STR & Magma HC: Hotel Investment Continues to Rise in Spain

2 August 2018 – Hosteltur

The Spanish hotel industry has increased its interest in investment due to the strong growth in yields in several markets, and despite the fact that the political scenario in Cataluña has slowed down the performance of the country as a whole. That is according to analysts from STR and Magma HC, who explain that the investment boost has been largely driven by the strength of international demand, even during the financial crisis.

“The increase in holiday tourism, as well as in ‘bleisure’ (business with leisure tourism) has opened the market to numerous development opportunities, with several operators currently working on improving their products and services to satisfy the growing demand”, says Albert Grau, founding partner at Magma HC. Thus, in his words, the Spanish hotel sector “is continuing to boom, despite the challenges ahead”.

In this sense, it is worth remembering that, between March 2015 and March 2018, Spain registered 37 consecutive months of RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth. In recent months, by contrast, there have been marginal decreases, above all due to the slow down in Barcelona, which is home to the largest number of rooms in the country. Even so, according to data from STR, in most of the key domestic markets, including in Madrid, hotel yields are continuing their strong upwards trend.

“Vacation markets, primarily Gran Canaria, have experienced YoY decreases because tourist demand has returned to rival destinations such as Turkey and Egypt”, says Javier Serrano, manager at STR for Spain.

Barcelona

STR’s study shows that, in general, hotels in the Catalan capital have managed to keep their tariffs more or less stable, although there have been more notable decreases in recent times. Following the independence referendum last October, the occupancy rate of establishments in Barcelona fell considerably. During the first half of 2018, they fell by 5.2% with respect to the same period a year earlier, whilst the ADR (average daily rate) fell by 1.4% compared to 2017.

“Although it is still too early to make any kind of prediction about what will happen in the market in the end, it is likely that Barcelona will recover quickly once the situation stabilises”, says Serrano. “Hotels in Barcelona”, he adds “saw constant monthly RevPAR growth rates in the double digits in 2016 and 2017, when the market was still benefitting from strong international demand and demand diverted from destinations such as Turkey and the north of Africa. The recent instability in Barcelona slowed down those previous growth rates, with decreases in occupancy rates driven by the decrease in domestic and international demand, mainly from the USA. Nevertheless, if the market manages to keep tariffs stable, we should see growth to the extent that consumer confidence returns to Barcelona”.

Madrid

Madrid, with the highest RevPAR growth rate in all of Spain in 2017, has benefitted over the last three years from demand due to leisure and corporate business. As well as being one of the main weekend destinations for Europeans, it has also seen an increase in interest from several Asian countries and the USA, especially when it comes to group reservations (…).

The Director-General of STR, Robin Rossman, believes that “there is enormous potential for Madrid’s hotels to continue pushing up rates”. In his opinion, “to the extent that demand continues to grow and the hotel supply market continues to evolve with the arrival of more high-end properties, we can expect to see increases in the ADR”.

Overall, the analysts at STR expect that corporate demand in Madrid will continue to increase thanks to the celebration of international events and the relocation of the headquarters of several companies from Barcelona to the Spanish capital. As such, they forecast ADR growth of close to 3% in Madrid by the end of 2018.

Original story: Hosteltur

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid Attracts Many Of The Companies Relocating Their HQs From Cataluña

10 October 2017 – Expansión

Over the last 10 days, several companies with their headquarters in Cataluña, such as Oryzon, Dogi, Eurona, Proclinic and Sabadell have announced that they are moving their HQs outside the region. Oryzon has established its registered address on Carrera de San Jerónimo in Madrid (…) and the telecommunications operator Eurona has also moved to the Spanish capital (…). Meanwhile, Proclinic has announced that it is moving its headquarters to Zaragoza; Sabadell is moving to Alicante; CaixaBank to Valencia; Gas Natural and Abertis to Madrid, in both cases; and Catalana Occidente is still considering if/where to move.

According to sources consulted, no effective consultations are being carried out at the moment, but Madrid is becoming one of the major alternatives. Prime rents are higher in the capital than in Barcelona, ranging between €25/m2/month and €35/m2/month along Paseo de la Castellana, and peaking at historical maximums of €37/m2/month in Torre Serrano. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the average rent in the city centre amounts to €19/m2/month, reaching maximums of €24/m2/month on Avenida Diagonal. In any case, the performance of prime rents in both cities has been very good so far this year, with growth of 9% in the last quarter with respect to the same period last year, according to CBRE (…).

In terms of absorption, 128,108 m2 of space was leased during the second quarter of the year in Barcelona and 156,334 m2 of space was leased in Madrid. Availability is greater in Madrid, at around 12%, compared to 8% in the Catalan capital.

According to José Miguel Setién, of JLL, whilst it is really hard to find spaces of 3,000 m2 on Avenida Diagonal, there is more high-quality space available in the business district in Madrid, due to the renovations that have been carried out since 2013. As such, the market for medium-sized operations has performed exceptionally well there, even during the summer.

Overall, it is estimated that 1.5 million m2 of surface area is available in Madrid; of which 220,000 m2 is free in the centre of the capital, according to Ángel Estebaranz, National Director of Offices at Aguirre Newman. There is space available in several well-known offices such as Torre Foster, Torre Europa, Castellana 81, Castellana 77, Castellana 200 and Plaza de la Independencia, mostly grade A renovation products. Even Torre Picasso has almost two floors available, which would allow the right tenant to locate its corporate headquarters in one of the most iconic buildings in the city (…).

When it comes to choosing a new location, the nature of the company’s business plays a critical role. In this way, financial and legal companies tend to locate their offices in the business centre of cities, whilst pharmaceutical companies, for example, position themselves between the M30 and M40 ring roads, since they do not require such iconic buildings, but do need a lot of space, available in areas such as Campo de las Naciones, Alcobendas, Moraleja, Sanchinarro… Tech firms, like Google and Amazon, tend to establish themselves within the city centre but not in prime areas, such as Atocha, for example. Meanwhile, publicity firms are moving to Chamberí, with WPP and Havas’ new headquarters to be located in that neighbourhood, and Telcos are concentrating in urban areas of the city with rents of between €22/m2/month and €25/m2/month, says José Mittelbrum, National Director of Offices at CBRE (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Lucía Junco)

Translation: Carmel Drake