Madrid’s Gov’t Seeks To Acquire Housing Stock From Banks

15 March 2016 – El Mundo

The regional Government of Madrid has set its sights on the unsubsidised homes that banks have been unable to sell during the years of the crisis. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport, Housing and Infrastructure has confirmed that it has made initial contact with several banking institutions, specifically, with Bankia and La Caixa, to make its idea of incorporating the real estate stock into the regional Administration’s portfolio a reality. (…).

The idea is that the Community would take over the portfolios of homes from the banks and convert them into social housing.

“We would only do this if the properties cost the same or less than the social housing homes that we are constructing. The idea is, not only to save costs, but also to speed up delivery times for beneficiaries. If the proposal gets approved, the people being awarded the homes will not have to wait until all of the administrative procedures have been completed to benefit from a public price. We would save time in terms of publishing the offer, assigning the project and constructing the properties”.

Problems to resolve

Of course, the operation is not without its problems, given that, in many cases, the properties are currently occupied illegally. Therefore, the operation would run into problems if the portfolios of homes to be acquired include properties of that kind. (…).

The idea, which is in its very early stages of development, would be to award public housing: for rent, for rent with the option to buy and social housing. Moreover, regardless of whether the figures add up or not, the technicians from the Ministry would have to evaluate the legal pros and cons of the operation.

Currently, the Community of Madrid is one of the regions in which the sale of homes, in particular second-hand properties, has grown by the most. On 9 February, Sociedad de Tasación – a company that specialises in property valuations, appraisals, certifications, real estate advice and housing data – calculated that the supply of new homes in the region and in the capital has decreased gradually since 2014. In total, it calculates that supply has decreased by 38.5% over the last two years, according to the New Home Census 2016 report that it compiled.

It claims that there are currently 5,474 unsubsidised homes available and according to its calculations, at the current rate of sales, it would take ten months for those properties to be absorbed by the market. (…).

The Government of the Community of Madrid has tried to mediate between the banks and the real estate sector in the past, in order to focus the market and acquire properties for those most in need, but it has not had much success to date. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Jaime G. Treceño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

First Residents Move Into Arroyo del Fresno (Madrid)

30 December 2015 – El Mundo

The new PAU (‘Programa de Actuación Urbanística’ or Urban Planning Program) in Arroyo del Fresno, located in the North of Madrid, has started to receive its first residents. CP Grupo and Amenabar have begun to hand over the keys to homes in this newly created environment, which will eventually contain almost 3,000 unsubsidised and subsidised homes (high-rise flats and single-family houses) in two phases. The development – where building work commenced in February 2014 – is, without doubt, one of the great symbols of the real estate recovery.

In accordance with the planned schedule, the first occupancy licences were granted in Arroyo del Fresno on 30 November for CP Grupo’s Montearroyo development (210 VPPL (limited price) homes) and Amenabar’s first VPPL residences, comprising 188 homes. All of these properties were sold shortly after their release onto the market in 2013 and the area is currently overrun with people moving in and deeds being signed, after Madrid’s Town Hall completed the partial receipt of the urbanisation.

In this sense, Amenabar has said that the deed signing process is progressing well, with deeds now signed for 176 (94%) of the 188 finished homes and the remaining deeds due to be signed for the other units soon. At the same time, the company revealed that it will begin to hand over its other development in Arroyo del Fresno in February; work there is almost complete on the 340 VPPB (basic price) homes.

In this way, the first settlers (which now occupy around one hundred of the properties) moved into Arroyo del Fresno in time for Christmas and hence the first illuminated windows and balconies can now be seen in the new neighbourhood. The number of residents in the PAU is expected to continue to increase over the coming days, as new residents take advantage of their days off over the holiday period to move in, according to CP Grupo.

It is worth highlighting that the opening of this new PAU is highly significant for the real estate sector because of what it represents. The definitive revival of the area took place at the height of the property crisis and the development received an enthusiastic response in terms of demand from the start, brandishing a new product in a sought-after location at competitive prices (post-boom). And so Arroyo del Fresno represents one of the faces of the new phase (of the economic cycle). After being the epicentre for the reactivation of property development, it is now really coming to life.

Original story: El Mundo (by Jorge Salido Cobo)

Translation: Carmel Drake