Investing in offices in Madrid was a 60% above Barcelona, and hiring offices for rent it was of 570.000 square meter in the capital, in front of 300.000 square meters in Barcelona.

Madrid remains the largest pole of capital attraction at office market. In 2017, investment in the Madrid market was a 60% above Barcelona, until 1.324 millones de euros. Investors predict a 2018 with more activity due to the possible rotation of assets of the SOCIMIs,that in some cases meet the threshold of three years from the acquisition of their assets, and the funds value add para dar cumplimiento a su business plan.

In 2017 the office buying and selling operations they reached a turnover in Madrid of 1.324 millions of euros and in Barcelona's 835 millions, monopolizing the capital the 61% of the total volume aggregate. Investments in this type of asset in the past year could have been significantly higher if more investment opportunities had been provided, due to the huge appetite of investors. In many cases, owners were reluctant to sell purchased real estate assets at another time in the cycle due to the difficulty of reinvestment.

Investment funds and SOCIMIs, the strongest demand

The investment funds were in 2017 the most active vehicles in the office market, both in Madrid like in Barcelona. In Madrid more than 40% of the total investment for the year corresponded to funds, they displaced, junto con las SOCIMIs, to other investors during the second half of 2017. In Barcelona, investment funds accumulated close to 37% of investment in the city in 2017, being undoubtedly the main protagonists of the last semester.

Regarding the most notable operations of investment funds, in Madrid destaca la venta del parque empresarial Isla Chamartín a Tristan Capital and Zaphir Asset Management by 103 millions, intermediada por Knight Frank; the acquisition of the Miraflores Palace, located at number 15 of Carrera de San Jerónimo, by 60 millones de euros por parte de Remer Investment; the Los Cubos building, by Henderson Park and Therus Invest by 52 millions. En Barcelona destaca el sale & lease back de las oficinas y centro de diseño de Mango en Palau de Plegamans por 100 million euros; and the purchase of the former headquarters of the Generalitat de Catalunya in Fontanella 8, by a Korean investor for 64,7 millions of euros.

Regarding SOCIMIs, it is worth noting the more than 100 millones de euros invertidos por Zambal SOCIMI en Albarracín 25, the 32,5 million from the purchase of Arturo Soria 336 and the Josefa Valcárcel project 40, both bought by Colonial, y la compra por parte de Onix Capital Partners de Manoteras 12, operación intermediada por Knight Frank.

The institutional investors se mostraron más activos en Barcelona. They concentrated the 23% of the total investment thanks to the purchase of the Luxa complex, by Catalan West, by 90 millions, which will house the headquarters of Amazon.

En cuanto a las real estate companies, sobresalen dos operaciones, both in the second half of the year: the purchase by Infinorsa of the 40% of Torre Serrano in Madrid, y la del Parque Empresarial Can Ametller en Sant Cugat del Vallés por el Metropolis Group, both representing the 10% of the total investment in the second semester.

Es oportuno indicar también el papel de los private investors during 2017. The purchases in Madrid by Fernando el Santo were highlighted 15 by José Lladó and, in Barcelona, la adquisición por Emilio Cuatrecasas (Emesa) de los números 444 and 632 from Diagonal Avenue, adding up 31.000 meters of the Finestrelles project. The private investor or family office es un actor cada vez más sofisticado y profesionalizado, able to invest in different real estate segments and thus compete with investors and institutional funds.

SOCIMIs are expected, with a discreet role on the supply side, be in 2018 one of the most active actors due to the rotation process of its assets, that in some cases meet the three-year threshold. There are also expectations in fondos value add, that meet their business plan through occupation and increased income.

Prices and returns

El precio medio en el CBD de Madrid y Barcelona sigue la tendencia creciente observada en los últimos años. Madrid exceeds 8.000 euros € / m², highlighting the purchase of the Serrano Tower by Infinorsa, Meanwhile in Barcelona se han alcanzado los 6.900 euros / m², highlighting the purchase of Diagonal 444 by Emesa. The highest average price of the year was reached in Madrid at the Barclays headquarters in Colón 1, purchased by CBRE GI from Barclays for 14.000 €/m².

The yields se han mantenido en niveles estables y muy en línea con otras plazas europeas, around the 3,75% in the Madrid market, due to lack of profitability in financial investments, and above all due to the strong expectation of income growth in the medium term. Barcelona has maintained levels of around 4%, with the expectation of being equal to the levels of the capital as soon as users and investors perceive a greater calm in the political tension.

[Source: smart lighting]