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The Portuguese Real Estate Market in January

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After the past year, when real estate was a significant engine of growth for the Portuguese economy, we start the new year, 2022, with continued market strength, both in the amount invested and the number of transactions.

January began with some outstanding transactions, namely in the office, retail, logistics and hotel sectors. Residential was less active, with no major transactions of note.

The first month of the year also marked a period of continuity for a large swathe of the corporate sector in terms of investment volumes for the previous year. Most of the firms connected to the real estate sector have forecast a banner year for 2022, with investment maintaining last year’s dynamism.

Offices

The highlight of the office sector last month came in the form of Caixa Geral de Depósitos’ sale of the Camões Building for 20 million euros. CGD sold Edifício Camões 155, in Porto, to Finangeste. The building’s new owner has stated that it will invest €3 million in refurbishing the property. The office building has 10,000m2 of surface area and is currently the home of Portugal’s Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DIAP). Spread over ten above-ground floors, it also has 91 parking spaces. CGD itself is another tenant and has a branch there, along with its social services division. The deal was finalised at the end of last year but has only just now come to light.

At the end of the month, PATRIZIA announced the sale of a mixed-use office building in Lisbon for 45.25 million euros. Principal Global Investors acquired the office and retail building in Lisbon from PATRIZIA’s TransEuropean VI fund. Dom Luís I has a total leasable area of 10,300 m2, including 8,100 m2 of office space on seven floors and 2,200 m2 of retail and leisure space on the ground floor. The property is located in the riverside area of Lisbon.

Retail

Just after New Year’s, a fund managed by BPI acquired the Galerias Saldanha Residence for 27 million euros. BPI Imofomento, an open-ended real estate investment fund, acquired the asset in Lisbon from Novimovest, a closed-ended investment fund managed by Santander Asset Management. Located in the heart of the city of Lisbon, Galerias Saldanha Residence is situated in one of the prime areas for offices in the capital. It boasts 6,900 m2 of GLA (gross leasable area) and 40 shops.

The following day, the news came through that a new Retail Park will be built in Portimão. The new space, developed by Mitiska REIM, will have around 22,000 square meters of GLA, including 18 shops. The investment is set to exceed €20 million. Nova Vila Retail Park is located three minutes away from downtown Portimão. Broadway Malyan is responsible for the development’s architectural project, which is scheduled to open in the first half of 2023.

On the last day of January, the news was published stating that the Évora Retail Park had been sold for 6.1 million euros. M7 Real Estate sold the roughly 6,000-m2 retail space to Europar Investimentos & Participações, a Brazilian family office. The buyers intend to build an additional 2,000 square meters for new shops. The transaction, finalised in September of last year, has only now been revealed. However, it seems that Europar has already sold a part of the property.

Logistics

Halfway through the month, news broke that Savills had advised Norfin on the sale of an over 35,000-m2 logistics complex. The international real estate consultancy Savills advised Norfin on the sale of two logistics assets formerly part of the Iberia FEIF. One of the properties is in Cartaxo, while the other in Quinta do Adarse in Alverca do Ribatejo. Both are fully leased. Located in consolidated logistics zones, the units were acquired by Bedrock Capital and Europi Property Group. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

Shortly afterwards, Mercadona announced that it would invest 24.5 million euros in a new warehouse. The supermarket will expand its logistics capacity by building a new warehouse in Póvoa de Varzim. After having started operating the Póvoa de Varzim Logistics Block in 2019, Mercadona now has a new 12,000-m2 warehouse. The new facility, built on 50,000 m2 of land adjacent to the one it has already been operating since 2019, is a response to the continued success of the company’s expansion project in Portugal.

Student Residences

Catella CER announced a €15.5 million investment in a student residence in Portugal. Catella European Residential Fund (CER) is making its first investment in the Portuguese market, acquiring a student residence in the municipality of Cascais. Value One Holding sold the asset to the Sweden-based firm. The student residence is located in Carcavelos, Cascais, close to the beach and a 10-minute walk from NOVA School of Business and Economics (Nova SBE). The 6,622-m2 property was built in 2020 and consists of 192 spacious single rooms (20 m2 on average), with a gym, roof terrace, study, music and leisure spaces and parking. It is 99% occupied and has obtained the LEED Gold sustainability certification for its construction.

Further north, Porto will also gain three new university residences. The new facilities will add another 270 student beds to the city’s supply. The municipality of Porto made the announcement. One of the properties will be in Morro da Sé, in the city’s historic centre, with an estimated investment of around 7 million euros. The other will go up in Monte Pedral with an investment between 6 and 6.5 million euros.

Hotels

January started strong in this sector, as the Fortera group announced that it would invest 11.5 million euros in the Azul Boutique Hotel. Fortera will begin construction in February on the hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia, which will be completed in 2023. In another sign of tourism’s resilience, Vila Nova de Gaia will host a new 4-star hotel overlooking the Douro River. Fortera Properties informs that the new 4-star hotel, 50 metres away from the D. Luis I Bridge, will consist of 64 rooms with a view over the Douro River and will also have a restaurant, a terrace and a solarium with a pool on the 4th floor, covering a total area of 4,200m2.

Meanwhile, “The Emerald House” opened its doors in Lisbon. The first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in Lisbon is located on Rua das Janelas Verdes. The Emerald House, which has 67 rooms overlooking the Tagus River and the city itself, represents the group’s second property in Portugal. It owns a global portfolio of over 100 unique hotels and resorts in about 30 countries. It

Prop-tech

At the end of the month, Casavo announced its arrival in Portugal with an investment of 100 million euros. The real estate platform, known for buying houses in just seven days, has set up shop in Lisbon and plans to continue its business model of buying homes in Portugal. The firm is looking to transform the experience of buying and selling homes, offering a faster, simpler and more transparent service, in line with the strong growth of the real estate sector and its strategy to expand into new markets. Casavo’s technology platform provides for instant property valuations based on its patented algorithm, which analyses multiple variables, allowing it to submit a direct purchase offer within 48 hours.

Alternative Assets

The Portuguese state sold the Hospital do Desterro for 10.5 million euros. The former Hospital do Desterro, on Avenida Almirante Reis in Lisbon, was bought by its tenant: Mainside Investments. The property is slated for conversion into a hotel. Mainside purchased the former hospital, in Lisbon, from a state-owned real estate company. Last December, the two entities reached an agreement. The former Mosteiro de Nossa Senhora do Desterro, built in the late 16th century, will become a hotel (which will operate through Zero Hotels), including a restaurant area, perhaps, a production hub for companies.

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