Vía Célere Invested €227M in 2017 Buying 473,000 m2 of Land

5 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The property developer led by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado accelerated its pace in 2017. By the end of the year, Vía Célere had invested in land purchases amounting to €227 million, whereby increasing the surface area of the company’s buildable land portfolio by 473,000 m2.

With its stock market debut looming, the company also closed some high-profile corporate operations last year, such as the integration of Dos Puntos into the group, in which the US fund Värde Partners has held a stake for a year, and the carve-out of its property business.

Vía Célere’s portfolio of land for residential construction now spans 1.43 million m2. With these plots, the property developer has the capacity to build 12,200 homes in Spain over the next few years.

The most recent purchases made by the real estate company in this field were in Barcelona, A Coruña and Ibiza. The investment on the White Island was the first to be made by the company in that area of the Balearics.

By region, besides the provinces already mentioned, Vía Célere closed land purchase operations in 2017 in provinces such as Madrid, Sevilla, Valladolid and Girona. During the course of its ten-year life, Vía Célere has handed over more than 2,300 homes, a figure that, in light of the business plan launched, it is seeking to increase to 10,000 units over the next two years.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor, Dospuntos & Aedas Invest €5,000M In Homes

26 January 2017 – Cinco Días

The fund Castlelake is backing the same market as the funds Lone Star and Värde Partners by resuming construction of new homes. Between the three of them, the US entities have now invested almost €5,000 million in the sector. The latest player to join the party has created the company Aedas Homes, with a land portfolio worth €1,000 million and the capacity to construct 12,000 homes. (…).

Castlelake has been purchasing land in Spain since 2013, when the property crisis was more acute and few international investors were interested in the real estate sector in Spain. In the end, the fund has created an independent company to construct its homes, into which it has placed 1,350 million m2 of land. 90% of those plots are ready to be built on (with permits) and the firm’s strategy is to continue buying.

For this operation, the fund has been advised by Merlin Properties, which is listed on the Ibex 35. The heads of the fund were looking for a recent real estate success story that did not present any conflict of interest – the Socimi is not involved in the residential sector –and so they asked its directors for help. Moreover, of the 45 people that work for the new company Aedas, seven come from the Socimi, specifically, from the former Testa (acquired by Merlin in 2015), given that they had experience in residential development at the now extinct Vallehermoso.

Castlelake is a firm from Minneapolis that manages €8,600 million in assets around the world. (…).

The new real estate company’s plans

Aedas – the name has Latin roots, stemming from the word to build – will construct homes in seven provinces: Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Málaga and Sevilla. “We are committed to the areas where there is clear residential demand”, said David Martínez Montero (pictured above), Director General at Aedas. Martínez Montero previously led the Operación Chamartín project between 2013 and 2016, the Valdebebas Compensation Board and the Cuatro Torres project in Madrid.

The new company is going to launch 14 developments to construct 1,000 homes, with the aim of finishing them by the end of the year and handing them over between 2018 and 2019. These homes will be located in Madrid (capital, Boadilla and Las Rozas); Barcelona (Hospitalet, Sabadell and Vilanova i la Geltrú); Sevilla (in the capital and in Dos Hermanas); Valencia (capital and Denia); and Estepona (Málaga).

Aedas is not proposing a pre-determined rate of investment or committing to building a specific number of homes per year. “It will depend on how the market absorbs our first 1,000 homes. We are not going to make the same mistakes as in the past”, said Martínez Montero. The company’s strategy involves tackling the primary residential market with urban products for middle class buyers, a segment where demand exists. (…). The directors of the company believe that there is a need for new builds given that hardly any new homes have been built in the last decade.

The arrival of the funds

It is the same theory that the other funds that have burst onto the residential scene are applying. The first was Neinor Homes, owned by the Texan firm Lone Star, with the plan to invest €2,000 million in land and building homes. That company was created from the business purchased from Kutxabank (…).

The next to emerge was Dospuntos, created by Värde Partners, from the ashes of the San José Group’s real estate division, which plans to invest €2,000 million between now and 2021. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: House Prices Rose By 0.8% In Q4 2016

4 January 2017 – El Mundo

Average house prices in Spain rose by 0.8% during the fourth quarter of the year with respect to the same period in 2015, according to provisional data published in Tinsa’s IMIE Local Market Index. According to the appraisal company, the stabilisation in prices, which is in line with the YoY variation recorded during the third quarter of the year, “reflects micro-market multiples, which are evolving at different speeds”.

The index highlights that Cataluña, which saw an increase of 7.2%, the Community of Madrid (5.2%) and País Vasco (4.3%) continue to be the drivers of the housing market in Spain, followed by the Canary Islands and Andalucía, which saw price rises of 2.8% and 2%, respectively, in terms of YoY variation during Q4.

At the other end of the spectrum, the highest price decreases were recorded in the regions of Murcia (-4.8%), Castilla y León (-3.9%) and the Balearic Islands (-3.1%). Price decreases were also observed in Cantabria (-2.1%), Navarra (-1.9%), Asturias (-1.3%) and Aragón (-0.9%), which closed the year with lower prices than in Q4 2015.

According to Tinsa’s report, homes are now at least 5% more expensive than they were a year ago in up to six provinces. Barcelona (8.4%), Palencia (7.8%) and Guipúzcoa (7.4%) saw the highest price rises over the last year, followed by Málaga (with growth of 6.6%), Madrid and Almería (both of which recorded YoY rises of 5.2%).

By contrast, the provinces of Huelva and Lérida registered decreases of -6.9% and -6.5% over the last year, respectively. The provinces of Orense, León, Murcia and Valladolid are saw prices decreases of more than 4%.


By provincial capital, house prices rose significantly over the last year in San Sebastián (12.1%), Bilbao (11.6%) and Barcelona (11%), well above the increases recorded in Madrid, Málaga and Palencia, where average prices rose by 6.3%, 5.4% and 5% YoY, respectively.

This evolution contrasts with that recorded by the group of 29 capitals where average prices are lower than they were a year ago, led by León (-11.1%), Murcia (-7.3%), Valladolid (-6.6%) and Lugo (-6.2%).

Tinsa’s detailed analysis of the residential market in Spain’s five largest provincial capitals reveals significant price increases in certain districts of Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia. That was the case in the neighbourhoods of Gràcia and Eixample in Barcelona, where the average price of finished homes rose by 16.5% and 15.1% YoY, respectively.

In Madrid, the highest price rises were concentrated in the areas of Hortaleza (13.4%), Centro (11.9%) and Tetuán (11.4%). (…).

The Barcelona district of Sarriá-Sant Gervasi continued to be the most expensive neighbourhood of the five large capitals analysed, at €3,901/m2, followed by Les Corts (€3,716/m2). In the capital, the neighbourhood of Salamanca, with an average price of €3,645/m2 exceeded prices in Chamberí (€3,562/m2), which saw the highest price rises in the city last quarter.

Rate of sales

According to Tinsa, average sales periods (…) have decreased below 10 months for the first time since this indicator was first compiled in Q2 2015, to 9.9 months across Spain. (…).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Idealista: Rental Prices Rose By 4.3% In Q1 2016

12 April 2016 – Idealista

The price of rental housing increased by 4.3% during the first quarter of 2016, taking the price per m2 to €7.40/m2/month, according to a report published by Idealista. In YoY terms, the increase amounted to 5.2%.

For Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at Idealista, “on the basis of the data in the report, it is clear that there is a huge demand for rental housing and that the supply is rising strongly. Unlike in the market for house sales, monthly rental prices are increasing in a general and uniform way across the whole country, which means that the segment is growing in a robust and stable way”.

“Moreover, at Idealista we have found that in certain markets, primarily, major capitals, the pressure of demand is so great that adverts are appearing on our database for just a few hours…(…)”.

By autonomous region

All of the autonomous regions recorded higher rental prices than three months ago, with the exception of Euskadi (where they decreased by 4%). The greatest increase was recorded in the Balearic Islands, where prices rose by 11.2%. That was followed by increases in Madrid (5.2%), Valencia (5%) and Cataluña (4.7%). By contrast, the smallest increases were observed in Extremadura (0.3%), Cantabria (1%), Canarias (1%) and Castilla La Mancha (1.2%).

Madrid (at €11.5/m2/month) is still the most expensive autonomous region. It is followed by Cataluña (€11/m2/month), the Balearic Islands (€10/m2/month) and Euskadi (€9.6/m2/month). At the other end of the table, the most affordable autonomous regions are: Extremadura (€4.1/m2/month), Castilla La Mancha (€4.4/m2/month) and La Rioja (€4.9/m2/month).

By province

Rental prices also increased in 38 provinces over the winter. The highest increase was recorded in the Balearic Islands, where prices rose by 11.2%. Significant price increases were also recorded in Valencia (6.7%), Pontevedra (5.9%), Huelva (5.5%) and Madrid (5.2%). Meanwhile, the largest decreases were registered in Tarragona (-8.6%), followed by Vizcaya (-6.1%) and Cáceres (-1.8%).

The ranking of the most expensive provinces is led by Barcelona (€12.6/m2/month), Madrid (€11.5/m2/month) and Guipúzcoa (€10.2/m2/month). Jaén is the most affordable province for renting a home, at €3.7/m2/month. It is followed by Cáceres and Ávila (€3.8/m2/month in both cases).

