A Businessman from Benalmádena Buys the Military Government Building for €4.5M

18 October 2018 – Diario Sur

The former Military Government building, located at number 6 Paseo de la Farola, no longer belongs to the Ministry of Defence. On 24 September, the deed of sale was signed before a notary whereby this property, constructed in the 1950s and in disuse since the early 1990s, will pass into the hands of a company linked to the Benalmádena-based businessman Antonio González, owner of the 5-star Vincci Aleysa hotel and the Don Gustavo tourist apartments. The Ministry of Defence put the building up for auction for €5 million last year but did not receive any bids for it in the first or second rounds. As such, the lot was opened up to the option of being acquired directly by any interested party at the asking price established in the second round of the auction, and that is what happened in the end.

The property has been purchased for €4,538,987 by the aforementioned businessman behind the Hotel Aleysa in Benalmádena, who has still not explained what he is going to use the building for (…). The property spans a surface area of 2,438 m2, distributed over four floors (the ground and first  floors measure 631.12 m2 each; the second floor spans 597.11 m2 and the third floor measures 202.66 m2) and stands on a plot measuring 1,063 m2, which is classified as for community use, which means that it cannot be used for residential, hotel, commercial or office purposes, unless a modification of the urban development plans can be carried out to modify the use of the plot.

Sources close to the new owner of the property (….) indicate that it is very possible that the building will be renovated and turned into a high-end nursing home for the elderly, in the form of sheltered housing with the corresponding medical and social support. “We think that this is a very good location for that”, said the sources, who admitted that this option would avoid the need to undergo any urban development processes, which could take at least a year and which would force the businessmen to establish some kind of economic or land compensation for the loss of a community space for the city. Another option could be to dedicate the property for use as a private clinic relating to the world of aesthetics and wellbeing, in which other businessmen are also interested.

Plans

In any case, the intention of the new owner of the Military Government building is to define his plans over the coming months so that the building can be used once again (…).

Original story: Diario Sur (by Jesús Hinojosa)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gov’t Approves New Mortgage Bill That Favours Borrowers

7 November 2017 – Inmodiario

The Government has approved the Mortgage Bill, which transposes the corresponding European Directive and seeks to increase the transparency of mortgage contracts, according to explanations provided by the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos (pictured below, left).

In terms of the transposition, De Guindos said that the legislation has opted for the alternatives that are most favourable for the mortgage holder in every case. In this way, commissions for the early repayment of variable rate loans will be reduced, and even cancelled from the fifth year onwards; a maximum commission (cap) will be set for fixed-rate loans, compared to the current situation where up to two commissions may be applied, one of which has no kind of limit.

Moreover, the legislation establishes the right of consumers to change the currency of a loan taken out in a foreign currency to the domestic currency or any other; plus it prohibits cross-selling – which obliges the consumer to contract a series of financial products as conditions to obtaining a mortgage – and it regulates the legal framework for mortgage brokers.

The Ministry of Economy has said that the bill is not limited to simply transposing the EU Directive, but also responds to legal rulings that have expressed the need for greater transparency in terms of mortgage regulation.

In this sense, the legislation facilitates the conversion of variable rate mortgages to fixed-rate products, for both new mortgages as well as those already underway. The commissions for making such a change will be cancelled from the third year and the notary and registration fees will be reduced.

Other changes mean that the lender must provide the client with detailed documentation about the mortgage, including the most “sensitive” clauses and scenarios showing the evolution of instalments. Moreover, the borrower will be entitled to receive free advice from the notary about the contents of the contract for seven days prior to signing.

The legislation also regulates the early repayment of loans, “in such a way that it avoids any kind of discretion when it comes to agreeing this clause”, according to Luis de Guindos. The requirement for a financial entity to be able to initiate the foreclosure of a mortgage is extended to nine unpaid monthly instalments or an amount that exceeds 2% of the capital granted during the first half of the mortgage term; and 4% or twelve unpaid instalments during the second half.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Riu Rules Out Buying 25% Of Edificio España

3 April 2017 – ABC

Edificio España’s foundations are starting to wobble again. The project backed by the Murcian group Baraka, which announced its plan to buy the skyscraper in July last year, has been hit by two serious setbacks in the last few days.

The first, a problem with Wanda’s documentation, put the brakes on the completion of the sale of the building to the company chaired by Trinitario Casanova. Initially, the two parties had agreed to meet at a notary’s office in Madrid to close the operation, after months of comings and goings, but the Chinese group went to the meeting without the deeds or the annual accounts for the financial year 2016, and so the SPA could not be signed.

According to Baraka, that setback will lead to a delay of three months – at least – in the start of the construction work (which is how long it will take the Chinese group to prepare all the necessary paperwork). Nevertheless, the Murcian company has now suffered an even more important setback. According to sources in the financial and real estate sectors, the hotel chain Riu has decided against investing in the project. The Mallorca-based company was going to acquire a 25% stake in the skyscraper, for which Baraka has agreed to pay Wanda €272 million in total.

700-room hotel

In return, Riu was going to manage the five-star hotel, which would occupy the vast majority of the property. The building was going to have 700 rooms, two swimming pools (one outdoor pool on the roof and another indoor pool on the 16th floor), independent conference rooms and themed restaurants. The rest of the building – four floors – was going to be allocated to retail space and according to Casanova, firms such as El Corte Inglés, the French companies Galerías Lafayette and Printemps, amongst other international brands, had already expressed interest in occupying the space.

However, the whole project is now up in the air following the Riu chain’s decision to not contribute the €68 million that it had committed. The decision will force Baraka to look for a new partner if it is to go ahead with its plans. (…).

Sources in the real estate sector do not rule out the possibility that the “failure to sign” last week was a manoeuvre by the Chinese group to try to thwart Baraka’s purchase of Edificio España and win more time to continuing benefitting from the appreciation in value of the skyscraper. (…).

Meanwhile, the questions surrounding the operation and the project itself are the main reasons that led Riu to decide against acquiring 25% of the complex. However, the Mallorca-based company, which does not have any financing problems, has not ruled out continuing as the tenant of the building and paying a rent in exchange for managing the hotel. (…).

Original story: ABC (by Miguel Oliver and Marta R. Domingo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Notaries and administrators come together to collect debts

21 May 2015 – El País

A new electronic system service will register defaults among homeowners.

Notaries and real estate managers are coming together to check debts among home buyers from a local community. Today, Spain’s General Council of the Association of Licensed Property Administrators and General Council of Public Notaries have signed a cooperation agreement that will connect their technology platforms and offer greater flexibility and security in the process of buying and selling homes. The agreement has led to the launch of a new electronic system that will allow notaries and administrators to verify, through safe access, if homeowners have  any outstanding debts and, where appropriate, liquidate them before granting a deed. This is a quick alternative for both buyers of real estate property and local communities.

The process may be conducted in two ways. One way would be to consult the notary online directly, upon acceptance of the seller, in order to certify the status of accounts with their host community.

The other way would be for the the seller to go to a licensed property administrator and request this certificate, following a request of the buyer. The certificate will then be forwarded to the notary’s electronic platform and available for download later on.

Original story: El País (by Sandra Lopez Latvian)

Translation: James Leahu