Valdeluz: Another Icon Of The RE Bubble Shows Signs Of Life

19 September 2016 – El Mundo

The recovery of the real estate market is spreading like an oil slick out from the major cities out to the rest of the country. The strength of the recovery is such that it is even reaching places that were synonymous with the real estate bubble. Just a few months ago, this newspaper reported the resurgence of the PAU de El Quiñón – El Pocero’s city in Seseña. Now, the awakening of the residential market has also reached the reviled PAU of Ciudad Valdeluz, in Yebes (Guadalajara).

The streets of the development, which contain four- and five-storey residential blocks and whose design is reminiscent of the PAUs in Madrid, are exuding life. The area has 2,220 finished homes – with an occupancy rate of 83.1% – and 2,611 registered inhabitants (a figure that the Town Hall says actually reflects 4,380 residents). Although perhaps the best symptom of the health of the housing market could well be the lack of For Sale signs. It is estimated that the stock here amounts to just 100-150 units after the banks placed some of their supply on the market in one go at cheap prices, marketing homes that once cost more than €200,000 in the golden years, for less than €70,000 and family homes that used to cost more than €400,000 for just €120,000.

The limited supply and strong rate of sales has even revived the property development sector. In August, the Town Hall granted its first building permit for 10 years. Moreover, and this is significant, it was to resume a project that had been suspended in 2008 and which was one of the last embers of the real estate bubble. Ibercaja is driving this development. “It is proof that development in Valdeluz is becoming profitable again and we think that it will be the starting point for the new real estate market here”, said Vidal Gaitán, Town Planning and Environment councillor in Yebes.

Gaitán is not at all surprised by Ibercaja’s decision: “A year and a half ago, the bank received around 80 or 90 homes and sold almost all of them in six months. It has seen that there is business here”. The councillor believes that this first building permit will have a “magnetic effect”, which is already being felt at the Town Hall. “Over the last few weeks, several architectural studios have asked about the status of certain plots of land. They have even asked about the licence relating to a shopping centre that has been half built”, he said. The municipal technicians have been instructed to prioritise these calls.

The available product belongs almost in its entirety to the banks and Sareb. For this reason, servicers such as Altamira, Solvia and Servihabitat are the main commercial players in the area. Javier Muro, Regional Director of the Central Region at Altamira Asset Management, describes the current activity at Valdeluz as “a new phase”. His company sold an 80-home building in just a few months. “With updated prices and affordable financing”, he said “sales of these kinds of developments are proving successful once more”.

“Price is critical in Valdeluz” said Muro, who recalled that the PAU has had to overcome the setback of not having a shuttle between the AVE station in Valdeluz and Madrid. Gaitán still dreams about that train, which would link the town with Atocha in 18 minutes. (…).

Nevertheless, Javier Román, Regional Director for Madrid, Castilla and the Northeast at Solvia, highlights Valdeluz’s location. “It is five minutes away from Guadalajara and it is easily accessible from Madrid and the Corredor del Henares by the A-II and R-2”, he said, at the same time as extolling the virtues of its 272,000 sqm of green space. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Jorge Salido Cobo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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