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