Investments in the Build-to-Rent Sector Skyrocket in 2019

21 November 2019 – Investment funds and socimis active in the Spanish real estate market are increasingly investing in the residential build-to-rent sector. The constrained supply of rental housing and growing prices have led to funds and socimis like Ares, Vivenio, Azora and others to pile into the growing market.

Direct investment in the year to September reached €1.8 billion and are forecast to total €2.5 billion by the end of the year. In 2018, investment for the year as a whole reached just 900 million euros.

Funds and Socimis Invest in New Developments

The of the larger operations this year include a partnership between Aedas and Ares to sell four turn-key developments, with a total of 500 homes, in Torrejón de Ardoz, Alcalá de Henares and El Cañaveral (Madrid). Ares also recently acquired a portfolio of 400 homes to the east of Madrid. Stoneweg, for its part, will transfer a 300-flat development in Tetuán, Madrid, to M&G, while Vivenio is investing in a 340-home project in the growing area of Mahou-Calderón.

At the same time, Vivenio and Azora have joined forces with Áurea to develop projects in Móstoles and Cañaveral. Acciona, meanwhile, has finalised a deal to build 135 homes with Axa in Méndez Álvaro. Lastly, TPG is investing in a 391-home development called the Sardes project.

Financing for the developments usually takes the form of either forward funding or forward purchases. The former, which is used by investors looking for higher returns, and risk, usually involves an investor acquiring land from a developer subject to a pre-let but where the development has not been carried out. The developer will construct development paid for by the fund with an additional, profit-related, payment to the developer at completion. Forward purchases, which are considered more conservative, have the developer assume all costs until delivery.

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Ares Acquires a Portfolio of Rental Homes to the East of Madrid

21 November 2019 – Ares has finalised the acquisition of a portfolio of 401 rental homes in the vicinity of Alcalá de Henares. The homes are in a new residential area that has easy access to Spain’s capital, Madrid, via the A-2 motorway and public transport.  

The acquisition is set to significantly increase the supply of rental homes in the area. Colliers advised Ares on the transaction.

Original Story: El Economista – Alba Brualla

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Advero Properties Receives Green Light for Stock Market Listing on Spain’s MAB

8 November 2019 – Advero Properties has been approved for its stock market debut by the Alternative Stock Market (MAB). The firm’s board of directors set an initial share price of 6.5 euros, valuing Advero at 10.6 million euros.

The firm will trade under ‘YADV’. Solventis is the registered advisor of the company and will also act as a liquidity provider.

Original Story: La Vanguardia

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

ASG Homes Negotiates the Sale of 1,000 Rental Homes to Institutional Investors

19 June 2019 – Expansión

ASG Homes, the property development arm of the European manager ASG, is following in the footsteps of many of the major property developers in Spain by putting up for sale 1,000 rental homes.

The announcement comes in response to interest from institutional investors in acquiring and managing portfolios of rental homes, given the booming demand in the rental market.

Specifically, ASG Homes is negotiating the sale of 3 of its developments in San Sebastián, Madrid and Sevilla, which will be worth €200 million once finished, with investment funds, Socimis and family offices.

ASG Homes had planned to hold onto the properties and manage them itself but the strong interest from investors has resulted in a change of tack. In this way, the company is emulating the strategies of several listed property developers, such as Metrovacesa and Aedas Homes.

In total, ASG Homes has a landbank spanning 500,000 m2 with the capacity to build 5,000 homes distributed across Madrid, Alicante, Estepona, Marbella, Salamanca, Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia. It launched its business in Spain in 2013 and invests not only in the residential sector, but also in the hotel, shopping centre and office segments.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Quid Pro Quo Launches a €3.5M Capital Increase to Grow its Portfolio

18 June 2019 – Eje Prime

Quid Pro Quo has launched a €3.5 million capital increase to continue investing. The increase will be carried out through the issue and launch into circulation of almost 3.5 million shares with a nominal value of €1 each, according to the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry (Borme).

The Socimi owned by Alquiler Seguro will use the funds to continue growing its portfolio. Historically, the company has invested in rental homes costing less than €100,000, mostly in Madrid, but also in Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Málaga and Álava.

If the capital increase goes ahead, its total share capital will amount to €12.5 million.

Original story: Eje Prime (by M. C. P.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

La Generalitat Resumes the Auction of Various Rental Homes in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat

12 June 2019 – El Confidencial

La Generalitat de Cataluña is resuming the public auction of a rental home portfolio for which it hopes to obtain proceeds €6.2 million, having applied a discount of 20% to the asking price last year (€7.7 million).

The assets in the portfolio are all located in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) on Calle Ciencies 15-23, next to Plaza Europa and the Gran Vía 2 shopping centre. They comprise 16 homes, 2 commercial premises, 23 parking spaces with storerooms plus 3 terraced single-family homes located in the urbanisation behind that building on Calles Mileva Maric 33 and 49 and Hanna Arendt, 3. In total, the assets have a combined surface area of 2,448 m2 and are leased almost in their entirety, with just one home and the commercial premises vacant.

The assets are owned by Fira 2000, in which the Catalan government holds a 50%, alongside the Town Halls of Barcelona and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

The deadline for bids is 22 July and the online auction will be held on 29 July through Addmeet.  

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Private Companies Start Building VPO Rental Homes Due to Lack of Public Resources

11 June 2019 – Idealista

Housing and the need for public-private partnerships to build affordable homes was one of the hot topics during the recent election campaigns. But the reality is that the public administrations do not have the resources to fund any substantial residential programs.

In addition, Spain has traditionally been a country of homeowners and so most of the few affordable homes that the state has been building have been sold rather than put up for rent. This represents a major problem for the growing population of renters in the country, which some estimate currently account for 23% of total demand, compared with the European average of 34%. The Bank of Spain’s official figure for 2017 was 16%. Regardless, private companies are entering the market to fill the gap.

One such example is Azora, which has been managing social housing for rent since 2004 through its fund Lazora. It estimates that Spain needs 2.5 million mostly affordable rental homes to bring it in line with the European average. That would require an investment of approximately €300 billion over the next few years, a mammoth figure.

Azora actually sold its Lazora portfolio, containing almost 7,000 homes (private and social) to CBRE and Madison in 2018. They committed to continue investing capital in the sector and have already committed more than €200 million in various projects to build 1,200 more homes.

Azora still manages almost 14,000 social and private rental homes across the country and has recently been joined in the sector by the property developer AQ Acentor, the real estate arm of the German fund Aquila Capital. Specifically, AQ Acentor is planning to build 1,450 VPO rental homes in Villaverde, Barcelona, Valencia and Málaga. The numbers are not huge but they will go some way to plugging the gap.

Meanwhile, in the public sector, according to data from the Ministry of Development, 5,167 VPO homes were built in 2018, of which just 353 (6.8%) were dedicated to rental. In 2017, 4,938 VPO homes were constructed, the lowest absolute number since records began, of which 355 (7.1%) were dedicated to rental. Madrid accounted for most of the new VPO homes in 2018 (2,418, of which just 78 were dedicated to rental).

Azora considers that more institutional investment is required to make up for the housing deficit and that “to attract such capital, we need solutions and policies that promote and facilitate the construction of new rental homes”. It remains to be seen whether the politicians can put their ideological differences aside and come up with a clear and consensual housing policy for the benefit of the country at large.

Original story: Idealista (by P. Martínez-Ameida & Ana P. Alarcos)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Árqura Homes: Sareb Launches a Property Developer to Build 17,000 Homes

11 June 2019 – Europa Press

Sareb has constituted its own property developer, Árqura Homes, through which it plans to build and sell 17,000 new homes over the next decade with an investment of €2.2 billion. The new entity looks set to rival the country’s main listed property developers on the basis of its land portfolio and investment plans.

Árqura has been constituted following the transfer of land and developments underway worth €811 million. 56% of its portfolio corresponds to just over 2 million m2 of land, 41% corresponds to developments in progress and the remaining 3% are developments that have been suspended.

The bad bank led by Jaime Echegoyen (pictured above) is going to team up with Värde for this initiative, which will hold 10% of Árqura’s share capital. Moreover, Aelca, a real estate company controlled by the US fund, will be responsible for the management and marketing of the new homes.

This operation represents Sareb’s second foray into the real estate market through the launch of its own firm after it launched the Socimi Témpore at the end of 2017. That firm became the third largest rental home company in the country and is currently on the verge of being sold to the fund TPG.

In the case of Árqura, it hopes to reach its cruising speed in terms of development between 2021 and 2022 and of homes deliveries between 2023 and 2024. Its homes will be distributed across 15 regions, although more than half (58%) will be concentrated in the most sought-after regions of the Community of Madrid, Cataluña and Andalucía.

Original story: Europa Press

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Greystar Enters Rental Home Sector with the Purchase of a Building on Gran Vía in Madrid

3 June 2019 – Expansión

Greystar Real Estate Partners has inaugurated its expansion plan into the residential rental market in Spain with the acquisition of the property on Madrid’s Gran Vía, 48, containing 100 residential units, for an undisclosed sum.

The operation represents the real estate investor’s second acquisition in the country after it purchased the Spanish student residence operator Resa in 2017 through a joint venture with the fund AXA Investment Managers and CBRE Global Investment Partners.

Greystar has four new build projects under development across Spain, comprising 1,000 beds in total, in cities such as Madrid, Málaga and Pamplona.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Blackstone Combines Testa’s and Fidere’s HQs & Prepares to Sell a Mixed-Asset Portfolio

28 May 2019 – Valencia Plaza

Blackstone has combined the headquarters of its rental housing Socimis, Testa and Fidere, in Madrid. The companies, which manage 10,770 and 6,500 rental homes, respectively, will continue to operate as separate entities but will seek to obtain synergies through the management of their portfolios.

Testa and Fidere will both now operate out of offices on Paseo de la Castellana, 257, which are already occupied by Testa. Moreover, the two Socimis have convened their respective General Shareholders Meetings for the same day, Monday 24 June.

In the meantime, Blackstone is considering putting up for a sale a portfolio of several types of real estate assets that it considers mature and non-strategic. The portfolio of potential assets to divest is worth around €400 million and could include around 1,000 homes from Fidere, although none of them will be the flats that the firm acquired from the Municipal Housing Company of Madrid.

Blackstone is currently the largest owner of real estate assets in Spain, worth around €20 billion including logistics assets, offices and commercial properties, amongst others.

Original story: Valencia Plaza 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake