The data leads to optimism. BNP Paribas Real Estate experts assure that "the activity in the real estate sector is already returning to pre-pandemic levels, observing a notable increase in the second half of the year".
Its latest investment report foresees that the sector will close the fourth quarter with 3,300 million euros invested in office, retail, logistics, hotels, residential rental and alternative assets, taking into account the operations signed to date and those that are currently exclusively to sign them during the next few days.
In the accumulated of the year, the investment is close to 11,800 million euros, assuming an increase of 30% compared to the same period of 2020, a figure that is close to the maximum historical levels registered in 2019 (specifically 6% below ).
And the future is also exciting. According to the consultancy, "the positive prospects for the Spanish economy for the next few years, the high capital in the markets and the less attractive returns that other financial products continue to offer, continue to direct investors to the real estate sector." In fact, the sectors that were considered to be most affected by the pandemic (offices, retail and hotels) are gradually returning to their levels of activity, "with more positive prospects for the future," they say.
Logistics at the front
With 2,920 million euros in investment throughout the year, logistics continues to lead the ranking, representing 25% of the total in 2021 and 36% of investment in the last quarter (1,100 million euros). And they are followed by offices and hotels.
According to BNP Paribas, these levels reflect an increase of 89%, if compared to 2020, and 58% compared to the previous peak of the market, registered in 2019.
Notable operations include the purchase by the Aberdeen fund of a portfolio of newly built logistics platforms and the acquisition by the EQT Exeter investment fund of a Logicor logistics portfolio, for an amount close to 280 million euros.
Barcelona takes the investment in offices
The activity registered by the office sector has accelerated notably in recent months. Greater dynamism in demand, derived from the more precise vision regarding the surface needs of companies, is generating an increase in hiring. This translates into an investment volume that stood at 646 million euros in the fourth quarter, while, in the aggregate for the year, it rose to 2,330 million euros, a figure similar to that registered in 2020, in the absence of the operations that are signed in recent days.
In the last quarter, the investment made by Madrid stands out, where operations for a total volume of 256.5 million euros have been signed, with the sale of Retama 3, in Méndez Álvaro, being one of the most notable. As for Barcelona, the city and its metropolitan crown have concentrated a large part of the annual investment, specifically 68% of the total national volume, with operations such as the purchase of the Diagonal Tower by Hines for 90 million euros, or the acquisition of Tangier 66 in the 22 @.
As for the hotel sector, it has added 14% of the investment in the fourth quarter, the lowest of the year, with 445 million euros. Of note are the acquisition by Blasson Property of the Hotel Punta Negra in Mallorca (90 million euros), the acquisition of the Hotel Barcelona 1882 (60 million) and the sale of the Hotel Alexandra Curio, also in Barcelona, for 32 million euros. The accumulated annual investment volume stands at 2,390 million euros, a figure that represents an increase of almost 100% over the total for 2020 and 49% over 2019.
The BTR enhances residential appeal
Another sector of the most attractive for investors has been residential, due to the potential growth of demand in Spain and the high professionalization that is being carried out with the entry of institutional funds and local knowledge. Therefore, experts foresee that activity at the beginning of 2022 will continue to be high, with large operations that are in the final stage of negotiation.
The investment volume registered in the last quarter amounts to 320 million euros, while in the accumulated annual figure the figure stands at 1,670 million. This data represents an increase of 33% over the records of 2020. Another quarter, the build to rent (BTR) operations stand out, which now represent 50% of residential portfolio transactions.
Among the latest operations, the acquisition by Grupo Lar y Primonial of a BTR project in the Mahou-Calderón area of Madrid stands out, as the Spanish capital is one of the cities that most attracts investor appetite. It is joined by Barcelona, Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca,Valencia, Murcia or Pamplona, among others.
The activity of the retail sector also progressed with great dynamism, accounting for 432 million euros in the last quarter and reaching 1,320 million throughout the year.
The largest volume operations continue to be signed in food, which have concentrated 49% of the volume registered in 2021 to date, as is the case of the purchase, by Realty Income Corporation, of 30 Caprabo supermarkets from Merlin Properties, for an amount that is around 110 million euros. While in commercial parks, the recent acquisition of Las Mercedes, made up of 22,000 m2 of GLA, by LaSalle Investment stands out.
850 million for alternative markets
Student and elderly residences account for 5% of the investment volume registered in the last quarter of the year. If the annual total is analyzed, the investment amounts to 850 million euros, 32% more than in 2020. For its part, this segment has managed to attract 141 million euros in the fourth quarter.
And if we talk about investors, institutional funds continue to dominate the market, with a 47% share, especially highlighting the high activity of the Socimi in recent months.
Regarding its origin, the report observes how, during the fourth quarter of the year, the American investor has gained a very high market share, only behind the national one. But in the global calculation of the year, the national investor once again stands out above the rest, with a market share close to 40%, thus recovering the pulse of pre-ndemic years.
The German capital also stands out, which continues to play a leading role in the Spanish market, reaching shares of 15% and doubling its contribution compared to 2019.
The private investor or family office is increasingly present in investment operations. Until December 1, they have carried out investment operations for a total volume of 622 million euros, representing a growth of 58% over the investment registered in 2020.
By investment volumes, these generally move between 7 and 35 million euros, but in recent times an increase has been observed in the participation of purchase processes with a higher volume ticket. At this point, investment banking plays a very important role, offering this possibility to private equity. In 2021, the market share of banks amounts to more than 11%, only surpassed by real estate and investment funds.