The REIT Makes a Profit Of 19.3 Million After a Revaluation Of Its Assets

1 September 2015 – Expansión

In the first semester, the REIT gained 19.35 million euros, after entering 14,12 million coming from the rental of their property and revaluing its asset portfolio by 6%  to 570.9 million, a figure that has increased to 873 million by the end of August. Of the revenue, 61% came from the holiday shopping centers, compared to 22% from the office buildings and 16.5% of logistic assets. Since its going public in March 2014, Lar España has invested 852.6 million. Yesterday, its shares rose 1.56% to 9.10 euros.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Lee La

Housing: Rental Yields Now Exceed 5%

3 February 2015 – El País

Property has become a safe haven again for savers and retirees.

Rental properties offer returns of between 5% and 7%. After almost seven years of falling prices, credit constraints and low yields on bank deposits, property “has become a safe haven again for savers and retirees” said Jesús Duque, Vice-President of Alfa Inmobiliaria.

Buy-to-lets have become a good investment option once more, as they provide much higher returns than those offered by financial institutions. Furthermore, prices continue to fall, although that trend is now slowing. The price of second-hand homes in Spain decreased by 0.1% during the month of January to reach €1,592 per square metre, according to the latest real estate price index published by Idealista. The year-on-year decrease was 5.1%. Nevertheless, the outlook is set to change as prices in five autonomous regions (Murcia, Valencia, Cataluña, Madrid and the Balearic Islands) increased.

To generate income, one cannot buy just any house. When looking to invest, one should focus on homes that have permanent demand, i.e. those with a central location. The most stable investments are properties located in middle class neighbourhoods, since they have risk-reward relationships that offer more stability over the long-term.

“It is much more worthwhile to invest in a neighbourhood in any city, rather than in a house on the beach, where the possibility of renting is usually limited to the summer months”, explains Duque. The greater the rate of rotation, the lower the profit. Several months may pass between tenants during which time the owner receives no income and also has to upgrade and repair the property. “Whenever possible, if you are looking for a stable investment, you should try to rent out your property for long periods”, said the expert.

Family homes amd those with space for at least two adults are better than one-person studios, for one-income households. And, almost more importantly, you must ensure that the rent will be collected and that it will cover the investment. This can be done through an objective analysis of the tenant’s ability to pay, but can also be supplemented by non-payment protection insurance, which although decreases the profitability of the operation, does provide security.

One should keep in mind that from the expected yield of 5% to 7%, an owner should deduct 1% to cover the payment of IBI, community costs, garbage collection, insurance and the repair and maintenance of the property.

Original story: El País (by Sandra López Letón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Housing: Rental Prices Increase By 2.6% In 2014

21 January 2015 – El País

Barcelona is the most expensive regional capital in Spain and Lugo is the most economical.

House rental prices in Spain closed the year (2014) with a slight increase of 2.6%, to reach €7 per square metre per month. During the last quarter of the year, prices continued to rise, up by 0.2%.

“The data shows a stable outlook for the rental market, which although is now recovering, is not showing any signs of a sudden increase in prices. In any case, as with the market for house sales, we have to recognise that the rental market has two speeds. Thus, the increases recorded in markets such as Madrid, Barcelona, tourist areas and specific areas of the País Vasco have sparked interest from investors towards these regions, however this has been at the detriment of other less profitable areas”, says Fernando Encinar of idealista.com.

By autonomous region, the greatest increase was recorded in Cataluña, where landlords are now charging 9.8% more to let their properties than a year ago. It is followed by the regions of Extremadura (3.9%) and the Balearic Islands (2.4%).

By contrast, Murcia and Galicia have experienced price reductions of around 4% and 3%, respectively.

Madrid continues to be the most expensive autonomous region, at €10.20 per square metre. It is followed closely by the País Vasco (€10.00/m2) and Cataluña (€9.20/m2).

Barcelona consolidated its position as the most expensive regional capital in Spain, with an average price increase of 11% to take it to €12.50 per square metre; it is followed by San Sebastián (€11.80/m2) and Madrid (€11.40/m2). At the opposite end of the table, we find Ourense and Lugo, as the cheapest regional capitals, with an average price of around €4.10/m2 in both cities.

Notably, Jaén was the regional capital that saw the highest increase in rental prices in 2014, which grew by 10.4%.

Original story: El País (by Paula Cossío)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ST: Housing Becomes Investor Safe Haven Once More…

20 January 2015 – Cinco Días

…in the face of stock exchange volatility.

Experts forecast more sales in the future but do not expect significant price rises.

Refurbishments, rental and tourism are the three key niche areas for housing.

The housing market is preparing to emerge completely renewed from its worst crisis in recent history. Or at least that is the view of the latest study conducted by one of the main real estate valuation companies, Sociedad de Tasación. All of the parameters that drive the market are in better shape today than they were a year ago and that, coupled with the challenges facing this activity, means that forecasts are much more optimistic.

The CEO of Sociedad de Tasación, Juan Fernández-Aceytuno, said today that property prices are showing a clear trend towards “stabilisation”. Particularly, in used homes, where the growth in demand has caused smaller price decreases and even the first annual price increases. “In resale homes, we are seeing very clearly that prices have bottomed out, whereas for new homes, if all of the other variables fall in line with our expectations, then prices should reach their minimum levels at some point this year”, said the CEO of the real estate valuation company.

Refurbishment and rental

Speaking of variables, Fernández-Aceytuno, cited three key parameters: employment, purchasing power and finance. Continued improvement in the labour market will be crucial for ensuring that demand for housing continues to increase, now that the banks deem determined to re-establish the flow of credit. “In fact, all indicators show that, as at the end of previous crises, demand is building, as potential buyers wait for prices to come down to the desired level or to the level that they consider they can afford. As soon as that happens, sales will increase” said the CEO of Sociedad de Tasación.

This indicates that over the short to medium term, the market will see more sales without necessarily having to raise prices. And this does not even take account of the fact that some of the circumstances that occurred in the early 2000s, when the last boom in property prices began, are now repeating themselves.

And it is now, like then, that experts believe that housing is regaining its traditional appeal as a safe haven in the face of low returns on deposits and the high volatility of the stock market. With the euro, oil and other commodity prices all in decline, it is inevitable that investments in property and gold, amongst others, become more attractive, explain analysts. In addition, uncertainty exists overseas.

“We see more clouds on the horizon outside of Spain that within it. We are concerned by the situations in Russia and Greece, by terrorism, by how the deflationary situation in Europe will develop in the face of economic and price growth in the US. In Spain, the evolution of the economic situation is critical”, noted Fernández-Aceytuno.

Asked whether international investors seem concerned about the rise in political groups such as Podemos, the CEO of Sociedad de Tasación was keen to minimise the effect that such factors have on the decision-making of companies investing in Spain. “As you would expect, they ask about Podemos, Cataluña and corruption, but we are not aware of any project that has been halted for any of those reasons”, he said.

In terms of future challenges, refurbishment, rental and tourism are the three areas in which experts at the real estate valuation company expect to see the highest growth. In refurbishment, because 90% of existing homes do not meet the requirements of the 2006 technical code. In rental, because buy-to-let is one of the fastest growing trends in the market given its high yields (depending on the area, yields can exceed 6%). And finally, tourism because statistics show that up to 12 million travellers will stay in houses instead of hotels every year, “tourism represents a huge niche in which hotels can compete by buying homes, refurbishing them and offering them up for rent”.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

 Translation: Carmel Drake