More than 300 Projects and 9,275 Homes under Construction: the New Home Market in País Vasco

The País Vasco was ranked fifth in the list of regions with the most new homes under construction last month when building activity was ordered to cease. That activity has resumed this week.

At the end of March, when the Spanish Executive ordered the cessation of all non-essential economic activity, there were 4,809 developments and 131,471 homes under construction across Spain. Of that figure, the País Vasco was ranked fifth in the list of regions with the most new homes under construction on that date, with a total of 309 projects and 9,275 homes, according to data compiled by the Brainsre Big Data real estate platform.

Of the more than 9,200 new homes that were being built in the region, 48% correspond to major developments comprising more than 50 units, specifically, a total of 49 projects and 4,467 units.

Of the 9,275 new build homes under construction in the País Vasco, more than half were started in 2019, representing 53% of the total, equivalent to 4,908 units. Meanwhile, work began on 35% of the homes in 2018 and on the remaining 12%, or 1,163 units, during the first three months of this year.

The stoppage caused by Covid-19, which was in force for 14 days, has put some of the delivery deadlines set by the property developers at risk. In fact, 40% of the homes under construction were expected to be completed this year, equivalent to almost 3,700 units. “That percentage will certainly decrease in favour of 2021. A total of 340 homes distributed across 15 sites in the País Vasco were scheduled for completion during April 2020. It is looking increasingly unlikely that these, and many others, will be handing over the keys on time” explains Antonio Ramudo, Brainsre Data Scientist. Likewise, the development of 4,665 homes was scheduled to be completed next year and almost 920 in 2022.

By type, 71% of the homes on standby are made up of multi-family homes, which correspond to more than 6,580 units. Meanwhile, 4% corresponds to single-family homes and 21% to social housing properties.

Vizcaya, the region worst affected by the shutdown

Of the more than 9,270 new-build homes in País Vasco, Vizcaya is the worst affected province since 53% of the total supply is located there, equivalent to more than 4,950 homes and 134 developments. Meanwhile, Guipúzcoa is home to 33% of the supply with more than 3,070 homes and Álava to 13% with 1,247 units.

The developments are concentrated in and around the provincial capitals. The Greater Bilbao area is home to 3,790 units across 79 developments, and if we take into account “the adjoining municipalities that make up the larger metropolitan area, that figure rises to 4,450 new homes, whose construction has been suspended for two weeks due to Covid-19,” says Ramudo.

In second place is Donostia and its metropolitan area with almost 1,400 homes, although the province has a lower concentration of units around the capital. In this sense, there is a significant supply in municipalities such as Zarautz, with 371 homes across six developments and Irún, with 251 units across ten sites.

As for the capital, there are 836 homes under construction in Vitoria. And Laudio is also worth noting in the province, with 212 units. up to 71 of País Vasco’s 251 municipalities (27% of the total) have had new residential construction projects suspended.

Neinor and Amenabar, the worst affected by the shutdown

By property developer, the companies Neinor Homes and Amenabar, both with headquarters in the País Vasco, are the entities the most new homes in their portfolios, with 915 and 769 units in progress, respectively. However, it is worth mentioning some of the smaller scale property developers, which have also seen the suspension of significant construction volumes, such as the Arrasate group, with 570 homes; Sukia, with 456 units and Jaureguizar, with 455.

The third most affected property developer in the region is the Basque Government itself, which, through Visesa, a public company for the promotion of public housing, had 773 units paralysed. It is also worth highlighting the fact that the ten property developers with the highest volume of homes under construction in the País Vasco are all Basque, something that is not repeated in any other autonomous region in the country.

The most high-profile building project affected in the País Vasco is Bolueta Homes, promoted by Neinor, which comprises 328 units. Located in the municipality of Bilbao, opposite the estuary, work began on its development in 2019. In addition, the same firm has been working on 122 units in Leioa since last year under the name Rivera Homes.

Meanwhile, Amenabar is working on three developments, each comprising more than 100 units. Two of them are located in the Greater Bilbao area: one is phase 3 of Ibai Barria next to the Barakaldo River, comprising 120 units, and another comprises a 112-unit protected home development in Bilbao. The third project is also a sheltered housing initiative, comprising 120 units, in Zarautz, which has an estimated completion date of September 2020.

On the other hand, the regional government has concentrated its current development activity in the Greater Bilbao area, where it has 629 units under construction. One of its developments in Barakaldo, comprising 72 units, had an expected completion date of April this year.

País Vasco is Committed to Social Housing for Rent Not Sale

25 March 2019 – El País

País Vasco is going to stop building public housing for sale. From 2020 onwards, all of the public developments will be for rental, after it was revealed to be the preferred option for 52,000 of the 64,000 applicants registered on the waiting list for social housing properties. The aim is to boost supply whereby avoiding a shortage that could lead to a bubble.

The regional Government’s commitment to the rental sector is huge. According to data from the Government itself, investment in the segment in Euskadi will amount to €1.12 billion between 2018 and 2020, which is €48 million more than the State is planning to allocate to its housing plan for Spain as a whole during the same period (€1.07 billion).

The Basque Government already owns a stock of 13,340 social housing units for rent, and it is currently building 4,600 more.

Another one of the major battles facing the Basque Government is how to get the more than 20,000 empty homes in the region onto the residential market. This year, the Government is set to approve a decree that fixes the fee for empty homes at €10/m2, which the Town Halls will then be able to apply if they so decide.

It has also launched a program of subsidies of up to 60% of the rental payment for young people aged between 23 and 35 who want to leave home.

Original story: El País (by Pedro Gorospe)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Gesvalt: House Prices Rise by 9% In Q2 2018

5 July 2018 – Eje Prime

House prices are continuing to rise in Spain. To buy a home, you now need to spend €1,373 per square metre, up by 9% compared to the end of the second quarter of 2017. Nevertheless, the rise is not equal across all cities. In fact, the gap between towns is continuing to grow, with differences of more than €1,000/m2, according to Gesvalt.

“The largest price deviations arise between those provinces with most services and those with least tourist appeal and a cumulative oversupply”, says the consultancy firm. Such is the case of Jaén, Teruel, Ciudad Real, Toledo, Cuenca and Cáceres, where unitary values do not even reach €850/m2.

By contrast, Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia and the Balearic Islands continue to top of the ranking, with average prices of more than €2,000/m2. Madrid has also joined the €2,000/m2 club again, exceeding the threshold for the first time in recent years.

By autonomous region, all have recorded increases in their average prices, with the exception of Andalucía and La Rioja, where prices have decreased and País Vasco, where prices have remained stable.

The drivers of the rise in house prices have been Aragón, the Balearic Islands, Cataluña, the Community of Valencia and Madrid, with double-digit increases in all cases.

Meanwhile, the rental market is also maintaining its upward trend, with Barcelona, the Balearic Islands and Madrid leading the ranking of the most expensive cities. In all three cases, rental prices comfortably exceed €14/m2/month, whilst in Jaén, Ávila, Cáceres and Ciudad Real, they average less than €4.3/m2/month.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Corpfin Launches a Socimi to Invest €400M in High Street Assets

5 April 2018 – Expansión

The real estate manager Corpfin Capital Real Estate is accelerating its commitment to retail with the launch of a new Socimi through which it plans to invest €400 million in high street assets (retail premises at street level) between now and 2021. €200 million of that amount will proceed from own funds raised and the remaining from gearing.

The President and Founding Partner of Corpfin Capital Real Estate, Javier Basagoiti (pictured above), said that the fundraising process began in February and is expected to conclude in December or whenever the €200 million threshold is reached. In terms of investment timeframes, the manager calculates that the process will finalise in 2021 or whenever the target investment volume of €400 million has been reached.

In terms of the structure, this vehicle will comprise a Socimi from which four other Socimis will depend, in turn, which will be listed on the stock market, a formula known in the jargon as the “inverted comb”. The estimated date for the stock market debut of the four Socimis is September 2019.

Basagoiti explained that the objective is to acquire high street assets with a surface area of between 1,000 m2 and 2,000 m2, which involve, in many cases, the purchase of entire buildings that will require managing and will include mixed uses – residential, offices and hotels -. In any case, the value of the retail element of the asset must always exceed 60% of the total.

Corpfin is holding advanced negotiations to buy assets in País Vasco, Madrid and Valencia at prices ranging between €5 million and €52 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aelca Debuts in País Vasco with Development of 311 Homes

15 March 2018 – Expansión

Aelca, the property developer controlled by the US fund Värde and the founding team, has made its debut in the País Vasco with the launch of a development comprising 311 homes in the town of Barakaldo (Vizcaya).

The company, which also has a presence in Cataluña, Madrid, Málaga and the Community of Valencia plans to hand over the first homes in 2020.

Specifically, this residential complex is going to be built in four phases. The first phase, marketing of which has already started, comprises 90 high-rise homes and 22 family properties. The construction of this first phase will begin in September this year and the first units will be handed over in the third quarter of 2020, explains the company. The second phase will comprise 119 homes, the third phase 40 units and the final phase 40 homes.

The firm constituted in 2012 by Javier Gómez and José Juan Martín, both now CEOs of the group, closed last year with a profit before tax (PBT) of €25.5 million, up by 154% and revenues of €132.2 million, up by 27%, and is preparing to continue growing through purchases.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Basque Family Office Invivas Sells Prime Retail Store in Bilbao

12 December 2017 – Eje Prime

A new operation has been signed in the heart of Bilbao. The Basque family office Invivas, which is backed by the family of Sabino Arrieta Heras, has sold a shop in the heart of the Basque city to Grupo Arenal. The purchaser is a family office specialising in investment in real estate assets and the owner of the Arenal perfume chain, according to explanations provided by the company to Eje Prime. The operation has been brokered by the real estate consultancy firm Catella.

Grupo Arenal, which did not want to disclose the amount of the operation, could have paid around €6 million for the asset. The property is located at number 3 Calle Navarra and its façade is more than 70m long. The store is located between the retail thoroughfares of Gran Vía, Rodríguez Arias and Ercilla.

It is a strategic location, which, as well as being home to the country’s major fashion retailers, such as El Corte Inglés, Inditex and Mango, is expecting to welcome a new Primark store soon; moreover, a high-speed train station is being built in the vicinity.

The space was the former main branch of Banesto in Bilbao and has a total surface area of 2,500 m2, spread over three floors. The first floor measures 777 m2, the ground floor spans 841 m2 and the basement has a surface area of 881 m2.

With this sale, Grupo Invivas, led by the former number two of the Basque Government’s Home Office (…) is divesting in the heart of Bilbao. This family office has been starring in real estate operations for several years, especially in the País Vasco, but also in the international market.

Its most recent purchases include a retail store in Miami, through Invivas Miami Real Estate, for €5.2 million (…). Four years ago, in the summer of 2013, it launched its operations in Germany with the purchase of a 1,000 m2 building in Frankfurt, used as offices and retail space, for €7 million (…).

The retail sector is thriving in the País Vasco  

One of the most active segments in Bilbao in recent months has been retail, as a result of the improvement in consumption. The activity in terms of new arrivals in the city has been led by domestic fashion brands, which have accounted for 44% of the new movements, followed by accessories firms (23%) and specialist brands (19%), according to a study compiled by the real estate consultancy firm CBRE (…).

The situation is similar in San Sebastián, where major groups such as Fnac and Zara have now arrived in the Mercado de San Martín; moreover, Pull&Bear, Mango and Violeta have set up shop in the former Kutxabank building (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Amenabar Joins Forces With Sareb To Build 100 Homes In Sevilla

20 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Grupo Amenabar is finding new work for its property developer. The Basque company, whose main line of business is construction, has been awarded the project to build one hundred homes in Sevilla, which will boost the growth of its residential development area. The project has been awarded by Sareb, after it put a 4,373 m2 plot of land up for auction in the La Florida area of the Andalucian capital. The two companies will work together to build the complex.