By capital city

Valencia is the capital city where rental prices rose by the most in Q1, with growth of 8.8%. Significant rental price increases were also recorded in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (7.5%) and Palma de Mallorca (6.5%). At the other end of the spectrum is Bilbao, where owners are now asking 5.8% less to lease their homes than they were 3 months ago. That was followed by decreases in Ávila (-3%), Tarragona and Jaén (-2.8% in both cases).

Barcelona strengthened its position as the most expensive capital (€15.2/m2/month), followed by Madrid (€12.9/m2/month) and San Sebastián (€11.7/m2/month). Meanwhile, the most affordable capitals were Lugo and Ourense, with prices of €4/m2/month and €4.3/m2/month, respectively.

Original story: Idealista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid & Barcelona: Drivers Of The Housing Mini-Boom

4 January 2016 – Expansión

The housing market is now in full recovery mode, driven by the improving labour market and access to credit. House prices rose by 1% in 2015, which represented the first year of positive growth following seven years of decreases. Specifically, the average price per square metre increased by 1% between Q4 2015 and the same period a year earlier, according to Tinsa’s Local Markets Index. This put an end to the decreases seen following the burst of the real estate bubble during which time house prices decreased by 40.7%, compared with their levels in 2007.

According to Tinsa’s report, this 1% increase was driven by a miniboom in the large urban markets of Barcelona and Madrid, which accounted for the majority of the overall upward swing, together with other smaller cities such as Badajoz and Ávila. Thus, the Catalan capital recorded a 8.7% increase, whilst prices in Madrid rose by 3.8%. Significant increases were also registered in Badajoz (5.7%), Ávila (4.3%), Ciudad Real and Cuenca (3.3% in both cases) and Palma de Mallorca (2.2%).

According to the experts, several factors have led to the relatively sharp rise in house prices in these areas, such as the decrease in the volume of stock and the increase in demand. On the other hand, these areas have fewer remaining unsold homes, which means that demand is pushing prices up much more quickly. Unsurprisingly, Madrid is one of the most liquid markets in Spain, according to Tinsa, since it only takes 7.2 months, on average, to sell a home in the province, compared with 10.2 months for Spain as a whole. In addition, Madrid and Barcelona are both highly attractive areas, with demand from overseas savers and other citizens moving from the rest of Spain and overseas to work in the two cities.

Both areas have also seen a marked adjustment in terms of prices in recent years. In 2007, locals in Barcelona used to have to spend 36% of their average incomes on mortgage repayments, making it one of the most expensive cities in Spain; now, they have to contribute just 22% of their salaries, in line with the national average. In Madrid, that figure is one point lower (at 21%) and it only takes 5.3 years of salary to acquire an average home there, compared with 5.9 years for Spain as a whole.

Nevertheless, this is not the case in all of Spain’s large capital cities. Valencia recorded timid growth of 0.6% in 2015, whilst prices in Sevilla fell by 0.3%. The decreases amounted to 1.6% in the case of Bilbao, to 4% in Zaragoza and 6.7% in Murcia, still heavily affected by the surplus stock.

The striking variations between Spain’s major capitals is also reflected by the marked differences that exist between the different types of market in Spain, given that the majority of the country is still experiencing price decreases, or at best, price stability. That is one of the reasons why Tinsa prefers to talk about “a trend towards price stabilisation, which will be consolidated over the coming year”, rather than a general upturn in prices. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Pablo Cerezal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

11% More RE Companies Were Created In 2014

8 July 2015 – El Economista

10.9% more companies were created in the Spanish RE sector in 2014 compared with 2013, according to data published by Infoempresa.com. Specifically, the sector accounted for 3% of all new companies, with total subscribed capital of more than €1,200 million.

At the company level, subscribed capital amounted to €453,000 on average, an amount that was only exceeded by companies in the energy sector.

In this context, Madrid led the ranking with the incorporation of 1,428 companies in 2014, accounting for 21.5% of all new companies in the sector. It was followed by Barcelona, with 868 new companies (13.1%), then Málaga, with 619 (9.3%), Alicante, with 409 (6.2%) and Valencia, with 351 (5.3%).

Increase of 23% since 2011

5,354 new companies were registered in the real estate sector in 2011, but that number had increased to 6,634 by 2014. The figures represent an increase of 23.9% during the period.

In total, 26 Spanish provinces have experienced an increase in the number of companies dedicated to real estate activities between 2011 and 2014.

The new companies in the real estate sector in Spain include private limited companies, which experienced a 24.3% increase between 2011 and 2014; and public limited companies, which increased by 15.5%.

Nevertheless, the figures for 2014 still fall a long way below the levels seen during the years before the crisis – more than 100,000 new companies were registered in the sector in 2008. Thus, from those maximum levels, Madrid has experienced a decrease of 40.7%, followed by Málaga (28.9%) and Alicante (19.6%).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake