Who is the Largest Residential Property Developer in Madrid

29 November 2018 – El Confidencial

With 12 developments underway comprising 758 homes with some type of protection, the Municipal Housing and Land Company (‘La Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo’ or EMVS) is the most active property developer in the city of Madrid. Of the more than 350 residential projects under construction in the capital at the moment, the public initiative (by the Town Hall of Madrid), together with the promotion of cooperative homes or units with some kind of protection, has significant weight in Madrid, given that more than 16% of new build projects underway and 22% of the units under construction are public initiative developments (EMVS) or cooperative promotions.

That is according to data from the consultancy firm CBRE, which has compiled a study to analyse real estate activity in the Spanish capital, using satellites, taking into account both new build projects that require cranes for their completion as well as comprehensive renovation projects that do not need cranes or scaffolding. On the basis of the data obtained, the property developers who are currently carrying out those projects in the 21 districts of Madrid have been identified, be they new build projects, renovations, private homes or social housing units, excluding any homes being marketed on which construction work has not started yet.

The study establishes a ranking with the top 25 residential property developers in the capital on the basis of the number of projects underway and the number of units under construction. That ranking is led by the EMVS both by number of developments as well as by number of homes. Its developments are concentrated in the Pau de Vallecas (8 projects comprising 475 units), Latina (one development comprising 87 homes), Arganzuela (one development comprising 85 units), Villa de Vallecas (one development comprising 72 homes) and Carabanchel (one development comprising 25 homes).

Despite the strong development activity of the EMVS, the reality is that it is the private property developers who lead the activity overall, given that they account for three quarters (78%) of the new home units under construction in the city of Madrid. In fact, there are 12 private property developers with three or more projects under construction, which account for more than a third (34%) of the homes under construction.

Pryconsa and Inmoglacier, the most powerful

The second position in the ranking by number of developments is held by Pryconsa. The company chaired by Marco Colomer currently has seven projects underway, comprising 500 homes (…).

By number of units under construction, the second place in the ranking is held by Inmoglacier, with 748 homes under construction, distributed across just five developments, all of which are concentrated in Parque Ingenieros in Villaverde (…), all with some kind of protection and constructed on land acquired from Sepes more than three years ago. The company chaired by Ignacio Moreno (…) is one of the most active property developers in the capital and is focused towards a segment of the population capable of acquiring a home at affordable prices.

“At first glance, the sector appears to be vey fragmented. The 351 residential projects underway in Madrid are split between 241 companies or cooperatives. However, many property developers assign a separate legal entity to each promotion (…) and so it is not always easy to identify the large groups (and commercial brands) behind each project”, explains Samuel Población, National Residential Director at CBRE speaking to El Confidencial (…).

By area, the main national property developers are committed to constructing large projects in new areas, such as Arroyo del Fresno (Amenabar and Grupo Pinilla), Valdebebas, Parque de Ingenieros and El Cañaveral, where the projects with the largest number of units are concentrated. Companies such as Grupo Ibosa (…) and Vía Celere, along with the newcomer Brosh, complete the ranking (…).

International firms stick to the rich neighbourhoods

In terms of the property developers with a more international profile, by contrast, they are continuing with a strategy focused on the renovation of homes inside the city, in the most sought-after neighbourhoods. Venezuelan property developers have been particularly active, including Gran Roque (…), which has a dozen residential projects underway comprising more than 100 homes in some of the most sought-after areas of Madrid (…).

Also, Grosvenor (from the UK) and Darya Homes or Dazia Capital (France) are concentrating their activity exclusively in the districts of Centro, Chamberí and Salamanca. Those three developers – include Gran Roque – are currently managing 10 residential remodelling projects, which are characterised by the limited number of units (14 on average) and a clear vocation towards the high- and very high-end segments of the market.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Development to Promote 5,000+ Rental Homes for Less than €400

19 November 2018 – La Razón

The Minister of Development, José Luis Ábalos, has announced that his Ministry is going to transfer €21.5 million to the Public Land Management Company (‘Entidad Pública Empresarial de Suelo’ or Sepes) to promote the construction of more than 5,000 social housing rental homes, which will cost no more than €400 in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Ibiza and Málaga.

At the Europa Press Informative Breakfast, the leader of the Ministry of Development said that the creation of these 5,000 homes, together with the 1,500 already included in the State Housing Plan, would account for almost one third of the 20,000 homes recently promised in Congress.

Specifically, Ábalos said during his appearance in the Lower House that the Ministry is going to promote a stock of 20,000 public homes for rental over the next four to six years with the aim of increasing the supply of such homes and helping to stop their rising prices.

For Ábalos, these measures lay the foundations for a housing policy that aims to guarantee access to housing. Nevertheless, he said that he is aware that this task, together with the protection of access to housing, will require the assistance of all of the administrations and political forces. For that reason, he urged that a “major agreement from the State for housing in Spain” be reached.

Decapitalising the stock of social housing

In this vein, he confirmed that the stock of social housing has been decapitalised to an affordable price and pointed out that this represents only 2.5% of the housing stock in Spain and that is “one of the lowest rates” in the European Union.

“Access to housing is a total headache for the middle and working classes and merely a pipe-dream for young people”, he added, after indicating that spending on housing by Spaniards living in rental properties is “well above the European average”, which is generating “a situation that cannot be permitted”.

During his speech, the Minister made it clear that recovering talent, raising the Minimum Inter-professional Wage (SMI), providing more wage stability and increasing pensions “are the right proposals to provide stability for Spain”.

He also said that work is being performed on long-term measures to increase the supply and recover the stock of homes, although he pointed out that work is also being carried out in the short term to modify the Urban Rental Law (LAU) to “limit guarantees” and give tenants more stability, and on the Civil Procedure Law (…).

The Royal Decree for Housing: due before the end of the year

When asked about when the Royal Decree that integrates the package of measures announced at the beginning of the legislature is going to come into force, Ábalos confirmed that the plan is for it to be approved before the end of the year because, in his opinion, “some of the measures are urgent and we need to get on with them”. In this way, he said that the real estate market in Spain is “reaching breaking point”.

In this vein, he said that “in Madrid, there are a lot of people who share flats because they do not have any other choice and all of that affects the minimum life project”. “What we are doing is not going to have a direct or immediate effect, but the urgency is vital in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona”, he said.

Original story: La Razón 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Inditex Caused the Ministry of Development’s Results to Soar in Galicia in 2017

13 November 2018 – Economía Digital

Inditex purchased more square metres of land from the Ministry of Development’s land manager than the Xunta sells in one year. In a single transaction, the company owned by Amancio Ortega acquired 218,000 m2 of land last year spread over 26 plots on the A Laracha industrial estate (A Coruña) from the company Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico, controlled by the department led by José Luis Ábalos.

The implementation of the multinational’s new logistics hub to complement the group’s central complex in Arteixo, multiplied the revenues and profits of the Ministry of Development’s land manager, which has 13 industrial estates up for sale in Galicia, but which faces serious difficulties when it comes to selling the plots unless it offers them  significant discounts.

The Inditex effect: revenues multiplied by six

Last year, Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico multiplied its revenues by six, up from €2.5 million in 2016 to €15.7 million in 2017. Of that amount, €13.4 million proceeded from the plots sold in A Laracha, the industrial estate chosen by Inditex. The remainder (€1.1 million) was invoiced in Rianxo or was received through subsidies to the business parks of Cee, Muros, Vimianzo and Rianxo itself, given that the entity is a recipient of European funds.

The dependence on a single operation in 2017, the one involving Inditex, shows the difficulties faced when it comes to finding companies to set up shop in Galicia, both for the property developer of the Xunta, which in just two years since its creation has sold 200,000 m2, as well as for the Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico, formerly Plan Galicia promoted by José María Aznar in 2003 to compensate the Prestige disaster.

The purchases by the textile giant also caused the profits of the land manager to soar, up from €53,554 to €444,500, an eight-fold rise. Suelo Empresarial del Atlántico is owned by the Xunta (15%) and by Abanca (1.6%), although the bulk of its share capital, more than 83%, is in the hands of the Ministry of Development through the Public Land Management Company (‘Entidad Pública Empresarial de Suelo’ or Sepes) (…).

Original story: Economía Digital (by Rubén Rodríguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s New Gov’t to Promote Construction of 20,000 Affordable Homes for Rent

12 July 2018 – El País

The Ministry of Development is preparing an ambitious range of measures to increase the supply of rental homes, put a stop to escalating prices and facilitate access to housing for young people and low-income families. Its proposals include a plan to build 20,000 rental homes, which will be allocated at controlled prices in cities where prices have soared, according to sources speaking to El País. Moreover, the Ministry wants to extend the duration of rental contracts from three to five years, limit damage deposits and stimulate the supply of rental housing with tax incentives and the moderation of rents.

More funding, regulatory changes and a tax reform are the three components of a broad plan through which the Ministry of Development says it wants to give a social twist to the housing policies and whose main lines will be announced in Congress today by their owner, José Luis Ábalos. The objective is to avoid a new housing price bubble from destabilising the economy once again, according to government sources, and, in particular,  to help families with limited resources and young people.

The package includes urgent measures aimed at alleviating the increase in rental prices, which have soared by up to 50% in large cities over the last four years due to the emergence of tourist apartments and the reactivation of the real estate market. The Government is going to launch an inter-ministerial working group tasked with developing a set of urgent policies for housing and rent.

Amongst the initiatives that the Ministry of Development is going to implement is a plan to build 20,000 affordable rental homes over the next four to six years. The State will promote the construction of these 20,000, mostly public, homes (although this has not been finalised and all of the possible formulae are going to be considered because the most important thing is for the homes to be built quickly). The homes will be destined for rent or transfer of use, for an indefinite period, with a limited rent or price, in cities with accredited demand and where rental prices are higher.

Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Málaga, San Sebastián and Sevilla are the cities that have experienced the largest increases in rental prices over the last four years, which have risen by up to 50% on the islands, according to data from Idealista.

Last year in Spain, work was completed on 48,853 private homes and 4,938 social housing properties, according to data from the Ministry of Development. At the height of the real estate bubble, in 2007, almost 650,000 homes were being constructed per year.

The plan will be carried out in collaboration with autonomous communities and town halls, which will be asked to identify and facilitate the most appropriate plots of land on which these housing developments can be built. The State will involve SEPES, the public land entity, in this program and will contribute its own momentum and financial support. The ICO will also play a role in the design of the policies (…).

Original story: El País (by Elsa García de Blas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ebrosa Buys Ministry Of Defence’s Last Auctioned Plot In Madrid

9 February 2017 – Expansión

The Ministry of Defence is continuing with its real estate divestment plan. Its last major sale was completed yesterday with the sale of an urban use plot that has a surface area of 3,569 m2 and a buildable surface area of 9,865 m2. The plot is located in the former central park of the engineers in Villaverde, in the neighbourhood of Los Angeles, in the south east of Madrid.

Like in the case of the Administration’s other assets, the sale has been conducted through a public auction, which was publicised through the real estate portfolio addmeet. Specifically, the Ministry of Defence had planned to carry out two simultaneous auctions, for an initial asking price of €4.7 million (in the first round of bidding) and a second asking price of €4.28 million (in the second round). In the end, the second round was not necessary as the initial bids exceeded the initial asking price, and the plot was awarded to the real estate company Ebrosa, which bid €5.04 million.

This Zaragoza-based property developer will use the land, for which planning permission has already been granted, to build a block of flats similar to those projects that it is already developing in other areas of Madrid, such as in Las Tablas and Sanchinarro, in the north east of the city, as well as in Ensanche de Vallecas.

Ebrosa’s new development will be located next to “residential developments that are being sold at a good rate”, according to information included in the addmeet advert. Specifically, one hundred homes that Inmoglacial is promoting together with the investment fund Aquila Capital, in the same central park of the engineers in Vallaverde, after it was awarded nine plots of land from Sepes in July 2015, covering a buildable surface area of 120,000 m2. That project, which is being completed in nine phases, involves a total investment of almost €200 million to construct more than 1,200 homes, whose first phase is due to be completed in the spring of 2017.

According to the most recent annual accounts, corresponding to 2015, Ebrosa generated a profit of €31.38 million, compared with €4 million the year before, from a turnover of €16.68 million.

Divestment plan

The sale of the plot in the neighbourhood of Los Angeles was included in the real estate asset sales plan that the Ministry of Defence launched in 2013, with the aim of divesting some of its land, premises, rural estates and homes.

The most high profile sales in this plan include the sale of the former Precisión Workshop, located on Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, next to Paseo de la Castellana and Nuevos Ministerios. In November 2014, the Ministry of Defence awarded those unused plots to the housing manager Domo for €111 million, which acquired them with the aim of constructing a 320-home development on the site, with an average price of €325,000.

Currently, the Ministry of Defence has two other plots of land up for sale, in Alcalá de Henares and in the Campamento area. The latter, whose sales price has not been revealed, is one of the most attractive sites for construction in the capital, given its location, between the Somosaguas area and the former land of Campamento, whose sale is also being considered by the Ministry.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Campamento Delayed Until Mid-2016

23 September 2015 – El Confidencial

According to the popular proverb, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And Operación Campamento, a development that has already been delayed for more than a decade, may not be completely “clean” to be put up for auction until the middle of 2016. In other words, one of the most anticipated urban planning projects in the capital, whose expected sale was announced in style by the Ministry of Defence – which owns the land – through the real estate website Addmeet in April, will have to wait almost a year. And all because of the urban “paperwork”.

At the beginning of September, Pedro Morenés, from the Ministry of Defence, blamed the Town Hall of Madrid for the delay, as it “has to grant the licences for the project to go ahead. The Ministry of Defence has already gone to the Town Hall to ask for the permits”, he assured the Senate.

According to the experts consulted by El Confidencial, “although the pending urban planning procedures are simple, they will take time. And, in this case, we could be talking about months”. However, far from harming the Ministry of Defence, which expects to generate revenues of €80 million from the sale – as reflected in the State’s General Budget for 2016 – the delay may end up benefitting the central government department, given the significant level of interest the land has sparked amongst investors over the last year. At the beginning of July, the State Land Company (‘Sociedad Estatal de Suelo’ or Sepes) awarded the largest package of land in Madrid to date – measuring 120,000 m2, on which more than 1,200 social housing properties will be constructed – for €50 million.

On a smaller scale, but of no less importance for the purposes of measuring the temperature of this market, have been the on-going sales of land in Valdebebas, which has also witnessed this renewed buyer appetite at first hand, along with the slight “overheating” that is starting to be seen in some land purchases. Prices in this development bottomed out a few years ago at around €800/m2 and currently stand at around €1,100/m2, although some operations are being closed at higher prices.

The experts consulted calculate that Operación Campamento may be put on the market for between €200 million and €250 million, and that the urban planning delay may tip the balance towards an even higher figure. It is worth remembering that this development has a surface area of almost 1.5 million m2, of which 1.3 million m2 are buildable, and almost 11,000 homes (social housing and unsubsidised homes) may be constructed. (…).

In any case, the Town Hall insists that “the procedures that the Ministry of Defence says depend on the municipal institution, are being carried out within the appropriate timeframes” and they criticise the Ministry of Defence for trying to make the general public believe that the Town Hall is to blame for the delay to the Operación. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz and Paloma Esteban)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Saba Sells Toulouse Logistics Park To CBRE For €23M

18 September 2015 – Expansión

The group is focusing on its car parks / The company has sold a logistics park in Toulouse for €23 million.

Saba is continuing to take steps to exit the logistics sector and focus its activity on its core car park business. Yesterday, the group led by Salvador Alemany announced the sale of a logistics park in Toulouse (France) to CBRE Global Investors for €23 million.

The asset has a surface area of 20 hectares and was one of the company’s key sites, thanks to its strategic location in the neighbouring country, 30 kilometres away from the French city, one of the centres of the global aviation industry.

This divestment whereby reduces the group’s international presence to Lisbon, where it owns a site with a surface area of 100 hectares. The economic crisis in Spain has been more intense than in Spain and the demand for logistics space is not as great as in the areas close to the cities of Madrid and Barcelona.

In 2012, Saba began its exit from this business segment with the sale of a logistics park in Chile for €56 million, a deal that allowed it to begin its policy of shareholder remuneration.

In Spain, Saba is about to sell its 32% stake in Cilsa, the company that operates the Logistics Activities Area (ZAL) in Barcelona, measuring 208 hectares and located in one of the best areas of the Catalan capital. It is the last major logistics asset that Saba still owns.

The Competition Commission is studying Saba’s exit from this company; its stake is due to be acquired by Merlin. One of the unresolved questions is whether Sepes will hold onto its 5% stake in Cilsa – which does not even entitle it to sit on the Board of Directors – or whether Merlin will acquire the whole package.

Background

In Spain, Saba – which is controlled by Criteria CaixaHolding – last year sold a logistics park in Coslada (Madrid), some land in San Fernando and a logistics park in Penedés (Barcelona), in a deal worth €100 million.

The firm has continued to withdraw from its logistics business, whilst at the same time closing operations that have enabled it to make important in-roads into the car park sector, with new contracts at Adif train stations, Aena airports and with the Town Hall of Barcelona.

Saba generated revenues of €215 million in 2014 – the logistics division accounted for 19% of sales and car parks accounted for the remainder. In Spain, Saba still owns logistics assets in the provinces of Barcelona, Álava and Sevilla.

Original story: Expansión (by A. Zanón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

‘InmoGlacier’ & ‘Aquila Capital’ Awarded VPO Plots In Villaverde

2 July 2015 – El Mundo

The company InmoGlacier and the investment fund Aquila Capital (under the joint venture Plainfield Spain S.L. created for this purpose) will lead the major VPO (social housing) transaction in Villaverde. The State Public Business Land Company (la ‘Sociedad Estatal Pública Empresarial del Suelo’ or Sepes), which reports into the Ministry of Development, has awarded the large package of land – nine plots with space for around 1,200 VPO homes – to these two firms, after Sepes put out to tender the area in the former Central Park of the Engineers for development (…).

In the end, the land has been awarded in exchange for a cash payment of €44.93 million (excluding tax), i.e. €600,00 above the tender starting price, which was set at €44.31 million. This major operation demonstrates the renewed interest in residential development in the south of the capital.

The nine plots sold by Sepes occupy a total area of 52,500 m2 of land and 120,425 m2 of buildable space for the construction of more then 800 VPO homes for sale and a further 400 VPO homes for rent “with the same characteristics and build level as those for sale”.

The heads of InmoGlacier and Aquila, who have released information about the project, describe it as “the most ambitious project in Madrid, due to its size; and the most innovative and social, due to its concept”. “The numbers and magnitude of this investment are unmatched by any other urban development in Madrid”, says the sources.

According to InmoGlacier and Aquila Capital, the future housing developments will be completed in nine blocks – three for rent – and will have swimming pools, gyms, sports areas, padel courts and extensive green and recreational areas, as well as shops and a range of equipment and services, including a nursery and supermarkets, which will trade with different operators. (…).

The project will involve investment of almost €200 million, for the construction of buildings with garages and storage rooms, as well as the design of the common areas, sports facilities and shops.

InmoGlacier and Aquila plan to begin construction work at the beginning of 2016 and to complete it in the spring of 2017. In October of this year, they expect to open an information point occupying a space of more than 300 m2 on the site itself, where people will be able to find out more information about the housing project and its facilities. “This project will be an example for the sector”, say its developers.

Original story: El Mundo (by Jorge Salido Cobo)

Translation: Carmel Drake