Benidorm Fever: TM Sells 15 Apartments in Just One Day

10 May 2018 – El Confidencial

More than 40 homes have been reserved in just two weeks. And fifteen of them in the first 24 hours. TM Grupo Inmobiliario, the owner of the largest batch of land located one street from the beach in Benidorm, one of the most sought-after markets along the coast at the moment, has put the first units up for sale of what is going to be its most ambitious project ever.

In January, the Alicante-based company acquired 165,000 m2 of land in Benidorm, which will initially, in its first phase, be home to two buildings comprising 132 homes each, containing two-, three- and four-bedrooms. The appetite for buying homes in the city has been so great that in just two weeks, 15% of the units that are going to be built in this first phase have already been reserved.

The prices of the two-bedroom homes range between €275,000 and €325,000, whilst the prices of the three-bedroom homes range from €325,000 to €400,000. To give us an idea, on the market at the moment, you can find properties ranging from small apartments costing just €20,000, to detached homes costing as much as €4 million. The reality is that, since its origins as a tourist destination, Benidorm has always been suitable for all kinds of budgets.

In fact, the town boasts the most expensive property prices per square metre in the region, with an average of €1,585/m2 – for new build and second-hand homes – above the prices paid in neighbouring Altea, Calpe and l’Alfàs del Pi, according to data from Tinsa. Although prices have fallen by almost 44% since their peak, it is one of the places in Spain that is enjoying a fair wind. In the last year, prices have risen by 11%, according to the latest report from the appraisal company about the coastal market.

The land, acquired in January this year, is located one street back from Playa de Poniente in Benidorm – right opposite the In Tempo skyscraper, marketing of which will also begin shortly – and around 1,200 homes are planned for the site. In addition to the residential area, the overall project will also include commercial and social use plots. Moreover, the land is located next to the Sunset Drive development, another one of TM’s projects in Benidorm, which has been completely sold.

The project was chosen in accordance with the bases of an ideas tender held for that purpose, to provide an avant-garde serene and long-lasting image, characteristic of the environment in Benidorm. The winning studio was Gea Arquitectos, which has already collaborated with TM on other developments (…).

The buildings are going to be located on the highest part of the plot and their layout is going to be designed to maximise the sea views as you go up (…).

Given its design, TM’s project is reminiscent of Promora’s Delfín Tower, which is going to occupy the last available plot on the beachfront in Benidorm. The main difference between the two stems from the fact that the latter is a luxury housing project, comprising 44 homes containing two-, three- and four-bedrooms, spread over 22 floors. Almost 50% of the properties have been sold and the project holds the record for the most expensive home ever sold in Benidorm. According to different sources, the home is located on the 16th floor and the buyer, a foreigner, paid just over €2 million for it.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Gets Tough & Demands €9bn through c.3,800 Creditor Bankruptcies

26 March 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Spain’s bad bank Sareb has run out of patience. After spending more than four years negotiating extrajudicial agreements with debtors and putting into order its presence in thousands of real estate bankruptcies in Spain, the semi-public body is getting tough. “When you have been negotiating with a debtor for years and you know he’s not going to pay you…he doesn’t want to pay you, you are left with no other option than to go to court”, says the President of Sareb, Jaime Echegoyen.

Sareb is present in approximately 3,800 real estate bankruptcies, declared since 2008, when the property bubble burst and the Spanish economy entered the worst crisis of its young democracy. According to sources at the organisation, Sareb is demanding a total debt of €9 billion through these bankruptcy proceedings.

The company has a portfolio of loans worth €26 billion and is present in 12,200 legal processes in total, all of which involve loans to property developers (there are no mortgages to individuals). Of that total amount, 7,500 are for mortgages and 3,800 are creditor bankruptcies.

“We cannot give our blessing to people who don’t pay”, warns Echegoyen, who presented Sareb’s results for 2017 last Friday. The company has started a legal offensive on two fronts to accelerate the sale of its loan portfolio: it will boost the bankruptcy processes in which it is present as a creditor; and it will go to court to request payments from those companies that still have not responded to the debt demanded.

“We have spoken with the debtors and we will continue to do so”, said the President of Sareb. “We prefer to find an amicable solution rather than play hardball, but if we have to resort to other means, we will go to court”, he said, admitting that it is probable that the number of litigation cases involving Sareb will increase in the near future.

In recent months, a more decided approach from Sareb has been noted in certain bankruptcy processes. Like in the case of the bankruptcy of Reyal Urbis, one of the largest corporate failures in Spain’s history, where, after years of negotiation to reach an agreement, which seemed unfeasible from the beginning, Sareb’s proposal to continue reassessing the matter resulted in the liquidation of the company last September. The debt of Reyal Urbis with Sareb alone exceeds €800 million.

Sareb’s presence has also been felt in the bankruptcy of the company that used to own the In Tempo skyscraper in Benidorm, the tallest residential building in Europe, which was sold to a fund last year. And in the case of the bankruptcy of Nozar, where Sareb recently requested greater agility in the process, almost ten years after the bankruptcy was declared.

“Sareb is involved in the bankruptcies of the most well-known real estate companies; but also in thousands of other much smaller bankruptcies, each one in its own province, judged by its own bankruptcy administrators and its own idiosyncrasies”, say sources at the organisation. “Over the last few years, we have had to put in order our positions in all of these processes”, they add.

During Sareb’s five-year life, the entity, known increasingly less as the bad bank, has liquidated 27% (around €13.6 billion) of the portfolio that it was created with. The management and divestment of loans and properties has generated €20.7 billion of revenues. During the same period, the entity has paid off 25.4% of its debt, €12.9 billion. Last year, it recorded losses of €565 million, down by 15%.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Alberto Ortín)

Translation: Carmel Drake