Spain comm. property investments gain share-report

Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:58am EDT

* Spain shr of Europe commercial prop sales rise to 7.5 pct

* Value of investments drop by half to 1.85 bln euros

LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Spain's ravaged commercial real estate market has attracted more investors, such as opportunity funds, as prices plunge, boosting its share of total European property investments, a report said on Wednesday. The world's largest real estate broker CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) (CBG.N) said Spain's share of investments in European commercial properties has more than doubled from 3 percent in 2005 and 2006, to 7.5 percent in the first half of 2009.

In value terms, Spanish commercial property investments shrunk by half in the first six months of 2009, from the same period in 2008, to 1.85 billion euros ($2.6 billion), although the decline was less severe than elsewhere in Europe, CBRE said.

"An important driver of this investor interest in Spain is the relative speed with which the market has repriced," CBRE said, adding prime yields in Spain have risen as much as 225 basis points since the market's peak in mid 2007, against the European average rise of 136 basis points.

Big discounts in Spain's office and retail properties, of up to 50 percent have attracted private investors rather than institutions, which are wary of falling rents as the Spanish economy remained weak, consultants have said. [ID:nLG58808]

Spain accounted for two of the nine transactions valued at over 200 million euros this year, including the sale of the Plenilunio shopping centre by Banco Santander's (SAN.MC) Banif real estate fund for 235 million euros, CBRE said.

"There were seven serious bidders for the Plenilunio shopping centre which indicates ... there is already serious competition for the best assets," Adolfo Ramirez-Escudero, Executive Managing Director of CBRE Spain, said. (Reporting by Daryl Loo; Editing by Andrew Macdonald) ($1=.7091 Euro) (See www.reutersrealestate.com for the global service for real estate professionals from Reuters)