From Human Rights Watch. The Spanish government has failed to take adequate measures to avoid and alleviate the impact of the housing and debt crisis amid economic down-turn in Spain. Since the economic crisis began in 2007, banks have foreclosed on over 500,000 properties under a procedure that leaves individuals and families saddled with significant debt and no realistic pathway towards discharging their debt. Immigrants, women heads of household, women victims of economic abuse, and children are among the vulnerable groups affected by the crisis.
Spain’s social crisis around evictions and debt arise in a context of decades of government policies aggressively promoting home ownership and borrowing and inadequate efforts to ensure an appropriate and affordable stock of rental housing and sufficient investment in public housing. Irresponsible lending, unfair terms in mortgage contracts (such as exorbitant default interest rates), unscrupulous behavior by intermediaries such as real estate agencies, and the lack of oversight during the boom economic years contributed to the current situation.
...continue reading "Right to Adequate Housing in Spain"
Property sales in Spain increased by 12.6% in May compared with the previous month, with the Balearics seeing the biggest increases, according to the latest data from the National Statistics Office.
The data also shows that new home sales were down 8% from a year earlier and second hand homes up by 16% which could be good news for those who have been unable to sell.
The biggest annual increases in May were in the Balearics with a rise of 33.1, Cantabria was up 30.4%, Andalucia was up 10.7% and Catalonia was up 3.1%.
The biggest decreases were reported in Castilla-La Mancha with a fall of 15.2%, Galicia with a fall of 6% and Comunidad de Madrid was down 5.5%.
Meanwhile, the latest figures from the General Council of Notaires shows a sharp rise in the number of Chinese buyers in Spain, suggesting that they are responding to the golden visa rules which grant citizenship to non European Union nationals who invest a minimum of €500,000 in real estate.
...continue reading "Rise in Property Sales in Spain"
As one of the most moribund housing markets in Europe, Spain has become a magnet for global bargain hunters. Real estate prices are down as much as 50 percent from their peak during a housing bubble, and investors from Asia to the United States and Britain are flocking to Spain to try to catch the uptick.
British Airways flights to Madrid are packed with London-based real estate executives. The hedge fund Baupost is buying shopping centers, Goldman Sachs and Blackstone are buying apartments in Madrid, and Paulson & Company and George Soros’s fund are anchor investors in a publicly listed Spanish real estate investment vehicle. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts just bought a stake in a Spanish amusement park complex. Big-name private equity firms and banks are teaming up with and competing against one another on huge loan portfolios with names like Project Hercules and Project Octopus.
...continue reading "Spain: Magnet for Global Bargain Hunters"
The downward trend in the property market in Spain is drawing to a close and it is unemployment that is hindering a full recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund.
With unemployment still hovering around 26% the real estate sector is unlikely to move into full recovery mode just yet, says the report author James Daniel, head of the IMF’s Spain mission.
But the report does point out that the country’s economy has ‘turned the corner’ after economic improvements took hold in the second half of last year and continued in the first quarter of 2014. Indeed, it adds that the Spanish economy is now growing at its fastest pace since 2008.
It also says that labour reform and wage moderation are helping turn job destruction to job creation. Compared to a year before, unemployment fell in the first quarter of 2014 and jobs, as measured by social security affiliations, increased by about 200,000 in April.
...continue reading "Spanish Property Market is on the Verge of Recovery"
The European Court of Justice have ruled that Spain’s mortgage law is incompatible with a European directive on abusive practices in consumer contracts, opening the door to more legal protection for households facing eviction from their family home.
The ruling comes in response to a question posed by a Barcelona court in connection with the eviction of Moroccan immigrant Mohammed Aziz from his home in January 2011, after he failed to meet mortgage payments on a 138,000-euro loan granted to him by savings bank CatalunyaCaixa in July 2007.
The ruling will apply to all eviction cases now being processed across Europe but might not be applied retroactively, as pressure groups have been calling for. Amendments to the mortgage law, which is more than a century old, are now going through parliament, and it appeared as if the government was waiting for the Luxembourg-based court’s judgment before proceeding with the passage of the draft law.
...continue reading "European Court rules Spanish mortgage law is abusive"