Eloy Bohúa: «Investment funds are today the undisputed protagonists»
"We are in a sector in which, in a very short time, new actors of an unknown size have appeared up to now, with a shareholding made up mostly of institutional investors."
That the real estate sector has undergone profound changes and that it will continue to do so is something that no one questions.
Real estate has traditionally been a sector with a highly atomized business fabric, with many local companies with a local scope. And with very few companies with a national vocation and activity. This will undoubtedly continue to be the case for years to come, but to a lesser extent. The deep crisis that we are beginning to leave behind has given birth to new protagonists who are characterized, among other things, by their size.
The servicers , as known in the sector companies created by financial institutions to manage their portfolios of foreclosed assets , have perfected their business model. And they are now indispensable pieces to understand the evolution of the real estate sector in Spain. They manage thousands of assets of all kinds. And their capillarity allows them to have a very deep knowledge of the reality of the real estate market in many cities of our country.
The funds , which until 2012 had a very small participation fee in the Spanish real estate sector, other protagonists are today . The creation and start-up of Sareb at the end of that year allowed these vehicles to have an interlocutor with whom to negotiate the purchase of assets from the intervened financial institutions. The purchases materialized and served to bring in liquidity, which was so necessary at the time.
That was the first wave. Little by little, and as the recovery was consolidating, the first opportunistic funds have given way to others with a greater vocation for permanence in the market. And that they have not limited themselves to buying assets, but have also entered the capital of companies in the sector. Today, knowing the strategies of the funds is essential to understand the evolution of the real estate sector.
One form of these funds, the SOCIMI (many of them are already listed on the Continuous Market or on the MAB and many others will do so in a short period of time), have served to stimulate activity in the office, commercial, logistics and hotels.
And little by little, they begin to take center stage in the residential segment. Unlike other types of real estate companies such as developers, SOCIMIs are patrimonial, that is, they acquire or develop assets that, to benefit from the fiscal framework that regulates them, must allocate a high percentage to the rental market. Again, the sector has large operators in this format. Some of them with capitalizations higher (even much higher) than 1,000 million euros.
So we are in a sector in which, in a very short time, new actors of a previously unknown size have appeared . With a shareholding made up mostly of institutional investors.
Gaining size (or seeking alliances) also serves to overcome the difficulty of financing, the main workhorse still today for any promoter company. That is why alliances between real estate developers (local knowledge of the market) and funds (financial muscle) have emerged and will continue to emerge.
In a further step in this evolution, the funds have begun to enter the equity of home development companies . Or they have directly created them from scratch. Neinor Homes was a pioneer, after being bought from Kutxabank by the Lone Star fund. It has been followed by Aelca, Aedas Homes, Kronos, Stoneweg, Dospuntos, then integrated with Vía Célere.
Some of these companies are already publicly traded (Neinor Homes). Or it has announced its plans to do so shortly, which will begin a rotation that will give new investors the opportunity to enter the capital.
The desirable thing, as it begins to happen, is that the changes affect the final product. Largest and best offer tailored to customer needs, carried out efficiently and with the least possible environmental impact . This would be the best culmination of the changes that are undoubtedly the main characteristic of the real estate lost items fire emblem today.
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