Junta De Andalucía Puts 6 Plots Of Land Up For Sale In Rincón de la Victoria

12 November 2017 – 20 Minutos

The plots of land are located in the Malagan municipality of Rincón de la Victoria and the Junta has put them on the market for a total price of €15.8 million. This represents the fourth and final sale of the year in the province.

The representative for Development and Housing in Málaga, Francisco Fernández España, reiterated that this initiative from the regional Government seeks “to boost the promotion of housing in the province, especially social housing properties, and place public land assets at the disposal of the local production fabric”.

According to España, the objective is to “boost” economic activity and “generate employment” in Málaga, whereby allowing “business and industrial development by making these plots of land available”.

Moreover, the representative highlighted that the revenues generated from the sale of these assets will be used to allocate resources to the “housing policies, especially orientated at helping the most vulnerable families and those who can least afford to buy a home”.

At the same time, he continued, the revenues will be used to “facilitate companies’ ability to undertake their production activity and grow and expand with new plots”. In this way, he said that this land sale will also contribute to the reactivation of the construction sector and to the generation of employment in a sector that was hit very hard by the crisis”.

According to a statement issued by the Junta, the last land offer of the year seeks to “transfer land that has already been classified as developable by the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation in Andalucía (AVRA) and therefore, that is ready to be built on”. (…).

Of the six plots, the largest one has capacity for 88 homes and the smallest one, for 50 homes. In addition to these plots, the offer includes two retail premises in the centre of Málaga and five parking spaces in the Malagan municipalities of Villanueva del Rosario and Ronda.

Plots in Andalucía

This new offer comes after AVRA has sold plots with capacity for the construction of 1,473 homes, mostly social housing properties, during the current legislature. Those plots have a combined surface area of 287,282 m2, split between residential and industrial use across the whole of Andalucía, according to the Junta.

The recovery of land management by AVRA has allowed it to sell plots with a combined sales price of €50.2 million in total since 2015, according to the Andalucían Government.

Of those plots, the land dedicated to residential use amounts to 107,928 m2, with capacity for the construction of 1,473 homes, of which 891 will be social housing units and the remaining 582 will be private homes.

Meanwhile, industrial land amounted to 179,353 m2 and the vast majority of that is located in the province of Jaén, in particular in the municipalities of Alcalá la Real, Martos and Linares.

Original story: 20 Minutos

Translation: Carmel Drake

Andalucía Auctions 16,000 m2 Of Land For Residential & Industrial Use

31 October 2017 – Inmodiario

The Junta de Andalucía’s Ministry of Development and Housing has awarded almost 16,000 m2 of regional land to residential and industrial development in the provinces of Jaén, Córdoba and Málaga, for a sales price of €2.2 million. This operation forms part of the third offer made in 2017, for the sale of land and other assets, by the Agency for Housing and Rehabilitation (AVRA).

In the tender for the sale of land allocated for social housing use, two plots have been awarded. One of them is located in the O3 sector of Córdoba, known as Huerta Santa Isabel, with a surface area of 2,197 m2 and space for 39 homes. The award price of that land amounted to €698,175. The other plot is located in the Malagan town of Algarrobo with a surface area of 4,092 m2 and space for 48 homes. The award price, in that case, amounted to €563,960.

All of the industrial land is located in the province of Jaén, with a total combined surface area of 9,428 m2 and a sales price of €615,723. The plots sold are located in the municipalities of Alcalá la Real, Martos and Linares.

With this initiative, the Ministry of Development and Housing is seeking to place its public land assets at the disposal of the production fabric of the region with the aim of boosting economic activity and generating employment, allowing for residential and industrial development (…).

Through this operation, the autonomous Administration will also take advantage of the revenues generated from the sales to continue allocating resources to its housing policy, in particular, to help the most vulnerable families and those less able of accessing a home (…).

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gov’t Extends Eviction Moratorium Until 2020

21 March 2017 – Rtve

On Friday, the Government approved the extension of the anti-eviction moratorium for vulnerable families from their normal homes until 2020 – the initiative had been in force since 2013 and was due to expire in May of this year. From now on, the measure will include families with dependent children aged under 18. That is according the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and Competitivity, Luis de Guindos (pictured above), following the Council of Ministers meeting. He said that the aforementioned law “would be expanded and deepened” in order to protect the most vulnerable groups following the crisis.

De Guindos said that the Royal Decree Law will now cover other (new) cases so that more families can benefit from these measures. It will include vulnerable families with dependent children aged under 18 (not only those aged under 3 years old, like until now); single-parent families with dependent children (removing the need for there to be two children in single-parent families); unemployed people (without having used up the benefit); disabled people; dependent people; those with a serious illness; and cases where there is a victim of gender violence in the family unit.

The Minister for the Economy also explained that the Code of Good Practice – which financial institutions can voluntarily sign up to – includes the option of renting foreclosed normal homes at a discounted price. (…).

Agreement with the opposition parties

The text in the Royal Decree Law has been prepared with a “broad consensus” according to the Minister in a statement. De Guindos said at a press conference that all of the main parliamentary groups have been involved in the negotiations, and so he has ensured that there is a “very strong consensus to approve it”.

In fact, the Government had initially announced the extension of the moratorium on evictions of vulnerable families from their usual homes until 15 May 2019, although it was in favour of extending it for another year, as reflected in a non-legislative motion, approved by the Congress of Deputies, and that is what it has done in the end.

Socialist sources cited by Europa Press have indicated that the PSOE and the Government have agreed this decree and have also reached an agreement to submit a plan, within eight months, containing measures directed at facilitating the recovery of home ownership from people in situations of economic vulnerability that are immersed in eviction processes, unable to pay their mortgages. (…)

In any case, De Guindos confirmed that “the most important things are not the palliative measures. Instead, in order to put an end to the drama of evictions, the economic recovery needs to continue”. In his opinion, the main reasons for the 30% decrease in the number of evictions in the last year have been economic growth and the creation of employment.

Original story: Rtve

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gov’t To Extend Suspension Of Evictions For Vulnerable Families

6 February 2017 – RTVE

Last Wednesday, the Minister for the Economy, Luis de Guindos, announced that the Government will extend the moratorium that prevents families in vulnerable situations from being evicted from their primary residences. The moratorium was due to expire on 15 May this year and its extension had also been requested by the Socialist Party.

“Yes, we will do so again now (extend the moratorium), like we did in 2015. We are open to negotiations”, said De Guindos, after confirming that 24,000 families have now benefitted from this measures, which favours certain groups.

The Minister was responding to questions from the Socialist congresswoman María del Mar Rominguera (…), who asked him about the Government’s intention to extend the deadline for the suspension of evictions of the most vulnerable families from their homes.

De Guindos said that the Government has protected the people who have suffered the most during the economic crisis and pointed out that some of the measures undertaken in this regard, such as the Code of Good Practice and the Social Housing Fund, approved by the Government, have benefitted more than 76,000 vulnerable families.

Evictions from primary residences have decreased by almost 30%

De Guindos said that the Government is willing to continue with these actions because they are having a “positive” effect, although he pointed out that the most recent statistics indicate that evictions from primary residences have decreased by around 30% “and that is a result of the economic recovery”.

De Guindos insisted that the creation of employment is what will confirm the economic recovery, given that “it is not only a matter of establishing palliative measures, although they are also important”.

“If employment improves in Spain, if there are increasingly more possibilities, if we increasingly see that house prices are not collapsing, we will see how situations involving evicted families will become increasingly marginal”, he said.

The PSOE supports the extension

Meanwhile, the Socialist congresswoman said she appreciated the fact that the Government has extended the moratorium for anti-evictions, which was due to expire in May (…).

The PSOE had requested an extension of the moratorium, four years after it first came into force. Nevertheless, De Guindos did not specify how long the moratorium would be extended for. (…).

Original story: RTVE 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Rajoy Will Give Tax Breaks To Banks That Lease Empty Homes

29 November 2016 – Expansión

Housing will be one of the first major agreements of the new legislature. The PP has reached “an agreement with the opposition” to approve a non-binding proposal to establish guidelines for real estate policy until 2021. This initiative, which will be debated by the Development Committee in Congress on Wednesday, includes an important new feature: it will incentivise the occupation of empty homes owned by financial institutions, public companies, Public Administrations and “other owners” by the “most vulnerable” families. For example, those on low incomes and those who have been evicted from their homes.

To achieve this, “tax incentives, agreements with large home owners and exchanges of land” will be approved, according to sources in the Popular Parliamentary Group. “All of the parties support the agreement”, which will give rise to a new Housing Plan, to be agreed, as always, with all of the regional governments.

The tax benefits that will be approved have not been defined yet because the PP still needs to agree them with the opposition. Moreover, the Ministry of Development, which is piloting the reform is in the middle of handing over powers and is not in any rush. “The left-wing parties like the idea. The agreement that we are going to reach on Wednesday is generic and we will have to do further work to iron out the details”, say the same sources.

In the face of initiatives to penalise owners of empty homes, such as those introduced in Cataluña, País Vasco and Andalucía, the new housing agreement will seek to “promote mechanisms of cooperation so that available unoccupied homes, owned by the Public Administrations, public companies, financial institutions and other owners may be occupied by the most vulnerable members of the population” according to the text in the Proposal, which has received a favourable report from the Ministry of Development.

The banks will be the main target for these measures. The appraisal company Tinsa calculates that the financial institutions own more than 80% of the stock of empty homes. In its most recent report, based on data as at 2015, Tinsa calculates that the banks own a surplus of more than 300,000 (empty) homes. In addition, the ratings agency Fitch says that at the end of last year, the financial sector owned “around 150,000 unsellable (new) homes”.

With this reform, it will be much easier for banks to free up their empty homes. Firstly, because they will receive guaranteed income from the State in the event that they allocate them as social rental properties. Secondly, because although the lease payments will be relatively low, the tax benefit will have a compensatory effect. Thirdly, because when the entities exchange properties for land, they will remove those assets that are hard to divest from their balance sheets and they will only include new properties in better locations and with better outlooks.

INE estimates that there are 3.5 million empty homes in Spain, but that almost all of them are owned by individuals. Tinsa says that, of all of the residential properties constructed since 2008 (that have never been lived in), only around 11,670 are owned by professionals, but they are not being marketed. That figure represents 3.9% of the total commercial stock (389,000 homes in 2015). (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banks Sign Deal With Gov’t To Add 3,000 More Homes To FSV

14 September 2015 – El Economista

Today, the Spanish banks will sign an agreement with the Government to increase the number of homes in the Social Housing Fund (‘Fondo Social de Vivienda or FSV) by 3,000. The FSV initiative was created to respond to the needs of families made vulnerable by the economic crisis.

The changes to the agreement will not only increase the number of homes, but will also extend the scope of the fund, according to reports from the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness.

This addition of 3,000 homes is equivalent to a 50% increase in the size of the existing FSV, taking the total to 9,000 homes. The expansion of the fund is the result of meetings held on the subject between the Ministry of the Economy and representatives of the major Spanish banks.

Until now, the social fund comprised a stock of almost 6,000 homes, of which less than half have been rented out. The FSV was created in 2013 using homes that had been foreclosed by the banks, to make them available to vulnerable families in special situations that had been evicted from their own properties for failing to keep up with their mortgage repayments since 1 January 2008.

The terms of these leases, provided by 33 entities in total, include: a rental income of between €150 and €400 per month, up to a maximum limit of 30% of the household’s combined net income; and a lease term of two years, extendable to three years in certain cases.

To access the initiative, the total monthly income of a household may not exceed the limit of three times the Multiplier of the Public Income Index (IPREM) (i.e. €1,579 under the current IPREM) and none of the family members may own their own home.

Profile of the families

FSV homes are mainly allocated to large families, single-parent families with two or more dependent children, families that have a disabled family member, families that do not qualify for unemployment benefit and families that include a family member that has suffered from domestic violence.

In February, the creators of the FSV decided to extend its term for another year, until January 2016, after it had been in force for 2 years. During that time it provided assistance to 1,465 families who had found themselves in a vulnerable situation as a result of the economic crisis.

The Fund was launched on 17 January 2013 by agreement between the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness; the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality; the Ministry of Development; the major banks in the country and their associations; the FEMP; and the platform of the tertiary sector.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake