More and more people are looking for flexibility in their daily lives, also in the apartments where they live. This has led to the takeoff of new housing formulas in Spain, halfway between residential rental and vacation homes. Thus, according to the real estate consulting firm CBRE, investment in flexible apartments will soar in Spain to almost 670 million euros in 2022.
According to the consultancy, at the close of 2022 there were less than 3,000 beds within this asset type in complete buildings in Spain, concentrated in Madrid (65%) and Barcelona (35%), to which another 8,500 will be added in development over the next three years.
This business is in an initial phase and in the process of professionalization, which is why during 2021 it accounted for only 7% of the total invested in residential assets, with around 200 million. During 2022, investment has shot up to €666 million (15% of total investment), multiplying by 3.5.
Types of Accommodation: Three Typologies
Within this type of accommodation there are three products. One of them is known as coliving, with complete residential buildings in city centers and few common areas. This is a community-centered product (in some cases with shared bathrooms and kitchen) with added services and for average stays of nine to twelve months.
Another category is the product developed in the outskirts of cities on tertiary land with an aparthotel license and for short and medium stays (weeks or even days). This type of property, which offers the greatest potential due to its size, has large shared areas with, among other services, parking, gym, coworking space, gym, social club, outdoor swimming pool and laundry. The price of the accommodation includes all utilities (electricity, water, heating, etc.), WiFi and cleaning.
The third product is more holiday-oriented, in coastal or rural areas, and is aimed mainly at digital or energy nomads (people looking to save costs in their countries of origin and move to warmer areas) with an average stay of between one and three months.
These include Be Casa Rivas, which opened its doors in early December last year to welcome the first tenants of its serviced apartments, as reported by idealista/news.
It is an asset located in Rivas-Vaciamadrid (Madrid), which has had an investment of 85 million euros, which have resulted in a property of 843 apartments with a multitude of amenities.
Momentum launched a second portfolio of serviced apartments in 2021 with Bain Capital, with 2,845 units under development in Alcobendas and Carabanchel, in Madrid, Sant Cugat (Barcelona) and Barakaldo (Bilbao). The management of these apartments will be entrusted to Node, a company specializing in temporary accommodation.
Argis, a Spanish fund manager of Israeli and Latin American origin, currently manages 800 flexible rental units through Flipco! and a month ago acquired a property on Cavanilles street to build 200 more units. The company’s goal is to add 5,000 flexible apartments in two years.
Other investors present are Round Hill Capital, which bought 230 apartments in Valdebebas for 30 million in 2021, or the real estate investment and asset management company Dazia Capital, with projects in Tetuán and Valdebebas.
Livensa Living (controlled by the Canadian fund Brookfield) has a line of flexible housing. Through Livensa Living Studios, it has projects in Madrid, San Sebastian, Malaga, Bilbao and Valencia.
As for operators, in addition to those already mentioned, Urban Campus, founded by John van Oost and Maxime Armand; Dovevivo, owned by Starwood Capital Group; the German company Habyt; Live It, a brand of the Spanish company SmartRental; ColivINN, founded by Alejandro Fernández Luengo, and the Spanish coliving company The Residential Club (TRC) are also operating in Spain.
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