Spanish Bank to Dispose of Housing Assets
The La Caixa banking group is one of the biggest in Spain and is about to make a move to dispose of toxic assets that it holds as a result of the economic problems in the country.
A package of 12,000 Spanish properties is expected to fetch more than €1.5 billion, making it the largest clear-out of housing assets by a lender.
Other financial institutions such as Sareb are also looking to make similar moves to offload distressed property made up of a portfolio of repossessed homes and buildings.
Whether or not these deals go ahead, and at what levels the prices end up at, could have major repercussions for the struggling Spanish property market.
Such deals are uncommon even though international private equity firms and hedge funds have the finances to make purchases and are interested in large property transactions.
The problem for La Caixa and the other banks is that they are all looking to sell the ‘bad’ assets meaning that investors can pick and choose and push for a hard bargain.
The styles of property that dominate the books of financial institutions are of an older nature and far from the contemporary villa that many new buyers are looking for.
Prices are still an obstacle too, with banks unwilling to make any further cuts to values which have already been considerably lowered.
Properties in popular tourist destinations make up some of the packages and are attractive to buyers because they offer the option of steady rental incomes whilst values recover.
Other packages will be flats and housing in major cities including Madrid and Barcelona. It is expected that these will be easier to offload than some of the less urban units.
If you are thinking of taking advantage of the situation, you will have to send money to Spain as part of the transaction. The exchange rates offered by currency specialists are generally more favourable than those offered by the banks.