5 June 2015 – Expansión
International funds, private investors and other companies have purchased assets worth almost €12,000 million during the last 15 months. American investors favour large properties, whilst Asians players prefer hotels.
The purchases of almost €12,000 million…mean that the Spanish market has returned to its pre-crisis levels and illustrate the focus that investors from around the world have placed on our country. But, what is the profile of these buyers? And which assets do they prefer?
According to data from the last 15 months, office buildings and shopping centres have been the star investments. Nevertheless, rather than making direct purchases, investors, both Spanish and overseas, have chosen to participate in the market through the new listed companies for real estate investment (Socimis).
For their stock market debuts, the four large Spanish Socimis – Merlin Properties, Hispania Real, Axiare and Lar España – raised funds amounting to more than €2,550 million; and this year they have undertaken capital increases to raise another €1,300 million…Hispania raised €550 million for the IPO of its Socimi subsidiary, from large international investors such as the US magnates George Soros and John Paulson. Just a few weeks ago, it raised a further €337 million from investors with a similar profile. Meanwhile, the real estate company GMP secured €300 million from the Singapore fund GIC.
The four Socimis have created portfolios worth around €4,000 million. These companies, headquartered in Spain, have been the major investors. Thus, 64% of the €2,727 million invested in offices was disbursed by Spanish investors. “The main Spanish investors are Socimis, but they also include investment funds, private equity firms, wealth managers and family offices. The average price for this type of transaction is €29 million, compared with the large deals carried out by British investors (above all investment banks and private investment companies), which exceed €100 million”, explain sources at the consultancy JLL.
Spanish investors have also exceeded foreigners in terms of the purchase of retail premises; 78% compared with 22%, respectively. “During 2014 and Q1 2015, Spanish investors spent €738 million on retail premises. The average price of these transactions was €37 million and the typical buyers were retail operators (such as fashion brands), family offices and private investors”, say JLL.
Meanwhile, international buyers dominate the market for shopping centres and hotels. Of the €3,092 million invested in shopping centres between January 2014 and March 2015, 82% was foreign capital, thanks to the purchases made by US funds such as Tiaa Henderson and specialist companies, such as the French firm Klépierre.
Almost €2,500 million has been invested in hotels in the last 15 months and 55% of the capital invested was foreign. Furthermore, it was very diversified, with Chinese investors such as the Wanda Group and Qatari funds, such as Katara Hospitality buying hotels in Spain – the latter acquired the InterContinental Hotel in Madrid. (…)
In the residential segment, several US funds have chosen to buy land in Spain. The clearest case is Lone Star, which has become the largest developer of land in the country. (…)
Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake