CBRE: 76,000 m2 of Office Space was Leased in Barcelona in Q1

10 April 2018 – El Periódico

During the first three months of the year, 76,000 m2 of office space was leased in Barcelona. That volume, which represents an increase of 4% with respect to previous quarters, is the highest seen in the last nine months, which means that, despite the political tensions, activity in the city’s office market is performing well. According to a report from CBRE, “companies are moving for very specific reasons and the appeal of Barcelona means that activity remains high. Currently, several large companies are evaluating new locations for their offices, which means that the forecast in the short and medium term for leasing remains good”, said Lindy Garber, Head of the Office Area at the real estate consultancy firm.

The most notable operations recorded during the first quarter include the rental of 6,500 m2 of office space by the Property Registrars in the BCN Fira District complex on Paseo de la Zona Franca; the move by the company Norwegian Air to Nike’s former offices on the Mas Blau industrial estate, where it is going to occupy 5,400 m2; as well as Pepsico Iberia’s move to its new offices spanning 4,900 m2 in the WTC Almeda Park complex. Like in most large cities, Barcelona is seeing an increase in demand from companies offering co-working space.

The volume of surface area available in the market continues to be low for another quarter. In the last year, the availability rate has decreased from 12.5% to 10.3%, and there is a shortage of large, high-quality spaces. Although several projects have been handed over in recent quarters, they have not been added to the new supply, since they were pre-leased before they even came onto the market. This practice is gaining ground due to the lack of available product in the market. On the other hand, the entry onto the market of Torre Glòries added around 27,000 m2 of available space in one of the most sought-after areas of the city, the 22@ district. Prime rents, which have risen by 35% since 2014, are continuing their upward trajectory, and now amount to €24/m2/month. Although that figure is still well below the peak of €28/m2/month reached in 2008, the rising trend is expected to continue in the medium term.

Investment market

During the first three months of the year, the office market recorded an investment volume of €121 million thanks, above all, to the purchase of Axiare by Colonial. This represents an increase with respect to the previous quarter when the investment volume amounted to €66.5 million. Nevertheless, despite the improvement in the investment figure with respect to the previous quarter thanks to the aforementioned operation, the political uncertainty is undoubtedly having an impact on the investment market.

Xavier Güell, Director of this area in Barcelona for CBRE, said that “during the last quarter of last year, investors suspended operations that they had underway because of that uncertainty; many returned to their purchase processes at the beginning of this year, but they remain cautious. Given that these processes require a certain amount of consolidation time, the operations will not be reflected in investment volumes until the second or third quarters”. Prime yields remain stable at around 4.25%.

Original story: El Periódico (by Max Jiménez Botías)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Savills: Spain’s Commercial Property Market Outlook Is Improving

11 March 2015 – Property Wire

There are already signs that Spain’s residential property market is recovering and now a new report shows that its commercial markets are also growing.

International real estate advisor Savills is predicting CBD office yields in Madrid will move from 5% to 4% and 4.5% for super prime properties, as a lack of good quality stock puts pressure on pricing.

This follows strong investment volumes in Spain’s office market during 2014 in which €2.8 billion was transacted, triple the €990 million total in 2013.

The firm states that in terms of location, 60% of investment was made in Madrid, 30% in Barcelona and the remaining 10% in other locations throughout the country.

Savills reports that the growing amount of demand and the lack of supply continues to push achievable yields down in the CBD and the main business areas. Prime yields at the end of the year moved by 100 basis points, secondary areas by 75 basis points and out of town locations saw a change of 50 basis points.

‘Investors preference for Spain’s more mature market of Madrid is undeniable, accounting for a total of €1.65 billion. But the lack of good quality stock is putting pressure on yields,’ said Luis Espadas, director of investment at Savills Spain.

‘The yield in the CBD stands at 5%, and for super prime properties could achieve between 4% and 4.5%,’ he added.

The firm finds that SOCIMIs, the Spanish equivalent of REIT’s, were very active in the office market, with 27% of their total capital being invested in commercial property and 76% of that total in offices.

‘Whilst the SOCIMI and domestic investors were very active in 2014 this year we predict we will see large Latin American investors capitalizing on opportunities in the Spanish office market,’ said Pablo Pavia, director of investment at Savills Spain.

The Savills report also states that take up in the office market at the end of 2014 was 382,000 square meters, some 2.5% less than the previous year. However, 2013 take up was heavily distorted by the Vodafone letting of 50,000 square meters, and discounting that letting take-up grew 12% on the previous year.

Additionally, it points out that there are a number of large space requirements currently in the market, several of which are seeking space exceeding 5,000 square meters.

‘Thanks to signs of a recovery in Spain some occupiers are more willing to sign pre-lease agreements on speculative space in the CBD which in term is prompting major market players to carry out speculative developments. The increase in take up activity will cause rents in the best properties to continue to rise through 2015,’ said Ana Zavala, director of office agency at Savills.

According to Savills rents in the CBD are currently in excess of €25.50 per square meter and could reach €28 per square meter in 2015 given continued strong take up. The firm also predicts landlord will continue to undertake refurbishment projects in 2015, with three quarters of new space in the pipeline for the upcoming year related to refurbishment projects.

Original story: Property Wire

Edited by: Carmel Drake