The two entities are working against the clock to submit the basic design before 27 November, in order to obtain the construction permit from the Town Hall of Sevilla and thus be in a position to sign the contract, according to ABC.

The plot in La Florida used to be owned by the company Novaindes, until it filed for creditor bankruptcy and liquidated its company following the burst of the real estate bubble. Sareb took over the land in 2013 for €61 million.

Amenabar Promociones Residenciales is the property developer arm of the Basque group, whose turnover in 2016 amounted to €380 million. The property developer from San Sebastián has invested more than €200 million on the purchase of land over the last two years. Most of the land it has acquired is located in Madrid, País Vasco, Cataluña, Navarra and the Costa del Sol, but it is also considering investment opportunities in other provincial capitals.

The group currently has a land portfolio spanning more than half a million square metres, worth €900 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Velayos: Neinor Homes Will Generate Sales Of c. €1,000M In 2019

9 October 2017 – El Periódico

Neinor Homes, the real estate company born out of Kutxabank and in which the fund Lone Star holds a stake, has now reached a production rate of 5,000 homes in Spain, according to the firm’s CEO Juan Velayos. In fact, the company has 72 developments under construction and now owns land on which to build 12,000 homes.

“We have 35 developments in the launch phase – around 3,000 homes – , we have already handed over five developments and we have three more approaching completion”, explained Velayo at a press conference prior to the celebration of Barcelona Meeting Point, which will take place in the Fira de Barcelona from 18th until 22nd October.

Velayos explained that the property developer expects to record turnover of almost €1,000 million in 2019. “We will come in just below that figure in 2019 and then we will exceed it in 2020”, he said. Specifically, the company expects to complete this year with revenues of around €300 million and to record sales and EBITDA (gross profit) of €400 million and €100 million, respectively, in 2018.

Neinor Homes currently has 64 developments underway; in 2018, it expects to have 92; in 2019, more than 100; and in 2020, 120 in total, which translates into the forecast completion and handover of between 3,500 and 4,000 homes per year from 2020 onwards. “That is the pace that we want to maintain over the long-term”, said Velayos.

The property developer, which operates in Madrid, Catalunya, País Vasco, the Balearic Islands and Andalucía, is also looking at opportunities in Galicia and Portugal. At the moment, 50% of its output is divided between Madrid and Barcelona, and the other 50% is spread across the rest of Spain. Of the two large markets, Catalunya accounts for 20% of the total. “We are not planning to increase the weight of that autonomous region in our portfolio, for the time being at least”, he said.

Original story: El Periódico (by Max Jiménez Botías)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amenabar Will Complete 4,000 Homes In 3 Years

12 June 2017 – Expansión

With more than three decades of experience under its belt, the Basque property developer Amenabar is now immersed in a new growth phase, which includes a review of its strategic plan to update it with more ambitious numbers. “At the moment, we have more than 2,500 homes under construction, at various stages. Furthermore, we have made a commitment to our clients to sell 4,117 units between 2017 and 2020”, explained Enaut Saiz, CEO of Amenabar Promociones (pictured above) in an interview with Expansión.

Headquartered in San Sebastián, Amenabar is currently focusing the majority of its development efforts in Madrid, where it owns land to build 2,000 homes, and Euskadi, where it is working on around 1,700 units across several developments. “Since 1981, we have developed and built more than 223,000 homes (…)”.

Over the last 18 months, the Donosti-based property developer has spent more than €200 million buying up land. “(…). These investments have taken place in Madrid, País Vasco, Cataluña, Navarra and the Costa del Sol, but we are now also looking at investment opportunities in other provincial capitals”, said the CEO, who added that the firm is likely to continue to invest over the next few months.


