Spains Bad Bank Unlikely to be Foreign-Friendly

31 Oct 2012

Spanish Property

As a condition of European bailout, Spain is creating a Bad Bank to swallow foreclosed real estate assets weighing heavy on lenders’ books.  Whilst details remain sketchy, Marbella-based agent Spanish Hot Properties doesn’t think the Bad Bank will wave a magic wand for foreign bargain hunters.

Nick Stuart, Director of Spanish Hot Properties, gives his opinion, “Until we know the exact terms of the Bad Bank, what properties are going to be transferred into it and at what price, it’s hard to pre-judge the situation.  However, the reality is that, to date, many Spanish banks have been a nightmare to deal with when handling their repossessed stock and foreigners have been put off doing business with them.  They tend to be inefficient, not always conversant in English and haven’t the incentive or motivation to focus on property sales – who says this Bad Bank is going to be any different?”

Nick continues, “You also have to ask the obvious question – will there be any properties for sale that anyone wants to buy?  My view is that Bad Bank stock will offer no value for our clients.  A large proportion of homes will be in city suburbs or non-coastal locations and most international clients wouldn’t consider housing their dogs there, let alone live or holiday in them personally.  Some of the new build bank stock has sat empty for years as nobody has ever considered it worthy of purchase, just because it’s in a Bad Bank won’t suddenly make it desirable.”

In fact much of the desirable repossessed or drastically reduced property in the Spanish Hot Properties Marbella catchment area has already been snapped up.  This could lead to prices creeping up according to demand as the supply of quality property dwindles.  A flood of bargain bottom-end homes entering the market from the Bad Bank will have little or no downward effect on mid- to high-end house prices at all.

Operational by the end of November, Spain’s Bad Bank will become the biggest property company in the country holding up to 90 billion euros in assets.  Government officials have vowed that it won’t become a “parking space” for real estate but have active management and promotion of its stock to the market.  The Bad Bank will be expected to sell its plots, developments and individual residential homes at a profit over the next ten to 15 years and repeat the success of its Irish equivalent – National Asset Management Agency.  NAMA paid 32 billion euros for property assets that had an original value of 74 billion euros, a discount of more than 56%.  Two years after it was formed, NAMA has begun to generate profit.

Bank Repossession - Santa Maria Village, Elviria
A typical Mediterranean village-style development with large terraces, cool and comfortable interiors and several swimming pools set in extensive gardens.  Set in a quiet part of Elviria, one of Marbella’s most sought after residential areas, the development has stunning views down the valley to the Mediterranean and is within five minutes drive of the Club House at Santa Maria Golf Club as well as all amenities such as bars, restaurants and supermarkets.  The beach is also within easy reach.
Santa Maria Village is now in the hands of the bank and each of the two or three bedroom apartments alongside three and four bedroom luxurious penthouses have been discounted between 49% and 54% off peak prices in 2008.  The adjacent development still prices comparable product at twice the value.  Up to 85% finance is available.

Prices from 179,978 euros (approx 143,234 GBP) for a two bedroom two bathroom apartment of 100m² built area plus a 35m² terrace (2008 price 350,000 euros).

Contact Spanish Hot Properties on UK 00 44 207 558 8355 or telephone Spain 00 34 952 864 382, email or visit  

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