Gov’t To Extend Suspension Of Evictions For Vulnerable Families

6 February 2017 – RTVE

Last Wednesday, the Minister for the Economy, Luis de Guindos, announced that the Government will extend the moratorium that prevents families in vulnerable situations from being evicted from their primary residences. The moratorium was due to expire on 15 May this year and its extension had also been requested by the Socialist Party.

“Yes, we will do so again now (extend the moratorium), like we did in 2015. We are open to negotiations”, said De Guindos, after confirming that 24,000 families have now benefitted from this measures, which favours certain groups.

The Minister was responding to questions from the Socialist congresswoman María del Mar Rominguera (…), who asked him about the Government’s intention to extend the deadline for the suspension of evictions of the most vulnerable families from their homes.

De Guindos said that the Government has protected the people who have suffered the most during the economic crisis and pointed out that some of the measures undertaken in this regard, such as the Code of Good Practice and the Social Housing Fund, approved by the Government, have benefitted more than 76,000 vulnerable families.

Evictions from primary residences have decreased by almost 30%

De Guindos said that the Government is willing to continue with these actions because they are having a “positive” effect, although he pointed out that the most recent statistics indicate that evictions from primary residences have decreased by around 30% “and that is a result of the economic recovery”.

De Guindos insisted that the creation of employment is what will confirm the economic recovery, given that “it is not only a matter of establishing palliative measures, although they are also important”.

“If employment improves in Spain, if there are increasingly more possibilities, if we increasingly see that house prices are not collapsing, we will see how situations involving evicted families will become increasingly marginal”, he said.

The PSOE supports the extension

Meanwhile, the Socialist congresswoman said she appreciated the fact that the Government has extended the moratorium for anti-evictions, which was due to expire in May (…).

The PSOE had requested an extension of the moratorium, four years after it first came into force. Nevertheless, De Guindos did not specify how long the moratorium would be extended for. (…).

Original story: RTVE 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Election Fallout: Uncertainty May Deter Investors & Delay Large Deals

28 May 2015 – Cinco Días

Experts predict that there will be an impact on the rental market and on the sale of debt portfolios. They warn that Madrid and Barcelona will be affected by anti-eviction initiatives.

The rise of political parties advocating the suspension of mortgage foreclosures, the relocation of evicted families (to vacant properties owned by banks and Sareb), and the end of sales of public properties to private owners, at the elections last Sunday, has put the international investment funds, which have been arriving in Spain in recent years with a renewed hunger for property, on alert.

Experts in the market say that although we are still waiting to see the specific impact of these initiatives by the governments, which depend on pacts that are just as uncertain, the situation will cause funds to reduce their already low purchase offers and to postpone large transactions until they know the results of the general elections, scheduled for the end of the year.

“Madrid and Barcelona are the showcase for the country”, explains Mikel Echavarren, CEO of the real estate consultancy firm Irea, predicting that the expected appointment of Ada Colau (Barcelona en Comú) and Manuela Carmena (Ahora Madrid) as the mayoresses of the two large capital cities, “will cause investors’ interest to disappear for four years” in all areas “that depend on decisions by local councils”.

In his opinion, there are three areas of particular concern. On the one hand, the suspension of evictions – or their delay, because, as Echavarren points out, municipalities do not have the legal power to eliminate them altogether – because that would result in a penalty for the budding rental market and above all “longer timeframes, more uncertainty and lower prices” in the offers made by funds for packs of credit with real estate collateral.

Secondly, proposals such as the one made by Colau to suspend the opening of new hotels in Barcelona, “which is one of the most important hotel markets in the world”. And thirdly, the review of the general urban plans in Madrid and Barcelona.

“Either you have a local council that is “pro-business” or investors pack their bags and take their money elsewhere”, warns the director of an investment fund who asked to remain anonymous, stating that “Anglo-Saxon capital does not understand it when urban development is not encouraged”.

“Any change represents uncertainty and money flees from uncertainty”, says Julio Gil, Chairman of the Real Estate Research Foundation (Fundación de Estudios Inmobiliarios or FEI), bearing in mind that as a minimum “funds will consider their investments in Spain to be more risky and therefore will demand high returns”.

Nevertheless, Gil states that for the time being this support for social rather than economic policies is only being seen at the local government level and, to a lesser extent, at the regional government level, but he thinks that the fear of what might happen in the general elections this year may well “delay several (large) transactions” as investors wait to see the outcome.

“The greatest risk is that we drop off of the radar of investors”, warned sources yesterday at ETC Real Estate, a new platform for the management of debt and mortgaged assets, promoted by TDX Indigo, Equifax and Cobralia.

Its partners expect that funds will lower their asset purchase offers, but argue that the change in the political paradigm will make it necessary to promote alternative means of eviction, such as discounts and “daciones en pago” (delivery of the deeds in lieu of payment), amongst others. A management model they promote, they assure, to the funds and banks to whom they render services.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Juande Portillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake