Banks extend their property portfolios

SPANISH banks are extending their grip on the property market by offering hundreds of new developments to go with the hundreds of thousands of distressed and repossessed properties already on their books.

According to national press reports, banks are offering a raft of new properties in residential developments that are either finished, under construction or off-plan, particularly in Madrid. Properties on offer range from apartments for as low as €87,500 to high-end, luxury houses priced at over €1 million.

In most cases, banks in theory own the developer and are heavily involved in the marketing and sales of the developments, according to Spanish Property Insight.

“So, Spanish banks now dominate new development in the capital, with BBVA and Banco Santander leading the pack,” said Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight.

“Solvia, the Banco Sabadell property division, is another company within the banking sector betting hard on residential development. It finished 19 projects in 2013 with 900 homes and up to October 2014, it finished a further 24 with 707 homes. In addition, it has 18 under construction (663 units).”

With the banks dominating new development and holding an extensive portfolio of reposs-essed properties already, the face of the Spanish property market is changing.

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