Although recent transaction activity numbers for Spain differ widely — up 36 percent in 2015 against 2014, to €11 billion, according to Cushman & Wakefield; down 28 percent in the final quarter of 2015, on a year-on-year basis, according to Real Capital Analytics — Spain is still seen as a peripheral–euro zone opportunity market that has yet to regain past glories, and recent deal announcements would appear to confirm this.
The retail sector is a principal focus. AEW Europe has acquired a high-end High Street retail development in central Madrid for its City Retail Fund. The 750-square-metre retail unit on Calle Serrano was acquired as a forward purchase from a joint venture between Rockspring Property Investment Managers and a local investor, and is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2017.
Invesco Real Estate recently exchanged contracts on a €358 million portfolio of 11 Eroski hypermarkets in northern Spain. The 136,000-square-metre sale-and-leaseback deal, concluded with Gonuri Harizartean SL and with the assets 100 percent leased to Eroski Group, was carried out for IRE’s flagship open-end pan-European real estate fund and takes the fund’s assets to more than €2 billion. The transaction is the fund’s third in Spain since its acquisition programme began in 2009 and “marks the firm’s conviction that Spain is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in the euro zone.”
Paddy Bingham, managing director – fund management at IRE, comments: “The fund has always had a target weighting toward Spain. Thanks go to our local transaction team, which understands where the real value lies within the Spanish marketplace and has the right contacts to gain access to the right deals off-market. We are delighted to have secured this quality hypermarket portfolio, which supports the core income return of the fund.”
Monje, director – transactions, Spain, at IRE, adds: “There is significant regional diversity in Spain. In general, the major cities and northern Spain are the more affluent and dynamic regions, and it is this diversity that is important to understand, particularly in the retail sector.”
Still in northern Spain, factory outlet specialist Neinver is to take over the management of part of the 128,000-square-metre MegaPark Barakaldo retail facility and outlet centre in Barakaldo in the Basque region. MegaPark Barakaldo, owned by Lar España Real Estate Socimi, is the largest shopping complex in the Bilbao area. Neinver will take over management of the outlet centre and a retail area with a combined total of 64,000 square metres. The managed area includes retailers such as Decathlon, El Corte Inglés, MediaMarkt and a Mercadona supermarket as well as the 61-store outlet centre.