Venezuelans Lead Ranking of Most Active Foreign Residential Investors in Madrid

5 June 2018 – La Vanguardia

Venezuelan immigrants lead the ranking of home acquisitions by foreigners in the Spanish capital, according to data from Redpiso’s Research Service.

This data represents an increase of 10% with respect to the previous year and places investments by Venezuelan immigrants above those made by the Russians and Chinese, who were, until now, the nationalities that purchased the most homes.

The typical investor profile are people with a medium-high purchasing power, educated and employed, who have lived in the country for no more than three years.

Above all, they are buying homes in the areas of Chamartín, Hortaleza, Salamanca and Retiro.

The average cost per home amounts to around €565,000 and purchases are mainly happening in the second-hand housing market, “given that the supply of new build properties is very low and even more so in these areas”, said Redpiso.

In terms of the rental market, the average number of contracts increased by 35%, with the average spend on rent by Venezuelans amounting to €1,700 per month with three-year renewable contracts.

To explain the factors driving this growth, sources at Redpiso allude “to the mass arrival of Venezuelan immigrants who are coming to Spain due to the controversial socio-political situation in their country, as well as the limited and increasingly more expensive supply of rental homes in Madrid”.

Original story: La Vanguardia 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Converts Solvia Into A RE Franchise

14 October 2016 – Cinco Días

Banco Sabadell is very clear about its future, it wants to take advantage of the boom in the real estate sector to harness the stock of foreclosed assets that it still holds on its balance sheet, which it largely inherited from CAM.

To date, the bank chaired by Josep Oliu has decided to hold onto Solvia, the platform that owns all of its foreclosed assets. Initially, it planned to list it on the stock market, but it quickly ruled out that option. It also studied several offers to sell a majority stake in its real estate platform to large investment funds, like other players in the sector did, including Santander with Altamira and Popular with Aliseda, amongst others. But, it also decided against that idea after it saw demand for real estate grow in recent years.

Since 2013, when the market for the sale of properties became active once again, the heads of Solvia have seen that the transactions that have grown by the most, albeit timidly, are those between individuals. And as such, Sabadell has decided to offer its services to third parties, on both the buy side and sell side. In this way, Solvia “is beginning a new phase in which it is placing its strategic focus on offering its services not only to those interested to buy a home, as it has done to date, but now also to individuals wishing to sell their homes”, explained the bank.

To this end, it is going to restructure its commercial network, by turning Solvia into a franchiser. It will thereby create a network of franchisees with physical branches across Spain. Each franchisee will have the right to sell assets owned by Solvia’s current clients (Sabadell, Sareb and various funds) and by individuals whose homes are located in their respective area. Solvia will also have its own network which, for the time being, will comprise two offices, one in Sevilla and one in Alicante. The idea is that by the end of the year, Solvia will have 12 of its own offices and 24 franchised branches. It will also be able to sell properties through the bank’s branch network. In this way, Sabadell will compete directly with estate agents such as Tecnocasa and Redpiso, for example.

Sources at the real estate agents consulted are certain that other banks will follow Sabadell’s lead. Solvia’s franchisee offer is open to both the network of approved real estate agents (Apis), as well as to other professionals in the sector, such as entrepreneurs and investors. The idea is that Sabadell will reserve a certain number of locations for young people (recent graduates with excellent academic records) who want to start a business and learn on the job.

Since 2012, Solvia has been one of the firms that has sold the most properties in Spain. Its sales have exceeded €2,500 million year after year on a recurring basis, say sources at the bank. An important proportion of these transactions involve the sale of homes and as such, the project to become a real estate agent has been born. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (Ángeles Gonzalo Alconada)

Translation: Carmel Drake