Social Housing is in Very Short Supply in Málaga

17 March 2019 – Diario Sur

Social housing is in very short supply in Málaga. More than 27,000 families are registered on the waiting list for VPO properties, to purchase or rent, of whom 18,723 have been waiting for at least five years. 4,768 new families were added to the register last year alone. But only two out of every 100 families ever receive the good news that they have been selected to be awarded a home. Over the last few years, just 345 homes have been handed over.

Why are VPO homes not being constructed? There are several reasons, but one of the main ones is the lack of funding from the State and the Junta de Andalucía for public and private property developers. The most recent housing plans have focused on subsidising rental payments and undertaking renovation work rather than on the construction of new homes.

The Town Hall of Málaga has projects in the pipeline for the construction of 1,001 public housing units on land to the west of the extension of the Teatinos campus. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is willing to finance half of those homes, worth around €120 million, but the cost of that loan alone would have to be passed on to tenants in the form of rentals of €255 per month, which when combined with the cost of the financing the remaining 50% would not be affordable. Seven out of ten people waiting for a VPO home for rent earn less than €537 per month.

77% of applicants for a VPO home would prefer to rent, given that the option of buying is becoming increasingly less affordable. 72% of the applicants are aged under 35 years old. Public housing policies all but disappeared during the crisis and rents have risen significantly since then, hence the rise in the number of applicants on the register. In fact, the real demand for VPO homes is much higher as many families do not even bother to register given the limited chances they have of being awarded a property.

Across the province, according to data from the local council, 8,457 people are registered on the waiting list for a VPO home, with 1,613 in Torremolinos, 1,365 in Marbella and 1,359 in Estepona. Nevertheless, just 247 families have been awarded a home in any of the Málagan municipalities over the last seven years.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Jesús Hinojosa)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Andalucía’s Culture Department Approves ‘La Equitativa’ Hotel Project in Málaga

18 January 2019 – Málaga Hoy

The majority owner of the La Equitativa building, which is behind the partial restoration of the property for the installation of a 5-star hotel, now has the path clear to obtain the building permit for the work. The Delegation of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía has just issued a favourable report for the renovation project, plans for which were submitted almost eight months ago, which paves the way for the Urban Planning Department to grant permission for the intervention.

That was confirmed to this newspaper by sources close to the owner company, who indicated that it was the last procedure that was pending with the municipal entity. In terms of the timeframes that the company is working with to launch the work, the same sources said that it will depend on the announcements made by the municipal entity, which will have to validate compliance with the other technical requirements before proceeding to grant the permit.

The unblocking of the hotel project came on 22 June, when Key International, an investment fund headquartered in Miami, acquired 100% of the east part of the building, which comprises a ground floor plus seven upper storeys, through the firm Alameda Retail. The sale and purchase operation also involved one home and a commercial premise, and although they barely account for 3% of this section of La Equitativa, they were limiting the possibility of the project going ahead as a hotel.

That circumstance forced the private firm to not rule out the possibility of opting for residential use for that part of the building. Having closed the purchase of the remaining buildings, an operation that required several weeks of negotiations with the tenants, the investment fund has free reign to push ahead with its first objective: hotel use. It was precisely that purpose that sparked the firm’s interest in buying La Equitativa in the first place, closing the purchase of 60% of the historical building, which had been owned by Rubcapel until that time.

At the end of April, through the company Key Continental, a request was filed with the Urban Planning Department to proceed with the renovation of the property for that purpose. The data points to an establishment with capacity for around 80 rooms, with an investment of around €14 million. In addition, there will be commercial premises on the ground floors.

Once the position of Delegation of Culture, which is in favour of the intervention, has been defined, then the company may soon resume contact with hotel chains to close an agreement for the management of the establishment.

The other part of La Equitativa corresponds to the tower, comprising 14 floors, which will also be renovated but which will retain its residential use. For that, the owner, Ingomar, also requested a building permit from the Urban Planning Department last October.

The restoration of this building, which is still in the processing phase, is part of a major transformation process currently on-going in La Alameda area, with the future arrival of the metro and the semi-pedestrianisation work, promoted by the Town Hall, as some of the main features.

Original story: Málaga Hoy (by Sebastián Sánchez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Town Hall of Málaga Authorises Four Buildings for Tourist Apartments

16 October 2018 – Diario Sur

The boom in projects to build new tourist apartments in the Málagan capital continues apace. That is reflected in the list of activities that received building permits from the Municipal Urban Planning Department during the months of July, August and September, which will be submitted to the governing board of that Town Hall body tomorrow. The projects include four properties for tourist apartments, of which two involve the adaptation of existing buildings, and the other two the construction of new properties on separate plots, located in the Trinidad neighbourhood.

One of the authorised projects involves the construction of a building for 49 tourist apartments, 26 parking spaces and a swimming pool on the plot located at numbers 7, 8 and 9 Avenida de Fátima, located right next to the parish of the same name. It is being promoted by the company Pinar Concept. Similarly, around 200 m from that site, also in the Trinidad area, the Town Hall has granted a construction licence for another tourist apartment building, to be promoted by Inmoplan Promociones, which will be constructed on the plot at numbers 5 and 6, Plaza de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, next to c/Don Juan de Austria.

The other two approved initiatives involve the conversion into tourist apartments of two residential-use buildings located at number 52 Calle Mariano de Cavia, in the Pedregalejo area, on the one hand, and at number 2 Calle Barroso, next to Calle Córdoba, on the other. As this newspaper already reported (refer to SUR18/9/2018), behind this latest activity in the Soho area is the chain Hotusa, which is planning to develop a project involving 42 tourist apartments through the company Tandem Apartments.

Student halls

On the other hand, on another plot of land in Trinidad, located at numbers 8 and 10 Calle Carril, the Urban Planning Department has approved the construction of a hall of residence for students promoted by the company specialising in internships for overseas students, Euromind Projects.

In addition, the Urban Planning Department plans to approve tomorrow the start of the procedure to declare the expiration of the permit that was granted in 2008 for the construction of an industrial, office and parking lot building at number 303 Avenida de Velázquez, next to the headquarters of Canal Sur. That project was started but only the structure was completed. In a letter to Aena in July, it was stated that in 2009, the obligations of the airport were modified and so currently its height represents “an obstacle” for manoeuvres for the approach and take off of planes from the runway.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Jesús Hinojosa)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Former Bacardi Factory Plots in Málaga to go up for Sale for €15M

7 June 2018 – La Opinión de Málaga

Yesterday, the consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman announced the upcoming sale of almost 75,000 m2 of land on the site of the former Bacardi factory in Málaga, an operation for which it is acting as the broker and which could reach a market value of around €15 million.

The land, which is classified as buildable industrial, could prove very attractive for investors, given the current lack of available spaces of this kind in Málaga on which to locate industrial or logistics facilities. The director of the consultancy in Málaga, José Félix Pérez-Peña, described the land as “one of a kind”, despite the fact that it is located on the Guadalhorce flood plan, and mentioned several high-profile “international funds” as possible interested parties. The consultancy firm, which indicated that the plots will come onto the market “soon” is placing the focus on the use of the site for office buildings.

Another attractive plot that Savills Aguirre Newman is brokering the sale of is the former Salyt brick factory, spanning almost 13,000 m2, although it is still unknown whether that will be allocated to industrial or commercial use. A Dutch group had expressed interest in building a shopping centre on the site although the price being requested by the Town Hall paralysed that operation. There has also been talk recently of the land housing a logistics warehouse. Pérez-Peña said that the final destination of these plots would be revealed over the next few months.

In terms of Astoria, he said that “several international groups are interested”, including one in particular that has properties of this kind in Spain and Europe and which may soon make contact with the Town Hall. In theory, the Town Hall is planning to convene a tender at the end of this year or the beginning of 2019 in which anyone who wants to will be able to participate (…).

Another one of the projects that is being “followed very closely” by Savills Aguirre Newman is that of Martiricos, where two residential towers are going to be built, plus an office building measuring 7,000 m2 and another commercial building measuring 3,000 m2. The consultancy firm classified it as one of the “star projects” in Málaga, which “is going to change” the city.

Pérez-Peña also summarised other matters such as the future of Pier 4, which has a surface area of 26,500 m2 and which, in his opinion, could become a great space for offices or homes. He also said that Repsol, spanning 117,000 m2, could be a wonderful enclave for making a city of offices, although that would be up to the Town Hall and Sareb to decide. And he also alluded to the potential of the Correos building (3,352 m2) as an office block, although he admitted that it would generate higher yields if it was allocated for residential or hotel use.

Original story: La Opinión del Málaga (by José Vicente Rodríguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Approval Granted For Sonae & MacArthurGlen’s Outlet Complex In Málaga

22 May 2017 – Eje Prime

The green light has been given for the creation of the Designer Outlet Center.

Sonae Sierra and MacArthurGlen have obtained a construction licence from the Town Hall of Málaga to build an outlet complex for fashion and accessories brands, next to the Plaza Mayor shopping centre.

The project, born out of a joint venture (Doc Málaga Siteco) between the Portuguese retail group and the British property developer, involves extending the shopping centre in Málaga by 85,198 m2, demolishing the existing night-time leisure areas and creating the Designer Outlet Center space.

To start the expansion works, Doc Málaga Siteco must pay an extra €2.5 million to the Town Hall for the completion of infrastructure work in the surrounding area. The renovated Plaza Mayor will have 107 stores in total, doubling the number of existing stores. It is expected to attract 2.4 million visitors per year.

McArthurGlen, which manages 22 retail complexes in Europe and Canada, closed 2015 with comparable sales €4,000 million, up by 10% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Sonae, meanwhile, owns a network of 250 stores in Portugal and launched thirteen Sport Zone shops and five Salsa outlets in Spain last year. The Sports&Fashion division, which includes the Salsa, MO, Sport Zone and Losan brands, amongst others, increased its turnover by 11.2% in 2016, to €1,439 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

House Prices Rose By 0.7% In Málaga In Q1 2016

30 March 2016 – La Opinión de Málaga

During the first few months of 2016, the cost of new homes in Málaga has confirmed that prices are starting to rise there again, albeit slowly and cautiously. Having said that, prices in the region are still between 32% and 34.3% lower than the maximum values recorded at the peak of the housing bubble, according to the latest quarterly report from the Town Hall of Málaga’s Urban Environment Observatory (OMAU). Last year represented the turning point with the first YoY rise in house prices since the crisis began (specifically, prices rose by 4.3% in the capital and by 3.7% in the rest of the province) and now, during the first quarter of 2016, that trend is continuing, with new increases, albeit small, but nonetheless indicative that the recovery of activity in the real estate market is starting to take hold. According to OMAU, the average value of new homes for sale in the capital (including VAT) now amounts to €2,096/m2, after an increase of 0.4% during Q1 2016, whilst the average price in the province as a whole rose by 0.7% to €1,904/m2.

“In Málaga, several new developments, above all in Teatinos and along the West Coast (Litoral Oeste), have driven the market this quarter, together with others that were lying dormant, waiting for the reactivation of the market. That is now happening in a very timid and unstable way”, says OMAU which notes that, in any case, some values are still “not showing clear trends”, with quarterly fluctuations up and down.

The western area of the Costa del Sol is the area of the province that saw the highest price rises during Q1 2016 (1.98%), whilst the West Coast recorded increases of 0.9% and the inland area recorded rises of 0.6%. The highest prices in the province (ahead of those in Málaga capital, which is ranked in second place) are in Marbella, with an average price of €2,537/m2 and a rise of 3.8% during Q1 2016.

In terms of Málaga capital, OMAU’s report indicates that prices have increased above all in the West Coast (by 3.2%) and in the Centre (by 3.1%). In Puerto de la Torre, prices rose by 8.6%, although that was the direct result of the inclusion of a specific development, which significantly affected the average for that area. Interestingly, in Teatinos (one of the areas with the most activity, where work has been on-going at five or six developments in recent months), prices fell by 2.5% during the first quarter although, in any case, prices there are still higher than they were a year ago.

Very high unemployment. The Director of OMAU, Pedro Marín, confirms the reactivation of the real estate market, in the context of the tough years of the crisis, but he warns that it is a process that must be taken “very cautiously”. “There is still a lot of uncertainty in Spain, both in terms of the economy as well as politics, and the real estate sector is waiting (to see what will happen). But it is true that construction has resumed at several developments and there are lots of adverts around”, he says. However, according to OMAU, the major problem continues to be the persistence of high rates of unemployment (almost 27% in the case of Málaga).

“In reality, whilst unemployment is so high, individuals’ capacity to obtain reasonable incomes to allow them to access the real estate market and boost demand is little more than a pipe dream…”. (…).

Original story: La Opinión de Málaga (by José Vicente Rodríguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake