Gran Roque Seeks Buyer for its 105-Home Residential Project Next to Operación Calderón

23 April 2019 – El Confidencial

Change is afoot in the real estate sector in Madrid. Several property developers have started to put whole developments up for sale ahead of an increasingly likely change in the cycle.

The phenomenon began on the Costa del Sol, where the experts say there is excess supply and where prices could be peaking; and it is now spreading to Madrid, where developers with plans, building permits and pre-sales in place are keen to divest promotions.

Such is the case of the Venezuelans Miguel Ángel and Áxel Capriles, owners of Gran Roque Capital, who have started to sound out the market regarding the sale of one of their residential projects in the capital: Acacias 51, next to the famous Operación Calderón.

The development comprises 105 homes, which have been on the market for a few weeks (initial phase), with asking prices of around €5,700/m2. Gran Roque purchased the site, which already had the necessary urban planning permission, in 2017, for €25 million, equivalent to around €2,900/m2. Now it wants to sell it for between €28 million and €29 million, with the plans and building permits, which would represent an increase of 16%.

The property developer denies the alleged motive but has chosen not to launch a high-profile competitive process or engage a large consultancy firm to coordinate the sale.

The development comprises four 5-storey buildings and one 4-storey building, containing two, three and four-bedroom homes. 20% of the first phase (55 units) has already been reserved.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Property Developer Vital Inmobiliaria Launches its First Development in Marbella

17 April 2019 – Eje Prime

Vital Inmobiliaria is launching its first residential development in the centre of Marbella with the construction of 16 villas spanning 8,000 m2 in total. The properties are going to be located on Avenida Huerta Belón and will comprise thirteen terraced houses and three detached homes.

Each home will have a surface area of 360 m2 distributed over two floors and an attic, as well as a communal garden and swimming pool. The construction work is due to begin in September, and the homes are expected to be ready for delivery by the summer of 2021.

The property developer is currently marketing nine other residential developments across Spain, two of which have already been constructed. The other seven are located in Tenerife (3), A Coruña (2), Asturias (1) and Marbella (another 1).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Milana Mishchenko)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Student Properties to Promote a New Hall of Residence in the South of Spain

25 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Student Properties is continuing to grow its portfolio. The company has approved a series of measures at an Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting to undertake the development of a new hall of residence in the south of Spain, according to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

The company has approved the incorporation of a property dedicated to student halls, which will be promoted in a town in the south of Spain.

It has also approved to submit “a capital increase through a non-monetary contribution, through which the company will become the sole shareholder of the company that owns the property through the exchange of shares in the company for shares in the company that owns the property” to a future General Shareholders’ Meeting.

The company, which specialises in the acquisition and management of halls of residence for students, is owned by: Altamar Capital Partners, which deals with the global management of alternative assets; Amira Real Estate, which specialises in the management of real estate assets and investments; and Elcano Servicios Patrimoniales, which specialises in the provision of real estate services.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Development to Promote 5,000+ Rental Homes for Less than €400

19 November 2018 – La Razón

The Minister of Development, José Luis Ábalos, has announced that his Ministry is going to transfer €21.5 million to the Public Land Management Company (‘Entidad Pública Empresarial de Suelo’ or Sepes) to promote the construction of more than 5,000 social housing rental homes, which will cost no more than €400 in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Ibiza and Málaga.

At the Europa Press Informative Breakfast, the leader of the Ministry of Development said that the creation of these 5,000 homes, together with the 1,500 already included in the State Housing Plan, would account for almost one third of the 20,000 homes recently promised in Congress.

Specifically, Ábalos said during his appearance in the Lower House that the Ministry is going to promote a stock of 20,000 public homes for rental over the next four to six years with the aim of increasing the supply of such homes and helping to stop their rising prices.

For Ábalos, these measures lay the foundations for a housing policy that aims to guarantee access to housing. Nevertheless, he said that he is aware that this task, together with the protection of access to housing, will require the assistance of all of the administrations and political forces. For that reason, he urged that a “major agreement from the State for housing in Spain” be reached.

Decapitalising the stock of social housing

In this vein, he confirmed that the stock of social housing has been decapitalised to an affordable price and pointed out that this represents only 2.5% of the housing stock in Spain and that is “one of the lowest rates” in the European Union.

“Access to housing is a total headache for the middle and working classes and merely a pipe-dream for young people”, he added, after indicating that spending on housing by Spaniards living in rental properties is “well above the European average”, which is generating “a situation that cannot be permitted”.

During his speech, the Minister made it clear that recovering talent, raising the Minimum Inter-professional Wage (SMI), providing more wage stability and increasing pensions “are the right proposals to provide stability for Spain”.

He also said that work is being performed on long-term measures to increase the supply and recover the stock of homes, although he pointed out that work is also being carried out in the short term to modify the Urban Rental Law (LAU) to “limit guarantees” and give tenants more stability, and on the Civil Procedure Law (…).

The Royal Decree for Housing: due before the end of the year

When asked about when the Royal Decree that integrates the package of measures announced at the beginning of the legislature is going to come into force, Ábalos confirmed that the plan is for it to be approved before the end of the year because, in his opinion, “some of the measures are urgent and we need to get on with them”. In this way, he said that the real estate market in Spain is “reaching breaking point”.

In this vein, he said that “in Madrid, there are a lot of people who share flats because they do not have any other choice and all of that affects the minimum life project”. “What we are doing is not going to have a direct or immediate effect, but the urgency is vital in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona”, he said.

Original story: La Razón 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Oaktree Sells 49 Luxury Homes on Madrid’s Gran Vía

9 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Oaktree is successfully completing its luxury development on Madrid’s Gran Vía. The US fund has managed to sell the 49 homes that comprise the project, whose keys will be handed over at the end of 2018.

The good health of the residential sector in Spain, accompanied by the country’s period of economic boom, has allowed the fund to take full advantage of this promotion. Not in vain, the commercialisation of the building, located at number 68 Gran Vía, has reached prices of up to €10,000 per square metre, according to El Economista.

The consultancy firm Magnum&Partners has operated as the delegated promoter for this residential project, which first went on the market in September 2016, with prices as low as €6,000 per square metre, for properties without a parking space.

Due to demand, that figure has increased by 10%. The new homes in the renovated property will have surface areas of between 79 m2 and 247 m2. Moreover, the building will have a panoramic roof terrace with a swimming pool, as well as a gym.

The most expensive home in the building has been sold for an approximate price of €3 million. The tenants of the development, designed by the architecture studio Fenwick Iribarren, will be mostly Spanish, given that 87% of the buyers are nationals, and half of them are resident in Madrid.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meco’s Town Hall Approves Occupancy of 1.9 million m2 of Industrial Land

27 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Madrid has a new batch of industrial land. The Town Hall of Meco has approved the occupancy of the largest surface area of industrial land in the whole of the Community of Madrid, placing at the disposal of companies a space spanning 1.9 million m2 in total.

The design of the new industrial estate, which is equivalent in size to 266 Santiago Bernabéu football pitches, has been approved, and now is the time to develop the land and promote it. The development of the land has been “claimed by and agreed with the public company Obras de Madrid”, which is the sole owner of one of the sectors of new industrial space and, therefore, “may start its development and promotion from tomorrow”.

Large companies such as Carrefour, Inditex and ICP Logistic are just some of the firms that have expressed their interest in setting up activity on the land that has just been approved, according to the Town Hall.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Junta de Andalucía Sells 45,000 m2 of Land in Jaén for €3.8M

8 January 2018 – La Vanguardia

The four offers that were submitted relating to the sale of the properties owned by the Junta de Andalucía, which the Ministry of Development and Housing convened in 2017 through the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía (AVRA), have allowed it to award plots with a total surface area of 45,780 m2 for a value of €3.89 million in the province of Jaén.

The Minister for Development and Housing, Felipe López, stressed that most of the public land that has been sold in the province has been assigned for industrial use. “This is allowing us to contribute to boosting the economy and to creating jobs in the towns in which the plots are located, through the companies that are opening facilities on those plots”, he said on Monday in a statement.

He underlined the importance of this initiative, promoted by the Junta, with the aim of placing public assets at the disposal of the business community to boost the development of new projects and business initiatives that foster economic activity and employment.

The industrial plots sold in the province of Jaén during 2017 are mainly located in the towns of Alcalá la Real, whose Los Llanos del Mazuelo industrial estate recorded a significant increase in activity last year, and Martos, on the Cañada de la Fuente industrial estate.

Plots were also disposed of in the ZI-2 production area of Torredonjimeno, on the industrial estate on the Carretera de Los Arquillos, in Villacarrillo; in Los Rubiales (Linares) and on the Los Retiros industrial estate, in Huelma.

Moreover, other premises, parking spaces and storerooms were awarded in several towns in the province of Jaén, including in Andújar, Cazorla and Jaén, which generated revenues amounting to €385,061.

Most of the plots of land sold were owned by the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía, which, according to López took the decision to make land sales one of its strategic lines at the beginning of this legislature, after that activity had slowed down in previous years, during the toughest period of the crisis.

By contrast, some of the awarded plots belonged to the Junta de Andalucía, which engaged AVRA to manage its assets.

The Board said that the decision to recover this activity was taken in light of the fact that the markets are starting to show signs of recovery in terms of real estate activity and “with the aim of obtaining revenues to allow us to resume other activities pertinent to the Agency, such as the promotion of social housing for families with housing needs and scarce or no possibilities of accessing a home in the private rental market” (…).

The land sale activity resumed by AVRA at the beginning of this legislature has permitted the award of almost 300,000 m2 of land allocated to different uses for a total amount of €50.7 million over the last 3 years (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde – One Of The Largest RE Developers In Spain

24 August 2016 – Expansión

The US fund Värde has been one of the most active investors in the Spanish real estate sector in recent years.

It made its last purchase in June here, when it bought the real estate group Aelca. Specifically, Värde signed an agreement with the Avintia Group to purchase the company for around €50 million.

The US fund is also a major shareholder in Dospuntos – the former real estate division of the Sanjosé group, the result of the integration of Parquesol within the construction group – . The fund acquired 51% of Sanjosé Desarrollos Inmobiliarios in August 2015 after acquiring a 25% stake from Popular for approximately €90 million.

Dospuntos has launched a plan for the promotion and development of homes that includes an investment amounting to €2,000 million over six years and it is, alongside Neinor Homes – the real estate arm of the fund Lone Star – one of the main residential property developers in Spain.

Dospuntos’ plan involves starting the construction of homes this year and completing around 800 homes in 2018 and almost 1,500 in 2019. With this roadmap, the group hopes to reach its cruising speed in 2019, with the completion of 2,000 homes per year.

In addition to Värde, the property developer is also partially owned by the funds Marathon and Attestor, as well as Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA), JPMorgan and Barclays.

The US fund also controls Bancopopular-e (Banco Popular’s card business). Värde purchased 51% of the business from the financial institution in October 2015. In addition, Värde acquired, together with Kennedy Wilson, the real estate arm of Popular, Aliseda, for approximately €800 million.

At the global level, the fund, founded in 1993 in Minnesota (USA) manages more than $40,000 million and has 200 employees, of which 65 are professional investors with more than twelve years experience.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Emilio Cuatrecasa Launches Rural Hotel Chain In El Ampurdán

28 July 2016 – Expansión

Emilio Cuatrecasa has launched a proposal to make the most of the beautiful landscape in El Ampurdán and the Costa Brava.

Yesterday, the lawyer and businessman announced the launch of a new hotel chain, which will specialise in managing small high-end hotels located in the region of Baix Empordà, which groups together idyllic landscapes in the imaginary triangle bordered by the towns of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Girona and Torroella de Montgrí, in the central part of the Costa Brava.

Through his holding company Emesa Corporación, Cuatrecasas has just acquired Palau de Ullastret, a farmhouse with large arches rising above the medieval walls of this inland town, close to La Bisbal d’Empordà, famous for the archaeological remains of its Iberian settlement.

Emesa plans to invest €7 million – a figure that include the purchase price – in transforming this historical building into a luxury hotel, whose opening date is yet to be determined. The small palace, which will undergo an extensive restoration, is located on a 2,500 sqm estate, known locally as Can Romaguera.

The project represents the cornerstone of a much more ambitious initiative, which involves weaving a network of ten luxury hotels over the next three years, in this coastal region, dotted with hundreds of farmhouses and ancient buildings.

The new chain owned by Cuatrecasas does not have a name yet and will be forged through the purchase of new unique properties, as well as the integration of hotels already in operation that will be adapted to the philosophy of the project. “With this initiative, we are trying to professionalise hotel activity in El Ampurdán, which is currently very fragmented and in the hands of individuals”, explained Ferran Forrellad, CEO of Emesa.

According to the director, the project has been inspired by regions such as Tuscany in Italy, “where there is more organisation and, therefore, much greater international promotion and awareness of the region”.

The new chain will focus on offering rest and comfort to its clients with facilities and rooms equipped with the latest technology and with a modern design, but “without the interferences of a hotel service”. Thus, gastronomic, health and gym services will only be offered on-demand and will be subcontracted to specialist companies.

Original story: Expansión (by Sergi Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Quabit Repays 27% (€90M) Of Its Debt Balance

22 December 2015 – Efe

According to a statement issued by Quabit, its recent €45 million capital increase has allowed the company to repay its €35.6 million debt to Sareb early.

This payment to Sareb has also resulted in the release of assets with significant short-term development potential, where Quabit plans to build around 1,000 homes.

In parallel, under the framework of the refinancing agreement it signed with financial institutions in March 2014, the real estate company has made “daciones de pago” of land.

As a result of the two operations, Quabit has decreased its debt by €90 million in total, which represents a reduction of 27% with respect to its debt balance as at 30 September 2015.

In this way, the company is beginning to fulfil the objectives of its business plan for the period 2015-2020, which according to Quabit, focuses on the promotion and development of its own portfolio of assets, as well as new investments.

Original story: Efe

Translation: Carmel Drake