These optimistic projections are supported by the investment operations carried out in the first two months of the year and others of large-scale that are currently underway, including the sale processes of three assets of the "Iberian Assets" portfolio, valued at €500 million and the sale of the "Ballonti" shopping center in Barakaldo, with an estimated closing price of between 125 and 150 million.
Shopping centers will remain the type of asset most in demand by investors, although other products such as the portfolios of hypermarkets, supermarkets or Bank branches and medium-sized areas will see an increased interest by a certain type of investor. The returns will remain at the 2017 levels (6% -6.5% in retail parks, 5% -5.5% for prime shopping centers or 3% for prime locations "High Street"). Jaime Maynau, director of retail investment of BNP Paribas Real Estate, explains that "in this scenario, there is a clear trend towards the acquisition of commercial land by investors with a promoter profile, for the development of retail parks, after years of silence due tothe crisis in this sector".
In the next three years (2018-2020), it is expected to open ca. 800,000 m² of new shopping centers and 250,000 m² of GLA (gross leasable area) as expansions of existing centers. The good moment that the market is experiencing, with the shopping centers gaining market share with sales growth, is causing that many promoters resume and start new projects.
The year 2017 in investment was the year of retail, which has positioned itself as the engine of the real estate segment, with a market share of 32% over the total volume registered in 2017. Investor interest in this segment has been very high, resulting in an investment volume of €3,500 million in 2017. Shopping centers have been the preferred option by investors, followed by commercial buildings and commercial parks.
If we analyze the type of investors, we observe that investment funds have been the main players, with 45% of total sales. Its activity has focused on shopping centers, commercial parks and hypermarkets. In addition to the funds, real estate companies, retail and socimis experts such as Lar España have been very active during 2017.