“Anti-Eviction Law” Reveals that CaixaBank has 5,000+ Empty Homes in Valencia

7 October 2018 – Valencia Plaza

La Generalitat is pushing ahead with its count of empty homes in the hands of owners of large property portfolios in the Community of Valencia. Reporting of these types of assets is now mandatory under the Law for the Social Function of Housing – known as the Valencian “anti-eviction law”, – a text that was watered down by the Constitutional Court (CC) but in whose articles the Consell still retains the tools to demand the reporting of unoccupied assets and to impose fines in the event of a lack of collaboration.

The Valencian Government reactivated the count following the recent ruling from the CC. The most recent figure provided by the Conselleria de Vivienda amounts to 7,315 homes across the length and breadth of the Community: 45% in the province of Valencia, 38% in Castellón and the remaining 17% in Alicante. But the most striking fact comes from the analysis of the owners, given that a total of 5,270 homes are owned by the CaixaBank Group.

The bulk, according to data provided to this newspaper by the socialist Minister María José Salvador, corresponds to 5,065 empty homes reported by BuildingCenter, the company owned by CaixaBank “focused on the divestment of the portfolio of properties proceeding from the group”, according to the company’s own motto -. The remainder to arrive at the total of 5,270 units corresponds to 148 reported directly by Caixabank, 51 from Banco de Valencia, 5 from Credifimo and 1 from Gestión Fondos Credifimo.

Almost all of the homes owned by the group in the Community come from foreclosures made by the now extinct Banco de Valencia, which was awarded to La Caixa for €1 in 2012 under the framework of the bank restructuring. As a result, the data provided by CaixaBank to La Generalitat reveal that, six years later, the stock of assets proceeding from the extinct Valencian bank continues to be very bulky.

In addition to the empty homes reported by the CaixaBank group, the other properties to reach the total of 7,315 units are owned by Sareb (1,598 homes) and Grupo Santander (447), split into the companies Altamira Santander Real Estate (339), Banco Santander (67), Luri 6 SA (36) and Santander Consumer Finance (6) (…).

Register of uninhabited homes (…)

The law provides for the creation of the Register of Uninhabited Homes (…) so that all of the homes that are declared uninhabited by the administration can be grouped together and “housing solutions can be granted to those people who need them most”. The objective of the administration is to “mobilise the more than 500,000 empty homes that there are in the Community”, according to estimates.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Valencian Gov’t Will Pocket €24M From Sale of Land Next to Terra Mítica

17 January 2018 – Eje Prime

Provided there are no last minute surprises, the Valencian Government will make some money from the sale of the land it owns next to Terra Mítica. Specifically, the public body will pocket €24 million from the sale of eight of the nine lots that it put up for auction in September. The only plot that has not received offers has been reserved for conferences.

The vast majority of the companies interested in the lots up for sale are the same ones that have been granted the concessions for the land in recent years, with the exception of Terra Natura, the zoo owned by Grupo Corporativo Fuertes, which has not participated in the bid, according to Expansión.

The owners of the two largest complexes close to the Valencian theme park, Villaitana and Asia Gardens, have bid for the plots that they used to manage by submitting offers just above the auction starting prices. In the first case, HI Partners, the hotel company that was recently purchased by the US fund Blackstone, has made two offers: one through the current concessionaire of the land, Xeresa Gold, and another in the name of HI Partners itself, which owns 80% of Xeresa.

Meanwhile, the luxury Asia Gardens resort, managed by the Barceló group, has sparked great interest. For this complex, which occupies three of the plots up for auction, the highest offer has been presented by an unknown player in the area. Not in vain, the company Mítica Finestrat Investment, which is headquartered in Madrid, could end up being the surprise winner, given that, according to Expansión, its bid was slightly higher than that made by the Royal Mediterránea company, run by Pedro Romero and in which Barceló holds a 17% stake.

Nevertheless, Romero holds a preferential purchase right over the plots and so, even if he does not end up winning the auction, he will have 30 days to improve on the highest offer, which will amount to around €11 million.

For the rest of the plots, the Terra Natura area will, a priori, remain in the hands of Camping La Media Legua, owned by the Puchades family. Moreover, the Puchades family will fight it out, together with Dynastic Explotations, owned by another illustrious businessman from the region, Vicente Sempere Monerris, for the new sports tourism area.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Valencian Gov’t Receives 13 Offers for Land Next to Terra Mítica

7 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The Valencian Government has already managed to generate investor interest in the plots of land next to the region’s theme park, Terra Mítica, in Benidorm. The public administration has received thirteen offers for eight of the nine plots that it has put up for auction with a sales value of €26.35 million.

For those plots, which together span a combined surface area of 2.79 million m2, the ‘Sociedad Proyectos Temáticos de la Comunidad Valenciana’ (SPTCV or Company for Theme Park Projects in the Community of Valencia) has received proposals from ten companies, according to a report from the regional government itself. More offers may still be received over the next few days, through other public registers or by registered post, according to Expansión.

The transfer of land will be carried out with the right of use already granted to several companies for the next few decades. Such is the case of the Villaitana (Meliá) and Asia Garden (Barceló) hotels, as well as the land that is currently occupied by the Terra Natura theme park.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake