Banks Uphold the Market

21/02/2014 – El Mundo

Nowadays, banks are the number one in ruling the market. Large banks and Sareb only conducted 100.000 transactions concerning property last year (almost one third of whole magitude of 350.000 items in their balance sheets).

Beyond the sales success, there is the mainspring of commerce – marketing, set upon three pillars: discounts, financing and specialized aid. These three fueled the banks´struggle against the tide and let them earn on sales instead of losing. (…).

While the overall purchase number dipped down by 18% in 2013 (from 428.084 to 350.308), the banks outstood with appreciation by 4.1% (from 95.133 to 99.067).

Sales Channels

Seeing the fruit of their effort, it seems that they have done a great job from their specialized branches, cooperating with other experts and professional traders (like Básico Homes, Foro Consultores, etc.). (…).

Sources from Anida, real estate company of BBVA, claim that their key to success is “the good value-for-money relation, excellent asset location and effective cooperation with others”. They emphasize their new construction product as the bank is to start about 40 housing developments in 2014. (…).

In total, BBVA sold 21.383 properties in 2013 – 14.390 via Anida and 6.993 units thanks to the third parties – and earned €1.469 million. In 2014 it will aim at “improving their own 1.000 property monthly scores basing on portfolio variety and foreign demand”.

Banco Santander´s 2013 performance is similar. The bank sold 15.000 properties for €2.000 through its Altamira Santander Real Estate firm (…).

The 2013 Top Sellers

Apart from the two financial sector giants, the leader in 2013 turned out to be hiperactive CaixaBank that shed 29.132 properties together with Servihabitat, and Banco Sabadell which undertook an agressive sale policy involving 70% discounts. Sabadell and Solvia sold 18.501 properties improving their 2012 performance by 34%.

Javier García del Río, Real Business executive from the real estate company explains that “we have a powerful multichannel platform and experts with excellent knowledge of the market in each corner of Spain”. (…).

The bank which soared the sales up significantly in 2013 is Bankinter. It sold 1.762 properties, that means 111% more than a year before (834). Ángel Gómez Arrayas from the bank comments upon the striking performance as follows: “our strategy (…) allows us to adapt to any situation on the market at any moment. (…) In 2014, we target at raising sales by 15% and liquidate property portfolio in at least two years. We belive that the situation is faring better in the primary zones in Madrid and Barcelona, (…) although in second home sector the tendency still goes downwards”.

In general, the cash within the framework flowing from property sales delivered almost €13.000 million to the banks´ coffers last year. The overhelming score of course has not escape the international funds´attention that acquired vast majority of the real estate platforms. For instance, Santander, Popular and CaixaBank sold their branches for millions of Euros to funds (…).

Farewell, Discounts

In order to prolong the sweet sales performance, banks know which path to choose: continue to adjust housing prices. (…).

Solvia´s directors expect the 2014 performance to be similar to the 2013 one. This year (…) we are going to focus on our client´s needs rather than on the discunts passing away”.

(…) Anida prefers to call them “opportunities”. “We offer new construction houses at competitive prices”. BBVA has just given its clients an option to suggest their own price for a property.

Investor´s Profile

The prevailing type of investor in 2014 will be, according to Bankinter, rather foreign and buying a house for private use only. As Sabadell informs, only 1.000 properties (10%) out of all 18.501 units sold in 2013 have been transferred to international funds. That is why the bank created a new job position: a personal advisor.

If it comes to BBVA, among the most frequent purchaser in the registry there is general public person buying their first house. “And, obviously, foreigners acquiring their second home”.

The demand is not only brought about by low prices but also by credit. Banks struggle to lead in the best financing offer. (…). They decide to let the cash flow this year.

Original article: El Mundo (Jorge Salido Cobo)

Translation: AURA REE