About us

i-comparables.com by Stan Dickens:

The Idea

The idea for i-comparables.com was born in March 2008. Some international colleagues and I were discussing valuations in the crowded Hotel Majestic bar in Cannes during MIPIM. They encouraged me to create and maintain an independent database of Spanish commercial real estate transactions. While at the time I thought that it might be worthwhile to create a data repository for the Spanish market I never suspected that it would be anything more than simply providing a weekly data service to one or two valuation and investment clients active in Spain.

Commencement

Further market research indicated that the idea had significant potential demand and by September 2008 I was fortunate enough to be retained by an international client to research monthly transactional activity in the Spanish market. It was at this stage that I decided to research back over the previous ten years of Spain’s real estate transactional history in order to improve the data coverage. Although I had been keeping my own property data transactions list ever since I arrived in Spain in 1989 it wasn’t complete and filling in the gaps proved to be a time consuming task. It was only in August 2009 that I believed the job to be done as far as it could be.

Methodology

The initial research dated back to 1999 and was later extended to 1989. The sources consulted have been as wide as possible. These included direct contact with investors of all types, contact with investment agents, researching property investment funds accounts and property agents’ market reports, press releases, property consultants’ and property investors’ web sites, newspaper articles, internet news publications and on-line libraries and the specialist real estate press.

Now that the research dating back to 1989 is mostly complete additional research is being undertaken of large transactions dating back as far as 1925 and we are trying to track back even further. The task is ongoing and currently the Spanish database of i-comparables.com has around 2,000 recorded transactions mostly dating from 2000 but with a significant number of earlier transactions mostly in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Currently, the oldest transaction recorded on i-comparables.com dates back to 1925 and I expect that we will reach 2,500 separate recorded transactions by mid 2010.

Improving delivery and the search and filter functions

As our list of clients started to grow it became clear that we needed to make the database far more accessible and interactive. Clients require far more powerful filtering tools than Excel can provide and it was time to meet their needs by creating an on-line service with powerful filtering tools. I therefore recently set up this web site and transferred all of the data onto the MySQL platform, a far more powerful database platform than Excel. Clients now have 24 hour access, powerful search and filtering tools and fully up to date information at all times. I am still constantly looking at ways to improve the web site and also beginning to look at how it might grow.

Where do we go to from here?

i-comparables.com will soon be providing information on distressed assets and we have incorporated an agent’s league table on the home page of our web site.

We are aware that many investors in Spain do not wish their real estate transactions to become known in the market for various reasons and that agents are often under pressure to maintain secrecy on property transactions in Spain they have brokered. Although we understand the pressure that agents are under we believe that this is the wrong way to go. We will therefore, remain true to our mission to contribute as much as possible to market transparency. I hope you agree. Please send us any Spanish property (real estate) transactions that you would like to see published. We will fully respect confidentiality on all information received.

Stan Dickens (25th October 2009) Mobile phone: +34 610 418 654

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Spain - If you are seeking transactional information on Spain please contact us for a description of our services, available subscription packages and a quotation.