Venezuela's millionaires crave luxury homes in Spain

Venezuela's millionaires crave luxury homes in Spain

Recreation of the terrace of the attic of three plants that sells in the street Montalbán by almost 14 million euros.

Venezuelans, Mexicans and Colombians focus their investments in Madrid, where they acquire homes that cost around 14,500 euros per meter, publish The country.

By SANDRA LÓPEZ LETÓN

In just over a year, 25 new homes have been sold in Madrid at a price of between 13,000 and 14,500 euros per square meter, above the average fork -between 8,000 and 10,500 euros- that is managed in the coveted luxury market. They belong to the two most exclusive promotions in the city, with prices above four million euros. It is number 11 of Montalbán street, in Los Jerónimos, and of the houses of the Canalejas Complex under the brand name of the Four Seasons hotel chain, next to Puerta del Sol. The last sale here has been an attic for 10 million .

Half of those who buy these luxury homes are foreigners, especially Latin Americans. For them, there is no better refuge for their capitals. "18% of the large estates opt for Spain for their real estate investments and, in addition, it is chosen as a second home country by Latin Americans (24%), Europeans (13%) and Russians (18%)", according to Carlos Zamora , director of residential of Knight Frank, consultant that commercializes the two projects. Venezuelans, Mexicans and Colombians, in this order, they have made with good part of the rehabilitated luxury floors of Madrid in the last two years. Although, "during this last trimester the Mexicans are blunting. We believe that these buyers, who are looking for homes over one million euros, will grow in the coming months, "says Óscar Larrea, director of new construction of Engel & Völkers Madrid. They buy as their first residence, to rent, to give it to their children and to stay in their trips to Spain. "Only 5% in order to resell in the short term," Zamora explains.

The sale of the attic of 10 million Canalejas will not be the highest that will close in the coming months, although there are fewer promotions in marketing and fewer units. In Montalbán, of the firm Italinmuebles, one of the most singular penthouses of Madrid – the remaining nine floors have already been placed – has been sold for 13.9 million. It is a triplex, "of 749 meters, with terrace, swimming pool, six bedrooms and two works of art -valued at 250,000 euros each- by Carlos Cruz-Diez, a renowned Venezuelan artist", says Gonzalo López-van Dam, managing partner of Promora, one of the marketer firms. The square meter costs 18,558 euros. Luckily, "it's negotiable." A year before, that same floor cost 12.5 million euros, so it has become more than 10% more expensive. It is the rise registered by the luxury market in Madrid in 2017. "This year will be somewhat softer, 7%," says the director of residential Knight Frank, a consultant who also sells other projects in José Abascal, 48 (from 3 , 4 to 5.8 million) or Jorge Juan, 53 (attic of 424 meters by 4.5 million).

Madrid is already the second city in the world, behind Singapore, where the prime residential is revalued (10.3% until June), according to Knight Frank. More than enough reason to embark on the business. "Foreign investors, in alliance with highly experienced local developers, are buying real estate to fully rehabilitate," says Savills Aguirre Newman in a report. International funds and Latin American and Spanish entrepreneurs, such as the Capriles or Matutes, develop some projects. And a super luxury firm like Sotheby's International Realty has just opened an office in Madrid, with a portfolio that starts at 600,000 euros, according to Paul Kempe, owner of the Viva Sotheby's franchise. In addition to the national buyer, they look for the Latino: "we want to take advantage of the connections that Madrid offers us with the markets of South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean".

No matter how high the prices, clientele does not lack: the number of people with a net asset wealth of more than 50 million dollars grew 10% in 2017, according to the report The Wealth Report 2018, from the British consultancy. The great fortunes, national and foreign, are searching for houses in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​the two guarantors of Spanish luxury. "The real estate sector in this country is a nest of low risk investment opportunities," says Tom Maidment, partner of the agency Lucas Fox. But it is the capital that attracts more investment, especially after the start of the Catalan political conflict.

Paris is more expensive

What they find are lower prices than in other European cities. "In Paris the square meter costs an average of 18,500 euros and in London it goes up to 30,000 euros on average," says Zamora. The favorable economic prospects, cheap financing, climate, infrastructures, the cultural offer and the high degree of security do the rest. And something else: obtaining the Golden Visa (Spanish nationality for the purchase of a home of more than 500,000 euros).

In addition, projects are now more attractive than those of the previous cycle. They have gained quality, they use the firm of prestigious architects and offer previously unknown services in the Spanish market. In Canalejas, by OHL and Mark Scheinberg, founder of Poker Stars, all the residences have the services of the Four Seasons hotel (from restaurant and cleaning to babysitting and filling the fridge), something unprecedented in Spain. In addition, the architectural project has been led by Estudio Lamela. The architect Rafael de la-Hoz signs Lagasca 99, property of Lar España and the Pimco fund. Of the 44 floors sold by Colliers, only the last units remain at a price that exceeds 11,000 euros per meter. Here it was marketed in 2017 at a record price: an attic of 700 meters for more than 18,000 euros per square meter.

Confidentiality and discretion are services that are included in the price, says Luis Valdés, director of Residential & High-End at Colliers International Spain. So much so that in some cases the floors are not even advertised, like those of the building of Calle General Castaños, 3, of the Mabel Real Estate company, associated with Abel Matutes and Rafael Nadal, in which nine floors have been sold. It is said that the prices range from 15,000 to 20,000 euros per meter and that one of the buyers has been Amancio Ortega, owner of the Inditex empire. There are two penthouses of 400 square meters to sell. However, these prices could overheat the market. "We run the risk of triggering price increases in the real estate market in general," says Larrea.

The case of Barcelona is different and is closely linked to the political conflict that the city is experiencing. "The upward climb of the last four years together with the political uncertainty after 1-O have exhausted the rise in the most exclusive areas," says Jorge Campreciós, director of new work at Engel & Völkers Barcelona. The most expensive promotion marketed by this agency is Reina Victoria, 14, at prices between 2.2 and 3.5 million. "The most dynamic segment is that of houses with prices between 500,000 and 1.5 million. Meanwhile, demand above that amount, which foreigners bought, has been reduced in the last year, "says Elizabeth Hernández, director of Barnes in Barcelona. Lucas Fox sells several luxury promotions. The highest at 10,000 euros per square meter. In Casa Burés has sold 18 floors, 75% of the project.

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