Affordable housing investment is in the spotlight of some of Spain's leading real estate players, who will be taking part in the major international fair MIPIM being held in Cannes from 14 to 17 March.
In order to position investment in affordable housing at the centre of the debate in the real estate sector, Meridiana, the official Spanish representative of the fair, and the Association of Architects and Quantity Surveyors of Madrid (COAAM) have organised the MIPIM MeetUp event in which important professionals from the real estate sector have analysed the current situation of affordable housing and how to increase its attractiveness for foreign capital by strengthening public-private collaboration.
The event, which took place at the Colegio de Arquitectos y Aparejadores de Madrid on 16 March, was opened by Jesús Paños, President of the Colegio. António Gil Machado, member of the RICS Board and director of the Iberinmo publishing group, moderated the first panel discussion, which included the participation of Roger Pla, partner at Roca Junyent; Henry Gallego, CEO of Ktesios Socimi; Sandra Daza, managing director of Gesvalt; and Alejandro Bermúdez, co-founder and CEO of Atlas Real Estate.
António Gil Machado opened the panel discussion by highlighting that affordable housing is an important issue both in Europe and the rest of the world. Housing is a right and the real estate and construction sector must work to find a balance between supply and demand that meets the needs of a society in which people have difficulty accessing housing.
The round table began by discussing the role of public-private partnerships in the affordable housing segment. In this sense, the professionals agreed that in Spain there is an imbalance between the existing supply of affordable housing and the high demand of the population for this type of asset. A fact that can be solved through public-private collaboration.
In this sense, it has been claimed that public administrations should facilitate private activity with long-term regulations that do not constantly change and do not over-regulate. This creates insecurity for investment capital.
Affordable housing opens-up opportunities to rehabilitate and reconverting assets
In addition, it has been highlighted that affordable housing provides opportunities for real estate players to look for various alternatives to attract investment activity, such as reconverting assets beyond residential, housing rehabilitation or focusing on affordable housing for rent, as well as Build to Rent.
Another of the conclusions drawn from the debate is that public administrations should facilitate the granting of land to increase the supply of affordable housing and extend its term so that the real estate sector can make the investment profitable.
In addition to representatives from the private sector, the MIPIM MeetUP event was attended by SEPES and Invest in Spain-icex. Javier González Ramiro, production director of SEPES, pointed out that they are working to become an instrument of territorial rebalancing, being the first public land operator.
In this sense, he pointed out the challenges to be overcome in the future, such as sustainability and the improvement of resources, coordinating the different administrations to speed up actions and acting on stressed markets that have a very high rate of effort to access housing. In short, he pointed out the need to work "to reactivate the economy and facilitate real estate actions".
For his part, Javier Yraola, project management director at Invest in Spain-icex, stressed that MIPIM is a great opportunity to attract foreign investment. For this reason, it will share a stand in the Spanish Pavilion at MIPIM with SEPES, in order to promote and offer a wider range of segments in the real estate sector. "We have a very transversal vision and we will be at MIPIM because we are interested in interacting with large foreign funds, promoters and developers that complement the Spanish ecosystem", as is the case of the opportunities offered by MIPIM to attract investors in the affordable housing sector.
The event concluded with Albert Castro, CEO of Meridiana, who took the opportunity to stress the importance of internationalisation and how through MIPIM it is possible to establish oneself and participate in its opportunities.