27 July 2015 – Expansión
The improved outlook regarding the performance of the Spanish economy is reflected in the real estate market, where prices are stabilising and even increasing in certain areas of Madrid and Barcelona. And the stocks of newly constructed homes are drying up in some towns, due to a lack of new developments in recent years.
Against this background, cranes are returning to the domestic landscape and banks are taking on a new role in the market for real estate development, as they aim to generate returns from the land and half-finished construction projects that they foreclosed in exchange for debt payments. And Sabadell is playing a very active role. It will release 800 homes onto the market over the coming months.
The bank led by Josep Oliu is currently developing eleven of its own real estate urbanisations, most of which are located in Barcelona, Andalucía and Levante, but also in País Vasco and Asturias. The construction work will be completed during the remainder of 2015 and 2016, and will culminate in the release of more than 400 homes – flats and houses – onto the market, over several stages, with some of the properties already being sold.
Beside these developments, which spread across the country and whose degree of completion ranges between 15% and 100%, three other new developments will be started after the summer in Madrid – in the towns of Colmenar Viejo and Alcalá de Henares – and Levante. Once finished, these urbanisations will contain approximately 400 homes.
During the first half of 2015, 46% of Sabadell’s property sales were made in cash, whilst 37% were financed by the bank and the remaining 17% were funded using loans from other entities. In fact, the Catalan bank is offering buyers both variable rate and fixed rate mortgages – at Euribor plus 1.6% and 2.9%, respectively.
The entity’s real estate and mortgage offer is in line with those of other banks such as Santander and BBVA, which are developing 600 different urbanisations at the moment, as well as with that of Sareb, which will release 1,200 homes onto the market during the remainder of 2015, in some of the 30 developments that it completed last year and the 42 that it currently has on-going.
Signs of recovery
After an intense and long-lasting period adjustment, both in terms of activity and prices following the burst of the real estate bubble, the sector is now showing clear signs of recovery, to the extent that foreign funds have also entered the sector for the development of homes. But, is there a risk of excess supply?
Residential development is likely to grow over the next few years, says Javier López Torres, the partner responsible for the real estate sector at KPMG in Spain. And there is still room for more new builds without any risk of a new real estate bubble, says an expert from Andbank, Rocío Ledesma. And Sabadell wants to maximise the opportunities in the market through its development company Solvia.
Solvia is dedicated not only to the development of urbanisations owned by the bank, it also works for third parties. It is a servicer with assets under management amounting to €28,000 million, and it offers services ranging from the management of loan portfolios, to the development of land, as well as the management and administration of assets. In fact, Sareb awarded its first asset management contract to Solvia.
Original story: Expansión (by Alicia Crespo)
Translation: Carmel Drake