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Spanish lenders repossessed 49,694 homes from defaulting borrowers in 2013, a 10% rise from a year earlier, figures released on May 19th by the Bank of Spain show.

apartments in Costa del Sol 300x199 - Spanish Lenders Took Back Nearly 50,000 Properties in 2013Of these, 38,961 were first residences, according to statistics provided by the banks.

The vast majority of properties were empty at the time of repossession.

Meanwhile, the proportion of cases involving dation in payment, in which borrowers in arrears hand over the keys of the property to the lender that approved the mortgage to cancel debt obligations, reached 32.5% of all repossessed homes.

This represents a rise from 2012, reflecting the introduction of new legislation to make this option easier. Borrowers have mostly opted for key return in the case of holiday homes, not primary residences.
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Spain’s bad bank failed to attract high enough bids in its first sale of commercial real estate and will cut the size of the portfolio being offered to make it easier to sell, Bloomberg quoted three people familiar with the matter as saying on Friday.

house in orihuela costa - Spanish bad bank reorders property sale as bids fall short: sourcesThe bad bank, known as Sareb, received more than 30 offers for the portfolio that were lower than it expected, said one of the people, who declined to be named because the information isn’t public. It will reduce the number of buildings in the package known as Corona to four from seven, the person said. A spokeswoman for Madrid-based Sareb declined to comment.

Spain created Sareb last year to absorb 50 billion euros of real-estate assets from lenders including Bankia group that took aid as part of the nation’s European bailout. Its failure to attract high enough bids may undermine growing optimism in Spain as the stock market has surged 20 percent this year and foreign investors including Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates buy into Spanish companies.
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The ‘bad bank’ could help save a large number of companies that suffer from the effects of the stagnation on the real estate market in Spain.

For this reason, nobody in the sector wants to let go of this opportunity and everyone is taking positions to be involved in the new entity in one way or the other. Certainly, the state-backed bank rescue fund, the FROB, does not pay much, but little is better than nothing, given the state of the market.

banco de espana 300x225 - Real Estate sector and the bad bankThe last ones to have claimed their participation in the new entity are the developers, which are probably among the most affected by the crisis. Their argument is that they are the ones who really know the market and, for that reason, are the best to evaluate the assets that will be transferred to the bad bank.

“The FROB, or whoever will have the mandate over these assets, must increase the management capacity and for that reason, it must take help from the sector,” said José Manuel Galindo, head of the Association for Developers and Constructors in Spain (APCE).

The real estate assesors also want to participate. The main companies in this sector, such as Tinsa, Sociadad de Tasación and Valmesa, aspire to get hired to assess the assets of the nationalized entities –in principle, only these entities- that will be transferred into the new instrument.
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