Construction Companies Look for Land in the Canary Islands for 2,000 Subsidised Homes

3 October 2018

The Association of Construction Companies is analysing Sareb’s real estate portfolio, which includes 2,900 properties on the Islands.

The builders are looking for land in the Canary Islands to finalise a “quick and complementary” housing plan before the end of the year that benefits the most disadvantaged segments of the population. The Association of Construction Companies and Developers of the Province of Las Palmas (AECP) met yesterday with a delegation from the Bank Restructuring Asset Management Company (Sareb), Spain’s so-called bad bank, to analyse the company’s assets on the Islands and potentially acquire the land necessary to follow through on their plan.

The president of the association, María de la Salud Gil, stated that the construction of some 2,000 subsidised homes, both for sale and for rent, is the goal of the initiative. “We have decided to develop a public-private housing policy and treat housing needs from a generalised perspective, creating a housing policy capable of serving every stratum of the population in function of their profiles,” she stated. For this, the builders are negotiating with different financial entities and developers to locate plots of land and “unfinished assets.”

Ms Gil explained before the meeting that the Government of the Canary Islands has full powers and jurisdiction in housing matters. “Therefore, it can structure procedurally agile rules and eliminate all the bureaucracy surrounding the creation of subsided housing.” She also stressed that housing and developments must attend three basic parameters: price per square meter, people who may buy or rent the properties and any support received by the interested parties.

Real estate assets

Sareb, which was formed in 2012, as a result of the nationalisation of four Spanish banks, has assets in the archipelago valued at 240 million euros. The portfolio is made up of some 2,900 properties, including land and housing, representing 2.5% of the company’s holdings in the country as a whole. Sareb has one thousand homes and 300 plots of land in Las Palmas, while it has 450 houses and 130 plots of land in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The value of Sareb’s loans, which are secured by properties, is €550 million. In the Islands, the so-called bad bank has about 1,000 financial assets, representing 2% of the company’s total.

Ms Gil also explained that the development of subsidised housing is not linked with the construction of free housing or any size of homes. “It’s not just about building subsidised housing; it’s about addressing the housing market from a universal perspective,” she said. Even so, she explained that the association is trying to convince developers not to abandon subsidised housing because she believes that it helps “structure and balance the market and rental prices.”

Despite noting that the sector is currently held back by the delay in signing the pending state agreements, the president of the AECP stated that the construction industry already has “the muscle” to address the initiative.

Original Story: La Opinión de Tenerife – A. Rodríguez

Translation: Richard Turner

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