E&V: Co-working, e-commerce – New Niches Boom in the Spanish RE Market

2 April 2019 – El Confidencial

The Spanish tertiary sector is consolidating its position as one of the most attractive in the world. Investment rose by more than 10% in 2018 to €12.3 billion, boosted by overseas investors, who accounted for 65% of all operations, according to a report published by Engel & Völkers.

Moreover, this interest is set to maintain its momentum over the coming years. In 2019, logistics is expected to continue its upward trend in light of the unstoppable growth of e-commerce. In the office sector, experts forecast on-going diversification, with demand growing for regular offices on the outskirts of cities, as well as for co-working spaces in the centre of large capitals.

In the alternative asset segment, interest is also expected to continue, especially in nursing homes for the elderly and halls of residence for students. In the retail sector, multi-channel offerings are forecast to grow, with the most important brands concentrating their retail businesses into flagship stores in very central locations. Also, in the retail sector, the move by traditional out-of-town operators, such as Ikea and Media Markt, into downtown locations is expected to become more widespread.

In terms of rental prices for commercial premises, in Madrid, in the most sought-after areas of Salamanca, Chamberí, Sol, Chueca- Justicia and Malasaña, maximum prices amount to €90/m2/month, dropping to €55/m2/month in secondary areas and to €45/m2/month elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in Barcelona, prices are highest on the most sought-after streets, located in Ciutat Vella, Tapinería and Eixample. There, average prices range between €30/m2/month and €40/m2/month.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E.C.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Knight Frank: High Street Investment Soared by 84% to €1.3bn in 2018

31 January 2019 – Eje Prime

The real estate sector has closed another year with a strong performance in the Spanish market. As we approach the end of the real estate cycle in the country, the tertiary sector is continuing to maintain high levels of investment, with growing rents and sustainable yields.

In the retail sector, the investment volume amounted to around €3.7 billion in 2018, according to data from Knight Frank. The main driver of that investment was the high street, where spending soared by 84% to €1.3 billion.

Despite that, the bulk of retail investment in Spain continued to be directed towards shopping centres, which accounted for 54% of the total last year with major operations such as the sale of the Summit portfolio, owned by Sonae Sierra in conjunction with CBRE GI, and of which 87% is now controlled by JT Real Estate.

Moreover, the consultancy firm highlights that interest has increased from investors in shopping centres and isolated retail warehouses in good locations “which allow them to manage last mile delivery points”, said the consultancy firm.

Returns have remained stable across the three segments with yields of 5.25% for retail parks, 4.25% for shopping centres and 3% for high street assets.

Despite the strong performance of the retail sector in 2018, the jewel in the Spanish real estate crown is still the logistics segment. In 2018, investment in logistics assets amounted to €1.255 billion, close to the record set in 2017 of €1.28 billion.

In the last quarter, several large operations were closed, such as Blackstone’s purchase of a portfolio of 55 assets from Neinver for €300 million.

Interest in the segment continues to generate expectations regarding the compression of yields, and so Knight Frank forecasts returns of around 5% this year.

Finally, the office sector has also maintained a robust rate of activity, after the maximums recorded in 2017 thanks to operations undertaken by the Administration. Specifically, Knight Frank estimates that 2018 closed with a gross absorption of 493,000 m2.

Following the trend set in 2017, 52% of the surface area leased was located outside of the M-30, although during the final quarter, it was the secondary centre that accounted for the bulk of the space rented, around 35%.

Prime office rents remained stable at around €30.5/m2/month, and reached maximums of €38.5/m2/month in the most sought-after areas of the business district.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Metrovacesa Negotiates with Funds to Build New Offices

23 May 2018 – Expansión

Metrovacesa, the property developer in which Santander and BBVA hold stakes, wrote a new chapter in its history on 6 February with its return to the stock market after five years away and with an ambitious growth plan in its sights. Following a lacklustre debut on the stock market and with a land portfolio worth €2.6 billion, the company is now preparing to show the market that it is capable of fulfilling its planned targets for the hand over of homes and generation of returns from its portfolio of non-residential land.

In this sense, Metrovacesa is holding negotiations with international funds in order to create joint ventures to promote offices. “We are holding advanced conversations and we hope to close several joint ventures before the end of the year”, explains the CEO, Jorge Pérez de Leza (pictured above), in an interview with Expansión.

The proposed model involves creating joint ventures in which the financial partner will control 75%, whilst the remaining 25% will remain in the hands of Metrovacesa: “That would allow us to sell land at prices close to the GAV (gross asset value) or higher and to retain a stake in each project”.

Metrovacesa currently owns tertiary land spanning more than 1.3 million m2, which has an approximate value of €684 million.

In addition to the joint ventures with financial partners, the company is planning to sign more turnkey projects, like the one sealed last year with Axiare for the sale of a building under construction located at number 40 Calle Josefa Valcárcel in Madrid, which will be handed over at the end of 2018, for €30 million.

“The aim of the company was to launch 36,000 m2 through turnkey projects and joint ventures in 2018, and we are going to exceed that figure”, said the CEO. In parallel, the firm is continuing to sell tertiary land. In April, it reached an agreement with the property developer La Llave de Oro to sell a plot in the 22@ district of Barcelona for €22 million and it is negotiating other operations worth €14 million, which will allow it to exceed the objective for 2018. With these operations, the company is generating cash, whilst it prepares the launch of its primary business: the development of homes.

Advantage

Pérez de Leza reveals that the company will launch between 3,500 and 4,000 units in 2018, which will allow it to advance in its goal of reaching cruising speed in 2021. According to its initial plans, it will hand over 520 units in 2018 and then 700 and 3,500 units in 2019 and 2020, respectively: “That will allow us to be on track to break even by the end of the year and follow a positive path next year”.

In the opinion of the director, one of the property developer’s competitive advantages is its land portfolio, which has capacity for the construction of 37,500 homes. “We can fulfil our delivery objectives for the next eight years without having to buy any land. That means we can take things calmly compared to our competitors”, he said.

Pérez de Leza also defends the group’s commitment to diversify its portfolio: “There is no buildable land left in Madrid, Barcelona and Costa del Sol. If you want to carry out significant deliveries (of new homes), you need to open yourself up to other markets”. And he also reveals that the firm has received offers to sell non-developable land that it has ruled out until the urban planning permits have been obtained. “Land management is an added-value strategy, we have a team ready to do it and we can obtain higher margins. Selling now would mean losing euros along the way”, he said.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte: Tertiary Real Estate Inv’t Amounts to €9.7bn in 2017

27 December 2017 – Expansión

An increase in property prices has led to a 22% reduction in the purchase of non-residential assets in 2017 with respect to 2016.

The boom that has marked the real estate investment sector in Spain since 2014 is starting to show signs of slowing. That is according to the most recent non-residential investment figures, which, with just a few days to go before year-end, are reflecting a decrease of 22% with respect to 2016.

According to a market study performed by Deloitte Real Estate, investors spent €9.7 billion this year on tertiary properties (offices, hotels, commercial and logistics assets) compared with €12.4 billion in 2016 and €11.8 billion in 2015.

“With just a few operations still left to close before 31 December, which will amount to between €0.5 billion and €0.6 billion, tertiary investment has fallen by 22%. This decrease in activity is a sign that we have crossed the equator of the bullish cycle and that we are possibly starting a period of greater stability”, explained Javier García-Mateo, Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte.

The 22% decrease is due to a weaker second half of the year in terms of the rate of investment (…). During the third quarter, investment fell from €6.6 billion in 2016 to €1.6 billion this year, says Deloitte in its report. During the fourth quarter, the difference was a decrease of 42% (€2.8 billion compared with €1.8 billion). The decrease is more pronounced in the property segments that tend to lead absolute investment, namely, offices and retail assets. In the case of the former, investors have spent €2.3 billion in 2017, less than half the amount recorded in 2016 (€4.9 billion) and 2015 (€5.3 billion) (…). “Offices tends to be the segment that traditionally leads investment, but this year it has decreased by 55%. This is not due to a lack of supply, but rather the gap between the expectations of sellers and the offers from buyers. Moreover, some operations have been abandoned, such as the sale of Hispania’s portfolio”, said García-Mateo.

In this way, unlike in previous years, where large operations were closed during the final quarter of the year, such as Torre Foster – sold for €490 million at the end of 2016-, Torre Espacio – sold in November 2015 for €550 million – and Torre Picasso – sold for €400 million in December 2011 – this year, the most significant operation has been the sale of 50% of Torre Caleido on Paseo de la Castellana, for around €150 million, closed during the first quarter of the year.

In the case of retail assets, investment in shopping centres fell by 29% to €2.7 billion, despite record operations such as the one involving Xanadú, whilst the purchase of shops fell by 36% to €421 million.

“After 4 years of increases in valuations and the consequent decrease in yields, investment in offices and retail property is significantly less attractive than in the hotel and logistics segments, where there are up to 3 points of differential per year”, say the sources at Deloitte. The large hotel operations this year have included the purchase of Edificio España by the Riu Group and the sale of HI Partners, along with its 14 establishments, by Banco Sabadell to Blackstone for €630.73 million.

Cataluña

The 22% decrease comes at a time that is being characterised by the independentist challenge in Cataluña, although the uncertainty being generated in that region does not seem to have had an impact on real estate investment, at least not yet, according to García-Mateo. “In Cataluña, the absorption of office space has fallen and sales in shopping centres have also decreased, by around 10% with respect to Q4 2016, but investment has not been hit, as evidenced by Meridia Capital’s recent purchase of the Barnasud shopping centre and Invesco’s acquisition of the Mango facilities in Palau de Plegamans (Barcelona)”, he added.

In this way, the experts justify that the decrease in investment is due to a change in the cycle, following four years of rapid growth (…).

Nevertheless, the €9.7 billion spent during 2017 represents the fourth-highest figure in the historical series (dating back 13 years).

It was only in the last two years, as well as in the record year for the sector (2007), when investment amounted to €12.6 billion, that investment in non-residential assets exceeded the €10 billion threshold, according to Deloitte.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Savills: Spain Leads RE Inv’t in Southern Europe

12 December 2017 – Expansión

Real estate investment in Spain is on the verge of setting a new record and positioning the country as the leader of the sector’s boom amongst its counterparts in Southern Europe. Specifically, investment in the tertiary market (offices, retail, hotels and logistics assets) in Spain looks set to amount to €8.9 billion in 2017, which represents an increase of 5% compared to the previous year and the highest figure in a decade, according to a report from the consultancy firm Savills.

The report reveals the strong performance detected in the retail and hotel sectors and also highlights that the growth in e-commerce in Spain is expected to result in greater demand for logistics and storage space, a segment that has lagged behind the main markets in Europe until now.

Luis Espadas, Director of Capital Markets at Savills España, also points out that, to the extent that demand in the more traditional sectors grows, so investors are starting to focus on alternative products, such as student halls and nursing homes. “That market may be small still but it has the potential to develop more attractive returns and price differentials”.

Other countries

The recovery of the sector in Spain has been followed by an upturn in other countries such as Italy, Portugal and, more recently, Greece and Cyprus. In this way, after a few years of weak investor activity, the volume of investment in Southern Europe increased by 277% in 2017, compared to the minimum of €5.2 billion recorded in 2012.

Overall, total investment volumes increased by 8% YoY. The markets in Southern Europe now account for 10% of the total investment in the European Union, compared to the 5% that they represented in 2012. “Economic growth, the decrease in unemployment rates and renewed consumer confidence are attracting investors back to Southern Europe”, says Alice Marwick from the Europe Research department at Savills.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Laborde Marcet: Tertiary RE Inv’t Leaps By 48% To €9,600M

13 November 2017 – Expansión

Between January and September, tertiary real estate investment amounted to €9,600 million, of which 33% corresponded to commercial properties.

Non-residential real estate investment grew by 47.7% YoY during the period, according to data from the real estate consultancy Laborde Marcet. This increase was observed across all types of assets, with growth of 36% in the case of commercial properties, which accounted for 35% of the total volume. The purchase of offices amounted to €2,688 million during the 9 months to September, up by 65.4%, whilst investment in hotels rose by 75.8% to reach €2,400 million and investment in logistics increased by 10.8% to €1,152 million.

In the specific case of the third quarter, real estate companies and investors spent €3,370 million on non-residential real estate operations, 24.4% more than in the second quarter (€2,710 million), although 4.2% less than in the first quarter, when investment exceeded €3,500 million.

If the strong performance of the first three quarters continues and as we wait to see the final impact of the sovereign challenge in Cataluña, the experts at Laborde predict that the investment volume for the full year will amount to €12,800 million, up by 15% compared to 2016.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona From The Sky: 123 Cranes At Work In The Catalan Capital

7 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Cranes and new projects are drawing a new real estate business in Spain once again. According to the study Barcelona from the sky, compiled by the real estate consultancy CBRE, the Catalan capital has 187 projects underway, requiring 123 cranes altogether. Of the total number, 75% are dedicated to residential projects and 17% to tertiary projects, whilst 8% of the cranes are being used for other kinds of projects, according to the report.

By sector, the residential market is the most active in Barcelona with 107 new build projects and 34 refurbishment projects currently underway or due to start imminently. In total, the Catalan capital is currently decorated with 77 cranes working on the construction of new residential developments, led by the largest Spanish property developers, such as Neinor and Aedas, as well as some more local players, such as La Llave de Oro and Nuñez I Navarro.

Cuitat Vella and Eixample are the districts where the most refurbishment projects are being carried out, due to the age of the housing stock there. There are eight projects (24% of the total) and eleven projects (32%) underway in those neighbourhoods, respectively. Many of these renovation projects, especially those closest to the city’s nerve centre, such as along Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça Catalunya, are high standing affairs, such as the refurbishment of Casa Burés, located at number 2 Calle Girona.

In terms of new build homes, the districts of Sarria-Sant Gervassi, Horta-Guinardo, Eixample and Sant Andreu are leading the ranking, with 18, 15, 12 and 11 new build projects, respectively (…).

The tertiary sector is also building 

(…). In the office segment, there are twelve projects underway after several years of little construction activity due to the economic crisis, in general, and in the office sector, in particular.

“The greatest number of projects, both new build and renovations, are concentrated in the 22@ area, in the district of Sant Martí, where key projects include the future Parc Glòries and the Luxa Business Park, amongst others”, according to the study (…).

Several projects are also underway in the Sants-Montjüic area, including the construction of the Campus Administratiu, which the Generalitat de Catalunya will occupy and Can Batlló, very close to Plaça Cerdà. In addition, construction work is expected to start at the beginning of 2018 on the construction of the remaining two towers that form part of the Barcelona Fira District project, owned by Iberdrola (…).

In the retail segment, four renovation projects are underway in the Catalan capital, whilst one new space is being constructed, with the development of the Finestrelles shopping centre in Esplugues de Llobregat, which will open its doors at the end of 2018. This project is being executed by the Belgian property developer Equilis and has a gross leasable area of 25,700 m2.

Moreover, renovations are being carried out on several of the city’s main shopping streets, such as Las Ramblas, Fontanella and Paseo de Gracia, as well as in some of the large retail spaces such as the Glòries Shopping Centre.

Hotels and others 

“More than two years have now passed since the implementation of the hotel moratorium, which has negatively affected the number of hotel developments”, says CBRE’s study. Nevertheless, the construction of new hotels has not stopped in Barcelona, given that some players obtained their building permits in time. There are currently fourteen projects underway, with six cranes working on them in total (…).

According to CBRE, a small number of the projects currently being carried out in the city do not form part of the residential or tertiary sectors. Fifteen projects are underway at the moment involving twenty cranes to build or renovate parks, churches, schools, gyms, infrastructure work and nursing homes.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte: Hotel Inv’t Will Exceed €3,000M In 2017

7 November 2017 – Expansión

The extraordinary tourism data in Spain, the interest from investors in real estate assets and the purchase by international funds of hotel portfolios has catapulted investment in the Spanish hotel segment so far this year to €2,600 million. That figure is 21% higher than the total amount recorded in 2016, and is very close to the record figure of €2,700 million recorded in 2015, according to The Hotel Property Handbook report, prepared by Deloitte España.

In this way, the hotel sector now accounts for 35% of total real estate investment in the tertiary sector (non-residential assets) in Spain. The firm forecasts that, by the end of this year, the investment volume figure will have easily surpassed the €3,000 million threshold.

In terms of the main operations of the year, the purchase by the US fund Blackstone of the HI Partners hotel portfolio, comprising 14 establishments, from Sabadell for €630 million and the acquisition by the British fund London & Regional of four Starmel hotels – a joint company formed by Meliá and Starwood Capital in 2015 – for €230 million, have given the investment figure a real boost.

Record operations

These operations have been accompanied by several one-off hotel transactions, such as Edificio España, which was acquired by RIU in June for €272 million (…).

Other noteworthy operations so far this year include the purchase of Hotel Silken in Barcelona by the British fund Benson Elliot for €80 million and the acquisition of 55% of Hotel Diagonal Mar in Barcelona by Axa for €80 million.

For Javier García-Mateo, Partner at Deloitte Financial Advisory, institutional investors are seeing the opportunity to build large portfolios of holiday hotels in Spain, to integrate them into their international platforms in the Caribbean, South America and South-East Asia, developing a direct channel and obtaining greater negotiating power with tour operators. “In the end, Spain is establishing itself as the world’s main tourist market”, he says.

In this sense, we are seeing the natural migration of traditional hotel owners, who are divesting property to focus on management, such as in the case of the Meliá chain, which is making way for overseas investors who have greater financial muscle and so can launch more ambitious projects, explains Patricia Pana at Deloitte Financial Advisory.

In this context, the large tour operators are also participating in the investment fever and are buying assets in order to carry out a vertical integration of their business (…).

Interest from investors is partly driven by the record number of visitor arrivals – more than 84 million international tourists are forecast to visit Spain this year – and the strong evolution of key performance indicators such as the average daily rate (ADR), revenue per available room (RevPAR) and the occupancy rate.

Peak returns

Specifically, the ADR in Spain reached an average of €82.30 in 2016, up by 5% YoY; the occupancy rate rose by four percentage points to 66%; and RevPAR increased by 10% to €53.90.

The challenges for the sector now include improving the hotel portfolio to allow for an increase in prices. “If we compare our hotels with those in other urban and vacation destinations, the price per room of Spanish hotels still has a lot of potential, provided that renovation and transformation projects are carried out with the help of the main operators”, says Ana Granado, Director at Deloitte Financial Advisory (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Laborde Marcet: RE Inv’t Amounted To €6,230M In H1 2017

3 August 2017 – El Mundo

Investment in real estate amounted to €6,230 million during the first half of 2017, in terms of non-residential property, according to data published by the real estate and wealth manager Laborde Marcet.

By sector, retail accounted for 42% of the total (€2,619 million), ahead of the office sector, which represented 25.5% (€1,588 million). Meanwhile, the hotel sector accounted for 23% (€1,433 million) and logistics assets the remaining 9.5% (€590 million).

The founding partner of Laborde Marcet, Miquel Laborde, said that the real estate sector is reaching “maximum levels” in terms of the final prices of operations given that the “the difference between demand and supply causes prices to rise, although that pushes down the yield on those assets”.

During the second quarter of 2017, the figures show a QoQ decrease. In the period from April to June 2017, €2,710 million was invested in non-residential real estate operations, down by 23% compared to the first quarter of 2017, when €3,520 million was invested.

By sector, during the second quarter of 2017, retail accounted for 41.5% of the total investment (€1,124 million), followed by the office sector, which represented 26.6% (€720 million). Meanwhile, the hotel sector accounted for 24% of the total (€650 million) and the logistics sector the remaining 7.9% (€216 million). All of the sectors saw their investment figures decrease with respect to the first quarter 2017, with the exception of offices, which increased their market share by 1.9 percentage points.

If this trend continues during the second half of 2017, the tertiary real estate sector would see total investment in real estate for the year reach almost €13,000 million, which would represent an increase of 16.75% with respect to the data recorded in 2016, when investment for the year amounted to €11,134 million.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

E&V: Inv’t In Tertiary RE Sector Will Exceed €12,000M In 2017

21 June 2017 – Eje Prime

The services sector is soaring in Spain. Investment in the country’s tertiary sector is going to set a new record in 2017, whereby exceeding the €11,900 million recorded in 2015, according to the first study of the sector performed by Engel & Völkers. Specifically, Barcelona has become the primary investment destination, accounting for 20 of the 35 operations undertaken and outperforming Madrid for the first time.

The German real estate firm bases this forecast on the sustained growth seen over the last two years, which has been supported by Spanish investors, who now account for 40% of total investment volumes (foreign investors account for 60%). In the first quarter of 2017 alone, non-residential real estate transactions worth €3,520 million were closed, of which more than half were located in Madrid and Barcelona.

Specifically, Barcelona now accounts for 57% of the operations undertaken, compared to 20% in 2014. The prices of real estate assets in the Catalan capital is still between 30% and 40% lower than the prices seen in other European cities, which makes it an ideal place for real estate investment, according to Alberto Sarrias, CEO of Engel & Völkers Sales for Spain, Portugal and Andorra.

By sector, the retail and office segments continue to lead the way in terms of investment. Whilst the former saw investment worth €1,495 million, investment in offices amounted to €900 million, a figure that doubles that recorded during the first quarter of 2016. The hotel sector came next in the ranking, with €783 million and then the logistics segment. In terms of prices, office space in Madrid and Barcelona is expected to continue its upwards trend, increasing by between 5% and 10% per year, which means that yields could reach 15% for investors, according to the report.

In terms of the type of property, retail premises and buildings that need renovating in the prime areas of large cities are the most sought-after by investors in general, although there are some variations depending on buyers’ profiles. Whilst the investment funds prefer office buildings and shopping centres that need renovating, private investors opt for commercial premises and small buildings.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake