17 July 2017 – Eje Prime
Ada Colau’s Town Hall is continuing to grow its real estate portfolio for social housing purposes. The Town Hall of Barcelona has completed the purchase of two residential properties at numbers 7 and 11 on Calle Lancaster for €6.5 million, according to sources close to the operation. According to the same sources, the municipal Government will pay above the market price when it fully closes the operation.
Both assets had attracted attention from an international real estate fund, which had already signed a “contrato de arras” to carry out the transaction, for which it was going to pay €5 million. However, according to sources involved in the operation, the Town Hall of Barcelona was negotiating in parallel with the owner of the property and ended up agreeing the purchase price of €6.5 million. The Town Hall has not made any statement about the deal.
The purchase of this building forms part of the acquisition policy that Ada Colau’s team has been working on in recent months. In order to avoid the eviction of residents, the Town Hall has purchased at least four buildings across Barcelona, which may otherwise have fallen into the hands of real estate investment funds, had it had not disrupted the process.
At the beginning of last year, the Town Hall of Barcelona purchased the building located at number 44 on Paseo de Joan de Borbí, in the Ciutat Villa district. The acquisition of that building, which was owned by the General Treasury for Social Security, involved an investment of €3.6 million by the Town Hall and the property was allocated for social housing. The acquisition of these types of buildings is one of the solutions that Colau’s team is adopting to increase the stock of social housing assets.
This year has been one of the most active for the Town Hall in terms of these types of acquisitions. The Town Hall announced the purchase of number 37 on Calle Leiva, located in the Sants neighbourhood for €2.7 million. The procedure was the same as that followed with the property in Calle Lancaster: in this case, an investment fund named Vauras Investment was willing to acquire the property from a financial entity (Anida, owned by BBVA).
The Town Hall made use of its right to sound out and withdraw, with the aim of avoiding the eviction of the property’s tenants. The residents had been working on an intense protest campaign for months, which had resonated across the whole city. In the last two years, Colau’s government has purchased 167 homes for €17.5 million (…).
Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)
Translation: Carmel Drake