Retail property across Spain is this year’s investment-of-choice for buyers, with continued sales forecasted by European property market analysts.
Analysts agree: Spain leads retail sales in European property market
Thomas Reuters, JP Morgan Chase and CBR Ellis are all pointing to growing interest in Spanish commercial property for investment:
- Real estate market monitors Thomas Reuters have surveyed the Spanish mall and retail property market and found strong foreign investment interest in current property prices.
- Meanwhile, JP Morgan Chase has been suggesting that Spain represents an “ideal environment for international property investment”, noting that commercial property will be available “at bargain prices in the next 12 months”.
- CBR Ellis confirmed that 43% of the 28 billion Euros spent on European property market investment between January and March, was invested in retail properties, with Germany and Spain being the focus for most investors.
European property market trends: Lucas Fox analysis
Stijn Teeuwen, Lucas Fox Director, confirms that the interest in Spain retail property is also observable in commercial property Barcelona transactions: “The main types of commercial properties that international clients are interested in are hotels and retail. We are experiencing particularly strong demand from wealthy private investors from Russia in small operating hotels in Barcelona area.”
Russian property investment interest in Barcelona has been one of the key industry growth drivers this year. Tourist arrival numbers from Russian cities have doubled in the first half of this year, many combining their travels with a look at the European property market here.
There are more than a million households amongst the “mass affluent” class in Russia, each with over $USD425 million in cash assets to spend on commercial property investments. This is in large part due to the low number of Russian households paying off mortgage debt, allowing them to invest in commercial property Barcelona, for example.
Getting a feel for opportunity in commercial property
“Due to the lack of publicly available information, most investors struggle to get a good feel for the market and Lucas Fox assists by offering our experience of the city and recent transactions,” explains Teeuwen.
All analysts are expecting the trend to continue throughout the year, with key buyers such as Henderson Global Investors, BlackRock and Unibail-Rodamco known to be actively looking at acquisition of Spanish retail assets. According to commercial property investors, the Spanish and Barcelona retail and hotel sectors look to be a main focus for the European property market throughout the summer and for the rest of 2011.