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Miami Investor Makes First Big Spain Deal

Barcelona city viewMiami developer Jorge Perez says he is about to close on a €120 million deal, his first transaction in Spain.

Perez didn’t offer details of the deal, but he told Expansion he is focusing on rental buildings in large cities, including Madrid and Barcelona. Earlier this year Perez told reporters he intends to invest €500 million in Spain property.

“We maintain our intention to invest in Spain because it is a country with a great future,” Perez told Expansion. “We believe it is the ideal time to invest here, because, according to our studies, the Spanish property market has a good run in the coming years.”

Perez is not a typical investor. One of the richest men in the U.S., he is the chief executive of the Related Group and was responsible for many of Miami’s biggest residential projects, earning the nickname the Condo King of Miami.

When the real estate market collapsed in 2007, Perez became the poster child for Miami’s problems. Many of his towers faced foreclosure and the banks took over several projects.

But Perez and Related survived, and now they are building more than ever, with dozens of projects in development, largely fueled by buyers from Latin America.

Perez has formed a new entity, Related Spain, which is operated by his son, Nicholas.

Perez has been actively looking for deals in Spain, including discussions with banks and Sareb, Spain’s bad bank. But he is not been satisfied with the prices offered by the banks.

“Most of the investments we are making are with owners directly, but we are also looking at transactions with banks,” Perez said. “But honestly, I think the REITs of these entities still have to make some adjustments to sales values.”

Like other investors, Perez is already seeing more competition for property, making it harder to find good deals. Many of the big REITs have already expressed similar frustration at the mounting competition.

“Above all, we see competition in income operations in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona,” Perez said. “The returns that are occurring in this type of product are similar to those we have in the United States and other countries.”

In some areas, prices are already starting to rise, making it more difficult to find suitable deals, he said.
“I still think there are still some outstanding price adjustments, especially on the ground, but it is clear that in the coming months… prices will have a slight tendency to rise, so opportunities will be lower,” Perez told the paper. “However, I think there is still a huge stock of finished home and, especially, land.”

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