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On 28th May, the ESADE Alumni Real Estate Club held its 14th Annual Conference, which revolved around the theme "Investing in Rental Properties: Has the Moment Arrived?" In a series of talks and panel discussions, renowned real estate experts and economists explored the possibilities of this market niche under Spain’s new legislative framework, identified the major players in the sector, and compared the Spanish rental market with that of other countries.
The conference opened with introductory remarks by Joan Pla (ADE '99), President of the ESADE Alumni Real Estate Club. Mr. Pla then gave the floor to Alejandro Fuentes Lojo, a lawyer at Fuentes Lojo Bufete de Abogados, who gave a talk entitled "The Legal and Fiscal Environment: The Law on Urban Leasing (LAU), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Bank Asset Funds". In his talk, Mr. Fuentes noted that the new law is intended to grant tenants greater protections, reactivate the rental subsector, and regulate and tax the use of apartments for holiday stays. However, he also noted that it remains to be seen how the law, once it comes into effect, will be reconciled with the four other rental regulations that are also on the books this year.
After a break, Cirus Andreu, Deputy General Manager for Investments, Products and Analysis at Banc Sabadell, gave a talk entitled "The Residential Rental Market as an Investment Alternative for Institutions". Mr. Andreu declared that now is a good time to invest in the rental market, despite the ongoing economic crisis. He offered a prediction: "The slight drop in prices that is expected in Spain will be more than offset by rental performance." Showing several graphs, he explained that rentals tend to offer greater profitability in the wake of unfavourable economic cycles.
The conference ended with a panel discussion moderated by Eduard Mendiluce (MBA '97), Vice President of the ESADE Alumni Real Estate Club. The first panellist to speak was Jaume Puig, General Manager at GVC Gaesco Gestión. Mr. Puig noted that falling real estate prices are typical of a sector on the brink of collapse. Citing several statistics and graphs, however, he argued that this drop does not mean that we are "nearing the end of the tunnel". The second panellist was Javier Picón, Partner at Azora and Portfolio Manager at Lazora and EnCampus. Drawing on his own company’s experience, Mr. Picón explained how the rental market operates. He also argued that the rental market represents the future of the housing market for both residents and investors. The last panellist to speak was Philippe Buisson, General Manager of Codic Spain. Mr. Buisson compared the various European rental markets, in particular those which have exceptional features or striking similarity to the Spanish market. He predicted that the rental market will play a role in the stabilisation of housing prices. The conference ended with a Q&A session in which audience members posed questions to the speakers and engaged in a lively debate.
You are invited to the 14th Annual Conference of the ESADE Alumni Real Estate Club. In a series of talks and a panel discussion, we will debate the new real estate climate, try to define the profile of future investors and offer comparisons with other countries.
A severe restructuring of the real estate sector has reduced housing prices to levels at which rental profits are now higher than 4%. This trend is likely to continue, with profit margins reaching thresholds that entice private investors. At the same time, fiscal and commercial conditions have improved, offering flexible, efficient platforms.
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