Alibuilding: the developer attracting investors from the United States

José Antonio Izquierdo, director general de Alibuilding

Alibuilding: the developer attracting investors from the United States

The prime housing market is thriving in Spain. This is a reality that Alibuilding, a real estate developer specializing in luxury projects in Madrid and second-home residences in the Costa Blanca (Alicante), confirms with each of its developments. Part of the business holding of brothers Juan and Pablo Alcaraz – founders of the car rental company Goldcar – Alibuilding offers an exclusive product in privileged locations for buyers and investors seeking design, quality, and sustainability. This is the company’s hallmark, as highlighted by the general director, José Antonio Izquierdo.

How were the initial steps taken to reach what Alibuilding is today?

Alibuilding is part of the family-owned Aligrupo, which emerged after several previous experiences in the real estate sector culminated in this project. Alibuilding is a developer born with the intention of consolidating itself in a segment of high-quality development, in spaces of high interest for both residence and investment, and we have positioned ourselves very well over time.

You promote high-quality residential projects in exclusive locations. What are the distinguishing features of Alibuilding’s developments?

Yes, location is important. We look for places that are attractive in themselves, that have something unique. And then, the product also sets us apart. Our homes feature materials and finishes that meet the environmental and connectivity demands required by the most demanding markets, both nationally and internationally. Our hallmark is undoubtedly reliability, design, and quality.

In addition to Alicante, Madrid is another focus of the company. Why these two locations?

The Costa Blanca is our land, but it also has characteristics that make it very competitive at all levels. Recently, Alicante has been pointed out as one of the best cities in the world to live in. And the entire coastline is the same. It has services, natural environments, and a lot of quality of life. Moreover, it is a very safe area, and the professionalism of the real estate and construction sector here is among the highest in the world. Madrid, on the other hand, within Europe, is one of the most attractive capitals to live in, work, and develop new projects. The capital is one of the most dynamic cities in all of Europe, as evidenced by the arrival of foreign investors.

Do you plan to develop new projects beyond these usual locations? In which areas?

We have talked about our natural spaces, Madrid, and the Costa Blanca. But we are not closed to anything; we are always on the lookout for opportunities in places that meet the characteristics that define Alibuilding’s projects because we do not want to give up our spirit and way of being for an investment. Our goal is for Alibuilding and its projects to always be identified. Precisely for this reason, we are not into large-scale promotions and high volume; instead, we are characterized by the quality and features of our product.

“Both the Costa Blanca and Madrid are secure destinations for both living and investing.”

The luxury residential market seems to be detached from the current macroeconomic environment. Do you perceive it that way at Alibuilding? How is the demand behaving?

The real estate market is multipolar; it is very diverse. There is not just one real estate market; there are many: by income, origin, location, quality, etc. Therefore, a single type of analysis is not enough to explain the real estate market’s response. It is true that the high-end product range better withstands specific situations – for example, faced with interest rate hikes and credit concessions – and this is reflected in our sales levels, which are holding up. The buyer, generally foreign, has liquidity and knows how to appreciate our product and destination very well, the Costa Blanca and Madrid.

In addition to sales promotions, you have also entered the tourist rental market. Why? How many tourist apartments do you currently have in the pipeline?

Alibuilding does not directly manage tourist rentals, as it is a developer, but Aligrupo, to which we belong through the Alidreams brand, offers these services. We are already operating in the city of Alicante, on the magnificent El Campello beach, and we have a project for tourist apartments in Benidorm, very close to our emblematic building, Benidorm Beach. This market niche is very interesting, it is growing and will evolve towards more professional models than private rentals, which have predominated in the market until now. We offer a tourist apartment with a wide range of services and customer care. It is a perfect mix of the old accommodation model and the freedom of an apartment.

Where do most of Alibuilding’s customers come from? Why do you think they want to invest in properties in the Costa Blanca and Madrid?

Both the Costa Blanca and Madrid are safe destinations for both residence and investment. Madrid is the capital, and the province of Alicante is the fourth province in terms of GDP and population in Spain; it is perfectly connected with the rest of the world – its airport is the fourth or fifth in Spain – and has become a perfect destination for digital nomads, those workers looking for quality of life at a good price. And Alicante is very competitive both internationally – the Italian or French coast, even destinations like Florida – and compared to other areas in Spain. These reasons are very attractive to foreigners looking to reside or find a place to enjoy their retirement. Furthermore, investment in the province of Alicante as in Madrid is always a safe haven that appreciates in value.

“Compared to traditional bank credit, nowadays there are numerous very interesting and more flexible financing options.”

The purchase of homes by foreigners is gaining strength in our country. What percentage of foreign buyers do you have? Where do they come from?

There is a balance between national and foreign buyers. Although, in some promotions, foreigners are the majority. They increasingly come from Northern Europe and the East, mainly from Poland. The traditional foreign owner – such as Britons, Dutch, or Central Europeans – remains, but we notice a growing interest from citizens of the United States who have already invested in our promotions. Undoubtedly, it is a growing market with great potential.

Let’s talk about financing now. Real estate crowdfunding platforms offer a different financing route from traditional banking, which is increasingly sought after by developers. What is your opinion on this?

Alibuilding does not operate with external financing, and all projects are funded with our own resources. The Spanish banking system is very professional and competitive, providing stability to the markets and the development of our economy. But it is true that, compared to traditional bank credit, there are now many very interesting financing options, more flexible than the traditional banking model.

Finally, what are your predictions for the behavior of the real estate market in 2024?

Contrary to the more pessimistic views, we understand that, after exceptional years with large-scale growth and sales, it is normal for the market to stabilize: for everything to tend towards its natural course. For this reason, I would never speak of a recession or crisis – although there may be market segments, such as the medium-low range, that will feel it – but of a normalization of sales and prices that will tend towards more normalized and calm behavior. We are convinced that 2024 will be a good year, and in fact, we plan to launch several projects this year.

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