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The Spanish Real Estate Market in July 2021

July was an important month for the real estate sector in Spain, where we saw an array of transactions in the logistics, office and hotel sectors. One of the most recent saw Aedas acquire the developer Áurea Homes, while the major listed companies unveiled their returns for the first half of the year.

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In the past month, we saw the completion of one of the most eagerly awaited corporate transactions, the acquisition of Áurea Homes by Aedas. In addition, there were numerous acquisitions in logistics, offices and hotels, such as the sale of KKR and Round Hill’s portfolio to P3 for more than €100 million, and the owner of the Villamagna’s acquisition of the Bless hotel by for 115 million euros.

The most important publicly traded real estate companies also released their results for the first half of the year. Colonial, which also undertook a bond issue for €500 million, increased its profits to 1€62 million, while Merlin Properties multiplied its earnings.

Companies

One of the most impressive deals in July was Aedas’s acquisition of the developer Áurea Homes. The buyer paid 54 million euros for Áurea’s land bank and ongoing projects.

At the beginning of last month, Savills Aguirre Newman took over Knight Frank’s shopping centre business. The deal saw Savills AN take possession of Knight Frank’s entire portfolio of shopping centres, keeping its team of professionals.

Aena announced that it would develop the Barajas airport city. The airport manager has started work on its huge real estate project, which will go up next to the main Spanish airports. The first plot of land for logistics use to come up for auction is located next to Madrid airport.

In addition, Colonial launched a new €500-million bond issue, boosting its non-bank financing. In parallel, Incus Capital lent €112 million to Aedas, which it will use to build 1,300 build-to-rent homes. The developer reached an agreement with Incus to finance ten developments at an interest rate very similar to standard developers’ loans.

Colonial reported its results for the first half of the year. The company began hiring again, boosting its team by 42%. In addition, the socimi’s revenues fell by 13% due to divestments, while profit soared to 162 million euros due to revaluations. Merlin, for its part, reduced its revenues while multiplying its profits. The value of its portfolio also grew after its logistics and office assets appreciated, though the value of its investments in shopping centres and hotels fell.

In July, Castlelake, which owns Aedas, took control of the hotel socimi Millenium. The fund became Millenium’s largest shareholder by investing 180 million euros in the company. It is worth remembering that Millenium sold one of its hotels, Via Castellana, to Ibervalles last June, as exclusively reported by Brainsre.news. The socimi agreed upon the sale of the company that owns the hotel in Madrid with its then main shareholder.

On the other hand, news surfaced that Amancio Ortega’s properties lost €1 billion in value in 2020 due to currency fluctuations. The real estate portfolio of Pontegadea, the investment holding of the founder of Inditex, earned €613 million in 2020, just 1% less than in the previous year, but fell in value to €14.075 billion, €1.088 billion less than in 2019.

Residential

Realia sold a coveted plot of land in 22@ for €18.5 million. Carlos Slim’s real estate company sold one of its main plots pending development in Barcelona’s Parc Central.

Culmia also announced that it plans to invest €450 million to acquire enough land to build 7,200 homes. The Oaktree fund’s developer stated that it was analysing transactions worth €200 million and expects to finalise a large part of them in the coming months.

Gómez-Pintado began selling homes after two years of non-competition with Vía Célere. Two years after his departure as CEO of Vía Célere, the executive officially launched his new project, Vía Ágora, selling his first homes in Valdebebas.

At the end of July, GRC expanded its investments in Spain with an operation in Bilbao. The German investment fund bought a building in the centre of the Basque city for €35 million.

For its part, Habitat finalised a new deal for land in Madrid for 13 million euros. The site, located in Ronda de Segovia, will become home to 36 one- and two-bedroom homes, a rooftop swimming pool, gymnasium and landscaped areas.

Logistics

KKR and Round Hill sold a jointly-owned portfolio to P3 for more than €100 million in a deal reported exclusively by this newspaper. The Singaporean sovereign wealth fund firm bought four logistics platforms located in Barcelona and around Madrid.

Azora and Prudential allied to bet up to €200 million in the logistics sector. Through PGIM, the US firm partnered with the management company to invest between 150 and 200 million euros in logistics assets in Spain and Portugal.

In addition, Allegra bought its 11th logistics centre in the US and revealed that it is preparing another €200 million in investments. The Spanish family office led by Mario Losantos bought a logistics centre in Iowa that’s currently leased to Amazon for 22 million dollars.

In mid-July, Aberdeen bought a last-mile logistics warehouse in Barcelona for €19 million. The asset, located 20 minutes from the city centre, has 13,900 m2 of space, leased to a single tenant.

Offices

Last month, it was reported that office vacancy levels continued their rise in Madrid and Barcelona. However, the main Spanish office markets are beginning to see a gradual recovery in hiring levels.

On the other hand, Ardian finalised its first real estate transaction in Spain. The investment firm acquired a 10,000-m2 office building located next to the Azca financial area in Madrid and is leased to the central government.

AEW also bought an office building in 22@ from AKM. The real estate manager acquired an 8,500 m2 property in Barcelona from AKM Real Estate II. Meridia sold logistics and office assets for €85 million. The investment fund manager finalised the sale of five properties in Madrid, Barcelona and Guadalajara through its socimi Meridia Real Estate III.

DWS sold a prime office building in Madrid to the March family for €54.6 million. The asset is the current headquarters of the developer Aedas Homes and has 4,500 square metres in an 11-storey tower.

For its part, Real IS announced that it plans to invest €200 million a year in Spain. The German asset manager expects to continue to grow in the office and logistics market while exploring opportunities in build-to-rent.

Retail

In retail, URW agreed to halve the expansion of La Maquinista and to build housing. The operator decided with Barcelona City Council to limit the commercial growth of La Maquinista from 42,000 m2 to 21,000 m2 in a project that will involve an investment of 250 million euros.

In addition, the UK-based developers Citygrove and Burlington announced they would invest €100 million in a shopping complex in Marbella, which will feature top-tier tenants.

SCCE and Smart Habent announced that they would develop a shopping centre in Lérida in a 210-million-euro investment. The companies will build a shopping, leisure and restaurant centre with 55,000-m2 of gross leasable area, located in the Catalan city’s train station.

Park Rose bought a Mercadona supermarket in Galicia for €4.5 million. Specifically, the real estate company acquired two adjoining retail premises in the municipality of Rianxo in A Coruña.

Hotels

In mid-July, the owner of the Villamagna acquired the Bless hotel for a record price of more than one million euros per room, according to Brainsre.news. The Mexican group RLH Properties acquired the former Velázquez hotel, now converted into a luxury five-star establishment, for 115 million euros.

For its part, CaixaBank extended the largest hotel loan in Spain to RIU. The financial entity lent €825 million to RIU to buy the 49% of 19 hotel establishments owned by TIU and develop new projects.

Azora bought two five-star hotels in the Algarve for €148 million. The firm hotel fund acquired two new establishments, which NH will operate, and said it is preparing for new acquisitions this summer.

Schroders Capital and Meliá also bought the Apolo hotel in Barcelona for €96 million. Meliá exercised its right of first refusal to acquire the property, for which it teamed up with Schroders, as confirmed exclusively by this newspaper.

Brookfield acquired four hotels for €440 million from Selenta. The Canadian fund bought 100% of the hotel chain’s management group and four of the group’s five establishments.

NPLs

Last month, Santander sold a portfolio of bad loans valued at €600 million to Marathon. Market watchers believe that the American firm could have paid €100 million, or 16.7% of the value of the loans, to the entity chaired by Ana Botín.

Additionally, Santander announced that it would sell €136-million in loans extended to Hesperia up for sale. These secured loans have eleven hotels and an office as collateral and are up to date with payments, so the discount on the sale will be limited.

Procobo acquired uncollected €1.7 billion in developer loans from Sareb. Sixteen opportunistic funds participated in the bidding for a lot that was sold at a 90% discount to its original value.

Finally, Cerberus bought a portfolio of €500 million in assets from Cajamar. The financial institution sold 6,000 REO assets to the US fund.

B-Exclusives

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