Patron Capital Team Up with Property Developers to Invest €60M in the Residential Sector

10 June 2019 – Eje Prime

Patron Capital is on the hunt for property developers to team up with to invest up to €60 million in the residential sector in Spain over the medium term.

In this vein, the company has already signed its first two joint ventures through which it plans to invest €30 million. The names of the property developers in this case have not been revealed.

The fund’s investment formula through joint ventures sees it contribute 80% of the capital, with the remaining 20% provided by the property developers.

The company currently has eight investment vehicles in Spain, which invest in tourist apartments, retail parks and office buildings. The agreements with the two local property developers will be its first foray into the residential sector.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Real Estate Investment in Cataluña Amounted to €2.25bn in 2018

4 March 2019 – Finanzas

Investment in the Catalan real estate sector registered a new record of €2.25 billion in 2018, up by 3.3% compared to 2017, boosted by the office sector, according to data from CBRE.

In fact, offices accounted for 42% (€947 million) of the region’s total investment volume in 2018, up by 25% YoY, as 388,000 m2 of office space was leased. It was followed by the hotel sector, where €422 million was invested, despite a YoY reduction of 39%.

The logistics, retail and residential sectors accounted for the rest of the investment figure, amounting to €289 million, €252 million and €113 million, respectively.

59% of Cataluña’s real estate investment came from overseas, in line with previous years, primarily from the USA (40%), UK (17%), the Middle East-Asia Pacific (16%) and France (14%).

Star operations included Blackstone’s purchase of Edificio Planeta for more than €200 million; Tritax Big Box’s acquisition of the VGP Park Mango for €150 million; and the purchase of the NH Collection Gran Hotel Calderón for €96.9 million.

Original story: Finanzas

Summary/Translation: Carmel Drake

Catella Invests €200M in Housing in Spain & Enters the Nursing Home Segment

4 February 2019 – Eje Prime

Catella is growing its portfolio in the Spanish market. The Iberian subsidiary of the company’s fund manager, Catella Asset Management Iberia, is starting the year with plans to strengthen its position in all areas of the residential segment: from the traditional market, where it now has a portfolio comprising 1,000 homes, to alternative assets such as student halls and nursing homes for the elderly, a segment that it is planning to enter in Spain.

In Spain, the German manager owns a portfolio worth €250 million in assets under management distributed across Madrid, Barcelona and Pamplona. Most of its portfolio comprises residential rental assets, according to explanations provided by Eduardo Guardiola, Director and Partner of Catella Asset Management Iberia, speaking to Eje Prime.

The company currently has 1,000 homes under management in the Spanish market and its objective for this year is to add another 1,000 units, with an investment of around €200 million.

Catella also wants to strengthen its position in one of the fashionable residential segments: that of student halls. The manager has a fund that specialises in that market, through which it first entered Spain in 2017 with the purchase of an asset in Pamplona (…).

The company is planning to invest between €30 million and €60 million in such assets this year, with the aim of adding three or four new residences in the Spanish market.

The latest asset that Catella is backing are nursing homes for the elderly. The manager has just entered that segment in France, where it purchased six homes for €130 million two weeks ago.

“It is a very fragmented sector that is tending towards consolidation”, said Guardiola. “There are many owners who are also operators, who are now planning to sell their properties to focus on operations, and that opens up an opportunity for those of us who are searching for property”, said the executive (…).

They are non-medicalised assets, for non-dependent people, which include some services within the rental price as well as other ad hoc provisions (…).

Catella Asset Management also operates in the retail segment with retail parks and shopping centres, “provided they have a management component” (…).

Catella Asset Management specialises in the investment and management of real estate assets throughout the whole cycle, until exit. The company purchases existing assets as well as turnkey projects from property developers. In Spain, the group also operates its other line of business, that of real estate consultancy.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Iria P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Blackstone will be the Landlord of 25,000 Rental Homes by the End of 2019

31 January 2019 – Voz Pópuli

Blackstone, one of the largest investment companies in the world, expects to end the year with 25,000 rental homes under management in Spain.

Eduard Mendiluce (pictured above, left), the man from Blackstone who leads the US giant’s real estate emporium in Spain, has explained that the firm believes in the Spanish market, as it has done since 2014, and will end 2019 managing 10,000 more rental homes that it currently owns (15,000).

“We continue to believe in the fundamentals of the residential sector in Spain”, said Mendiluce at a conference about the real estate sector organised by Iese in Madrid. “Spain was one of the countries that suffered the most during the real estate crisis of 2008; prices are still 30% below their maximums”, he said.

The CEO of Aliseda and Anticipa explained that the US fund’s strategy in Spain in terms of real estate involves renting or buying and selling second-hand homes worth between €120,000 and €150,000. “When you have more than 200 homes under management in a given municipality, the business becomes profitable”, he explained.

Blackstone has invested almost €26 billion in the Spanish market over the last five years. In March 2014, it purchased 40,000 problem mortgages from Catalunya Caixa for €3.6 billion.

Since then, it has purchased: Banco Popular’s toxic property, together with Santander, for more than €5 billion; the Socimi Hispania for €2 billion; and 50.01% of the rental home Socimi Testa for €947 million. Last year, it bought Cirsa, a leading company in the gaming industry in Europe in a deal worth €2 billion.

In terms of the criticisms directed at the rental policies of Blackstone and other funds from certain sectors, Mendiluce has highlighted that in Spain, the funds own just 3% of the total rental housing stock, and that the rest is in the hands of individuals.

“I think that it is difficult to manipulate prices when you only account for a small percentage (of the market)”, he said. “I firmly believe that if there has been very concentrated price inflation in a handful of towns, then that has been due to a lack of supply”, and he pointed out that Spain has the lowest percentage of social housing in Europe.

Fashionable market

Juan José Brugera, President of the real estate company Colonial, was very optimistic about the real estate sector in Spain.

“We are in an expansive phase of the cycle, we are facing lower growth, but growth is growth, and it’s strong in Spain”, he said at the conference organised by Iese. “In the rental cycle, we are still in the growth phase, we have potential for rental growth that we believe ensures a strong performance over the next two or three years” he said.

“The Spanish market is fashionable at the moment, we predict expansive behaviour”, he said. “I have a positive vision, the stock market is behaving a bit strangely, but I think that is due to certain turbulences, both external and internal, that are generating uncertainty”.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Alberto Ortín)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aquila Capital Enters the Logistics Segment after Promoting 5,400 Homes

31 January 2019 – Expansión

The property developer of the German fund Aquila Capital has definitively backed Spain. In just five years, the company has made a name for itself in the Spanish property development sector, one of the key markets for the company. Aquila Capital, which is headquartered in Hamburg, was founded in 2001, by Dieter Rentsch and Roman Rosslenbroich. The fund, which also invests in infrastructure, renewable energy and agriculture, launched its property developer AQ Acentor in 2014.

Since we arrived, we have invested €1.4 billion in Spain”, explained the CEO of AQ Acentor, Sven Schoel.

One of the fund’s first projects in Spain was in Villaverde (Madrid), together with the property developer the Inmoglacier Group, to build 1,300 homes, including 400 units for rental use. That project has almost been sold in its entirety, including the rental properties, which were sold to Catella and the Socimi Vivenio. After concluding that project, the alliance between Aquila Capital and Inmoglacier came to an end last summer.

Following that launch, the company has been adding new developments on a piecemeal basis in Cataluña, Málaga, Madrid and Valencia (…).

In total, the company currently has 5,400 homes in various stages of development. The company has 550 homes in an advanced phase, which are going to be handed over during the course of this year.

In addition to residential development, the company owned by Aquila is now preparing its debut in the logistics sector. Specifically, it is finalising the purchase of two plots of land for development in Madrid and Barcelona with a total surface area of 500,000 m2 for around €50 million.

Potential

“Logistics is one of the sectors with the most potential; we will begin by developing logistics land, although we do not rule out carrying out turnkey projects for tenants in the future”, added Mr Schoel.

The director also highlighted the company’s commitment to the environment and its support for sustainability (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Kronos Homes Hands Over its First Developments & Invests €2bn in Land

30 January 2019 – Press Release

Kronos Homes, the residential real estate development brand of Kronos, has been consolidating its presence and position in the Iberian market with significant growth in 2018 and strong forecasts for the year ahead.

The company invested €2 billion in total during 2018 and is aiming to reach €2.4 billion in 2019. Of that amount, €700 million corresponds to investment in land in Spain and Portugal, a figure that it intends to increase by another €300 million in 2019 to reach €1 billion in land.

The focus of Kronos Homes continues to be the major cities and provincial capitals across the whole Iberian peninsula. In this way, whilst in 2018, it finished the year with a housing portfolio of 12,000 units across 16 developments, in 2019, it intends to increase that figure by 4,000 units to reach 16,000 homes in total across 24 developments (…).

In addition, in December 2018, the company delivered its first two developments on the Costa del Sol, Nature and Horizonte, located in Alicante and Benalmádena, respectively (…).

Nature and Horizonte are the first developments that Kronos Homes has delivered since it began its activity in the residential sector in Spain in 2015. The forecasts from Kronos Homes indicate that the firm will deliver 500 more homes across five developments during 2019.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aquila to Invest €200M in 2 Developments in Barcelona

14 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Aquila Capital is stepping up a gear in Spain. The German fund manager, through its property developer AQ Acentor, is going to invest €200 million in two residential developments in the province of Barcelona. The company has closed two land purchases, one in Viladecans and the other in Zona Franca, where it is going to construct 1,100 homes, according to Sven Schoel, manager of the company, speaking to Eje Prime.

In Viladecans, the property developer has acquired a plot of land spanning 500,000 m2 of free and protected land on which it is going to build 500 homes. On the other hand, in the Zona Franca, right next to Barcelona Fira District, the company has acquired a plot measuring 70,000 m2 of free and protected land for the construction of 600 homes.

“For us, Spain is a fundamental market at the moment and for that reason, we are looking for more land, above all in Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla and Bilbao”, explained the executive, who added that during the course of 2019, the company expects to close more than one operation in those cities.

Following the latest two acquisitions, AQ Acentor currently has 5,000 homes under development, distributed over seven projects: three in the province of Barcelona (in Sant Adrià del Besòs, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Zona Franca, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Viladecans), two in Madrid (in the neighbourhoods of Lla Moraleja and La Ciudad de los Ángeles), two in Málaga (one in Rincón de la Victoria and another one in Estepona), and a final one in Valencia.

In Valencia, the company is working on the development of a residential and tertiary use complex, where it has made an investment of more than €350 million. That is the project through which the company debuted in Spain, in September 2018. It will house a total of 1,800 homes on a plot spanning 130,000 m2 (…).

On the other hand, the group also still has its sights set on Portugal, the country that Aquila Capital has entered through investments in the renewable energy sector. “We have identified two operations in the Lisbon residential market that we hope to close during the course of this year”, said the director.

AQ Acentor is financed by Aquila Capital, which is also present in the German residential market and has a portfolio of assets worth €7 billion. The fund manager’s commitment to the property developer is long term. In fact, the manager of the company denies any plans to debut on the stock market soon. “We have been in Spain for almost five years and we have no intention of divesting”, concluded Schoel.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Berta Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Avintia & Gesurbe Boost Locare: €55M & 3 New Projects in Madrid

13 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Locare is searching for its place in the Spanish rental market. The real estate investment manager, in which Grupo Avintia and Gesurbe hold stakes, has launched the development of its first 405 homes in different locations across the Community of Madrid. The combined investment for the projects will exceed €55 million, according to comments made by Andrés Horcajada, founder and CEO of Locare, speaking to Eje Prime.

Specifically, the company is building 171 homes in Torrelodones (which will be finished during the second quarter of 2019), 110 in Villalba and 124 in Móstoles. The last two developments will enter into operation during 2020, following an average construction period of between 12 and 18 months. Together, the plots span a constructed surface area of 37,000 m2.

“We want to end 2019 with 1,100 homes under development, not only in the Community of Madrid, but also in other parts of the country”, explained the executive. Pamplona, Ibiza and Zaragoza are the cities that Locare currently has it its sights for its next projects, with the aim of investing €65 million.

The company, created in 2016, undertakes all of the phases of the real estate cycle, from raising capital to operating assets. Locare also takes care of searching for plots for social housing units, a requirement shared by all of the plots that the manager acquires.

“We do not buy properties that are already constructed, given that for us build to rent is fundamental”, explained Horcajada. The director added that this business model allows “investors to take advantage of the first phases of the real estate cycle and for the resulting product to be designed specifically for the rental market”.

