11 January 2017 – El Independiente
The tourist boom (which saw record numbers of tourist arrivals and a recovery in demand from Spanish clients) was followed by a boom in the hotel sector (with record occupancy rates and tariffs); and both have been supported by a boom in investment in hotel properties. With tourist activity at record highs and no signs of a slow down in sight, the purchase of hotel buildings has become a cushy deal for investors.
In two years, real estate investment in hotels in Spain has amounted to almost €5,000 million. Following a historical record in 2015, when operations were closed amounting to €2,650 million, last year, transactions were signed amounting to €2,155 million, the second best year ever, according to the latest report compiled by the consultancy firm JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group.
Several major operations have sustained the pace of investment. Just before the end of 2016, Merlin Properties sold off its hotel portfolio, transferring it to the fund Froncière des Règions for €535 million. The sale of the hotel Villa Magna de Madrid by Sodim SGPS to Dogus Group for €180 million represented a new national record in the price paid per room (€1.2 million per room, compared to €800,000 per room in the case of the Ritz in 2015, which had held the record since then).
Other large transactions included the sale by AXA Investment Managers of the Pullman Barcelona Skipper Hotel to Shaftesbury for €93 million; and the purchase of the historical headquarters of Caja Madrid by KKH Capital Group and Perella Weinberg RE for €80 million, which it will convert into a luxury hotel.
In total, investors purchased 130 hotel assets in Spain last year, in addition to the 143 hotels that they bought during the record year of 2015. Madrid led the ranking as the main location for investment, accounting for 28% of the total volume with €597 million. It was followed by Barcelona with €344 million (16%), despite the hotel moratorium declared by Ada Colau’s Town Hall, and Las Palmas (7.4%), Fuerteventura (7.4%), Málaga (7.4%), Valencia (7%) and Mallorca (6.1%).
Investments funds take over from the Socimis
During 2015, the major stars of the hotel investment segment by far were the Socimis (…), which accounted for almost €1,000 million of transactions during that year. But they have been replaced by investment funds, which have become the major players in the hotel investment market, accounting for 51.5% of total volumes.
The investment funds that have accounted for most of the transaction volume have been: Foncière des Régions, with 19 hotels and a total investment volume of €535 million; HI Partners, which has purchased eight assets for €200 million; KKH Capital Partners, which together with Perella Weinberg RE, bought the Celenque building for €80 million; and Internos Global Investors, which purchased Hotel Innside Madrid Suecia for €45 million.
According to JLL’s forecasts for 2017, the hotel investment market will continue to be active and investment volumes will remain similar to those seen in 2016, thanks to interest from international investors. The consultancy firm thinks that the requirement for owners to continuing to reduce the debt on their balance sheets, the strengthening of the strategy by national hotel chains to sell off properties and continue to operationally manage establishments, and the strong outlook for the tourist sector in general place the Spanish hotel market in the investor spotlight.
Original story: El Independiente (by David Page)
Translation: Carmel Drake