Retail asset transactions gain momentum. The consulting firm EY, in its report "The Retail Property Telescope" presented yesterday, forecasts that for this year the transactions of this type of property will reach around 2,050 million euros, which will almost double the 1,200 million of last year.
So far this year, there have already been transactions for the sale of this type of property for 949 million, according to EY data, practically equaling the figure for 2021 in full. 23% of what is transacted in the real estate market are retail assets (at the same level as logistics and slightly below offices and alternative assets).
Although EY expects that in the medium term many more assets will go on sale after the break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, since these properties have been the most punished by investors due to the doubts aroused by the health restrictions and, above all, due to the push of e-commerce. From the consultancy, it is expected that assets for 4,920 million will be put up for sale until 2024. Of that portfolio that will go on the market, a large part will be shopping centers (76% of the value) and, to a lesser extent, high street stores, retail parks and supermarkets.
"In Europe the price is still being adjusted," explained Javier García-Mateo, real estate partner at EY, at the presentation of the report. After the pandemic, investors ask for a certain discount (a higher yield or return) to buy these assets, so there have been no relevant purchases because the potential sellers were not willing to accept discounts. Regarding yields, they are close to 5.25% in prime stores, after rising from their low in 2017, when they were around 4.25%.
If in the midst of a pandemic the interest of investors was towards supermarkets, it is likely that they will begin to look at the large complexes now. “We have already begun to see operations of shopping centers. What we expect is two or three operations that give confidence to the market”, said Jon Armentia, financial director of the socimi Lar España.
Among the active players in this market segment, EY detects companies such as Amundi, El Corte Inglés, Merlin, CBRE Investment Management, Mercadona, BBVA, Patrizia, Barings, Bogaris, Eroski, Invesco and Corpfin Capital as sellers. On the buying side, it highlights firms such as Merlin, Realty, Carrefour, Blackrock, Swiss Life, MSDR Investment, GPF Capital, Pradera, Bankinter, Mazabi, Nuveen or Pagado Capital, among others.
The report highlights that retail sales are still 15% below pre-pandemic levels, despite the recovery in recent months.
Regarding the new projects under development, EY detects seven shopping centers totaling 285,000 square meters and another 22 shopping centers for 476,000 sqm.