BY JAVIER HORTELANO DE LA LASTRA
During the last months, we have been observing how national and international investors’ confidence has come back to Spain. If we just look at real estate investment transactions, we can see that, in the second half of the year, these deals grew by 51%, reaching the record amount of €5.2 billion. More specifically, focusing on our industry, shopping centers and retail parks saw around 15 transactions during that same period, which could exceed €1.3 billion (during all of 2014, the industry totaled €2.5 billion). On the other hand, new promotions of this type of real estate assets or the extensions of existing malls will continue at a good pace, with 28 projects for the period 2015 to 2017 that will be added to the existing 546 centers and to the existing GLA of 15,469,219 sq m.
Investors present in our country have been mainly attracted by the favorable risk-return ratios available, by the unique real estate opportunities, the international reputation of the Spanish products and retailers, and by the country’s capacity to attract potential customers. We are the third most visited country in the world, with over 67 million tourists, who have from January until now spent around €37.2 billion.
Spanish shopping centers and retail parks, an industry which has endured the economic crisis well, have been in the investors’ spotlight since the last fiscal year. In 2014, our sector increased sales by 5%, up to €38.626 billion, and reached 1.803 billion visits, an increase of nearly 6%. In addition, our market share stood at 17.13% last year and we continued creating new jobs, 2.6% more compared with 2013.
We of course know that there is still a long way to go, but we are sure that the present Spanish situation will continue to offer good and diverse opportunities to all companies and investors who have good knowledge of our market and who are aware of what it is happening in it.
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