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24 April 2017 – Expansión

The Spanish real estate sector is enjoying a new phase of growth following its unprecedented crisis. Whilst over the last two years, we saw the boom of the Socimis, specialising in rental properties, 2017 looks set to become the year that the property developers bounce back.

Or at least that is according to the ambitious business plans that the six large companies –Neinor Homes, Aelca, Vía Célere, Aedas, Kronos and Metrovacesa Promoción y Suelo – have put in place, with the aim of benefitting from the growing increase in house sales, and the significant demand from buyers.

To that end, the companies have not hesitated to invest several thousands of millions of euros to create portfolios of land on which to begin their developments. These six developers alone now own assets worth €4,924 million, mostly buildable land, ripe for development. In total, these companies own 6.9 million m2 of land.

Leadership

The entity Metrovacesa Promoción y Suelo stands out on this list of new property developers. The real estate company is looking to recover its sceptre as the Spanish real estate king, after selling its property portfolio to the Socimi Merlin Properties. Owned by Banco Santander, BBVA and Popular, the company currently has 472 homes under construction across 17 developments. Nevertheless, its greatest strength lies in its portfolio of land, which, spanning 2.3 million m2, makes it the largest owner of that type of asset in Spain. Moreover, sources at the company state that its portfolio may increase “considerably this year”, following the contribution of “high-quality land” by the shareholders.

Currently, the land allocated for residential use only is worth €1,050 million. Moreover, it has a portfolio of tertiary land (for offices and shopping centres) worth €325 million and it is already developing a 10,000 m2 office building in Madrid.

Meanwhile, Neinor Homes stands out for its asset value and because it has the largest volume of development activity. Last month, the company, led by the investment fund Lone Star, became the first real estate developer to debut on the stock market in a decade. It did so with a portfolio of assets worth €1,120 million, including land with a surface area of more than 1 million m2. The bell first rang on 29 March, with 4,002 homes under construction across 60 developments.

Vía Célere is following a similar strategy to Neinor. The Madrilenian real estate company is set to become one of the large property developers after it was acquired by five funds, led by Värde Partners, and following its merger with its counterpart Dos Puntos. The new Vía Célere has a portfolio of land spanning more than 1 million m2, with 2,494 homes under construction.

Meanwhile, Aedas Homes, with 1.35 million m2 of land and assets worth €1,100 million, has positioned itself as one of the leading players in the sector after just a few months of life. Led by the fund Castlelake and advised by the team at Merlin, Aedas is currently building 1,510 homes. This year, Aedas has set itself the objective of launching 28 developments and continuing to invest in land purchases. (…).

Another one of the new companies aspiring to the throne of the large property developers is Aelca. Created in 2012, the fund Värde owns a 75% stake in this property developer, which, in turn, owns a portfolio of land measuring between 700,000 m2 and 800,000 m2. Aelca currently has 2,200 homes under construction across 43 developments.

Finally, Kronos Homes is, currently, the company with the smallest portfolio of land. Nevertheless, its shareholders (a group of overseas investors) plan to invest €1,000 million before the end of the year purchasing land on which to build 4,000 homes.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)