Major Spanish housing developers protected from possible crisis

by Lorraine Williamson
housing developers

 

The housing market in Spain is changing. Sales and mortgage figures, with year-on-year declines of 17% and 26.8% respectively in August, show a slowdown in the sector. However, the forecast for the purchase of second homes in Spain is good. Furthermore, the country’s leading housing developers are shielded from the arrival of a possible crisis that could further affect sales and purchases.

By the end of June, eight of the leading housing developers in the sector had accumulated a total portfolio of pre-sales worth more than €5 billion. As a result, they are supplying over 14,260 homes for this in the coming years. In doing so, they secure what translates into a stable inflow of capital. 

Topping the rankings is Aedas Homes, with 3,947 homes sold at the end of June worth €1.349 billion. ‘Despite inflation and rising interest rates, we maintain a very robust operational and financial position. These excellent figures offer great business visibility and revenue generation for the next two years,’ explained Alberto Delgado, general business director of Aedas Homes. The company works mainly in the middle and upper segments and has Spanish and foreign clients. Specifically, the developer’s figures point to an average price of €341,000 per home. This is the second-highest average of the nine companies. Aedas Homes is behind Kronos, which stands out from the rest with an average price per home of half a million euros. 

Insufficient supply of new-build homes 

Kronos, which has a pre-sale portfolio of 500 units for €250 million, points out that ‘the shortage of new-build homes is keeping the market afloat, despite the rise in interest rates’. The company sees ‘that there remains strong interest in new homes, with much better features and qualities than those of existing homes’.  

In addition, Kronos highlights that household savings levels remain high and ‘the perception is that prices will continue to rise at a sustained pace, especially in areas with higher demand and lower inventory, such as Madrid and Barcelona’. 

Despite the drop in transaction activity in the sector in recent months, with changes of more than 20% in regions such as the Canary Islands (-29.2%), Navarre (-28.1%), the Basque Country (-25.6%), Catalonia (-21%) and the Balearic Islands (-20.9%), prices have continued to rise, with a year-on-year increase of 1.8% in August. 

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Market for second homes in Spain remains good 

Kronos also points out that second homes for foreigners ‘continue to do very well’. ‘Spain is seen as a safe place to invest from a legal and economic point of view, and the nationalities of buyers are diversified,’ they explain. 

Sales reach 

This huge pre-sales portfolio means a very high level of coverage for major housing developers for the coming years. Developer Habitat has already sold 90% of the homes it expects to deliver this year. It has also already closed sales of 80% of the units to be delivered in 2024, 50% of the units to be delivered in 2025 and 15% of the units scheduled for 2026. 

Inmobiliaria Espacio has sold 100% of the units delivered this year and 85% of those for next year. This is the general trend following the marketing level of most major companies in the sector. 

The developer led by Alberto Muñoz points out that Inmobiliaria Espacio “has been working for years to strengthen the company to cope with all market conditions. The company has been reducing debt and exploring alternative financing methods, with very good results. Such as crowdfunding, swaps, and purchase options, so as to reduce potential risks and not depend solely on financial institutions. 

After the property bubble burst, survivors in the market or newly established developers have much healthier balance sheets, with tight and robust investors backing them. 

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