Venezuela's millionaires crave luxury homes in Spain

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

Venezuelans, Mexicans and Colombians concentrate their investments in Madrid, where they buy houses that cost about 14,500 euros per meter, publish The country.

By SANDRA LÓPEZ LETÓN

In just over a year, 25 new homes were 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 – managed in the coveted luxury market . They belong to the two most exclusive promotions in the city, with prices exceeding four million euros. It is the number 11 of via Montalbán, in Los Jerónimos, and the houses of the Complex of Canalejas with the brand of the Four Seasons hotel chain, near the Puerta del Sol. The last sale here was an attic for 10 million.

Half of those who buy these luxury homes are foreigners, especially Latin Americans. For them, there is no better shelter for their capitals. "18% of large properties choose Spain for their real estate investments and, moreover, are chosen as second homeland by Latin American Americans (24%), Europeans (13%) and Russians (18%)", according to Carlos Zamora, Director of residence of Knight Frank, consultant who markets the two projects. Venezuelans, Mexicans and Colombians, in this order, they did most of the rehabilitated luxury floors in Madrid in the last two years. Even if "Mexicans are dulling during this last quarter, we believe that these buyers, who are looking for houses over one million euros, will grow in the coming months", says Óscar Larrea, director of the new construction of Engel & Völkers Madrid. They buy as their first residence, to be rented, to give to their children and to stay on their trips to Spain. "Only 5% to be able to resell in the short term", explains Zamora.

The sale of the 10 million Canalejas attic will not be the highest that will close in the coming months, even if there are fewer promotions in marketing and fewer units. In Montalbán, from the Italinmuebles studio, one of the most unique penthouses in Madrid – the remaining nine floors have already been placed – it was 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 famous Venezuelan artist," says Gonzalo López-van Dam, managing partner of Promora, one of the marketer companies. The square meter costs 18.558 euros. Fortunately, "it is negotiable". A year earlier, that same plan cost 12.5 million euros, so it became more than 10% more expensive. It is the ascent registered by the luxury market in Madrid in 2017. "This year will be a little softer, 7%," says residential director Knight Frank, a consultant who also sells other projects to José Abascal, 48 (from 3, from 4 to 5.8 million) or Jorge Juan, 53 (attic of 424 meters for 4.5 million).

Madrid is already the second largest city in the world, behind Singapore, where the first residential is re-evaluated (10.3% up to June), according to Knight Frank. More than enough reason to start the business. "Foreign investors, in collaboration with experienced local developers, are buying properties to be completely restructured," says Savills Aguirre Newman in a report. International funds and Latin American and Spanish entrepreneurs, such as Capriles or Matutes, develop some projects. And a luxury company like Sotheby & # 39; s International Realty has just opened an office in Madrid, with a portfolio starting at 600,000 euros, according to Paul Kempe, owner of the franchise of Viva Sotheby. In addition to the national buyer, they are looking 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 are, there is no shortage of customers: the number of people with a net worth of over $ 50 million has risen by 10% in 2017, according to the Wealth Report 2018 report from the UK consultancy. The great fortunes, national and foreign, are looking for houses in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​the two guarantors of Spanish luxury. "Real estate in this country is a nest of low-risk investment opportunities," says Tom Maidment, partner of the Lucas Fox agency, but it is the capital that attracts more investment, especially after the start of the conflict. Catalan politician.

Paris is more expensive

What they find are lower prices than other European cities. "In Paris, the square meter costs an average of 18,500 euros and in London it rises to an average of 30,000 euros," says Zamora. The favorable economic outlook, low-cost financing, climate, infrastructure, cultural offerings and a high level of security do the rest. And something else: get the Golden Visa (Spanish nationality for the purchase of a house of over 500,000 euros).

Furthermore, the projects are now more interesting than those of the previous cycle. They have acquired quality, use the firm of prestigious architects and offer services previously unknown in the Spanish market. At Canalejas, of OHL and Mark Scheinberg, founder of Poker Stars, all the residences have the services of the Four Seasons hotel (from the restaurant to the cleaning, the babysitter and the fridge), something unprecedented in Spain. Furthermore, the architectural project was led by Estudio Lamela. The architect Rafael de la-Hoz signed Lagasca 99, owned by 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 over 18,000 euros per square meter.

Confidentiality and discretion are services included in the price, says Luis Valdés, Director of Residential & High-End of 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 company Mabel Real Estate, associated with Abel Matutes and Rafael Nadal, in which nine floors were sold. It is said that prices range between 15,000 and 20,000 euros per meter and that one of the buyers was 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 political uncertainty after 1-O has exhausted the rise in the most exclusive areas," says Jorge Campreciós, director of the new 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 homes with prices between 500,000 and 1.5 million, while the demand that foreigners have 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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