Testa Residencial Acquires 26 Homes in Ensanche de Vallecas (Madrid)

28 December 2017 – Inmodiario

Testa Residencial Socimi, S.A., the largest real estate company in Spain specialising in the residential rental market, has acquired 26 new homes in a building located in the Ensanche de Vallecas in Madrid. The homes, most of which have one bedroom, are located in an area of the Spanish capital where the rental market is booming.

In this way, Testa Residencial is continuing to pursue its strategic growth plan, by expanding its portfolio of assets to include 9,245 homes, whereby strengthening its position of leadership in the residential rental market.

Currently, the company’s portfolio of homes has an occupancy rate of 90% and is located in areas with the highest rates of demand, most notably, in the Community of Madrid, San Sebastián and Cataluña, which account for 65%, 5% and 5% of its turnover, respectively.

The company is continuing to consolidate its position as an efficient platform for residential rental properties, which adapts to the needs of its tenants, in line with the largest residential real estate companies in Europe. Moreover, the corporate loan signed recently grants it considerable growth capacity, which will allow it to gain weight and secure its place as a key player in the country.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Catella Accelerates Its Investments In Spain

19 September 2017 – Expansión

Catella Asset Management is stepping on the accelerator in Spain. The Swedish fund manager, which arrived in the country just two years ago and which has already invested €150 million in assets, plans to boost the pace and make purchases amounting to €350 million over the next two years, whereby taking the firm’s total investment volume in the country to €500 million, according to Javier Hortelano, Managing Partner at Catella Asset Management in Iberia.

Until now, the company has undertaken five transactions in the residential rental market – four properties in Madrid and one in Barcelona – and has participated in the purchase of two shopping centres. Specifically, the fund manager has bought the Portal Mediterráneo shopping centre in Vinaroz (Castellón), together with the fund Aberdeen, and the El Manar retail complex in Massalfassar, in the Valencia metropolitan area, with the Belgian investor Mitiska Reim. In both cases, Catella is responsible for managing the assets.

The fund manager, which is listed in Stockholm, has a presence in 12 countries and manages assets worth around €3,400 million in Europe. “Spain is one of the markets that the firm is backing the most. Until now, we have invested €150 million, but the group’s ambitions go beyond that, given that we consider that the Spanish market offers a lot and has great potential”, he adds.

Spain ranks in the group’s Top 5 behind Scandinavia, Germany and France. Hortelano revealed that Catella is already analysing assets and expects some of the operations under consideration to materialise within the next couple of months. Specifically, the manager expects to invest €60 million in the residential sector before the end of the year.

Operations under consideration

In the future, the company will continue investing in the retail and residential sectors, where it is considering entering new locations such as Valencia, Málaga, Sevilla, Alicante, Madrid, Bilbao, San Sebastián and Vitoria, where it is identifying opportunities. “There is an increase in demand, oriented towards leasing. Spain is gaining ground, in line with other European countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom”, says Eduardo Guardiola, Partner at the firm.

Guardiola believes that Spain suffers from a lack of supply and professional management in the residential rental market, which is adding to greater potential demand.

Moreover, the firm is considering entering other tertiary markets and wants to invest in offices and halls of residence for students. “Catella has a fund that invests in halls of residence for students at the European level. It is a very interesting asset, with lots of potential in Spain”, say the partners.

Both have a long history in the real estate sector. Before joining Catella, Hortelano was a Partner at PwC and previously served as the Director General of Operations at Redevco and was a member of the Dutch multi-national’s Board of Directors. Meanwhile, Guardiola has held positions of responsibility at PwC, Bouygues and Decathlon.

Potential

In terms of the real estate market, Catella believes that Spain is consolidating its position as one of the most attractive markets in Europe, but that, after years of rising returns, the sector has entered a new phase in which, in order to create value, you have to invest capex, professionalise the management and improve the rental market. “We have the opportunity to go from being an opportunity country to being a core country with a recurrent volume of investment every year”, say the executives.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

IPE: House Prices Will Rise By 7.5% In 2016

28 November 2016 – Expansión

According to the Institute of Business Practice (IPE), house prices are booming, driven by a significant increase in sales (+17%). Mortgage lending (+8.7%) and building construction (+25%) are also underpinning the recovery of the sector, which will reach cruising speed in 2017.

Prices, sales, construction permits, mortgage lending, building construction, returns from rental properties…all of the major indicators in the residential market are growing at a strong pace in 2016, the year of consolidation for the real estate recovery. The housing sector has switched gears and is progressing, steadily, towards sustainable figures.

The end of year forecasts from the Real Estate Academic Arm of the Institute of Business Practice (IPE) confirm this trend. Firstly, the forecasts show that the average sales price of homes will rise by 7.5% this year (…). By the end of the year, the average home will cost €144,973, a level not seen since the end of 2012. It is worth remembering that, according to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), average house prices rose by 4.2% in 2015, the largest increase since 2007 (5.7%). If IPE’s predictions are correct, the price rise this year will be the largest increase since the recovery of the property market.

In addition, according to the XXII Real Estate Pulsometer from the IPE, house sales are soaring, by 17.2%, to reach 414,812 transactions, the best figure since 2010,and 9% higher than in 2013, which is when the sector bottomed out.

Permits and house starts are also rising, but they are starting from a very low base. Permits have increased by 25%, from 35,945 to 44,880. This forecast represents the most abundant activity in terms of cranes since 2012, but it is light years away from the years of the boom, when more than 700,000 house starts were recorded per year. The number of urban mortgages granted – over plots of land, homes, garages, premises, etc. – is expected to grow by 8.7% and the amount loaned is forecast to increase by 14.9%, according to the study, prepared using data from MAR Real Estate’s network of real estate agents and the Network of Qualified Real Estate Advisors, which has been cross-checked with official data from INE, the Ministry of Development, the College of Registrars and the Notaries.

Two speeds

At the same time, the surplus of unsold new residential properties is expected to decrease significantly. At the end of 2015, this stock amounted to 433,583 homes. In 2016, a quarter of that volume has been drained, with 326,295 units left. That figure is less than half the stock recorded in 2014 (675,945), according to the IPE’s study.

Almost all of the unsold homes are located in areas with limited demand or are properties that fail to fit with the current needs. By contrast, in the most established and sought-after areas, such as the centre of Madrid and Barcelona and along the main areas of the Costa del Sol, homes, and even land, are scarce. In other words, the recovery is still happening at two speeds, but the difference is less acute, in the sense that, it is now widespread across almost all of Spain.

What’s more, the residential rental market is recovering strongly (by 4.4% gross per annum, or 8.3% with capital gains) (…).

With these statistics, the residential market is heading towards its cruising speed. The outlook for 2017 is encouraging, although all indicators point towards a slow down in terms of the increase in house prices. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake