Amro Plans to Invest €500M to Reach 5,000 Beds in Spain & Portugal in 3 Years

18 June 2019 – Eje Prime

Amro Real Estate Partners is planning to invest €500 million to grow its portfolio of student beds in Spain and Portugal to 5,000 over the next 3 years.

The British company, which specialises in investing in and managing student halls is going to undertake the investment in partnership with a family office whose name has not been disclosed. It plans to accumulate between 10 and 15 halls of residence by 2022.

In this vein, the company has just purchased its third asset in Spain, a plot of land with a buildable surface area of 6,000 m2, which will house 229 beds, in the Teatinos neighbourhood of Málaga. Work will start on the construction of that hall of residence in Q1 2020 with completion scheduled in time for the academic year commencing September 2021.

Amro’s two existing assets in Spain are under development and include a hall of residence in Granada, which will contain 354 beds with a buildable surface area of 11,300 m2, and a student hall in Sevilla, which is going to have 341 beds and a buildable surface area of 9,172 m2.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Marta Casado Pla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Inveravante’s Subsidiary Avantespacia is Building More than 2,800 Homes

19 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Avantespacia, the real estate subsidiary of Inveravante, the company chaired by the businessman Manuel Jove, is going to build more than 2,800 homes over the next few years across 19 developments in Spain and Morocco.

In Spain, the company already has 17 projects underway comprising more than 1,700 homes. The developments are located in six autonomous regions: Madrid, Andalucía, Cataluña, Galicia, Navarra and the Canary Islands.

In Morocco, the A Coruña-based company is marketing two tourist complexes in Casablanca and Tánger comprising 1,144 apartments in total.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Roger Arnau)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bain Capital Launches a €1.25bn Fund to Invest in Europe

10 March 2019 – Eje Prime

Bain Capital has created a fund to invest €1.25 billion in European real estate. The US investment group is expected to concentrate a large part of that investment in Spain, where it already controls the property developer Habitat.

The target of the new fund will be portfolios of non-performing loans and non-strategic assets, of which there are plenty in the Spanish market.

Bain Capital has acquired several portfolios from financial institutions in Spain in recent years with a gross value of €3.5 billion.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Casual Hoteles to Open 5 New Hotels in 2019

7 March 2019 – Expansión

The Valencia-based hotel chain Casual Hoteles is planning to open four new establishments in Spain in 2019 (in San Sebastián, Cádiz, Valencia and Madrid) and one in Portugal (in Lisbon). The group currently operates 11 hotels and expects to increase revenues by 58% YoY in 2019 to €12 million and to €20 million in 2020.

The firm is also evaluating its expansion into Italy, France, the Netherlands and the UK by 2023 when it expects to have 30 hotels in its portfolio and to generate revenues of €50 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

S&P: House Prices will Rise in Spain by More than in Other Major Eurozone Economies

24 February 2019 – La Vanguardia

House prices in Spain are going to continue rising for at least the next three years, although the rate of growth will slow down as the economy loses momentum and the European Central Bank (ECB)’s monetary policy normalises, according to forecasts from the agency S&P Global Ratings, which points to larger rises in the Spanish real estate market than in the other major Eurozone economies.

According to the ratings agency, house prices in Spain, which registered an estimated nominal rise of 6.6% in 2018, will increase by 4.5% this year, by 3.4% next year and by 3% a year later, although S&P warns that if prices continue to grow by more than the expected incomes of households, then access to housing will continue to worsen over the coming years.

In this sense, as a result of the deep fall in real estate prices in Spain during the crisis, access to housing is still at better levels now than it was before the burst of the real estate bubble, with a ratio of prices with respect to income that is 29% lower than the maximums observed in 2007, albeit 25% higher than the long-term average.

Similarly, S&P considers that the low interest rates applied to mortgage loans for the acquisition of homes will continue to serve to support access to housing in Spain, indicating that, given the rise in inflation between May and October 2018, real rates became negative.

In addition to Spain, the agency forecasts that real estate price will continue to rise across the Eurozone, although at a lower rate than in previous years, with the exception of Italy, where an increase of 0.5% is expected this year, which will accelerate to 1.3% in 2020 and to 1.6% in 2021.

In the case of Germany, prices will rise by 3.9% in 2019, although those increases will moderate to 3.3% and 3% in the subsequent two years, respectively, whilst in France, house prices are predicted to rise by 2.4% this year and by 2% in the following two years (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unibail’s Profit in Spain Falls by 3.6% Following the Sale of 4 Assets

20 February 2019 – Idealista

The French shopping centre giant has seen its profits in Spain decline due to one of the operations of the year. Unibail-Rodamco earned 3.6% less in the Spanish market in 2018, specifically, €155 million, following the sale of its portfolio of four shopping centres to the South African fund Vukile for around €500 million, as reported by Idealista News last July. If it had not carried out that sale, the group’s profits would have grown by 2.8%.

The company ended last year in the Spanish market with a net profit of €161 million, up by 10.3% compared to 2016, when the group earned €146 million. Until now, Spain had been one of the fastest-growing countries for Unibail-Rodamco.

Across all of the markets in which it operates, the French company recorded a net profit of €1.9 billion, up by 36.9% YoY. That increase in gains was due, in part, to the purchase of the Westfield shopping centre group.

Whilst the area where Unibail-Rodamco increased its profit by the most in the last twelve months was Central Europe, up by 21.7%, France was ranked in second place, with growth of 5.3%. Behind France was Austria with an increase in profits of 4.3%.

Mega-operation with Vukile

Unibail-Rodamco became one of the stars of the sector last July when it closed the sale of four shopping centres to the South African fund Vukile, through its Spanish real estate vehicle Castellana Properties Socimi for €489 million (…).

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier (pictured above) owns a portfolio in Spain worth €3.6 billion, which receives 126.2 million visitors per year. Those assets account for 10% of its global portfolio.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Kronos Homes Hands Over its First Developments & Invests €2bn in Land

30 January 2019 – Press Release

Kronos Homes, the residential real estate development brand of Kronos, has been consolidating its presence and position in the Iberian market with significant growth in 2018 and strong forecasts for the year ahead.

The company invested €2 billion in total during 2018 and is aiming to reach €2.4 billion in 2019. Of that amount, €700 million corresponds to investment in land in Spain and Portugal, a figure that it intends to increase by another €300 million in 2019 to reach €1 billion in land.

The focus of Kronos Homes continues to be the major cities and provincial capitals across the whole Iberian peninsula. In this way, whilst in 2018, it finished the year with a housing portfolio of 12,000 units across 16 developments, in 2019, it intends to increase that figure by 4,000 units to reach 16,000 homes in total across 24 developments (…).

In addition, in December 2018, the company delivered its first two developments on the Costa del Sol, Nature and Horizonte, located in Alicante and Benalmádena, respectively (…).

Nature and Horizonte are the first developments that Kronos Homes has delivered since it began its activity in the residential sector in Spain in 2015. The forecasts from Kronos Homes indicate that the firm will deliver 500 more homes across five developments during 2019.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell & CaixaBank in the Top 5 European Ranking of Toxic Asset Sales in 2018

29 January 2019 – Expansión

CaixaBank starred in the fourth largest toxic asset sale operation in Europe in 2018 whilst Sabadell starred in the seventh largest. And they were not the only transactions that the two entities undertook (…). In fact, both banks feature in the list of the Top 5 entities in Europe by volume of toxic asset portfolio sales last year, according to data collected by the analysis firm specialising in debt Debtwire.

All of that, despite the fact that Spain’s two largest banks, Santander and BBVA, had a much quieter 2018 than 2017, when the former undertook the largest sale of toxic assets in the country’s history, with the transfer of assets with a nominal value of €30 billion inherited from Popular to Blackstone. Meanwhile, BBVA placed part of its real estate business in the hands of Cerberus that same year.

Last year, Sabadell and CaixaBank took over the baton. The bank chaired by Josep Oliu is the Spanish entity that recorded the largest toxic asset sales in 2018, divesting assets with a nominal value of €12.6 billion. That figure placed it fourth in the ranking, behind only the Italian entities Monte Dei PAschi, Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Banco BPM.

Meanwhile, CaixaBank (…) was the fifth most active bank in the ranking, with toxic asset sales of €12.1 billion, just behind Sabadell.

Together with contributions from the other banks, with Bankia and Santander in high-ranking places, the Spanish sector divested toxic assets worth €43.2 billion in 2018, compared with €51.7 billion in 2017, which represented a decrease of 16%.

Nevertheless, neither CaixaBank nor Sabadell managed to keep Spain at the top of the podium of countries that divested the most toxic assets last year. Italy is the new leader with NPL sales of €103.6 billion (…).

In Spain, the loans and foreclosed assets divested by the banks are now in the hands of Cerberus and Lone Star, primarily, the two funds that purchased the most in Spain last year, with €15.8 billion and €13 billion, respectively.

Well behind them in the ranking is Axactor, which is typically more interested in smaller operations. And Blackstone, which was out of the ranking last year, after starring as the absolute leader in 2017, thanks to the operation that it closed with Santander, according to the report from Debtwire, which takes into account all transactions exceeding €100 million (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Inés Abril)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Iberostar will Add 1,500 Rooms to its Portfolio in 2019

24 January 2019 – Expansión

Grupo Iberostar is continuing with its expansion plans and intends to add seven new hotels to its portfolio this year, containing 1,500 rooms in five countries. The new establishments will open in Palma de Mallorca and Madrid, in Spain; in Monastir and Sousse, in Tunisia, where the Spanish hotel chain already has a presence; as well as in Istanbul (Turkey), Rome (Italy) and Lagos (Portugal), where the group will make its debut.

The company, which opened 13 establishments last year, explained that 2019 is going to be “key” for the consolidation of the projects it has underway in Los Cabos and Litibú (Mexico) and for others, which are more advanced, in destinations such as Montenegro, Aruba, Albania and Cuba.

The chain, which is owned by the Fluxá family, owned 96 hotels around the world containing 31,720 rooms at the end of 2018. In Spain, the company owned 35 hotels and 9,888 rooms at the end of last year.

In terms of operational data, Iberostar closed 2018 with revenues of €2.659 billion, which represented an increase of 9% YoY, and it created around 4,000 jobs (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R.A.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Patrizia is On The Hunt for New Purchases in Bilbao, Sevilla & Valencia

10 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Patrizia Immobilien is confirming its interest in the Iberian real estate market. The German investment manager, which has been present in Spain and Portugal since 2015, has set itself the short-term objective of entering Bilbao, Sevilla, Valencia and Oporto, through the purchase of new assets, according to comments made by Borja Goday, the Director General of the company in the Iberian Peninsula, speaking to Eje Prime.

Until now, the company has invested €870 million in total in real estate in the Spanish and Portuguese markets. Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Lisbon are the cities in which Patrizia is already present, “with minimum investments of €15 million but where that figure could exceed €500 million if the operation is worth it”, explained the executive.

In fact, the manager participated in the process to acquire one of the office buildings that comprise the Cuatro Torres Business Area in Madrid. Moreover, the company not only invests in the office segment, it is also committed to other markets such as the residential, retail, hotel, logistics and alternative asset segments (including student halls, complexes for the elderly and parking spaces).

Currently, Patrizia’s asset portfolio in Spain includes Serrano 90, located on Madrid’s golden mile and Gran Vía 21, also in the Spanish capital, which houses a hotel and a retail premise. Nevertheless, the latest major operation by the manager on the peninsula was the purchase of an industrial plot spanning 66,424 m2 in Toledo for €37.5 million. The other three logistics platforms that the company owns in Spain are located in Madrid and Barcelona.

Patrizia and its great interest in Spanish property

With its headquarters in Madrid and a staff of eleven, Patrizia arrived in Spain just three years ago. “At the end of 2017, we purchased Triuva and Rockspring, two companies that already owned assets on the peninsula”, explained Goday, who added that “the rapid growth of the group in both the Spanish and Portuguese markets is due to those two acquisitions”.

“Spain is still an attractive market, we still have demand and that is why we are launching new operations on such a frequent basis”, said the director. Since the beginning of the year, the manager has been on the hunt for capital from Spanish institutional investors, although, as Goday explains, it is not an easy task, since “they do not invest from one day to the next”.

One of Patrizia’s other plans on the peninsula is to strengthen its presence in the rental market. “It is a segment that we like a lot and for that reason, if we find an appropriate residential or office building, then we would not rule out buying it”, explained the executive. Nor does the group rule out alliances with Socimis or the acquisition of a property developer to grow in the Spanish residential sector. In this sense, Goday says that “a good opportunity has not presented itself yet” and that “it would all depend on the quality and location of the land that they own”.

Patrizia is currently present in more than twenty European countries, including, besides Spain and Portugal, important markets such as Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg. The group’s main focus of activity is Germany, where it launched its activity 32 years ago and where it is a listed company (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by B. Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake