A problem without magic solutions


Retail Cat and Amat Immobiliaris analysed the same problem from different points of view:

Retail Cat analysed how to regenerate the commerce and give exit to the retailers that are being lost by the city in the middle of closed doors.

Amat Immobiliaris analyzed how to address the need, now urgent, for housing for young people and the elderly, if possible to rent and providing social value.

The emergency of housing is sadly a reality, both for the lack of supply for rent, situation that leads to price inflation, the expulsion of former tenants in peripheral or very distant areas and, above all, because we are aware that we can not Cover with quick recipes. It is a problem without magical solutions.

These are the words I said when we presented with Juan Carlos Calbet of Retail Cat a possible solution, within the events of the Week of Commerce. A grain of sand where everyone wins and can contribute between 5,000 and 8,000 homes for rent.

The study carried out since 2009 is based on the fact that the new formulas of e-commerce and concentrations in shopping centers have come to stay and the supply of small shops in third and fourth lines of a city dies due to lack of activity.

Even today we are in time to save the current business of these areas if we design neighborhood-by-neighborhood shopping centers and help these businesses move to the designed shopping areas.

The change of use itself already means an increase in assets that can help the merchant to make the transfer and in case he is a tenant, he should act by way of financing or subsidies.

We can reconvert the premises into homes for the elderly without any architectural barrier, bringing them closer to the street, which is the same as bringing them closer to life, with low costs, because it is about building very clear structures.

We have invested a lot in putting elevators and it has been very good, but life is extended and there comes a time when it is not possible to lower the elevators, condemning our grandparents to be locked for years in a flat, which leads to isolation social and psychological

We do not find flats for young people who do not leave home before the age of 30. It is society that loses the most, because young people have to leave home well, they must know how to take their own path, we can not cut their freedom, they must move and risk and leave home is the first part of a long learning.

They can also be users of converted premises and, at the same time, invigorating streets and providing vitality to older people who will have neighbors.

The costs of reconverting them are very low, because they must be very clear and standardized.

And also win the communities of owners who today suffer dirt, abandonment of the premises and also problems for future projects of rehabilitation of the real estate whenever the premises have a coefficient that exceeds 15% of the property and, therefore, are essential to carry out any project and do not make it easy given that they have been closed for years and years.

Catalonia has 30,000 empty spaces at the moment and will continue to grow. We can not continue like this, we need coordinated decisions among all the institutions that, in one way or another, can change the current criteria and allow this grain of sand to be possible.

The win-win is a reality, the merchant wins who can move to more central areas, the owner who today has it closed wins, the community of owners wins, the society wins, offering solutions for grandparents and young people, the city wins , because we would improve the image, the cleanliness and the security of many streets, and the neighbors will win that would have much more life than the closed and dirty doors of today.

Shall we start?

Joana Amat

Vice-president of Amat Immobiliaris

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Joana Amat recieves the Creu de Sant Jordi for her professional trajectory

On May 2 we knew the news of the concession of the Creu de Sant Jordi by the Generalitat of Catalonia to the Vice-president of Amat Immobiliaris, Joana Amat, for its outstanding participation in the real estate sector since the company was founded by her father, Joan Amat , in 1948.

The ceremony was held on Thursday afternoon with the attendance of the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra; the Vice-president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonés and the Minister of Culture, Mariàngela Villalonga, in the Forum Auditorium.

La Creu de Sant Jordi is the highest distinction awarded by the Generalitat of Catalonia to those people who, due to their merits, have rendered outstanding services to Catalonia in the defense of their identity or in the civic and cultural field.

The distinction was created in 1981 and any citizen, group of citizens or entity can request that this award be given to any person.

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Important changes in Spain’s Urban Lease Law (LAU)


On December 18, the Real Decreto Ley 21/2018, of December 14, of urgent measures in the field of housing and rent has been published in the BOE, which incorporates very important changes in the field of housing lease in the Spain’s Ley sobre Propiedad Horizontal (Urban Lease Law).

This Real Decreto Ley has entered into force the day after its publication and has no retroactive effect, so it will not be applicable to lease agreements signed prior to that date.

The most significant modifications are:

  • It returns to the principle of freedom of pact in housing leases of more than 300 sqm or initial rent exceeding 5’4 times the minimum interprofessional salary.
  • The lease of tourist use, in all cases, is definitely excluded from the LAU (Urban Lease Law). The minimum mandatory duration of the contracts is extended at 5 years if the owner is a person and at 7 years if it is a legal entity.
  • The duration of the legal extension is extended to 3 years
  • It is established that in reduced-income contracts (these are those where rent is below that established), the update will be made by applying the IPC while the mandatory term of duration lasts- 5 or 7 years respectively.
  • Expenditure on real estate management and contract formalization will be paid by the landlord when it is a legal entity, except for those services that have been hired directly by the lessee.
  • A maximum of 2 monthly payments is made to supplementary additional guarantees. If the contract lasts more than 5 or 7 years, these guarantees may be extended.
  • An exemption from the payment of the ITP to the tenants is approved.
  • The procedural regulation is modified in the handling of evictions. Social services will intervene in the procedure at the request of the defendant, in the event of a situation of vulnerability, and the procedure can be suspended (1 month if the owner is a person or 2 months if he is a legal person) until social services consider appropriate mesures. After the deadline the procedure will continue its processing.
  • A new right of withdrawal is introduced in favor of the administration in certain cases of joint sale.

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Thoughts about Meeting Point, and more

It took me longer than usual to make this latest Diary of Change as we wait to assess the results of the Meeting Point held in October and to know about the latest decisions of the Administration that affect the real estate sector.

This last Meeting Point Edition has produced contradictory sensations. On one hand, it is true that the BMP was positive because the layout of the stands was different from other years and we thought it looked better. In addition, they have been larger and brighter. It looks like we’re getting better! On the other hand, the Symposium talks have been very interesting and, due to the BMP last one day less, allowed us to better concentrate the efforts.

As always, there are two “Meeting Point”: the professional one and the one focused on the  general public. The days focused on the professional sector have been very active, with a lot of networking. It has been very helpful. On the other hand, the days for the general public have been weaker than in other years since there have been fewer visits. If we analyze it from the commercial point of view, it shows that nowadays attending to a fair makes less sense for potential costumers. What do they find? A concentration of supply when the real estate websites and portals also have it? Even so, today we can say that we have made 3 sales that came directly from the BMP contacts.

Also for us, for AMAT, it was the space where we were able to present two innovations:

  • GreenDEX, it is a green indicator that relates housing and health. With the GreenDEX and the GreenMAP we inform about the quality and quantity of the green next to the properties that we commercialize in the city of Barcelona. From our point of view, the existence of green areas in a housing environment improves the environmental health and famílies well-being.
    At the moment we are the only ones who offer this service in order to inform our customers, but we hope that the rest of the sector will join us soon.
  • The new regulation of 30% of social housing

After months of talking, filling pages and pages in the media, on December 5 there was an agreement between the City Council and the Generalitat. Surely we could get to agree with its heart but surely we are not with the way to do so.

It will take time to assess the consequences for the real estate sector and also the social benefits but as a first reflection we are struck by several things:

  • That an important and transcendental topic like this is approved 6 months after the local elections.
  • That there has not been a great debate. Interestingly there have been discussions after the approval by the City Council.
  • That the limit where the application of this regulation is necessary is 600 sqm.
  • That this burden is imposed on the promoters as a result of having been the Administration unable to get a public-private collaboration to develop social housing, as it exists in education and health issues.
  • We are concerned about the issue, as we have historically been worried about the lack of rental housing in Barcelona and the distrust, also historical, in relation to the real estate sector (and we have never been promoters …).

Immaculada Amat


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Greendex, an added value for our costumers

One difference between our company and the rest of the sector is the importance we give to innovation. For us, betting and investing in innovation is an added value to our services and, therefore, directly affects the satisfaction of our customers.

In these moments, taking advantage of the proximity of the Barcelona Meeting Point to make the presentation, in Amat we bet on a new innovative concept: the GreenDex index.

Green spaces have been the focus of numerous studies that demonstrate that contact with natural environments is related to health and well-being of people and confirms that it can improve it. The existence of green areas improves the capture of CO2, which affects environmental health, mitigating the air pollution of cities and, in addition, provides a lower energy consumption. This is why housing location is where to put the focus of attention as it influences many aspects at a vital level.

GreenDex is an indicator of the amount of green areas surrounding homes. For all in the light of above, it is a very important tool at the time of deciding to acquire a property. On the other hand, in addition to the amount of green, it is important to know the quality of it.

Therefore, the GreenMap system will provide our customers with the visualization of the quality of the vegetation around their future home.

As we said, having this visualization is an added value for the user and, from now on, both can be consulted on our website.

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