Barcelona-boy Gerard Piqué, married to Latin pop star Shakira, has bought a residential building in the heart of the Eixample Dreta (the right side of the Eixample), Barcelona’s equivalent of London’s Mayfair, for almost €15m, suggesting prices are up 50% in around five years.
He is reported to have paid almost €15 million for the building at number 79 on calle Pau Claris, between Paseo de Gracia and Roger de Lluria, purchasing it from a Spanish-Swiss fund called Stoneweg. The building is located in the heart of Barcelona’s Quadrat d’Or, or Golden Square, so-called as it is home to many of Barcelona’s modernist masterpieces, and some of the most expensive real estate in Spain.
The building is said to be ready for renovation, which probably means the flats are all empty. I expect the business plan is either to renovate and target upmarket buyers, or renovate and rent with the same target in mind. It’s a posh area.
As it happens, the sales details of this buildings were sent to me back in March 2013, when the original owners put it on the market. It’s a period building with a total built surface area of 3,054m2 comprised of 15 residential units, and two ground-floor commercial units of around 460 to 460m2. The residential units, including a penthouse of 95m2, range from 215 to 240m2 on the principal floor, and between 82 and 137m2 for units all the other floors.
The asking price at the time was €10m plus commission, which was the equivalent of 3,274€/m2 (built), and the rental yield was 1.5% with just 10 of the units rented. The investment pitch was optimise the rentals to get 5.5% p.a., or wait for all the tenants to leave by Sept 2017, get planning permission, and sell on before development for 4,800€/m2 (€14,660,000) – a gross return of 47%.
Without being privy to any of the details of the Piqué purchase beyond the price as reported in the local press, it looks like Stoneweg bought the building from the original vendors some time after 2013 for I guess around €10m, and have now resold it ready to develop to footballer Piqué for around €15m, making something in the region of a 50% return. It looks like the original investment pitch was quite close to the final outcome. At the time I remember the broker trying to sell the building being quite depressed because nobody was interested in buying prime Barcelona real estate at a bargain price.