New Home Shortage In Madrid Drives Up Prices

3 May 2016 – Capital Radio

“All of the new build projects being marketed at the moment are off-plan and those that are finished have already been sold. We do not have any more new build home stock left in Madrid”, said Carlos Smerdou, CEO of Foro Consultores. That was one of the conclusions to emerge from the Real Estate Investment debate about the present and future of new build homes, held on Thursday at Capital Radio. The recovery of the real estate market is a fact. “Certain cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, started to run out of new build stock sooner, when demand exceeded supply, but that phenomenon has now spread to other cities such as Málaga, Alicante and Córdoba and the recovery is now evident across the country. (…)”, said Carlos Smerdou.

“The client profile has changed. Before we had investors looking to benefit from property price rises, but now investors are an end clients looking to upgrade to larger homes. One- and two-bedroom flats are no longer being built, instead we have three-, four- and five-bedroom homes. Buyers are now looking for quality, design, ecological projects and energy efficiency”, explained Javier Román, Commercial Director at Solvia.

“We are a cooperative manager and we have noticed that despite the political uncertainty, there is a lot of interest from people looking to buy a home. Young people have started to buy subsidised homes because the economic situation is allowing them to do so. It is clear that we have reached the lowest point of the house price cycle and in certain micro-markets, such as the one that we move in (subsidised housing), we are seeing a great deal of interest and we are even seeing price increases for unsubsidised homes”, said Juan Carlos Bartolomé, Real Estate Director at Víveme.

“During the boom, everything was sold, but now clients are more demanding and, as property developers, we have to focus on the clients’ preferences. We have to deliver a quality product, not only in terms of the materials, but also in terms of energy efficiency, which then generates savings for the buyer. Our plan is to end this year with 40 developments underway in Madrid, Andalucía, Costa del Sol, País Vasco and Cataluña”, confirmed Gabriel Sánchez, Business Director at Neinor Homes.

Industry experts are calling for a more efficient licence approval process from the Town Hall of Madrid. “We have a problem with the timeframes. The Town Hall of Madrid is taking too long to grant licences and is delaying lots of projects. That is wrong and it means that in the capital, there is already a shortage of new homes, which is leading to price rises”, explained Carlos Smerdou.

“It is undeniable that there is a problem in Madrid due to the delays in granting building permits, which in the best cases is taking six months. And that means that investors are afraid of starting a project that then gets paralysed”, said Juan Carlos Bartolomé.

“The delay by the Administration is widespread across the country, but there is more focus on Madrid and Barcelona because there are more projects there waiting to receive licences. (…)”.

Original story: Capital Radio (by Meli Torres)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Former Larcovi Employees Create New RE Company

22 October 2015 – Expansión

A new real estate management company has been born. It is called Víveme, a company created as the result of a carve-out from the real estate group Larcovi. “We have been hatching the idea for almost a year; and we have been working towards its launch now, at a time when the results in the sector are improving”, explains Mariam Martín Ferreiro, the President of Víveme.

The new company will be responsible for rendering a range of services to third parties, including land searches, project development, financing searches and the marketing of homes. “We work with cooperatives; financial institutions that own land; and projects that have been foreclosed due to bankruptcy”, says Martín Ferreiro. “Víveme will not take on any developer risk, but sometimes we will provide financial support to investors”, she said.

Behind this new company are several former employees of Larcovi. “There is no large business group behind us, instead, as employees we are also shareholders. We have created Víveme because we believe in the recovery of the market and in our own experience”.

Although it was only launched recently, the real estate company has already got almost one thousand homes under management. “As we start out, we already have several projects underway for the development of 900 homes, mostly in Madrid, of which 500 are already under construction”, says the President.


Thanks to this volume of activity, the company hopes to close the first year with a profit. “With the current portfolio, and another two projects that we plan to start before the end of the year, we hope to end the year with turnover of €1.5 million”. The aim is to manage between four and five new projects per year, whereby delivering 2,000 homes between now and 2020. “We have now obtained financing for a development close to the Castellana and in October we will deliver 57 family homes in Rivas”.

Víveme will compete directly with the banks’ real estate arms, which is not something that concerns its directors too much. “We know that the financial institutions are there, but increasingly they are focusing on their core businesses and we believe that we can compete with them, by offering high quality products and by listening to our clients, personalising each home, not just the finishes, but also letting customers participate in the design phase”.

Víveme is one of numerous companies that will participate in the Autumn edition of the SIMA real estate trade fair in Madrid, which is being held between 23 and 25 October. Other participants include: Iberdrola Inmobiliaria, Vía Célere, Hercesa and TM Grupo Inmobiliario, as well as Servihabitat, owned by La Caixa, and Anida, owned by BBVA

Original story: Expansión (by R.R.)

Translation: Carmel Drake