution of the surface area leased between October and December was very homogeneous, with 55% and 45% registered in the Corredor del Henares and the southern area, respectively, although the Corredor del Henares continued to capture the most demand. The distribution in terms of the number of operations clearly showed the superiority of Corredor del Henares, which accounted for 70% of all activity (16 operations).

The annual analysis by area reveals a similar picture. The volume of surface area leased was very similar (>495,000 m2 in Corredor del Henares and >408,000 m2 in the southern area), but by number of operations, Corredor del Henares again accounted for the bulk of activity (48 operations versus 22 in the south).

Activity in the land market is continuing to gain weight. During 2018, 34 operations were signed in total spanning 1,800,000 m2 (+60% YoY). It is worth highlighting the three areas that accounted for almost 50% of the land surface area operations: Guadalajara (>350,000 m² in 2 operations), Illescas (>326,000 m² in 4 operations) and Torija (>279,000 m² in 4 operations).

The year closed with an availability rate of 6.9%, which represents a decrease of almost two points with respect to 2017. During 2018, more than 650,000 m2 of space was incorporated into the market, of which 67% was already committed. The future supply for 2019 will exceed 1,500,000 m2, of which 30% already have pre-rental contracts.

The dynamism in the market for users of the logistics sector during 2018 has been reflected in the investment market, with 45 operations exceeding €1.3 billion. Those figures mark new records in the historical ranking. The number of transactions involving individual assets stood out since it exceeded the figure recorded in 2017 by three times.

Original story: Savills Aguirre Newman 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Foreign Capital Causes Investment in Madrid’s Offices to Soar

29 November 2018 – Expansión

Foreign capital is raising its game in the office market in Madrid and has caused investment during the third quarter to soar to a record level: almost €800 million. That figure, which is the largest since 2007, is explained by three mega-operations, which had a combined total of €511 million and accounted for almost 65% of the total transaction volume, according to a report compiled by the real estate consultancy Savills Aguirre Newman.

By volume, the largest transaction closed in the period was the purchase by the British firm Tristan Capital of a portfolio of offices spanning 78,000 m2 in Madrid from Colonial for around €280 million; it was followed by the purchase by the French firm Amundi Immobilier of the Pórtico building in Campo de las Naciones; and the acquisition of FCC’s headquarters in Las Tablas by Safra Sarasin.

In Spain, during the first three quarters of the year, the cumulative investment in offices amounted to €2.1 billion, which almost equals the total amount transacted in the whole of 2017. Specifically, Madrid accounted for 70% of the total invested during the first nine months of the year, with €1.4 billion worth of transactions signed.

Forecasts

In terms of forecasts, the consultancy firm has identified that almost €1 billion of operations are under negotiation and could be closed within the coming months. “The dynamism in terms of demand and the increase in products for sale in open processes could mean that the annual volume closes at 2016 levels, exceeding the figure recorded in 2017 by more than 50%.

In terms of absorption, the total volume during the third quarter increased the cumulative figure to 440,000 m2, which represents a YoY increase of 4%. “The good behaviour of the market during the third quarter allows us to forecast an annual volume of more than 600,000 m2”, explain sources at the consultancy firm.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Savills Aguirre Newman: Logistics Investment Fell by 17% in H1 2018 to €400M

31 July 2018 – Europa Press

The volume of investment in the Spanish logistics market amounted to €400 million during the first half of the year, down by 17% with respect to the same period in 2017, when the figure amounted to €490 million, according to figures compiled by Savills Aguirre Newman for its report entitled “The Logistics Market in Madrid and Barcelona, H1 2018”.

The entity explained that the decrease is due not to a reduction in investor appetite, but rather to a shortage of available supply in the main markets (Madrid and Barcelona), which is placing the focus of investors on secondary markets (Valencia, Zaragoza and Sevilla).

The initial yield for prime assets remains at around 6%, although for certain operations it has decreased to 5.5%.

In Madrid, according to the report, during the first half of the year, demand in terms of the leasing of logistics space was 17% higher than during the same period last year, with 451,000 m2 of space leased through 36 operations during H1 2018, compared with 387,000 m2 in the same period in 2017.

Four of the operations undertaken in Madrid, exceeding 20,000 m2 each, accounted for 48% of the total space leased. Activity in the Spanish capital was concentrated in Corredor de Henares, where 11 operations were closed, accounting for more than 118,000 m2 of the space leased (52% of the total).

In terms of the land market in Madrid, the report details that six operations were registered, accounting for a volume of more than 280,000 m2 altogether; one purchase stood out, in particular, spanning more than 95,000 m2, in Alcalá de Henares.

On the other hand, during the same period, 390,678 m2 of space was leased in the logistics market in Barcelona. Savills Aguirre Newman highlights the operation to lease a 48,000 m2 warehouse by Vente Privee.

During the first half of the year, 36 transactions were recorded in Barcelona in total, compared with 22 in 2017. One of the trends that has become clear is the projects being developed in the Logistics Activities Zone (ZAL), one of which involves a warehouse measuring 20,500 m2.

Moreover, a total of eight operations exceeding 20,000 m2 were closed, of which five were completed in the second quarter.

Original story: Europa Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas: Spain’s Hall of Residence Market Will Grow by 4% in 2019

16 July 2018 – Eje Prime

(…). With 1,148 accommodation centres for university students located all over the country, split between halls of residences (963) and residential colleges (185), the domestic market comprised 93,500 beds at the end of 2017. Nevertheless, that supply “is small compared with current demand”, explains BNP Paribas Real Estate in a report to which Eje Prime has had access. For this reason, the international consultancy firm forecasts that this alternative market will grow by 4% in Spain in 2019.

In recent years, the sub-sector has recorded some major operations involving the sale of both assets and companies. The most important deal came at the end of 2017, when AXA Real Assets and CBRE Global Investment Partners invested almost €400 million in the purchase of the entire portfolio of Resa, the vehicle specialising in student halls previously owned by Lazora. Following the operation, the manager Greystar became the king of the halls in Spain with 37 assets under ownership (four of which were being developed). In total, more than 9,000 beds changed hands.

Resa’s sale is nothing more than a consequence of the current investor appetite, primarily from international funds, many of which specialise in this sector. In 2017 alone, fourteen student halls opened their doors, adding 2,149 new beds to the sector. Moreover, since this is a very fragmented market with many owners, we are seeing the purchase of large bundles of beds, which the new players arriving in Spain are using to initiate their expansion plans.

Such is the case of Corestate, an investment fund headquartered in Luxembourg, which purchased a former residence, containing 260 rooms and 302 beds, in Madrid in 2016 to renovate the building and give it its personal stamp. With support from Villar Mir, the company disbursed €40 million on that project. A year earlier, the Dutch company The Student Hotel paid the same amount for two halls of residence in Barcelona (Melon District Marina and Melon District Poblesec) containing 600 rooms in total.

Those operations led by international funds show the influence that foreign capital has and, above all, is going to have, in the student hall sector. A large part of this interest in the domestic market stems from Erasmus. Spain is the most sought-after country by university students, ahead of Germany, the United Kingdom and France. Two years ago, 45,813 young people arrived in the country, including Erasmus and international students on secondments, and all of them needed to find a bed for the year.

Geographical dispersion

Another one of the major attractions of the student hall market in Spain is its geographical dispersion. It is not only Madrid and Barcelona that are attractive: Málaga, Valencia, Sevilla, Salamanca and Granada are all cities with a large influx of students, many of them international, arriving every year.

Madrid is the city with the largest supply of rooms for students, with 21,159 beds in 198 centres at the end of 2017. That figure accounts for 23% of the total stock on the market in Spain (…). Cataluña was ranked in second place (…) with 170 centres and 14,177 beds, accounting for 14% of the stock. It was followed by Castilla y León (where Salamanca plays an important role) and Andalucía, with shares of 14% and 12%, respectively (…).

Activity is spreading to the north too. Just last week, the fund WP Carey paid €10 million to buy an office building in San Sebastián from Solvia, which it is going to convert into a hall of residence for students (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Alantra Creates Leading European Advisor for Sale of Toxic Asset Portfolios

12 July 2018 – Expansión

Alantra has just signed a document that is going to make it the leading advisor to banks in Europe for the sale of toxic asset portfolios. The deal was signed yesterday in London and involves the purchase of KPMG’s international business specialising in those kinds of bank cleanups. The team comprises more than 35 professionals, mainly seniors, who will move across to form part of Alantra and who will take with them the sales mandates, worth €16 billion, that they are working on at the moment, according to sources at the firm.

After almost a year of negotiations with KPMG, the division is finally going to join forces with the investment banking team led by Santiago Eguidazu (pictured above) to create a new company with more than 75 professionals. The new company will be a subsidiary of Alantra and will be dedicated to advising banks regarding the best exits options for their portfolios of non-performing assets.

To date, Alantra has advised 80 operations in this business across five countries since 2014, for a total nominal value of more than €65 billion. Meanwhile, KPMG’s team has advised on more than 100 transactions worth €180 billion during the same period. The resulting company has averaged 45 transactions per year for the last four years and has advised an operation volume of more than €61 billion. The transaction will involve a cash disbursement for the Spanish firm of €2.83 million.

Banks and funds

The new division will be particularly active in the medium-sized transaction market generated by both banks and funds. The focus will be primarily on Europe, but also other countries around the world where the firm has a presence. In its activity, Alantra will compete above all with PwC, the other major player in the European portfolio business alongside KPMG, and with the US giants Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs for the largest contracts.

KPMG’s international team is headquartered in London, with local offices in Milan, Athens, Dublin and Lisbon. Alantra adds Madrid to that list, from where it has organised its global coverage of the portfolio business to date, which has seen it advise operations not only in Spain but also in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Eastern Europe.

The team at Alantra has been responsible for the sale of portfolios by almost all of the Spanish banks, ranging from Sabadell (with which it is working at the moment) to Santander, and including BBVA, CaixaBank, Bankia, Liberbank, Ibercaja and the domestic subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.

The current Head of Alantra’s Portfolio Business, Joel Grau, will lead the new subsidiary, together with Andrew Jenke and Nick Colman, from KPMG.

Global advice

Between the three of them, they will pursue the objective of replicating on a European scale the model that Alantra has been adopting in Spain, and which is based on providing global advise to banks from three perspectives: corporate operations, real estate (large properties and loans from financial entities, as well as those relating to shopping centres and hotels) and portfolios of toxic assets, according to sources at Alantra.

They will operate from two main centres: Madrid and London, where many of the funds that buy the banks’ portfolios are located and thanks to which the business is expected to soar, by reselling financial assets acquired or securitising them to put them on the market.

Original story: Expansión (by Inés Abril)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Development: Urban Land Prices Fell by 2.6% in Q1 2018

15 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Land is getting cheaper in Spain. The price per square metre of urban land decreased by 2.6% during the first quarter of the year, to €163.1/m2. Nevertheless, land prices rose by 6.6% with respect to December, according to data from the Ministry of Development.

The Land Price Statistics prepared by the public body also indicate that the volume of land sold between January and March 2018 amounted to 7.8 million m2, with a value of €770.6 million.

With respect to the same period a year earlier, the volume of urban land transferred was 36.7% higher and its value had risen by 12.9%. The total number of transactions undertaken during the first three months of the year was 4,867, up by 10.6% compared to a year earlier, when 4,401 plots were sold, and down by 16.7% compared to the number of operations completed between October and December 2017.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte: 173 New Hotels will Open in Spain Between Now and 2021

9 June 2018 – Expansión

The tourist boom and interest in the real estate sector have boosted the hotel segment. So far this year, operations amounting to €2.4 billion have been closed and an acceleration is forecast for the coming months.

Spanish hotels are standing out as one of the most sought-after assets for investors in the real estate market. The tourism boom in Spain, which recorded its fifth consecutive record year in 2017 with the arrival of 82 million international visitors, coupled with the property boom, caused hotel investment to reach maximums in 2017 of almost €3.1 billion. Moreover, the commitment from investors to these assets will allow that figure to double this year.

According to data from the Hotel Property Handbook, compiled by Deloitte, to which Expansión has had access, €3.1 billion was transacted in the segment last year, which represents an increase of 44% YoY and accounts for 22% of all the investment activity undertaken in Europe, placing Spain at the head of the investment ranking behind only the United Kingdom, which accounted for 29%.

During the first five months of this year, more than €2.4 billion has been invested, which will be added to operations currently under negotiation amounting to around €4.2 billion, which are expected to close over the coming months, according to the study.

“So far this year, we have transacted an investment volume almost as high as that signed during the whole of last year. The private equity funds are proving to be the main stars of the activity, which may even double the figure recorded in 2017”, said Javier García-Mateo, Partner at Deloitte Financial Advisory.

Loans

That is in addition to the strong appetite from traditional Spanish credit institutions to finance hotel properties, due to the momentum of the sector. Their financing spans projects under development, including remodellings, repositionings and developments. In this sense, the most active banks in terms of senior lines of credit for these assets are CaixaBank, Santander and Sabadell.

Investors are betting on mega-operations and the creation of large portfolios, which will allow them to have a diversified business and gain bargaining power over tour operators.

This trend comes in addition to the interest from Asian players in hoisting their flags in Spain. For example, the emergence of the Thai group Minor in NH Hotel Group, which has reached an agreement to purchase HNA’s stake in the Spanish hotel chain and is studying a takeover bid for 100% of the company.

In this context, the large hotel groups have taken advantage of the boom years to invest in improvements in their asset portfolios although there is still a long way to go. The opening and renovation of hotels consolidated itself in 2017, with activity involving 74 hotels and 12,500 rooms, reaching cruising speed following a significant recovery in 2015 and 2016, with projects in 120 hotels and almost 17,300 rooms.

Over the next five years, investment in work to adapt the hotel stock is expected to amount to €2.2 billion.

According to the report, 65% of the hotel stock in Spain is obsolete, with an average age of more than nine years, which makes investment in capex the main priority if operators are to handle the competitive pressures and achieve better margins.

“The strong growth in tourism in Spain contrasts with average rates that are still excessively low in the holiday segment. The renovation of obsolete projects, combined with the arrival of international operators, will allow the repositioning of an offer that ought to compete on quality rather than quantity”, explains Viviana Otero, from Deloitte Financial Advisory.

By region, the Canarian archipelago, Andalucía and the Balearic Islands are the regions that require the greatest capex spending, accounting for almost 68% of the total.

This effort has contributed to an improvement in the main performance ratios of hotels. According to Deloitte, revenues per available room (RevPAR), one of the main profitability indicators, grew by 10% last year.

New openings

The strong performance of the sector also accounts for the new promotions and project renovations underway. Over the next four years, 173 hotels are expected to be opened in Spain containing almost 30,000 rooms. “53% of those will be new projects and 47% will be renovations. It is worth highlighting the importance that rebranding is gaining as a defensive strategy against the alternative destinations of Greece, Turkey and Croatia, said Patricia Plana from Deloitte Financial Advisory.

In terms of challenges facing the sector, the report highlights the saturation of certain destinations in the summer and the problems of co-existence alongside local residents in those regions, as well as the recovery of competitor countries in Southern Europe and the rise of holiday rentals boosted by collaborative economy platforms such as Airbnb.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake