Habitat Buys 2 Plots of Land in Sevilla on which to Build 330 Homes

21 December 2018 – El Mundo

Habitat Inmobiliaria has announced the purchase of two plots of land, spanning almost 10,000 m2 in Sevilla, on which it is going to build more than 330 homes.

The property developer is going to invest more than €50 million in the development of the homes and the plot will have a buildable surface area of around 32,000 m2. The project is located fifteen minutes from the centre of the city and ten minutes from the airport, in the Sevilla Este neighbourhood, near to the Conference and Exhibition Centre. It is considered to be an area with high demand for housing and it is equipped with a full range of services.

With this new project, Habitat is now working on three developments in the Sevillan capital, which forms part of its strategic plan through which it plans to deliver more than 2,000 homes over the coming years. For this, the company’s roadmap is committed to an investment of around €120 million by the end of 2019 and of €500 million by the end of 2021.

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Would-Base Developer of 13,000 Homes in Sevilla is Declared Insolvent

29 May 2018 – ABC Sevilla

Desarrollo Urbanístico Sevilla Este (Duse), the company that was going to build more than 13,000 homes on a 330-hectare site next to the airport, Parque Alcosa and Sevilla Este, has filed for creditor bankruptcy in Mercantile Court number 1 of Sevilla after accumulating debt amounting to €300 million. The company has filed for liquidation after waiting fifteen years for the Town Hall to execute general infrastructure work, for which it had paid the Town Hall €60 million when Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín was mayor.

Just when it seemed that we had seen the last of the bankruptcy proceedings involving major companies in Sevilla, the demise of Duse comes as a wake-up call for the local real estate sector. The liquidation of this company means the suspension of the urban development that was set to become one of the great areas of expansion in Sevilla: Santa Bárbara.

Duse is owned by Sando Proyectos Inmobiliarios (53.9%); Realia Business (30.5%), linked to FCC; the investment fund Vertrauen Corporate, to which Unicaja sold its 5.99% stake in 2016; Bankia (2.7%) and Bankinter (1.12%), according to the Mercantile Registry. The company owns two plots spanning more than 330 hectares on the Santa Bárbara estate. Some of this land was expropriated in the 1970s and returned to its former owners over the subsequent decades, including the heirs of Augusta Peyré, which ended up selling their land to Sando in 2002.

Urban planning agreement

Before the new PGOU was agreed in 2006, the owners of those plots signed an urban planning agreement to collaborate with the Town Hall of Sevilla to execute the urban development plan. Thus, in 2003, at the height of the real estate boom, urban planning agreements were signed between Sando and the Leaders of the Urban Planning Department for the development of the two plots spanning more than 330 hectares.

In those agreements, the Town Hall undertook to establish a certain buildability ratio for the plots and the owners agreed to bear the acquisition cost of the general infrastructure work (involving the construction of streets, avenues, roundabouts…). The PGOU established that a maximum of 2 million m2 could be built in Santa Bárbara, which would allow for the construction of 13,853 private and social housing units (…).

In exchange for that buildability, Duse paid the Town Hall €15.4 million for the acquisition of land for the external general infrastructure and €42.6 million for the execution of the construction work. In total, Duse paid the Town Hall €58.1 million, according to sources consulted by ABC (…).

The municipal Government received that money but failed to execute the general infrastructure work following the end of the economic crisis (…).

In 2017, Duse filed a claim against the Town Hall for €75.4 million – the €58.1 million it had handed over plus €17 million to cover interest, damages and harm – for the breach of the urban planning agreements (…).

In order to execute the project, Duse signed a loan with Caja Madrid for more than €200 million, which has now risen to an outstanding balance of €300 million due to the non-payment of the principal and interest. As a result of the reordering of the banking sector and the transfer of toxic assets to the so-called “bad bank”, Caja Madrid’s loan for the development of Santa Bárbara ended up in the hands of Sareb.

Sareb’s unpaid loan

In March, the loan in question matured, and so Duse offered Sareb the option to renew it, now that the economic recovery has reactivated real estate demand, or take over the plots as “dación en pago”. According to sources close to the operation, Sareb rejected both proposals. The economic crisis and the failure by the Town Hall to execute the general infrastructure work have ended up economically suffocating the property developer, which has finally thrown in the towel and filed for credit bankruptcy, starting liquidation proceedings.

What will happen to those plots now? In all likelihood, they will go up for auction. If nobody is awarded them, they will end up in the hands of Sareb, which is now the counterparty of the almost €300 million loan that Duse has outstanding (…).

Original story: ABC Sevilla (by María Jesús Pereira)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sevilla: Town Hall Unblocks Land for 3,000 Homes

16 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Sevilla is creating land for new homes. Last Thursday, the board of the Urban Planning Department at the Town Hall of Sevilla unblocked urban development projects that will allow the construction of 3,000 homes.

According to ABC, the three areas of the city where these projects are located include: the plot of the former Cruzcampo and Abengoa factory in Nervión (land owned by Heineken); the plot of the former glass factory in Miraflores; and several unused plots on Avenida de las Ciencias in Sevilla Este.

According to the forecasts set out by the Town Hall, work may start on the first developments at the beginning of 2019. The main plot corresponds to the former Heineken site where 1,900 homes are going to be built (800 of which are going to be subsidised properties).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

No Buildable Land Left in ‘Sevilla Este’ After Fund Shopping Spree

16 January 2018 – Sevilla ABC

The supply of land in Sevilla Este has almost run out. And that milestone represents more than just a symbolic fact. It is a clear sign that a new cycle of real estate expansion is underway, characterised by significant interest from property developers in neighbourhoods and towns on the outskirts of Sevilla. It also provides evidence of the shortage of buildable land that exists in the municipality of the provincial capital, which has caused the few plots of buildable land that have come onto the market to spark a great deal of interest amongst investors.

Whilst the property sector started its rebirth in certain parts of the city centre in 2015, interest in other areas of the city has been increasing significantly over the last two years to meet the new demand that is being generated by the growth of the economy. The result of this trend is that in just three months, almost all of the residential plots in the Sevilla Este area have been sold.

“With just a few exceptions, everything that was on the market has now been purchased”, along with plots that still need to be developed for public and social services, explains Juan Aguilera, Manager at Gaesco, speaking to ABC.

And this investor boom in that area of the city is due to the fact that “Sevilla is running out of buildable land for new developments, since vital infrastructures such as the SE-35 ring-road have not been built, which is the main artery that ought to be boosting all of the new areas of metropolitan expansion”, says Aguilera (…).

Q21’s investment

The most recent large land operation in Sevilla Este was carried out by Q21 Real Estate, the property developer that emerged from the merger between the US investment fund Baupost and the Spanish company Grupo Pinar (one of the most recognised firms in the former property sector). That company has acquired a plot measuring 5,400 m2 at the end of Avenida Emilio Lemos, opposite the Aleste Plaza shopping centre, where it will build around 164 homes. The company is currently processing the permits it requires to start the building work and, once it has received the green light, will complete the construction of the properties within a period of 26 months. The plot that Q21 has acquired belonged to another company in the sector that filed for bankruptcy.

That purchase operation took place at the same time as two other large investments in Sevilla Este, also made by companies that are partly owned by large investment funds. One of them was led by Vía Célere, in which Värde Partners owns a majority stake; it acquired a plot for the construction of 1,700 homes that had belonged to BBVA. And in parallel, the fund Activum purchased plots for the construction of more than 1,000 homes (…).

In Aguilera’s opinion, the interest from these investment funds in Sevilla Este has arisen because several factors have converged. “There is significant built-up demand in Sevilla from families who chose to rent during the crisis and who are now interested in buying a home, plus the years of recovery are now creating new families who can also afford to buy one of these new homes”. This demand, combined with the shortage of buildable land in Sevilla, is what has caused the interest in Sevilla Este to soar, which is exactly what already happened with Hacienda Rosario (which used to belong to Gabriel Rojas and which was acquired by Aedas Homes).

Interest in Entrenúcleos

In these circumstances, Aguilera considers that future real estate investments will not be made directly in Sevilla, but rather in the some of the population nuclei of the metropolitan area, especially in Dos Hermanos (which has made the effort to develop an area like Entrenúcleos).

Aguilera thinks that, unfortunately, time has proved him right. “If we had done our homework, we would now be enjoying a great period for the reactivation of large residential projects: demand and the economy are growing, financing is available at very reasonable prices…but none of the areas that require the SE-35, like Higuerón Norte, Buen Aire, San Nicolás Oeste and Villanueva del Pìtamo, have the infrastructure they need to capitalise on this new construction boom” (…).

Original story: Sevilla ABC (by Luis Montoto)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vía Célere To Build 1,700 Homes In Sevilla Este

21 September 2017 – ABC de Sevilla

The construction of new homes is recovering with a vengeance in the Andalucían capital, after years of stagnation. The revitalisation, which started with small developments in city centre neighbourhoods, has taken a leap with several million-euro investments to acquire land, such as the deal announced yesterday by the property developer Vía Célere. The Madrilenian based firm is planning to build 1,700 homes on the more than 150,000 m2 of land that it has acquired in the city, the largest operation of this kind since the crisis.

Sources at the company confirmed to ABC that this land is located in Sevilla Este, where an ambitious urban project is going to take shape between now and 2023. The property developer, which has been reluctant to reveal the exact location details, has spent €26.5 million to acquire plots of land, close to the Aquópolis aquatic park, which were once owned by the real estate company Osuna and which ended up in the hands of several banking entities.

This package forms part of a much larger plan that also includes land acquisitions in Getafe and Valladolid. Nevertheless, the project in Sevilla will be the largest. The negotiations have been quick, according to the company itself, which began conversations in July and sealed the deal just a few days ago.

Not a single VPO property

The intention is to build private housing blocks only on this land over a five-year timeframe. In fact, the acquisition of these plots is accompanied by a commitment to build homes (…).

The President of Vía Célere, Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado, said in a statement that the company will continue to grow its land bank “at a sustainable pace, in line with demand”. He also revealed that since the beginning of the year, his firm has added 393,000m2 of buildable land to its portfolio, which will allow it to build up to 3,800 homes over the next few years right across Spain.

Interest from the USA

The capital that has motivated this welcome resurgence in the real estate sector in Sevilla has come from the other side of the Atlantic. The US fund Värde Partners, which acquired this Madrilenian company just a few months ago, will finance the construction with contributions from its shareholders.

The gigantic Hacienda Rosario project, involving more than 1,000 homes, has been presented under very similar conditions. It is being promoted by Aedas Homes – in whose share capital the US investment fund Castlelake holds a stake – on land located to the south of the Torreblanca neighbourhood, between the A-8028 road and Calle Parsi (…).

Original story: ABC de Sevilla (by Elena Martos)

Translation: Carmel Drake