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Growth and GDP
Spain’s economic growth continues to outpace the Eurozone average (1.9%), with Spanish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up 2.5% in 2018, according to the latest figures published by INE.
Inflation fell to 1.2% in December, as a result of the sharp drop in oil prices. Despite the gradual increase in commodity prices, lower energy costs are expected to keep a lid on inflation in 2019.
Purchasing power of Spanish households continues to rise, reflecting country’s strong economic performance and rising employment levels. Data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicates that Spain’s unemployment rate stood at 14.45% at the end of 2018, slightly lower than its equivalent for 2017.
Consumer Confidence Index
The CIS Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December stood at 90.9 points, 0.5 points down on the previous month.
Spain is the second most popular tourist destination in the world – behind France and ahead of the US. It received a total of 82.8 million international tourists in 2018, up 1.1% y-o-y.
Commercial (offices, retail and logistics) investment volume reached circa EUR7,850 million in Spain in 2018, up 4% on 2017. If the hotel investment volume was also added, the 2018 figure would reach circa EUR9,800 million.
Commercial investment volume (€Mn)
Once again, shopping centres were at the top of the table for retail investment volume, posting a total of EUR1,730 million for the year (45%). Coming in a close second was the high street segment, with EUR1,396 million in transacted volume. Investment in retail parks and other retail assets rounded out the total at EUR320 million and EUR434 million, respectively.
Retail investment volumen by asset class (€Mn)
Prime rents for retail property continue to grow from one year to the next. The average annual high street rent unit rose by 5% in 2018 to reach EUR3,528 per sqm. Shopping centre rents jumped 4.3% to an average of EUR1,170 per sqm per year, compared with EUR1,122 per sqm per year in 2017. The biggest increase, however, was in retail parks, where rents were up 5.4% y-o-y. Prime rents in this segment now hover around EUR234 per sqm per year, compared with €222 per sqm per year in 2017.
Yields for high street and retail park property held steady in 2018. A prime yield of 3.15% is achievable for units in the best high street locations, whereas for retail parks the prime yield sits at 5.25%
The prime yield for shopping centres closed the year on 4.50%. These properties, most of which are core assets, remain an attractive proposition for investors.
The YTD evolution at 31 December 2018 stood at 0.0%. Footfall in Spain grew by 2.0% y-o-y in December, registering the sharpest m-o-m increase of the year (+18.8%), according to the ShopperTrak footfall index.
Retail sales remained unchanged (0.0% y-o-y) according to the latest figures published by INE.
Looking ahead, retail sales are set to grow by an average of 1.5% each year until 2021, according to estimates by Oxford Economics.
244,000 sqm of GLA has been opened in 2018, the majority of which pertaining to seven new retail properties that opened their doors during the year. Another small part of the GLA relates to extensions and second phases.