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The Spanish Real Estate Market in January 2022

January 2022 saw some significant developments in the Spanish real estate market, such as a new high profile shareholder acquiring a stake in one of the large listed real estate companies, several large BTR transactions and a long list of new appointments.

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Photo by Phil Muller

In January, the figures for real estate investment during 2021 were published. Whilst in Spain, the results slightly exceeded those recorded in 2020, in Europe that growth amounted to 25% YoY, with Germany and the Nordic countries recording historic figures.

The forecast for 2022 is that real estate investment in Spain will amount to 13 billion euros, according to CBRE; whilst the main destinations of international capital in the European real estate sector will be the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands, according to Knight Frank.

Also in January, the future Housing Law was once again in the news, receiving harsh criticism from the General Council of the Judiciary, which questions, amongst other matters, the appropriateness of rent controls and of interfering in areas that are handled by Spain’s Autonomous Regions and Town halls.


The major operation during the month of January featured Lar España. Its competitor, the Socimi owned by the South African fund Vukile, Castellana Properties, bought Pimco’s stake in Lar España. In total, Castellana Properties acquired a 21.7% stake in exchange for disbursing 97.1 million euros.

Neinor Homes was also in the news and not because of the operation that it left on hold at the end of 2021 (the negotiations to purchase Vía Célere) but because of a change in its shareholding. The fund Stoneshield emerged with an 18.5% stake in the residential property developer. In fact, Juan Pepa and Felipe Morenés, former directors of Lone Star who played a key role in the startup of Neinor, are those behind Stoneshield.

Meanwhile, life returned to normal at Merlin Properties following the announcement that both Ismael Clemente, CEO of the company, and the rest of the Board of Directors will be proposed for re-election in 2022.

During January, we also learned that the British real estate consultancy Lysander is going to open an office in Spain, specifically, in Madrid, which will be led by Miguel Falcón.

The French property developer Premier renewed its promissory note program on the MARF, whilst the fund Cerberus acquired 100% of the property developer Inmoglaciar.

In terms of new hires, Intrum appointed Ernesto Ferrer-Bonsoms as its new Director of Real Estate; Hines hired Lorenzo Peñalver as Director of Investments in Spain; and Catella AM appointed Eduardo Guardiola as the new Managing Partner in Spain, replacing Javier Hortelano. In addition, JLL signed Pablo Fernández as Head of Industrial and Logistics in Spain.

In the meantime, whilst the contest to choose a management company for Sareb continued, one of the main candidates, Haya Real Estate, reached an agreement with its creditors to restructure its debt.


Just a month into 2022, several significant operations have already been recorded in the residential investment business, specifically, in the build to rent segment.

The largest, reported by Brainsre.news, involved the purchase of 1,500 homes in different phases of construction by Patrizia. The German fund paid Becorp 600 million euros for those properties. Likewise, Aedas reached an agreement with Avalon to promote 225 homes that the firm owned by the fund Ares Management will rent out. Meanwhile, Ten Brinke sold one of its first build-to-rent projects to Nuva Living. Metrovacesa also closed the sale of 147 build-to-rent homes to AIG.

In terms of investments, Inbisa bought land in Granollers to promote 173 homes; Renta Corporación invested 20 million euros in a new building; and Lazora raised a fund amounting to 1.5 billion euros to invest in rental housing.

In the housing market, data for the month of November was released, showing that transactions grew by more than 20% compared to the same month in 2020, to approach the threshold of 50,000 residential asset sales.


After being under the spotlight due to the pandemic, the office market is shining again, with the signing of new rental and sales contracts. According to a report from JLL, over the next two years, investments worth 4.2 billion euros by funds and insurers are expected to materialize in the office market in Spain.

In terms of transactions, January 2022 saw the the investment giant Macquarie make its first purchase of a real estate asset in Spain, in an operation revealed exclusively by Brainsre.news.

In terms of divestments, this month saw the sale of the Torre Bizkaia in Bilbao, for which the Beraunberri and Onchena family offices paid around 170 million euros; Mutualidad de la Abogacía sold a building in the center of Madrid that Millenium is going to transform into a hotel; and Excem and Merlin sold the property on Calle Goya 36, ​​which will soon be home to a WeWork coworking center.

In the rental market, highlights include the agreement reached by Merlin and CUNEF to open a new university campus in the José María Churruca business park and Vueling’s new offices in Barcelona.


The logistics market continues to be buoyant with many investors raising capital to invest in it. Such is the case of Aquila Capital, which launched a fund in January to invest in this type of asset; Roebuck AM and Hispavima also launched a new logistics joint venture in Spain during the month.

In terms of operations, the international purchase of more than 50 assets by CBRE IM for 4.3 billion euros stands out, as does the acquisition of six million square meters of land in Madrid and Toledo by Dunas Capital. Another highlight was the purchase by Starwood of a logistics warehouse in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) from Meridia.


In the retail space, in addition to the corporate operation involving Castellana Properties and Lar España, the German pension fund NAEV acquired two supermarkets in Spain through Pradera.

Also, Batex & Duplex closed the acquisition of the MyO Gandía Shopping Park, while Family Cash bought the Abella shopping center in Lugo from Blackstone.

For 2022, real estate consultants such as JLL forecast that investment in commercial assets will increase by 30%, driven by a greater number of transactions in retail parks and a recovery in high street volumes.


In January, the record investment figure in the Spanish hotel market in 2021 was published: 3.18 billion euros. Spain closed 2021 with an increase in occupancy rates and revenue per available room, which grew to 35.9 euros, almost double the €17.9 obtained in 2020. Also, the average daily price grew by 20%, up to 113.6 euros.

Looking ahead to 2022, investors are already studying operations worth 1.5 billion euros, according to Colliers International. Several transactions were closed during the first month of the year, including the acquisition of the five-star hotel 7 Pines in Ibiza by Engels & Volkers. For its part, in January, Stoneweg paid 47 million euros for a hotel in Marbella and bought another establishment in Barcelona, ​​while Messi’s hotel chain closed its fifth hotel purchase, this time in Sotogrande.

At the corporate level, Eurazeo bought the Ayre chain from El Corte Inglés and Palladium.


During January, Santander launched its new servicer, Yera Servicer Company 2021, to manage its assets. Days before, the financial institution announced that it was going to recover some of its assets from Aliseda to manage them internally.

In terms of portfolios, Banco Santander put 7,000 reperforming mortgages up for sale. That operation involves the securitization of 700 million euros worth of loans with occasional payment defaults, but none lasting more than 90 days. Candidates to acquire the portfolio include Apollo, Elliott, Carval, M&G, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Read the original article in Spanish.


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