“We have exceeded the objectives set in our strategic plan, and so we are currently reviewing it since it is likely that our objectives will increase in line with our new investments. In any case, we are very prudent in terms of our investment policy and we prioritise land in good locations with buildable status”, explained the CEO. According to the company, its portfolio of land, which spans 570,000 m2, is worth €900 million.

Last year (2016), Amenabar recorded turnover of more than €380.34 million, up by 13% compared to the previous year and that figure will only rise with the completion of all of the homes it now has under development. (…).

The property developer’s commitment to build 4,117 homes between 2017 and 2020….represents a figure that exceeds the plans even of Neinor Homes, owned by the US fund Lone Star, which debuted on the stock market at the end of March and which is currently building 4,000 homes. (…).

Amenabar’s ambitious growth plan coincides with the emergence of several new property developers that are not being led by Spanish families and businesspeople, like during the previous cycle, but rather by overseas funds.

“Nowadays, there are new real estate operators, in particular, property developers owned by international investment funds or managers who finance one-off projects through this type of entity. Although we cannot generalise (about our competitors), we are committed to a totally different kind of model. Our focus is on the construction of homes using our own means and with our commitment to the concept of customised housing, which we have been developing for more than 30 years”, said Saiz.

Unlike its competitors, Amenabar is not planning to debut on the stock market to raise more funds. “A stock market debut is not on the cards for us. We are in an excellent financial position to fulfil our annual investment budget and we don’t need to go down that route. Moreover, we are fortunate that our shareholders are committed to a long-standing tradition of reinvesting profits in the development of the business itself”, he said.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vitruvio Buys Hotel In Madrid For €12M & Approves CPI Merger

9 June 2017 – Eje Prime

The Socimi Vitruvio is adding new assets to its portfolio in the midst of its own corporate changes. The company has just acquired a hotel in Madrid, for which it has paid €12 million. This acquisition is going ahead after the General Shareholders’ Meeting voted on Tuesday to approve a €25 million capital increase and the company’s merger with Consulnor Patrimonio Inmobiliario (CPI), a vehicle managed by Banca March.

On 25 May, Vitruvio signed an “exclusive and binding” agreement to acquire a building dedicated to hotel use in Madrid for between €11 million and €12 million. Although the company did not want to provide more details about the operation, it has explained that the estimated annual rent will be more than €650,000, “which represents a net yield of more than 5.55%”. (…).

“This (capital) increase mechanism is essential for Vitruvio’s philosophy”, say sources at the company – “All of the Socimi’s capital increases are undertaken once investment opportunities have been identified, never before”. “It is a mechanism to prevent the pressure to invest money leading to poor purchase operations. Moreover, it also serves to avoid the dividends of the existing shareholders from being diluted if they decide not to invest in the new acquisitions”, they add.

Another point approved at the General Shareholders’ Meeting was the company’s merger with Consulnor Patrimonio Inmobiliario. “It was approved with 81% of the votes going in favour of the resolution and none against”, explain the group’s sources; “As such Vitruvio has received the green light to absorb CPI as part of its growth strategy”.

In addition, Vitruvio’s Board will be expanded to make way for the participation of four representatives of the Basque group, and other high-profile shareholders will participate in Vitruvio’s advisory committee, although for the time being, the company has not revealed any details of the names of the directors that will be incorporated into the Group’s most senior management body.

The resultant firm, which will retain the name Vitruvio, will manage a portfolio of assets comprising office buildings, homes and retail premises located in Madrid, País Vasco and Barcelona. By virtue of the operation, Vitruvio will absorb Consulnor Patrimonio Inmobiliario through a non-monetary capital increase.

The merger will allow the company to double in size, given that at the end of June 2016, its portfolio was worth €51 million, a figure that will increase to around €90 million following the integration of Consulnor Patrimonio Inmobiliario. Moreover, following the capital increase, which will be undertaken within the next few months, the resultant company will own a portfolio of assets worth €133 million. (…).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake