FAI: More than 8,000 Mortgages Paralysed by Supreme Court Ruling

26 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Real estate companies are warning of the impact of the legal battle over mortgages. The Federation of Real Estate Associations (FAI) estimates that more than 8,000 mortgage operations have been paralysed across Spain as a result of the decision taken by the Supreme Court that it should be the banks that pay the Documentation Registration Tax (AJD).

Similarly, the body has warned of the consequences generated by the delays and has asked entities to act “responsibly” towards their clients, given that “they may incur breaches in any “contratos de arras” they have already signed because of the delays in the signing of the mortgage loans”, according to Europa Press.

In this sense, the President of the FAI, Nora García Donet, stated that in light of the “uncertainty” generated, “the banks have delayed more than one third of the signings planned for the coming days”.

The FAI, constituted in March 2013, comprises twenty regional and local real estate associations from all over Spain. Currently, the entity groups together more than 850 real estate agencies and 3,730 professionals.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

German Fund Manager Aquila Capital Launches its own Property Developer in Spain

1 August 2018 – El Economista

The German fund manager, Aquila Capital, is demonstrating its commitment to Spanish property by launching a new property developer called AQ Acentor.

Until now, the firm has worked in Spain by delegating its development activities and in partnership with other real estate companies such as Inmoglacier, with which it has undertaken several projects. “The strategic partnership with the property developer has been positive and has resulted in the construction of three successful real estate developments, which have contributed to Aquila Capital’s expansion plans in the Spanish market under its own brand, AQ Acentor”, explains Sven Schoel, CEO of the German manager in Spain.

Aquila has been operating in Spain since 2014, focusing its business on the real estate sector, with projects worth more than €800 million. With the creation of this new brand, the firm has incorporated a management team to boost growth through in-house development.

AQ Acentor has been created with more than 3,000 new homes under construction, of which around 500 will be handed over during the course of this year. Currently, the firm is working on residential projects in metropolitan areas, primarily in Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Valencia.

“The company has a multidisciplinary team comprising more than 40 professionals located in offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga”, explain sources at the firm.

“The creation of AQ Acentor responds to our firm commitment to the Spanish market and is backed by a pipeline amounting to €1 billion over the next five years”, specifies Schoel.

The manager is also present in the logistics market in Spain, one of the other real estate segments that is experiencing a boom, besides the residential segment. In that case, it has launched an investment plan amounting to between €350 million and €400 million for the Iberian Peninsula and Italy.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Sets Itself an Online Sales Challenge: €1.8bn in NPLs

10 July 2018 – El Economista

Sareb has launched a new wave of non-performing loans for sale on its online marketing channel, aimed at investors and professionals, to boost the divestment of €1.8 billion, equivalent to 7.2% of its portfolio of financial assets, according to sources at the company speaking to Europa Press.

Since July 2017, Sareb has had a dedicated loan sales channel for investors and professionals, a pioneering initiative in the European market, which allows it to promote divestment and increase the visibility of these kinds of assets.

The aim of the so-called bad bank is to enhance the transparency of the sales processes of these types of assets, which are now in their fourth wave. At the end of 2017, it had managed to sell loans with a nominal value of €186 million, €35 million through its website and €151 million through its servicers, which also have specific platforms to market these portfolios.

The guarantees associated with these loans mainly constitute mortgages over properties of different kinds: finished residential homes, work in progress buildings and land.

With this channel, Sareb is continuing to push ahead with its divestment process and its commitment to a more dynamic and transparent loan market, according to Expansion.

The channel is aimed at investors and professionals who fulfil a series of minimum eligibility requirements. Sareb’s aim is to expand the number and profile of investors who can participate in its loan sale processes, whereby facilitating divestment in the segment. In this way, the players that may operate on the channel include international and domestic professionals, as well as local operators interested in the loans.

Sareb has a loan volume amounting to more than €25 billion proceeding from almost 14,575 debtors. All of them have a combined debt of €70.4 billion, including associated interest and expenses. In order to recover those amounts, the entity carries out an active management process that allows it to ensure the payment of interest on the loans and, where possible, their repayment or cancellation.

When it was constituted, Sareb received around 200,000 assets worth €50.8 billion, of which 80% were loans and property developer credits and 20% were properties.

After five years of life, Sareb has reduced its portfolio by more than €13.6 billion. Currently, its portfolio of assets comprises 67.3% in loans and 32.6% in properties.

Sareb issued debt backed by the Spanish State to pay the rescued entities for the assets that they transferred to the company. The company is complying with the repayment of that debt, and to date has repaid more than €12.9 billion.

Original story: El Economista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

C&W Becomes Favourite To “Acquire” Aguirre Newman

16 May 2017 – El Confidencial

The most awaited marriage in recent times in the real estate sector looks like it is about to come to fruition. Aguirre Newman has chosen a favourite in its sales process, which it has delegated to Atlas, as El Confidencial revealed: the offer submitted by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W).

The firm led in Spain by Oriol Barrachina has presented the best offer, ahead of those submitted by Savills and Colliers, and its dream of becoming the new giant in the country, and of competing with CBRE and JLL for the leadership of the market, is starting to look like a real possibility, given that the merger of the two consultancy firms would create a giant with almost 670 employees.

Moreover, if the conversations between the two firms end up becoming reality, C&W will also take a step forward in its plans to grow in size in order to debut on the stock market, an option that it has been analysing since the beginning of the year. A year and a half ago, the consultancy firm completed a global merger with DTZ, and it is now aspiring to undertake another integration, in this case, in the domestic arena.

Sources at Aguirre Newman point out that “it is an open process, there are several options and interests in the running and nothing has been agreed. The company is continuing to analyse alternatives”. Amongst others, how to convert an operation that is theoretically an acquisition into a merger.

It has been precisely this question that has brought Stephen Newman closer to the posture being adopted by Santiago Aguirre, given that differences existed between the two partners regarding the benefit of initiating a sales process. Internally, the operation is viewed more like a merger and, in any case, it will require the agreement of the two partners to go ahead, given that together they control 75% of the share capital.

In fact, one of the elements that differentiates Cushman’s offer, according to market sources, is that, in addition to a juicy financial proposal, the firm has been much more flexible in terms of ensuring the continuity of the “Aguirres” and their decision-making power within the newly merged company.

With more than 400 professionals, revenues of €80 million and a gross operating profit (EBITDA) of €12 million, Aguirre Newman has been valued at between €80 million and €100 million. But its success story – it is the only Spanish firm that competes against the large multi-national firms – is going through a critical time for generational and business reasons, which was ultimately what triggered the sales process.

The fact that it is exclusively a domestic firm means that it is being left out of many projects, since large companies prefer to work with consultancy firms that can offer them international support, a growing trend in the face of the globalisation of the economy and that impediment is limiting the current structure of the Spanish firm.

An example of how the market is changing is the very sales process involving Aguirre Newman, given that the offers from both C&W and Savills, i.e. the two most important, are being led from London, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake