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The Spanish Real Estate Market in August 2021

The eighth month 2021, saw fewer new developments than in July, although there were significant transactions, especially in the Barcelona office market.

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August 2021 witnessed the results of dozens of unlisted real estate companies and the completion of transactions initiated in the first half of the year.

The traditional holiday month also brought news of alliances and the beginning of projects that will reach completion in the coming months.

Companies

In the property development sector, Cohen & Steers disclosed to the CNMV that it was taking a 5.185% stake in Neinor Homes. This makes it the publicly traded company’s third-largest shareholder. Cohen & Steers was already a shareholder in Neinor in 2017 but sold its stake a year later.

Permira also acquired a majority stake in Engel & Völkers. The firm bought nearly 60% of the latter, as the founding family held onto the rest.

The most important takeover bid in the European real estate sector saw some movement this month. Vonovia increased its offer to acquire Deutsche Wohnen to 19 billion euros. Such a valuation represents 53 euros per share, i.e. a premium of almost 18% over the price before the takeover became public.

Servihabitat was awarded management of Kutxabank’s portfolio of real estate assets, valued at 1.2 billion euros. It includes 10,000 residential and land assets, mainly located in Andalusia and the Basque Country. Aliseda also improved its results, reducing its losses by 80%. In 2020, it lost €27.88 million. Its revenues fell from €136.4 million to €123.6 million due to Covid-19.

Anida, BBVA’s real estate subsidiary, reported a loss of 102.1 million euros in 2020 due to a fall in the value of its stake in the developer Metrovacesa.

The real estate company owned by Sandra Ortega, the founders of Inditex’s daughter, reported a loss of €128.5 million in 2020 due to the renegotiation of some of its leases, grace periods and the suspension of hotel projects.

Grosvenor Real Estate España, the Westminster family’s real estate investment arm in Spain, reported that it had lost 619,702 euros. The Duke’s family was forced to inject almost 4 million euros into its Spanish subsidiary.

The real estate portal Idealista increased the value of its assets fivefold in 2020, earning 35.3 million euros. This profit growth was largely due to its merger with the YaEncontré portal.

The real estate company Nyesa carried out its planned capital increase. This was done by compensating for bankruptcy claims, credits against an estate, and the issuance of 3.421 billion shares. Subsequently, the CEO, Liberto Campillo, resigned. Another company that carried out an increase of this type was Urbas, which raised €155 million.

WeWork and Cushman & Wakefield closed a deal to market flex spaces. The agreement includes Cushman buying an asset valued at $150 million.

Residential

Last month, it became known that 48,201 home sales were completed in June. Moreover, house prices rose by 4.9%, according to Tinsa. The Mediterranean coast and the archipelagos were the places that reported the highest growth.

The APCEspaña employers’ association is asking the government for more than 11 billion euros to guarantee home purchases by younger people. The employers’ association is proposing a plan for the central government to guarantee up to 11.2 billion euros for a total of 330,000 homes. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have used similar programmes, such as ‘Help to Buy’.

The socimi Testa Home, owned by Blackstone, commissioned JLL to sell a portfolio of 700 homes for more than 180 million euros. Testa had already sought to sell the assets in 2019, but the deal fell through.

Pryconsa was awarded two plots of land in Madrid, near the Madrid Nuevo Norte operation, in a cour case. Both assets cost the developer 30 million euros, and it will be able to build 200 homes.

Madrid City Council put out to tender an urban development project on Avenida de San Luis, in the district of Hortaleza. The area comprises three hectares with no use or buildability, where they will seek to install public housing, a centre for the elderly and parks. The Consistory of Barcelona, for its part, awarded the construction of four industrialised developments for social housing. It will invest a total of 20 million euros.

In Barcelona, Petrus Grupo Inmobiliario will build three residential developments, which will require an investment of 26 million euros to build three new residential complexes.

Logistics

In August, the volume of logistics investment in the second quarter reached 1.382 billion euros. This figure was influenced by Bankinter’s acquisition of Montepino’s portfolio.

Baring sold a portfolio of ten assets totalling 188,000 square metres to Swiss Life Asset Managers. These properties are located in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Six are for cold logistics. Savills Investment Management acquired two logistics warehouses in Leganés from UBS for €51.6 million. Both total 34,969 square metres, leased to XPOLogistics and Cadyssa Douglas.

GXO was listed on the New York Stock Exchange as the former global logistics segment of XPO Logistics. The company has 20 million square metres of warehousing space in 869 locations in 27 countries.

Forestal Garden signed a turnkey project with Arnaiz to build a 4,326 m2 industrial building with offices on a 6,381 m2 plot of land.

Offices

In the office segment, there were large transactions, mainly in Barcelona. The highest value was Acciona and Tristán’s sale of 31,000 m2 for 100 million euros. This office complex is divided into four buildings, and the transaction will be closed by the end of the year.

The German fund KanAm bought an office complex in 22@ from Enric Gregori’s family office for 67 million. This will be Amazon’s second headquarters in Barcelona, with 7,000 m2 of space. The same fund also completed the purchase of the Pentagon portfolio. Assets include five buildings leased to the executive of the autonomous community, for which it paid €280 million.

Sareb sold an office building in A Coruña to a Galician property company for €5.4 million. The property has 4,000 m2 leased to the National Institute of Social Security.

First Workplaces announced the inauguration of a new co-working centre in Barcelona. The 1,400-square-metre space will be located in Torre Realia.

Merlin Properties leased an office building under construction in Lisbon to SPI. The 22,450-m2 complex, called Monumental, cost the socimi €34.8 million.

Retail

The most relevant news of the month in this sector came from one of the major projects of the British group Intu Properties in Spain. Deloitte, in its audit report, questioned the viability of the Intu Costa del Sol project. The consultancy highlighted the company’s negative net worth, recurring losses over recent years and the fall in the land’s valuation.

ShopperTrak published data on shopping centre footfall, which rose by 2.6% in July. Despite the increase, the overall figure is still 24.1% below pre-pandemic levels.

Mazabi bought land to develop a shopping complex in Salamanca. The plot has 16,342 m2, on which it will build a 5,761-m2 facility with an area of influence including 200,000 people. Some of the committed tenants are E.Leclerc, Decathlon, Norauto, Burger King and Bricomart.

In Madrid’s Gran Vía, Wow, Dimas Gimeno’s first commercial project after leaving his role as former president of El Corte Inglés, is moving ahead. Banco Santander has granted a €40 million loan to IBA Capital and CBRE GI to refurbish and reposition the building at Gran Vía 18, where Wow will be located.

On the international front, Amazon has begun its move into physical commerce in the US. The multinational announced the opening of two shops in Ohio and California.

Hotels

The hotel sector’s results for July were released this month. On average, hotels brought in 15.5% more per room than in July 2020. Overnight stays were up 125%.

Hyatt bought the American tourism chain ALG (Apple Leisure Group) for 2.7 billion dollars from KKR and KSL Capital. ALG manages nearly one hundred assets with 33,000 rooms in a dozen countries. In addition, it was announced that Hyatt would begin investing in the residential sector in Madrid. In conjunction with Hesperia, it announced the inauguration of a luxury medium and long-stay residential complex overlooking the Paseo de la Castellana. The property will have 22 homes of between 100 and 150 square metres.

In transactions, the socimi All Iron bought the Tryp Chamberí to transform it into 48 flats. Another Spanish group, Mazabi, finalised its acquistion of a hotel in Córdoba, the Hospedería Atalia. Azora added a new asset to its portfolio, the five-star luxury hotel in Praia das Gaivotas, with 118 rooms. This hotel establishment is currently operated by Blue & Green.

The Spanish state is injecting €90 million of European Funds into twelve hotel projects currently under development. The future hotels to receive the aid include the Hotel Almenara de San Roque in SO Sotogrande, the Royal Cupido in Chiclana de la Frontera, the luxury resort of the Radisson Blu chain in Mogán (Canary Islands), a project of the Gloria Palace Group, another of the Anpora Group and the Hotel Noga.

Bob W announced that it would open its first flats in Spain in September. The new complex will be at 45 Fuencarral Street, in the Centro district.

NPL’s

The US investment fund Cerberus sold a mortgage loan in the process of execution to the socimi Ktesios Real Estate for 1.25 million euros. The loan is secured by assets in the province of Valencia, including 12 homes with garages and storage rooms, with a market value of more than €3.5 million.

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