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What Happened in the Spanish Real Estate Sector in June 2020?

The end of the State of Emergency paved the way for the reactivation of the real estate sector, with the completion of the first post-Covid operations and changes in company structures.

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In June, the Spanish real estate sector was marked by the return to activity for many companies in the sector after three months of restrictions following the decree of the State of Emergency in Spain on 14 March to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Residential

The manager AXA IM-Real Assets starred in the largest build-to-rent operation of 2020 to date with its acquisition from Tectum of a portfolio comprising 919 homes under official protection, for rent, in the Community of Madrid, for 150 million euros.

The operation, which was closed off-market, includes seven assets at different stages of development. Work on just one of them has been completed and it is currently rented in its entirety. Three properties are under construction and the other three have just been granted their construction licenses. The delivery dates range from 2020 to 2022, with each asset being transferred to AXA IM-Real upon completion to be leased in full.

The manager was not the only one to opt for this type of asset. The listed real estate agency Realia, controlled by the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, also acquired two plots to build 195 rental homes in the Madrilenian town of Tres Cantos. Realia is going to invest 54 million euros in the development of the new acquisitions and in another build to rent development that it owns in the area comprising 85 homes. The company disbursed 28.3 million for the two plots.

The fund Tectum continued with its commitment to rental housing in Spain with the launch of a new vehicle through which it plans to invest approximately 240 million euros in the development and operation of around 1,500 rental homes in the main provincial capitals during the course of this year.

Offices

The Catalan property developer Barcelona de Inmuebles purchased an office building in the 22@ district from 22HQ. The 1,000-square-metre industrial office building, located on Calle Roc Boronat 23, was completely renovated in 2017 by 22HQ and is rented out in its entirety to the local technology company Nice People at Work (NPAW).

The insurance group Pelayo acquired the Altamar office building, located in the Arroyo de la Vega business park, in the Madrilenian town of Alcobendas.

DWS, the manager controlled by Deutsche Bank, closed the purchase of a hotel and office complex to be developed in Cataluña with an investment volume of close to 200 million euros.

Industrial

The logistics and industrial segment was the protagonist in June, accounting for a large number of the transactions closed during the four weeks. They included the sale of the Airbus industrial and office complex in Madrid to the fund Hines Global Income Trust for 29.2 million euros.

That transaction was closed through a sale & leaseback contract, which will see Airbus rent the complex, comprising six office and industrial buildings, for six years. This is Hines’ first operation in the segment in Spain.

Meanwhile, Patrizia closed the largest transaction in the industrial and logistics segment in the Barcelona area so far this year, which its acquisition of the SEAT supplier industrial park (PIPS) for 26 million euros. The 47,000-square-metre facility is located in Abrera.

In addition, the logistics promoter Panattoni signed an agreement with Gasteizko Industria Lurra (Gilsa), for the purchase of two plots spanning a total of 57,000 square metres in Vitoria.

Supermarkets

The news of the month in the retail segment was the pre-agreement signed by LCN Capital Partners and Mercadona to acquire a portfolio of 36 supermarkets that the retailer put up for sale in March, as announced by Brainsre.news. The portfolio to be sold by the company led by Juan Roig is valued at around 200 million euros.

Student residences

The company Xior Student closed the purchase of a student residence in Granada, which had been owned by Amro Estudiantes. Specifically, the asset in question is Colegio Mayor Loyola, located on the Cartuja campus of the University of Granada, which has undergone a refurb and expansion to become a hall of residence for students comprising 347 units and 354 beds.

Hotels

The Rosewood hotel chain, which operates 47 luxury hotels worldwide, entered Spain to manage the five-star Villamagna hotel in Madrid, which is owned by the Mexican group RLH Properties. The American firm will manage the establishment once the renovation work has been completed, currently scheduled for late 2021.

The American hotel chain Mandarin Oriental is finalising what will be its third project in Spain. It manages the Ritz hotel in Madrid and the Mandarin hotel in Barcelona, and ​​the giant is now negotiating the purchase of the H10 Punta Negra hotel, located between the towns of Palmanova and Portals in Mallorca, to open its third establishment in the country on the Balearic island.

FC Barcelona player Leo Messi purchased the Himalaya hotel through his hotel company MiM. It is a four-star hotel establishment, located in Baqueira.

The French B&B chain announced that it is going to open three hotels in Spain this year and another one in 2021.

NPLs & REOs

The financial institutions started to put their first portfolios on the market following the coronavirus shutdown. The most active player in this regard is Sabadell, which began to probe international investors in May to sell a package of delinquent SME loans worth 300 million euros. In addition, in June, it commissioned EY to find a buyer for a portfolio containing between 900 and 1,000 million euros of delinquent mortgages.

Market

The Community of Madrid launched an offensive to boost the region’s real estate market with the implementation of three measures: sworn statements of responsibility instead of licenses, the ‘Plan Vive’ for young people and tenders for the concession of land that it owns, with the aim of putting cheaper land on the market for protected and rental housing, at a more affordable price for young people.

Companies

In June, Barcelona City Council opened a disciplinary file against the real estate fund manager Azora for failing to “comply with the obligation to rent a total of 20 flats in a residential building that it acquired with official protection in 2010,” according to the Town Hall. This infraction could carry an economic sanction of between 90,001 and 900,000 euros. Lazora, Azora’s real estate company, has denied breaching Barcelona City Council’s law and accuses it of an “unfair smear and harassment campaign” against the company.

Prygesa, which forms part of the Pryconsa group, completed the purchase of the last plot to complete the block pending construction on Calle San Vicente in Valencia, next to the Joaquín Sorolla AVE station. It is going to develop a complex comprising 93 homes plus offices, commercial premises and parking spaces on the site, and the corresponding licences have already been requested.

Top 10 most read news – June 2020

  1. The Community of Madrid Auctions Off 240 Plots of Land – What Are They Like?
  2. Coronavirus will affect housing in Portugal, warn the experts (in Spanish)
  3. Only 25% of employees in the City will return to their offices (in Spanish)
  4. PwC restructures its real estate team post-Covid and appoints Itziar Mendizábal as Transaction Partner (in Spanish)
  5. House Prices Will Rise by up to 4.2% in 2021 and Rentals by 5.8%
  6. The new normal relaxes the rules for shared swimming pools and gardens in urbanisations (in Spanish)
  7. Altamira Launches a Campaign with Discounts of up to 30% on 5,000 Assets
  8. Real Estate Investment Plummeted by 86% in Q2
  9. The Gap in Effort Between Buying and Renting a Home Doubles in Five Years
  10. House Sales Reach their Highest Prices in 8 Years

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