While analysts suggest that Iberia's construction-led economic growth may be close to an end, international investors nevertheless continue to secure high-value real estate assets.
International funds, including Singapore's GIC, Ireland's Quinlan, the Netherlands' Cirio and US giants Morgan Stanley and GE have poured billions of euros into the acquisition of high-value assets, including Barcelona's prestigious Hotel Arts, Catalonia's biggest shopping centre the Diagonal Mar and an impressive range of shopping and leisure complexes throughout the peninsula. Investors are also ploughing funds into the residential market.
Leading real estate advisers, including Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Uría Menéndez and new kids on the block Lovells, have all enjoyed significant instructions in the continuing property boom.
Freshfields Spanish head of real estate Juan Gómez-Acebo, who is advising property business Inmocaral on its high-profile takeover of Colonial, sees a huge appetite among investors for both real estate assets and companies. "The investment pressure continues to produce price increases, so most sales are therefore vendor-orientated, leaving investors facing huge competition," he says.
Lawyers in the sector suggest that continuing interest from private equity funds such as Carlyle, and trade players such as Portuguese group Amorim, which aims to have E1bn (£675.54m) of Spanish commercial centre assets under its control within four years, will ensure that the sector remains buoyant.