Spain’s Top 7 Servicers Manage 80% of the AuM

15 March 2018 – Expansión

The recovery of the Spanish economy, the reduction in unemployment, the improvement in household income and the decrease in financing costs, together with investors’ appetite for property, have contributed to the configuration of a new real estate map.

One of the distinctive features of the current scenario is the entry of new players, which are absorbing the loans and banking credits associated with real estate assets, mostly homes, and which have taken control of part or all of the servicers, created out of the banks’ former real estate subsidiaries.

These companies have gained prominence and have become a key piece of the real estate market. According to the Trends and Prospects in the Real Estate Sector report, prepared by Axis Corporate, more than 80% of the assets under management are in the hands of Altamira, Servihabitat, Haya, Anida, Aliseda, Anticipa and Solvia, which together have around €220 billion of financial assets under management. Specifically, Altamira – owned by Apollo (85%) and Santander (15%) – controls 22% of the market, with €54.1 billion in financial assets under management. It is followed by Servihabitat –owned by Texas Pacific Group (51%) and Caixa (49%)–, which has a market share of 17%, with €41.1 billion in AuM; Haya (Cerberus), with a market share of 16% and €39.4 billion in AuM; and Anticipa and Aliseda, in which Blackstone holds stakes, which manage 14% of the market between the them, or €35.1 billion.

Meanwhile, Solvia, owned by Sabadell, manages €31 billion, which represents 13%; and Anida, the real estate subsidiary of BBVA, manages around €15.3 billion.

For Luis Fernández de Nograro, Managing Director of Financial Services and Real Estate at Axis Corporate, most of these types of management companies are owned by investment funds whose plans do not involve staying put and industrialising the companies, and so, their exits will happen gradually. That is the case of Cerberus, which is exploring the possibility of debuting Haya Real Estate on the stock market.

For José Masip, Partner of Real Estate at Axis Corporate, the servicers are going to follow the path established by the financial institutions, which will involve concentration in the sector. Moreover, the future of these companies anticipates the implementation of value differentiation strategies that may range from: specialising in the management of rental properties, to the operation of an owned commercial network, to innovation over traditional channels and to their commitment to greater internationalisation in the management of assets or the development of land and promotion activity.

Similarly, the experts point to an acceleration in the sale of toxic assets by the banks to funds and Socimis. Together, the sector divested more than €50 billion in doubtful loans and foreclosed land in 2017 alone, which represents almost twice the figure (€27.4 billion) sold between 2012 and 2016.


Another new group of players highlighted in the report are the Socimis, which have contributed to the regeneration of the real estate sector, reactivating investment through tax-optimised vehicles, according to the consultancy.

The report points out that, last year, 17 new Socimis made their debuts on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), which now has a total of 44 vehicles of this kind. In total, the market value of the listed Socimis exceeds €19 billion.

For Axis Corporate, these types of companies will experience continuous growth until 2019 and the majority will maintain their commitment to the tertiary sector. Sources at the consultancy indicate that there are five Socimis listed on the main stock market, but that just two are in the Ibex 35: Merlin and Colonial. For that reason, they consider that it is very likely that, in the future, there will be mergers, acquisitions and new IPOs.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Q21 Real Estate & Baupost Buy Luxury Property Developer Levitt

1 March 2018 – Eje Prime

A new corporate operation has been closed in the Spanish real estate sector. Q21 Real Estate, a company created by the former Grupo Pinar and the US fund Baupost, has acquired the luxury property developer Levitt. Following the purchase, the group will consolidate its position as one of the reference players in the luxury residential market in Madrid, as well as in the northeast and northwest of the Community of Madrid.

With this purchase, Q21 is going to increase its existing portfolio, comprising more than 1,700 homes, with 145,000 m2 of residential buildability in the northeast and northwest areas of the region, and with more than 75,000 m2 of buildable surface area in the tertiary sector. Levitt is going to provide the buying company with a contribution of land and housing under development in prime areas of Madrid.

According to the latest information available in the Mercantile Registry, Levitt-Bosch Aymerich had net assets worth €162 million at the end of 2016. The company recorded turnover of €61 million last year.

Besides Baupost, some of the other US investment funds that are very active in Spain also submitted bids for Levitt, such as Lone Star, Värde and Castlelake; they all expressed their interest in the property developer in recent months.

Levitt, founded in 1929 to construct luxury homes in New York, arrived in Spain in 1971 at the hand of José María Bosch Aymerich. In 1973, the company completed its first development, the Monteclaro urbanisation, on the outskirts of Madrid. Since then, it has constructed various high-standing developments in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as several office developments.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Private Housing Developments Reactivate Sevilla’s Crisis-Hit Neighbourhoods

26 October 2017 – Sevilla ABC

The new residential expansion zones planned for Sevilla and its metropolitan area will move from paper to reality over the next five years. The economic recovery and express reactivation of the property sector will allow neighbourhoods to be established once again, after the crisis reduced many of them to isolated developments without any services or public infrastructure.

Perhaps the clearest example of this new panorama is Entrenúcleos, in Dos Hermanas, where plans are afoot to construct 2,500 homes. The project has been entrusted to Insur and BBVA, which has already started to market the first phase, involving almost 300 properties. That development will be built in parallel to that of the social housing blocks promised by the real estate firm Altamira – a subsidiary of Banco Santander – and the Ferrocarril group.

The growth of this Nazarene enclave was originally reflected in the PGOU approved in 2002, with a view to creating a neighbourhood with more than 20,000 inhabitants, almost a small city between the urban centres of Dos Hermanos and Montequinto.

The latter nucleus has also undergone significant residential expansion  in recent times thanks to the company Bekinsa, which has constructed several developments in the area around Avenida de Europa, the last remaining space left to build on, next to the Metro stop, where a couple of urbanisations have already been sold, for delivery this year, and where off-plan apartments are being sold, for delivery in 2019.

More buildings are going to be built next to these homes on plots, located next to the shopping centre, which have been acquired by Quintos, S.A., with capacity for 800 two-, three- and four-bedroom homes.

In the Andalucian capital, the cranes are already appearing in the neighbourhoods on the outskirts, where there are still large blocks of land left to populate. As set out in the Urban Development Plan, the city will continue to grow eastwards, with a new recently announced development. It will be constructed by the Madrilenian company Vía Célere, which has acquired the former plots of the real estate company Osuna after they ended up in the hands of BBVA. The investment has exceeded €26 million and will allow for the construction of 1,700 homes on the land closest to the water park, on the Airport Industrial Estate (…)

New neighbourhoods

The property developer Metrovacesa is also working on a residential plan of a similar scale on land in Palmas Altas, taking advantage of the interest that the new shopping centre will generate there and the recent agreement that it has reached with the Town Hall to push ahead with the initiative (…).

The final area of residential expansion in Sevilla is Hacienda Rosario, located next to Torreblanca, where 1,977 homes are due to be constructed around a large park, which will form the lungs of the new neighbourhood. Of those, around 800 will be social housing properties and the remainder will be private homes (…).

Another aspect that has caught people’s attention is the decided commitment from the American investment funds to the real estate sector in Sevilla. Several, such as Värde Partners (through Vía Célere) and Aedas Homes, which is leading the project in Hacienda Rosario, will be looking to the Andalucian capital to push ahead with their plans over the next five years.

Original story: Sevilla ABC (by Elena Martos)

Translation: Carmel Drake