Investment giant Blackstone is offering a sweetener to buyers as it tries to speed up the sale of 8,400 properties in Spain in the teeth of the country’s deepest recession on record.

Two Blackstone units, Aliseda and Anticipa, said on Tuesday they would reimburse buyers up to one tenth of the sale price if their property dropped more than a tenth in value in the three months after a deal is sealed.

“We detected the current context was generating uncertainty for buyers, and wanted to provide them with security and send a message of confidence in the Spanish real estate market,” said Aliseda communications director Jaime Navarro.

Blackstone bought the real estate portfolio, known as “Quasar”, in 2017 from Santander, Spain’s biggest lender, which had acquired it for 1 euro in 2016 following the collapse of its previous owner Banco Popular.

Aliseda took control of the portfolio and placed it on sale in 2018, but many properties remain on the market as the COVID-19 pandemic plunges Spain into a deep recession.

The portfolio being advertised is valued at 1.035 billion euros (939 million pounds), with 640 million being handled by Aliseda, which is selling 5,700 properties.

Hola Pisos – Anticipa’s commercial outfit – is selling 2,700 properties, valued at 395 million.

To decide whether a buyer qualifies for the 10% reimbursement, Blackstone will consult the price index compiled by Spain’s infrastructure ministry for each province.

Navarro said the offer did not imply a prediction prices would fall in coming months, and that his company did not make forecasts.

There are, however, signs that Spain’s economic paralysis has hurt real estate.

The presence of funds as major property owners in Spain is politically controversial, with the current administration decreeing in March a four-month moratorium on rent for tenants whose landlords owned eight or more properties.

Source: Reuters

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