Operación Chamartín: BBVA Prepares To Denounce Carmena

5 July 2016 – Cinco Días

The President of Distrito Castellana Norte, Antonio Béjar, has revealed that the company’s legal team will present an appeal to the High Court of Justice in Madrid (TSJM) within the next few weeks to denounce the nullity of the decision taken by the Town Hall to reject this project under development, known as Operación Chamartín.

In an interview with Europa Press, Béjar also detailed that “later on” and if the “blocking” situation continues, DCN’s legal team will submit a claim for damage to property and economic losses against the Town Hall after it rejected its plans without any technical basis, even though they fulfil the General Urban Development Plan (PGOU).

The President of Distrito Castellana Norte, the entity driven by BBVA and Grupo San José, expressed his “disappointment” at the position adopted by the Town Hall for denying its development plan based on “primarily political criteria, with no technical or legal basis”.

Regarding whether the outcome of the elections may change the Town Hall’s position and facilitate negotiations, Béjar said that the municipal government team has expressed “publically that its position was going to mainly depend” on the political decision taken by the Ministry of Development (Ana Pastor is a supporter of DCN’s project) in the event that there is a change in government.

“The Town Hall will have to take a decision in this regard. Meanwhile, we will not rest on our laurels, it is our duty to defend our rights when we understand that they have not been adequately addressed”, said the President of DCN.

“We are convinced that the courts will overturn the Town Hall’s decision, we consider that the reasons employed have no legal grounds”, he added to indicate that, according to the criteria set forth in its appeal, the Town Hall may only reject the definitive approval of the plan if it is able to cite reasons of general interest, whereas, in his opinion, the Town Hall has cited “minor formal reasons”. (…).

Meanwhile, Béjar confirmed that the Town Hall’s “blocking” of the development of Operación Chamartín, by rejecting its plan and presenting its own plan for Madrid Puerta Norte, is “detrimental” for Madrilenians. According to him, the municipal alternative is “not feasible and cannot be carried out in practice”.

“Madrid Puerta Norte – the Town Hall’s alternative project – is a proposal designed to drive out private initiatives…and to allow the public administrations to become the next property developers, using taxpayers’ money…” said the President of DCN. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

The RE Recovery Intensifies As House Prices & Permits Rise

27 November 2015 – Expansión

According to official data from the Ministry of Development, the average value of private homes amounted to €1,476/m2 at the end of Q3. This represents a YoY increase of 1.4%, or 1.8% in real terms, after accounting for inflation. This represents the fourth consecutive increase, which means that house prices have now been rising for a whole year.

Two other statistics published yesterday supported the intensification of the start of the real estate recovery. Firstly, the number of mortgages granted to buy homes increased by 20.2% in September, according to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE). Secondly, the number of permits granted for the construction of new homes soared by 30.5% during the first nine months of the year, to 36,031, the highest figure since 2011, according to the department led by Ana Pastor.

“The increases that we are seeing in terms of the number of mortgages being granted and homes being sold are a reflection that now is a good time to buy a home”, explains Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa. “The decrease in house prices, above all in the second-hand segment, the opening up of the credit tap and the increased competition between financial institutions to offer the best mortgages are reactivating the market”, she added.

Cumulative decrease

Effectively, the second hand market, which comprises homes that are more than five years old (previously it comprised homes that were more than two years old, but now the banks have so many older homes that have never been lived in that the threshold was changed) decreased in Q3. Specifically, prices fell by 0.1% to €1465.90 /m2, on average. The average value of new residential properties (those completed during or since 2010) amounted to €1,741.90/m2, up by 1.6% YoY.

The cumulative decrease in average house prices since they reached their peak (in Q1 2008) is 29.8%, according to historical data from the Ministry of Development. That figure exceeded 30% in 2014. In real terms (including the variation in CPI), the cumulative decrease amounts to 34.1%.

The average appraisal value of homes surveyed by the companies that form the Association of Value Analysis (AEV), which serves as the Government’s benchmark for the evolution of house prices, increased in 12 autonomous regions and decreased in 5 during Q3 2015.

The highest increases were recorded in Madrid (with a YoY increase of 3.5%), the Balearic Islands (3.2%), Aragón (3.1%), La Rioja (2.9%), the Canary Islands (2.4%) and Navarra and Valencia (2.1%). The highest decreases were recorded in Asturias (-3.6%) and País Vasco (-1.4%).

It is worth noting that in general terms average house prices fell by 0.1% QoQ in July, August and September.

The provinces in which house prices rose by the most were Salamanca (4.2%), Zaragoza (3.9%), Jaén (3.6%), Madrid (3.5%), the Balearic Islands (3.2%), A Coruña (3.2%), Palencia (3.1%) and Soria (3%).

The other big news for the real estate sector, revealed yesterday, was that the number of permits granted for the construction of new homes soared by 30.5% between January and September. 70% of requests related to block properties, which amounted to 25,238 in total, representing a YoY increase of 34.8%. The number of requests to construct family homes rose by 21.5% to 10,777.

This data indicates that there will be an increase in construction activity over the next two years. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake