15 April 2016 – El Mundo
The four servicers, Altamira Asset Management (which was created by Banco Santander), Servihabitat (La Caixa), Solvia (Banco Sabadell) and Anida (BBVA) currently have a portfolio of 2,277 new homes up for sale (or about to come on the market) in the Community of Madrid alone. This supply is spread across 30 residential projects (10 in the capital), all launched in 2015 and 2016. These high figures make these companies the main sellers of new homes, along with cooperatives, investment funds and a small group of private property developers.
The three large independent servicer platforms (Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia) have managed to accumulate a juicy showcase of new homes thanks to the fact that they are selling products from the main financial entities, in other words, the major land owners; and from Sareb, which took ownership of the real estate assets previously owned by the banks that received state intervention. In other words, these platforms own the majority of the country’s new homes. All of these projects are characterised by having been studied in detail in accordance with three key parameters: locations in demand, prices that reflect the market and homes and common areas tailored to suit buyers.
In terms of their ways of working, each servicer is different, although their modus operandi involves the complete management of property developments, on behalf of their clients and themselves. Their activities range from the submission of projects to after-sales services, as well as the search for developers and construction companies (if they don’t have in-house teams), requests for permits and the sale of properties. A comprehensive service that they offer by themselves and in partnership with other firms. In return, these companies generate profits through commissions, from both the construction and sales processes.
As such, the servicers (some of which are owned by funds) are rising up as major players in the new build market, where traditional property developers are unable to get started due, in particular, to a lack of financing. (…).
Why are the servicers turning their hand to the sale of new homes?
“This business, which focuses on satisfying the needs of its users, is and will be long-lasting and profitable”, says Fernando López, Commercial Director at Altamira, who is convinced that the residential market is taking off again after seven years of almost no activity. “During that time”, he says “pockets of unsatisfied demand has been growing”. (…).
In total, Altamira has 217 developments under construction across the whole of Spain – many of which are sold out – and it expects to hand over almost 8,000 homes between now and 2018, figures that make it the largest property manager in Spain and one of the largest in Europe.
Juan Carlos Álvarez, Director General of Servihabitat’s Real Estate Business, also extols this product. (…). Only one of the six developments that his company put up for sale in Madrid in 2015 has units still for sale (in Cuatro Vientos, where apartments are going for as little as €212,000). It will put another six projects on the market soon.
According to Francisco Moreno, Director of Business Development at Altamira, the new developments “respond to and better satisfy the real needs of potential buyers in terms of design, quality and price”. He adds, “Now, most homes have three bedrooms, and there is also demand for four bedroom properties”. These types of homes dominate the supply of the servicers and banks in the Community of Madrid, which include high-rise flats and detached houses with asking prices from €120,000.
Francisco Pérez, Director of Promotion and Development at Solvia says that “all of his company’s developments offer customisation options to future owners. They also offer large common areas, green spaces and most have a swimming pool”. Meanwhile, Solvia does not predict any aggressive rise in prices, but rather a slight increase of 3.3% in 2016. (…).
Original story: El Mundo (by Jorge Salido Cobo)
Translation: Carmel Drake