Corp Will Build 500 Homes On Site Of Former Coca-Cola Plant

21 April 2017 – Expansión

The real estate developer may begin construction within a year, once it has unblocked all of the permits that it requires from the Town Hall of Barcelona.

The property developer Corp, one of the most active in the Catalan housing market, will build 500 apartments on the site of Coca-Cola’s former bottling plant in Barcelona, in the district of Sant Martí. The company has paid Cobega, a company owned by the Daurella family, around €50 million for the plot. The operation highlights the reactivation of the sector in the Catalan capital.

Original story: Expansión (by G. Trindade)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: A Third Of Barcelona’s New Homes In 2017 Will Be Luxury Properties

20 December 2016 – La Información

One third of the 764 new homes that are going to be built the city of Barcelona in 2017 will be luxury, according to data from the real estate consultancy CBRE, which reveals that most of the property development activity in the city will be centred around: El Eixample (439 homes), Sants-Montjüic (126) and Sant Martí (100). The consultancy also forecasts a gradual increase in prices.

The Director of the CBRE office in Barcelona, Anna Esteban (pictured above), explained at a press conference on Monday that the new luxury homes are not only being constructed in the upper area of the city, but also in the centre and along the sea front, in line with the significant demand from international investors.

The Vice President of CBRE in Spain, Enrique Martínez Lagun, noted that this demand for high standing homes is linked to the attraction of international companies, which consider that Barcelona offers a very good price-quality relationship.

Esteban revealed that “several large multinational companies will announce that they are moving some of their operations to Barcelona” in 2017, although she pointed out that they will have trouble finding the large spaces that they need. As such, she predicts that there will be some major renovation projects in the Catalan capital to meet demand, given that there are insufficient plots of land available to build from scratch.

The city is planning to build around 200,000 m2 of office space over the next few years, although 100,000 m2 of that space has already been committed to clients, which means that the other half is still available. The area that is expected to see the most significant growth is the 22@ district, where 65,000 m2 of space is under construction, one project is due to be started and four others are being assessed. The current stock of office space there is practically full and rents are similar to those charged in the city centre. (…).

Essential renovations along La Diagonal

Esteban also said that Paseo de Gràcia has lost 80,000 m2 of office space over the last few years, due to changes in the use of properties towards more profitable activities, such as retail, residential and hotels. She calculates that more than 60% of the office buildings on the Avenda Diagonal thoroughfare require major renovations to adapt them to current demand and ensure that they do not become obsolete. She also predicts that the Plaza Europa and Almeda Park area will see higher occupancy rates and rents once the 22@ area has become more established.

The lack of supply to meet the high demand for offices has meant that Barcelona has seen the highest increase in rental income in Spain in recent years, up by 21% since 2014. Rents are forecast to grow by a further 7% in 2017, making it the second European market in terms of forecast rental growth, behind Madrid.

For the Catalan logistics sector, CBRE forecasts a 5% increase in rents in 2017, following growth of 8% since 2014, making it the highest ranking European market in terms of rental growth in this segment. (…).

Original story: La Información

Translation: Carmel Drake

Residential Investment: Which Are The Most Profitable Districts?

30 May 2016 – Expansión

Madrid and Barcelona are pulling the real estate wagon. The recovery is happening at two speeds, at least. On the one hand, house prices are rising in the large cities, where sales volumes are also increasing significantly, rental prices are growing, non-residential investment is on the up and there is a shortage of land available for sale.

Most of this improvement in due to underlying macroeconomic trends, but not all of it. The impact of private investors is playing a crucial role in the strengthening of the two large real estate regions, whose central areas are the most sought-after by investors, both businesses and individuals, and Spaniards and foreigners alike.

The prime districts of the Madrid and Barcelona offer the highest rental yields for those looking to buy homes as investments. If we also include the appreciation that these properties are experiencing in terms of price, then the total return on these homes exceeds the 10% threshold.

That is according to a report about rental yields, by district in Madrid and Barcelona, prepared by Fotocasa.

The analysis of the Madrilenian capital concludes that the districts that spark the most interest for rented housing are: Centro, Carabanchel, Tetuán, Puente de Vallecas and Latina. They currently offer an average yield of 6%, almost one percentage point higher than the average return in Spain, which stands at 5.3%. The yields offered from rents in these districts range from 4.9% in Centro to 7.4% in Puente de Vallecas.

In Barcelona, the gross yield from buying a home and putting it up for rent (excluding capital gains) is 5.3%, in line with the national average. The districts that are most sought-after by investors in Barcelona are: L’Eixample, Sant Martí, Ciutat Vella and Gràcia, which are currently generating an average return of 4.7%, i.e. 1.3 points below the yield being offered by an average home in the most sought-after areas of Madrid. In any case, the prime returns range between 4.2% in L’Eixample and 5.3% in Ciutat Vella. (…).

Double-digit price rises

In terms of prices, nine of the 10 districts in the Catalan capital recorded double digit increases in 2015. “Within the last few months, we have seen unheard of increases in rental prices in the city of Barcelona. Whilst historically, the Madrilenian district of Salamanca was the most expensive place to rent a home in Spain, now that ranking is led by the Catalan district of Ciutat Vella, after prices there rose by more than 20% YoY. In fact, Ciutad Vella is currently 11% more expensive than the Madrileñian district of Salamanca”, said Beatriz Toribio.

“The high demand for rental housing in the most central areas of the city, and the limited supply of homes, are combining to cause rental prices in Barcelona to rise to record breaking levels. They are even causing rental prices in less central areas, such as Sant Martí and the district of Horta Guinardó, to see double-digit YoY increases in rental prices”, added Toribio.

The most sought after rental properties in Madrid are smaller than the most sought after properties for purchase. Whilst to buy, the average home measures 80 sqm and has two or three bedrooms; to lease, the average home has a surface area of 57 sqm and two bedrooms. The same thing is happening in Barcelona: the average home to buy measures 80 sqm, and has between two and three bedrooms. Nevertheless, to rent the average house size is 60 sqm with two bedrooms.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake