“Anti-Eviction Law” Reveals that CaixaBank has 5,000+ Empty Homes in Valencia

7 October 2018 – Valencia Plaza

La Generalitat is pushing ahead with its count of empty homes in the hands of owners of large property portfolios in the Community of Valencia. Reporting of these types of assets is now mandatory under the Law for the Social Function of Housing – known as the Valencian “anti-eviction law”, – a text that was watered down by the Constitutional Court (CC) but in whose articles the Consell still retains the tools to demand the reporting of unoccupied assets and to impose fines in the event of a lack of collaboration.

The Valencian Government reactivated the count following the recent ruling from the CC. The most recent figure provided by the Conselleria de Vivienda amounts to 7,315 homes across the length and breadth of the Community: 45% in the province of Valencia, 38% in Castellón and the remaining 17% in Alicante. But the most striking fact comes from the analysis of the owners, given that a total of 5,270 homes are owned by the CaixaBank Group.

The bulk, according to data provided to this newspaper by the socialist Minister María José Salvador, corresponds to 5,065 empty homes reported by BuildingCenter, the company owned by CaixaBank “focused on the divestment of the portfolio of properties proceeding from the group”, according to the company’s own motto -. The remainder to arrive at the total of 5,270 units corresponds to 148 reported directly by Caixabank, 51 from Banco de Valencia, 5 from Credifimo and 1 from Gestión Fondos Credifimo.

Almost all of the homes owned by the group in the Community come from foreclosures made by the now extinct Banco de Valencia, which was awarded to La Caixa for €1 in 2012 under the framework of the bank restructuring. As a result, the data provided by CaixaBank to La Generalitat reveal that, six years later, the stock of assets proceeding from the extinct Valencian bank continues to be very bulky.

In addition to the empty homes reported by the CaixaBank group, the other properties to reach the total of 7,315 units are owned by Sareb (1,598 homes) and Grupo Santander (447), split into the companies Altamira Santander Real Estate (339), Banco Santander (67), Luri 6 SA (36) and Santander Consumer Finance (6) (…).

Register of uninhabited homes (…)

The law provides for the creation of the Register of Uninhabited Homes (…) so that all of the homes that are declared uninhabited by the administration can be grouped together and “housing solutions can be granted to those people who need them most”. The objective of the administration is to “mobilise the more than 500,000 empty homes that there are in the Community”, according to estimates.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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