Sevilla: The Slow Re-awakening of the Real Estate Sector in the Andalucían Capital

2 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Sevilla, the third largest Spanish city by population, is seeing the first signs of recovery in its residential market (…).

The capital of Andalucía, which is home to almost 690,000 inhabitants, has seen its population decrease on a gradual basis since 2012 when it exceeded 702,000 inhabitants. The slow but progressive decline of the population is probably one of the reasons why house prices have not risen there and why new builds account for an all but residual percentage of the market.

Nevertheless, some of the data does indicate that Sevilla is jumping on the bandwagon in terms of the improvements in the real estate market that are being seen across Spain: a sharp increase in prices in 2017, an on-going rise in sales and, finally, investment in the city by groups of the calibre of Habitat and Ayco.

The city of NO8DO, Sevilla’s traditional motto, saw its population peak at 710,000 inhabitants in 2003, before falling below the 700,000 threshold in 2007. That figure rose above 700,000 again in 2009 before reaching a decade high of 704,000 in 2010, but it has fallen continuously since then to the current figures.

Real estate dynamism

Despite that, the dynamism in terms of house purchases has been considerable in recent years. In 2013, operations in the sector were still registering strong decreases, with a fall that year of 24.4% to just 4,715 house sales. However, the rises have been unwavering since then: up by 12.1% in 2014; 11.3% in 2015; 15.1% in 2016 and 14.1% in 2017, with a total of 7,732 sales.

According to data from the Ministry of Development, during the first quarter of this year, 2,234 house sales were recorded in the city, of which more than 95% corresponded to second-hand homes. With just 98 sales, new homes accounted for just 4.4% of the residential activity during the first quarter.

Nevertheless, and despite this growing activity in terms of sales, residential prices in Sevilla remain stagnant. In recent years, average appraisal prices per square metre in the fourth quarter of each year have decreased steadily, with the exception of 2014 only, when they rose by a measly 0.3% (…).

Currently, house prices amount to €1,468.70/m2 on average (€1,754,40/m2 for new builds and €1,464/m2 for homes aged five years or more). That value is 26.3% lower than the prices in Sevilla in 2012 and 35.9% lower than the peaks of 2007, before the outbreak of the crisis, when the average house price amounted to €2,316.10/m2.

Governed by the socialist Juan Espadas since June 2015, the weight of social housing in the city is greater than that of many other Spanish cities, at least based on data for the first quarter of 2018. In this sense, 177 of the purchases recorded in the city between January and March involved social housing properties, which accounted for 7.9% of the total.

New projects

Habitat is one of the companies that has invested in the Sevillan market this year. In July, the property developer announced a €30 million investment in a new development in the Andalucían capital comprising 199 homes. The acquired land is located in Mairena del Aljarafe, one of the fastest growing areas in the local residential market (…).

Another active player in the city is Ayco, which has acquired a batch of buildable plots this year in the municipality of Camas (Sevilla). In total, that company has purchased land spanning 18,000 m2, where it plans to build around 200 homes.

Another emerging business for the city is the office market, which closed 2017 with 919,173 m2 of space leased, up by 4% YoY, and approaching the records of 2013, according to a report by the Sevilla-based consultancy Inerzia (…).

In the commercial sphere, the Torre Sevilla project is the most important in the city at the moment. Six years after inheriting this macro-project, CaixaBank has let 100% of the office space and the shopping centre is on the verge of opening its doors.

Aenor, Deloitte, Everis, Orange and the Chamber of Commerce are some of the entities present in the 18-storey office block, which account for just half of the skyscraper. The rest of the tower is occupied by a hotel managed by Eurostars, belonging to the Hotusa Group.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. De Angelis)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urbania Developer: Panamanian Capital Promotes 20 Developments in Valencia

31 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Numerous Spanish real estate entrepreneurs crossed the pond when the Spanish property sector crashed at the end of the 2000s. One of the property developers who got on a plane when the walls of the real estate sector were starting to crack in Spain was Juan Antonio Claveria. That Valencian businessman is now back on his home turf with Urbania Developer, a Panamanian real estate company that is planning to “have up to twenty projects under development over the next three years in the Community of Valencia”, explained Claveria to Eje Prime.

The Spanish businessman is the CEO of Urbania Developer, a company listed on the Panamanian stock market, which he created last year together with his partners, the local investors Yasser Williams and Omar Fricentese. “The company’s share capital is 100% private”, highlighted Claveria.

The three have recently teamed up with the Valencian builder José Vicente Roig, who has included the assets of the former property developer Patrimonios del Levante in the group. With those, the real estate company has launched its growth plan in the Community of Valencia, where the firm already has eight projects underway or on the verge of being executed.

“We are interested in towns with between 200,000 and 300,000 inhabitants”, explains Claveria, who is also attracted to “those suburbs that have between 40,000 and 80,000 inhabitants, which are well connected by metro”. Public transport links and the proximity to the capital of Valencia are the key aspects of the investment policy that Urbania Developer is going to carry out. It is turning its back on the overheating of prices that is being recorded in the centre of the city.

Torrent, Paterna, Mislata, Benimamet and Paiporta are the towns on the outskirts of Valencia where Urbania Developer has residential projects underway at the moment. Nevertheless, “we are now finalising the purchase of new plots of land”, said Claveria, who indicated that his company could close around half a dozen operations soon.

Moreover, the property developer has already expanded its business to the south of Valencia with the purchase of a “small plot” in Alicante. Size is important for the company, which projects developments comprising “between eight and thirty homes”. “In Castellón, we are also looking at plots”, said the businessman, who wants to focus solely on the Community of Valencia in this first phase of his arrival in Spain (…).

Currently, the property developer has more than 5,000 homes built or under construction in Panama, the epicentre of the company’s business,  as well as in Paraguay and Nicaragua. In the Panamanian market alone (“the Switzerland of Latin America”, according to Claveria), the property developer manages 2.2 million m2 of residential land spread over 18 projects.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

ARC Homes Will Invest €50M To Build New Homes Over Next 3 Years

2 November 2017 – El Confidencial

The real estate firm ARC Homes plans to invest €50 million over the next two or three years in the construction of new homes in various municipalities in the district of Baix Llobregat, Barcelona.

The first development, comprising 47 homes, will be constructed in Los Jardines de Can Mercader, in Cornellà de Llobregat and will be completed by the end of 2019, according to a statement made by the company today.

The building work will begin during the first quarter of 2018, although the property sales already started on 15 September.

All of the homes will be completely “exterior” (overlooking the street/gardens) and will have large terraces with views of the Can Mercader green space. Prices will range between €260,000 and €450,000, with parking space and storeroom included.

Lane Auten, founder and manager of ARC Properties, the parent company behind the ERC Homes projects, explains that the firm “is in the process of searching for and buying land in towns located in the first and second belt of Barcelona”, in the municipalities of Baix Llobregat, El Vallès and El Garraf, as well as in Sabadell, Sant Cugat del Vallès and Sitges.

Original story: El Confidencial 

Translation: Carmel Drake