Lucas Fox: Luxury House Prices Rose by 18% in Q1

23 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Luxury homes in Spain are becoming increasingly more expensive. The luxury residential market saw the value of prime homes increase by 18% during the first quarter of this year. The average price paid during the 3 months to March for these kinds of properties amounted to €924,000, significantly more than the €780,000 recorded by this exclusive branch of the segment during the same period last year, according to data from Lucas Fox.

The strong performance of the Spanish economy in recent times is once again stimulating demand from domestic and overseas investors to purchase homes in the country, above all along the coast and in the major cities.

According to the report from the real estate agency specialising in luxury homes, Marbella and Sitges are the most prime area of this market, and they are monopolising business along the coastlines on which they are located, the Costa del Sol and Costa Brava, respectively.

In the case of Marbella, the city accounted for 67% of the sales that were completed in the region, whilst on the most southerly coast of Cataluña, Sitges accounted for half of all the business on the Costa Brava. “We saw a tremendous rate of growth in sales in Girona and its coastline during the first quarter of 2018”, said Tom Maidment, Director of Lucas Fox Prime.

Foreign investors account for 13% of the prime market  

“International buyers of second homes have been more active, with a notable increase in the number of British buyers”, explained Maidment. In this regard, the director added that “confidence in the market and in the Spanish economy has been consolidated and concerns over Catalan independence have disappeared”.

In total, in 2017, 13% of the purchases undertaken in the luxury residential sector in Spain were made by overseas investors, who acquired 61,000 homes, almost as many as the 65,000 properties bought by foreigners in 2007.

By nationality, the British were the most active buyers, accounting for 15% of the sales made by foreigners, followed by the French, 8.6%; and the Germans, which accounted for 7.8% of the acquisitions of this type of luxury real estate by foreigners.

In the case of Lucas Fox, 77% of the operations that the agency closed during the first quarter of the year related to international clients, most of whom came from the United Kingdom, but also from neighbouring France, the Scandinavian countries and the USA.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Majestic Takes Over the Management of Messi’s Hotel in Ibiza

10 April 2018 – Expansión 

Majestic Group is going to be responsible for managing the hotel that Leo Messi has purchased in Ibiza. It is not the first time that the footballer has placed his trust in the Catalan family chain, given that the firm already manages the establishment that the Barcelona striker acquired last year in Sitges (Barcelona).

The Argentinian football, who paid €30 million for Hotel MiM Sitges, has now acquired the Es Vivé Hotel in Ibiza for an amount that has not been revealed yet. His latest establishment, which was opened in 1959 and renovated four years ago, has 53 rooms and is located next to Playa de Figueretes; it is relatively close to Playa d’en Bossa and the city if Ibiza. The hotel is going to change its name to MiM Ibiza Es Vivé.

Market sources indicate that this establishment was one of the properties that Cristiano Ronaldo considered buying after he expressed his intention of acquiring a hotel on the island. The hotel, which, for the time being, only operates during the summer season (between March and October) charges an average price of €225 per room, although that figure varies significantly depending on the type of room and the time of year; in August, the rate can rise to more than €500.

Majestic Group, owned by the Soldevila-Casals family, manages seven hotels and three apartment buildings, located in Barcelona, Sitges, Palma de Mallorca and now also in Ibiza.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Messi Buys Hotel Avenida Sofia In Sitges For €30M

8 June 2017 – Expansión

Leo Messi wants to take advantage of the strong performance of the tourism sector and has purchased a 4-star superior hotel in the town of Sitges (Barcelona). FC Barcelona’s striker has paid around €30 million for the building, which has 77 rooms and he has engaged the Majestic Group to manage the establishment. None of the parties involved wanted to confirm the operation, which has been completed with the utmost discretion.

The hotel, recently renamed MiM, is located two roads back from the sea, very close to the beach and to Sitges’ seafront. Specifically, it can be found at number 12 Avenida Sofía, behind Hotel Calípolis and the top floor terrace looks out over the sea. In high season, rooms at the Hotel MiM go for between €250 and €300 per night.

Close to the sea

The town of Sitges, which primarily receives leisure tourists, but which also hosts business meetings, conferences and conventions, is located around 40 km from Barcelona. It is precisely due to its proximity to the Catalan capital and the beach that this coast has been chosen by several football players for their primary residences, including by Leo Messi himself. The Barça star lives in the neighbouring town of Castelldefels, very close to other teammates such as Luis Suárez.

The hotel that Messi has purchased in Sitges was constructed in 2013 and belonged to a local businessman, Francisco Sánchez, who owns other hotels in this tourist town. Until now, the property operated under the name of Avenida Sofía and was managed directly by the previous owner. The property has 77 rooms, including 5 junior suites and one superior suite. It has 300 m2 of meeting rooms, a spa with a hydrotherapy circuit, cabins for couples and oxygen treatments and a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, bar and panoramic views.

FC Barcelona’s striker recently constituted a new company to invest in hotels and apartments under the name Rosotel. According to the Commercial Registry, in April, the holdling company that channels Leo Messi’s investments, Limecu España 2010, created Explotaciones Rosotel, with the corporate purpose of “operating businesses relating to the hospitality sector, in particular, the management of bars and restaurants, and the acquisition, sale and ownership of hotels and apartments”. The sole administrator of this new company is Limecu, whose president is Leo Messi himself and whose sole administrator is his brother Rodrigo.

This is not Messi’s first investment in the Catalan real estate sector, given that the player already owns the Rostower Building, in El Eixample, Barcelona.

Meanwhile, the family chain that will be responsible for operating the establishment has many years of experience in the hotel sector. The Majestic Group operates six hotel establishments in total, located in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and now Sitges, as well as two tourist apartment buildings and six restaurants. Last year, the chain recorded revenues of €44 million, up by 5% compared to the previous year (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés and Sergi Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fotocasa: Rental Home Prices Rose By 9.5% YoY In Q1

28 April 2017 – El Mundo

The average price of rental housing in Spain rose by 9.5% YoY and by 5.9% QoQ during the first quarter of 2017, according to the Real Estate Index compiled by the online portal Fotocasa. In this way, the average rental home cost per square metre amounted to €7.93/m2 as at March 2017.

This quarterly increase in rental home prices was in line with the trend observed in 2016. In the absence of official statistics, the index from Fotocasa corroborates the anecdotal evidence being seen on the street.

“Rental prices are rising significantly because demand is much higher than supply, above all, in those areas with the largest volumes of economic, tourist and demographic activity. Month after month, in regions such as Cataluña, Madrid and the Balearic Islands, we are seeing how the distance between the peak prices recorded in 2007 and 2008 is decreasing, and in some cities in those areas, the price per square metre has now reached the pre-crisis maximum, such as in the case of Barcelona”, explained Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa.

In fact, the increase recorded during the first quarter of 2017 is the most markedsince Q1 2007, according to the Real Estate Index, when prices rose by 4.9%. Since then, the quarterly rental price has done nothing but decrease, with some exceptions in one-off quarters in 2011 and 2014. In 2015, the quarterly rental price began to recover, with increases of 2.8% and 1.5% in the first and second quarters, respectively, trends that continued in 2016, with the exception of Q3 2016, when prices fell by 2%.

At the inter-annual level, rental prices rose by 9.5%, the most marked increase in the history of the Real Estate Index, which has been compiled since January 2006. Moreover, during Q1 2017, rental prices rose in 14 autonomous regions at the quarterly level and in every region at the annual level. (…).

Evolution by autonomous region and province

Since reaching their maximum price in May 2007 (of €10.12/m2), rental home prices have recorded a cumulative decrease of -21.7%. In this regard, only three autonomous regions have recorded cumulative decreases of more than 30% since they peaked five years ago. In this way, Aragón is the autonomous region where rental prices have fallen by the most (-38.7%), followed by Castilla-La Mancha (-34.1%) and Cantabria (-31.3%).

During the first quarter of 2017, rental price increases were recorded in 14 autonomous regions, with the rises ranging from 5.4% in Cataluña to 0.4% in Castilla y León. Regarding the evolution by province, rental price increases were recorded in 36 provinces with respect to December 2016, with the rises ranging from 8.6% in Guadalajara to 0.2% in Alicante. By contrast, rental prices decreased in 14 provinces with the reductions ranging from -0.2% in Toledo to -3.6% in Ávila. (…).

By municipality, the town with the highest rental price was Barcelona, at €15.15/m2/month, followed by Eivissa (€14.60/m2/month), Sant Cugat del Vallès (€13.41/m2/month), Sitges (€12.85 /m2/month) and Castelldefels (€12.85/m2/month).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

“Lifestyle Investors” May Be Essential For The RE Recovery

9 July 2015 – El Mundo

The international estate agency Lucas Fox has published a report about the Spanish real estate sector, which illustrates the changes that the market has experienced since 2005, with prices peaking in 2007 and subsequently dropping until the middle of 2013. During 2014, the sector experienced a period of moderate stabilisation, before the current recovery kicked in with a stronger emphasis on high-quality properties and a long-term view of investment linked to lifestyle.

According to the agency, prices peaked in 2007, and remained stable in popular areas, such as the Costa Brava and Sitges, where they peaked in mid-2008. House prices then decreased by up to 40% in most areas, but less significant declines were observed in the “lifestyle markets” of Ibiza and the most sought-after areas of Marbella.

Meanwhile, prices experienced a steady decrease in Barcelona until Q3 2013, when the sector began to recover gradually to reach €3,263/m2 by the beginning of 2015.

On the other hand, Madrid and Valencia followed a similar pattern, but with lower values. The report prepared by the estate agency shows that both cities still have to maintain their quarterly growth rates in 2015. According to Alexander Vaughan, “over the last two years, thanks to the growing confidence in the recovery of the Spanish economy and in the Euro, in general, we have seen a revival in the market, with price adjustments at the global level”. Moreover, he adds that “Spain is as charming as ever and we are seeing a huge boom in the number of “lifestyle investors”.

Since mid-2013, the number of transactions has increased continuously in all of the regions served by the estate agency. This, the agency explains, indicates greater confidence in the market and more recognition from buyers. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before sales volumes return to their 2007 levels.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake