Money returns to Spain... again? | Part 1

Yes it has happened again, British property developers are beginning to ask architects for brand new developments.


Well that should be the usual procedure one might have thought. Well, not really, for nearly eight years I have not heard of any new developments on the Coast been sought after by property developers. 

It seems that money returns to Spain...again.


After some research I have found out that in recent months more international funds have landed in Spain in search of good development land left over from the crisis. Suddenly, investors and speculators believe that the Spanish market is attractive again.


Unlike a few months ago, new buyers begin to appear. Tens of investment funds, mainly Americans, were launched this summer to purchase apartments, real estate companies, companies' debts. Apart from the vulture funds, there are also others who seek medium-term real estate investment. It seems that only two years ago Spain was radioactive, and bricks even more so. Suddenly it has become the great hope for future investments. Can things change so fast?


New approach, new business!!

An Israeli firm buy companies headquarters to design luxury apartments.


The operation, amounted to 41.6 million Euros, although it will require planning approval from the Barcelona Town Hall to change its use.


A company from Israeli origin, has acquired the headquarters of the Department of Enterprise and Employment in the Passeig de Gràcia Avenue in Barcelona for 41.6 million Euros. This news appeared on the "El Pais" news paper the other day and I thought that was a brilliant idea to obtain not expensive construction with a prime situation which then could be converted into top notch flats.


From the research I have done, apparently the company plans to transform the building of offices in commercial and luxury apartments. But to be able to do so the company will require from the City Council a change of use for the building, since the current planning only authorise offices in that space. The company, which has already paid 25% of the amount to the Generalitat (local government), current owner of the offices and has signed a 20 years term lease. Meanwhile the Generalitat will pay nearly 1.5 million per year to occupy the property. A bit weird, when they were the owners in the first place.


Passeo de Gràcia is one of Barcelona's most desirable avenues for real estate and mutual funds. International firms are waiting to have their signs shown there despite the high rents, while funds, property developers and reach families bid for property companies to build hotels and luxury apartments. The Catalan Government hungry for ready cash, released late last year two buildings on the main city promenade: the Barcelona Stock Exchange and the Muñoz Tower which was originally owned by the Muñoz Ramonet family.


The building in which still is used by the Barcelona Stock exchange is still unsold as far as I know, the reason is the amount of objections put by this institution to be able to move. The Catalan Consell Executiu recently approved the sale of the second offices of Employment at the Sepulveda Street after two auctions were called deserted. Overall, the Catalan government will obtain for both buildings 63.5 million Euros, of which has already received 25%, i.e. almost 15.9 million Euros.


20 years lease.

The Generalitat will become tenant in these two buildings. Catalan Executive has ensured that they will occupy the building of Sepulveda during three years in exchange of an income of 1.34 million Euros a year and 20 years in the Passeig de Gràcia for 1.5 million Euros per year.


Apart from this venture, the Ministry of Economy of the Catalan Government has organized a public auction this month to find a building in the area of 35,000 to 50,000 square meters to move their central offices.


The real estate sector buys from the Generalitat.

Several of the properties sold by the Generalitat will be hotels. This activity is now one of the most appetizing for the real estate sector. The city in 2014 had 350 establishments and 37,000 rooms available, half of which were four stars.


Only last year 325 million Euros were invested in the city, mainly from Singapore, Qatar and the United States. Barcelona is currently booming on the tourism level. Although some Catalonians are stating that there enough tourists, other uphold that it is one of the most reliable source of income for Catalonia and claim that Barcelona has room to expand its offerings, especially with international brands. According to this group of people Barcelona is one of the few cities where the opening of more hotels will attract more customers.


All in all, it means that the old rusty construction industry it starting to move again and I have no vacillation in standing up and applaud even if I am the only one doing so.


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