Goldman Sachs Buys 18 Buildings in Barcelona For €90 Mn

12/01/2015 – Expansion

Goldman Sachs reaffirms the willingness to invest in the Spanish property market. The U.S. bank has bought a package of 18 buildings from developer La Llave de Oro for around €90 million. They are 13 free-market blocks of apartments, three subsidized buildings and two nursing homes. All of them are located in Barcelona and 90% occupied.

At the transaction, Goldman teamed up with an experienced local partner, the B Capital Partners group, which contributed to the purchase as a minority partner.

Back in March, the U.S. entity injected €20 million in real estate firm Colonial and thereby took a 5.072% stake in it.


Original story: Expansión ( by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: AURA REE

Housing Market Volume Rises To €32.516 Billion By September, Up 25%

29-12/2014 – Expansión

The Spanish non-subsidized housing market has risen to €32.5 billion between January and September 2014, a 25% increase over the same period last year (€25.99 billion).

The volume of non-subsidized housing has thus stayed on a positive trend until September after three consecutive years of decline, according to data of the Ministry of Public Works, collected by Servimedia.

The €32.5 billion correspond to 240,763 non-subsidized housing transactions that were made throughout the first nine months of the year – 22.6% more than a year earlier.
In particular, second-hand non-subsidized properties moved up to €27.249 billion (a 30.1% increase), whereas the volume corresponding to new housing units was much lower – €5.267 billion (up 4.1%).

Madrid was the region with the largest volume recorded in non-subsidized housing transactions over the first nine months of the year, with €6.234 billion, followed by Andalucía – €5.866 billion, Catalonia – €5.855 billion, and Valencia with €3.934 billion.

Down the list are the Basque Country – €1.588 billion, the Balearic Islands – €1.451 billion, the Canary Islands €1.418 billion, Castilla y León – €1.104 billion, Galicia – €1.018 billion), Castilla-La Mancha – €832.8 million, Murcia – €756.6 million, and Aragon – €708.4.

Meanwhile, the regions with the lowest non-subsidized housing transactions volume were Asturias €438.2 million, Navarra – €375.5, Cantabria – €353.5, Extremadura – €307, La Rioja – €180.8, and Ceuta and Melilla – €91.2, both together.

Original article: Expansión

Translation: Aura REE

Andalusia Fines Sareb With €120.000 For Impairing Social Function of Its Properties

21/10/2014 – Expansion

The Public Works and Housing Department of the Andalusia Territorial Office led by Elena Cortes (IULV-CA, pictured), has penalized Sareb, Spain’s bad bank, with a 120.000 euro fine for ‘impeding administrative measures necessary for ensuring social funcion of the subsidized properties’.

This is the first sanction imposed by the Council in the framework of the Law for Social Function of Housing, commonly known as ‘the anti-eviction law‘, a regulation that obliges financial entities to provide the public administration with an inventory of the subsidized units in their possession.

According to the department led by Elena Cortes, Sareb has got 911 subsidized homes in Andalusia, while the bad bank maintains it owns only 98 units of this sort in that region. The fine arising from not meeting the requirement to register the properties in the municipal books could amount to €11.7 million in the second set of preceedings.

Mrs. Cortes insists that ‘no matter who the owner is, all subsidized properties must be placed at the disposal of families in need who look for them in local registries’. She pointed out ‘the extreme severity’ of the deed of Sareb that said the basis of the accusation on the part of the Andalusian authorities were ‘totally false’ as that was just an estimated number. Then, she asked, ‘how a law can be based on estimated figures’?

Moreover, in her view, ‘the Government of Spain has partially suspended the law in order to protect Sareb in line with the number of properties in its ownership. In other words, the Constitutional court was deceived to enforce the precautionary suspension of the regulation’.

Finally, the Public Works Department reminds that the Law on Social Housing has not been entirely questioned but so have been only several precepts, such as penalizations for the entites that hold empty homes for more than 6 months or the temporary expropriations of the dwelling use to avoid evictions of families at the risk of social exclusion.

Original article: Expansión 

Translation: AURA REE

Ministry of Public Works to Give Rent Subsidies to 200.000 Low-Income Households

22/09/2014 – Expansion

The Spanish Government foresees granting €200 each month to 200.000 families that find it difficult to to pay their rents for what remains of 2014 and the entireties of 2015 and 2016. Included in the 2013-2016 Housing Scheme, the subsidy will amount to 33% to 40% of their monthly payments, on condition that the annual income of a household does not exceed €22.365 and the dwelling is being rented for below €600 monthly.

The measure has been introduced as an alternative for subsidizied housing (VPO by its acronym in Spanish) as in fact, according to the Ministry of Public Works, this type of rentals are not as cheap as thought and renting an unsubsidized dwelling in many provinces of Spain appears to be much less expensive.

The form of assistance will be given out for 12 months with a possibility of prolonging it until the end of the State Scheme. In total, each low-income family may receive up to €4.800 during the three years.

Families which do not earn more than the Spanish minimum wage index (IPREM) fixed at €22.365 may apply for the rent subsidy. The amount may vary in line with the number of family members. Moreover, evicted families will be given priority.

Ten out of seventeen Spanish regions have already signed the covenant: Catalonia, Extremadura, Castille-La Mancha, Cantabria, Asturias, Castille and Leon, Aragon, Galicia, Andalusia and the Canaries, while the rest will do so at the end of September or at the beginning of October.

The Ministry will invest €2.311 million and the regions €216 million in implementation of the whole Scheme. The rent subsidies solely will represent an expense of €480 million annually with expected private contribution of €1.27 billion more.

Together with the plan, that includes rehabilitations and subsidizing of 230.000 mortgage loans, the Monistry of Public Works contemplates creation of 36.000 jobs within the three years.

Such an indirectly protected tenancy is a very desired measure among the housing experts and the left-wing party. The previous Government has established it for the young (i.e. below 30) only, who received €210 monthly.

The new, €200 assistance will be universal. Last year, the Government estimated that throughout 2014, 48.000 grants will be given to poorer households.

When  it comes to renovations, 50.000 dwellings will receive them over the three years. From the socio-economic point of view, focusing on rehabilitation of the complete neighborhoods is considered the most efficient.


Original article: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: AURA REE

Sareb Puts Up For Sale Subsidized Homes & Loans

18/09/2014 – Expansion

Spanish bad bank announced a new sale, this time of subsidized real estate-backed loans and assets included in Project Agatha. International investors rub their hands.

The project consists of two subportfolios: one consisting of performing loans related to subsidized housing valued at €200 million and another one composed of 800 state-protected dwellings.

The operation is not the first of this sort carried out by Sareb. At the beginning of the year, in the framework of Project Dorian initiated by Madrids authorities, the bad bank sold 600 subsidized apartments to Blackstone for €43 million.

Later on, the U.S. fund acquired 1.800 dwellings of this type for the total amount of €128 million from the City Hall of Madrid. This deed has aroused a lot of controversy.

Other Portfolios

Apart from the Agatha, Sareb has run another large operation – Project Kaplan, including hundreds of small and medium loans amounting to €1 billion. Their collateral property is mostly located in Madrid, Catalonia and Andalusia. This sales process is at the brink of closing.

The bad bank sealed one deal more in August, namely it transferred the Pamela loan portfolio for €200 million.


Original article: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: AURA REE