Tectum is Locare’s ally 

Locare has teamed up with the capital manager Tectum Real Estate to attract investors to finance its projects. “Tectum allows us to group together Spanish family offices primarily and it is the company through which we relate directly with them and we deal with their demands”, explained the CEO of the company.

Besides Tectum, the company led by Horcajada also collaborates with the construction firm Avintia as an industrial partner, although the director explains that they do not have an exclusive contract with them when it comes to carrying out construction projects.

On the other hand, Locare has launched new technology into the world with another strategic collaborator, the proptech Mitula. “Through this platform, we are undertaking data analysis, both of the demand as well as of the supply of each one of the locations in which we are launching”, explained the executive.

In terms of the company’s long-term plans, Horcajada confirmed that the debut on the stock market “is not a plan that features amongst the desires of investors”. Similarly, the director explains that Locare will focus especially on the Spanish residential rental market, for which it predicts a promising future. “Housing is going to be increasingly configured for use (rental) and not for ownership, like in other European companies”, concludes the executive.

Locare is a real estate investment manager dedicated to residential rental. Although both Grupo Avintia and Gesurbe have been linked to this market niche for more than eight years, Locare was created as an independent platform in 2016.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Berta Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ACR: Construction Costs Rise by 10.3% in 2018

28 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Construction, at the price of gold. The costs relating to residential construction increased by 10.3% in 2018, according to the second edition of the Direct Construction Costs Index published by the ACR group.

In this way, the upward trend that started in 2015 is continuing, mainly due to the exponential rise in the cost of labour and the slight upturn in the price of materials. The data provided by the property developer reflects significant growth in the most representative items of buildings such as, for example, the façades, internal divisions and structure.

For Michel Elizalde, CEO of the ACR Group, “the sector must react to this reality and look for solutions that help to alleviate the effects of such a volatile scenario”. According to the executive, the solution involves “finding more collaborative contractual formulae with clients; seeking more stable relationship frameworks; embarking on training so that professionals are prepared; and taking determined steps towards the industrialisation of components and processes”.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Azora, CBRE GIP & Madison Create a Fund with €750M & 6,500 Homes

10 September 2018 – Expansión

The real estate companies Azora, CBRE GIP and Madison have constituted a joint venture for residential rental properties in Spain. They have created it with 6,458 homes and €750 million in own funds in order to expand the portfolio to 10,000 homes over the next two or three years.

In a statement, the three companies have announced the joint venture agreement, with an initial asset value of €870 million. The fund’s 6,458 homes are located in 65 buildings and 70% of them are located in the metropolitan area of Madrid.

Azora’s new subsidiary for residential rental has emerged from the recapitalisation of another previous one, Lazora. The investment and integral management of the new fund will be borne by Azora, which has also acquired a minority stake in the entity.

The Director for Continental Europe at CBRE Global Investment Partners, Alexander van Riel, said that “the residential market in Spain is very fragmented, and so this portfolio and its size are unique in that it acts as an important consolidator in the sector”.

“This investment increases CBRE GIP’s exposure to the residential sector in Europe to more than €2.5 billion and is in line with our key strategy: to follow demographic and real estate development trends in markets with a scarcity of products”, added Van Riel.

Meanwhile, the co-head of the securities portfolio at Madison International Realty, Derek Jacobson, said that the investment “represents a unique opportunity to acquire a large-scale and high-quality residential portfolio located primarily in the Spanish capital”.

The head of the residential area at Azora, Javier Rodríguez-Heredia, said that the intention is to hold onto the 6,458-rental unit portfolio for 15 years.

“Rather than opting for the liquidation and sale of these units, through this strategic association with CBRE GIP and Madison, we have not only found a way of ensuring that these homes remain available for families, we are also going to increase the investment in the rental products to build a new supply over the long term”, added Rodríguez-Heredia.

CBRE GIP and Madison have been advised by Jones Day, Pérez-Llorca, PwC, Howden, CBRE, Arcadis and Knight Frank, whilst Kempen, Freshfields and Deloitte have advised Lazora.

Last May, Azora postponed its planned debut on the stock market and, in August, its management contract with the real estate firm Hispania was terminated, as a result of which it agreed to receive €224.5 million from Blackstone, which had acquired 74% of Hispania through a takeover.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake