Madrid’s Offices Record Highest Occupancy Rates For 10 Years

29 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Offices are getting increasingly busier. In Madrid, the real estate sector is recording pre-crisis figures, with an occupancy (take-up) rate during the first nine months of the year of 359,000 m2, the highest volume for a decade.

This indicator is also encouraging the leasing of workspaces. According to a report from the consultancy firm Knight Frank, the Madrilenian office market is aspiring to close 2017 with half a million square metres of space leased, in large part, thanks to the 3.1% growth rate of Spain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This data consolidates the Spanish capital as a point of reference for the sector across the country and makes it one of the fastest growing markets in Europe.

The volume of investment in this segment of the tertiary sector as at September 2017 was €928 million, with British and US investors increasing their activity by the most this year. That fact has caused the domestic quota to decrease from 80% to 65% in just twelve months.

The availability of office space in Madrid has decreased by 11.6% during the same period; the expectation is that over the next two years, the pipeline of stock will increase by 325,000 m2. Of that future space, 26% is already leased, most notably, the 36,000 m2 of space that the British company WPP acquired on Calle Ríos Rosas, where the former headquarters of Telefónica was located, and the 48,000 m2 of space that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is going to make use of at number 8 Plaza del Marqués de Salamanca.

In terms of the economics, the high demand in this market in the Spanish capital is resulting in an increase in prime rents in the city, with an upward trend that saw rental prices reach €29.50/m2 during the third quarter.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

MDSR Buys A Portfolio Of Hypermarkets For €150M

21 September 2017 – Expansión

The fund MDSR Investments has completed another purchase in Spain. The firm has acquired a portfolio of hypermarkets leased to Carrefour and Eroski, which were owned until now by Tristan Capital. The operation, which has been closed for a value of approximately €150 million, represents the largest transaction in Spain involving hypermarkets and shopping arcades so far this year.

The portfolio has a gross leasable area of 86,836 m2. Located in Segovia, Jaca, Fuengirola, San Javier, Tomelloso, San Sebastián and Ribadeo, the first four operate buildings under the Carrefour brand. Moreover, the operation also includes shopping arcades in Segovia, Jaca and Tomelloso.

This is the seventh operation to be undertaken by the firm, which is managed by an Israeli group and financed by US investors, since it arrived in Spain a year and a half ago. Moreover, it is the firm’s second transaction in recent months, given that, in March, it acquired a portfolio of five Eroski hypermarkets, owned until then by Joparny, for around €30 million.

In October 2016, MDSR Investments acquired the Travesía de Vigo shopping centre for €49 million.

In this operation, MDSR has been advised by Savills on the real estate side and Dentons for legal aspects; whilst Linklaters has advised the seller on the legal side.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Real Estate Investment Down By 24% In H1 2016

5 July 2016 – Expansión

The real estate sector is still a preferred investment destination, after a record and unusually active 2015, but investors are now putting the brakes on, which has caused investment volumes to decrease during the first half of 2016.

Between January and June 2016, real estate investment amounted to €3,921 million, 24% less than during the same period in 2015 when, excluding the purchase of Testa, investment stood at €5,200 million. This difference is even more marked if we include Merlin’s purchase of Testa, in which case, investment during the first six months of last year soar to €8,400 million, according to data from the real estate consultancy CBRE.

The decrease in investment reflects a reduction in the supply of real estate properties, the uncertainty at the political and economic level and a normalisation of the quality-price relationship of assets. Despite everything, the level of investment to June was 40% higher than the average recorded over the last ten years.

By sector, the most affected has been the office segment, with a reduction in terms of investment of 48%, to €871 million. Meanwhile, investment in retail and hotel assets fell by 30% and 48%, to €1,341 million and €543 million, respectively. Meanwhile, investment in logistics assets doubled to reach €462 million; that segment now accounts for 12% of total investment.

In terms of type of investor, the Socimis, which accounted for 42% of all real estate investments made last year, have lowered their profiles to participate in just 10% of real estate transactions during H1 2016. By contrast, international funds now account for 68% of total investment. In terms of the geographical origin of the overseas capital, the USA leads the way, with 39% of total investment, followed by Australia (8%) and the UK (6%).

The most important operations during the first six months of the year included: Blackstone’s purchase of 4,500 rental homes for €540 million; Invesco’s acquisition of a portfolio of Gonuri hypermarkets for €358 million; and the purchase of the car park manager Parkia by the Australian fund First State for €300 million. In the office sector, the largest deal was GreenOak’s purchase of the Las Mercedes business park in Madrid for €128.5 million.

Optimistic outlook

Looking ahead towards H2 2016, the President of CBRE España, Adolfo Ramírez-Escuero, acknowledges that the forecasts made at the beginning of the year, that investment would amount to between €8,500 million and €9,000 million in 2016, seem “somewhat optimistic” six months on.

Ramírez-Escudero explained that the result of the UK’s referendum has taken the European real estate sector by surprise. “It is likely that investors will wait until the rules that are going to frame the relationship between the UK and the EU have been defined more clearly, as well as to find out how they will influence the economy on both sides”, said the President of CBRE España regarding Brexit.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

US & Asians Investors Want To Construct More Homes In Spain

30 June 2015 – El Economista

There are 439,000 empty new homes in Spain. However, that figure is not deterring international investors, who are coming here to construct more homes. According to Roger Cooke, Senior Advisor in the Real Estate Transactions team at EY: “US and Asian investors are very interested in buying land in Spain for the development of homes”.

This is a significant development in the market. “In the 20 years that I have been working in the Spanish real estate sector, this is the first time that international investors have been interested in Spanish land for residential development”, explains Cooke, who remembers that before the crisis, foreign investors channelled funds into property development, but only in non-residential segments, whereas most of the investors in the residential sector were domestic.

Nowadays, many overseas investors are looking to build partnerships and work together with Spanish developers – under these arrangements, the investors inject the majority of the capital and the developers provide the local knowledge.

In fact, some of the large funds have already managed to reach such agreements in Spain, for example, the case of Lone Star, which will invest €1,000 million this year buying land through Neinor Homes. Together, they hope to launch ten developments and sell more than 2,000 homes.

Space in the market for everyone

With figures of this magnitude, it is easy to think that the country must be heading towards another real estate bubble. However, Cooke considers that there is sufficient demand for new housing developments in Spain. (…).  He says that there are currently two types of buyer, which reflect the two types of development: those where construction has not yet started; and those properties that were built before the crisis.

Moreover, on the one hand, there are buyers who look for the best price. They want to acquire properties constructed before the crisis, in peripheral and/or sparsely populated areas. On the other hand, there are more sophisticated, primarily international investors, which are more focused on new developments on the coast. These types of clients are willing to pay more money, but for homes that are built to their liking and have high standards of quality. (…).

For now, the residential market is recovering in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, but Cooke warns that “we must look towards the coast, because that is where we see demand for holiday homes”.

In this segment, European buyers are the most active, although potential buyers from outside Europe are also arriving on the scene.

Asian investors have also seen the opportunity in this market and are starting to buy land to develop certain projects.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake