6 February 2017 – Idealista
Real estate assets are still treated like a hot potato in the banking sector. In order to reduce the default rate (which still exceeds 25% in the case of loans to property developers) and avoid more provisions, entities such as Bankia, BBVA and Liberbank are continuing in their efforts to accelerate the sale of portfolios of unpaid secured loans, as well as packages of real estate assets. 2017 has started with almost €2,000 million in properties up for auction. (…). They include homes, premises, offices, industrial warehouses and land.
Most of the operations have been on the market for several months, since no buyers have yet been found. Some are well known, such as BBVA’s Project Vermont, a portfolio of loans to property developers secured primarily by newly built homes and worth almost €100 million. Several funds were interested in acquired this lot: Oak Hill, Fortress and AnaCap.
And it is BBVA that has the most packages on the market, including: Project Buffalo, which contains homes worth €400 million; and Project Boston, which comprises 16 office buildings located in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, worth €200 million. (…).
Liberbank has put Project Fox on the market. It is a portfolio of real estate debt worth around €200 million and is the entity’s first (but not its last) portfolio of unpaid mortgages.
Other operations have also made their debuts in 2017. Such is the case of Project Tour, a package being sold by Bankia, one of the most active players in the sale of real estate portfolios. It comprises 1,800 properties (…) and is worth €166 million.
Funds start to divest their purchases
The market has also started to see how some of the international funds that have invested in our country in recent years are starting to sell some of the assets they have purchased. Last year, Lone Star made its debut as a vendor (…) when it put Project McLaren on the market. It comprises two portfolios: one containing more than 1,000 mortgage loans worth €102 million and secured primarily by homes, although there are also some commercial assets in the mix. The other portfolio, comprising more than 600 homes, has a combined appraisal value of €51 million. The firm Cabot, which specialises in managing bank loans, has expressed its interest in that portfolio.
Another fund that wants to divest some of its real estate investments in Spain is the US firm Ares Management, which has put Project Firefox onto the market: real estate debt worth around €160 million.
Bankia, Caixabank and Sareb were the most active at divesting real estate in 2016 (…).
Sareb has been one of the key players in the market (in recent times), having managed to place €1,565 million of real estate debt of all kinds with international investment funds (during its three year life). Its largest non-performing loan portfolio (Project Eloise) had a nominal value of €553.3 million and it was purchased by Goldman Sachs. (…).
In 2016, Bankia had several portfolios up for sale, including Project Ocean, Project Tizona and Project Lane.
Caixabank become one of the most proactive entities in the sale of Spanish property last year. Its most high profile sales included Project Sun, with hotel debt worth around €1,000 million; Project Carlit, with around €750 million of real estate debt; and Project More 2, containing €200 million of owned properties (REOs). (…).
Other players with more limited activity included Abanca (formerly Novagalicia) and Cajamar.
Original story: Idealista (by P. Martínez-Almeida)
Translation: Carmel Drake