Cerberus Leads Spain’s $27 Billion Real Estate Servicing Market

Haya Real Estate, a real estate servicer owned by Cerberus Capital Management LP, has taken the largest share of Spain’s servicing market as distressed-property investors target 19.9 billion euros ($27 billion) of assets to manage.

Haya now has 22.4 percent of a market comprised of 210,949 properties, according to a report by Aura Real Estate Experts, which draws from data on assets published on the websites of Spanish banks. That’s up 30 percent from the first quarter of last year.

“That figure for the value of market is just the tip of the iceberg. It uses only published data,” said Fernando Ruiz Acuna, founder of Aura. “In reality, the market is much larger as there is product, including bad loans, that isn’t made public.”

Haya, based in Madrid, boosted its market share earlier this month, agreeing to pay 225 million euros for a 10-year contract to manage assets valued at 7.3 billion euros belonging to savings bank Cajamar. Spanish banks have been selling their real estate platforms to meet stricter capital rules and focus on lending after the property market crashed in 2007. That tipped the economy into the worst recession in five decades and prompted a 41-billion euro banking industry bailout.

The asset sales have paved the way for more funds to capitalize on distressed debt and made it easier for the government’s bad bank to dispose of soured real estate assets. Haya bought Bankia Habitat, the real estate servicing arm of Spain’s third-largest lender Bankia SA, for around 90 million euros in September. It acquired servicing rights for 17 million euros of assets from Sareb, Spain’s bad bank, in December 2012.

Haya, which manages total assets with a net value of 35 billion euros located throughout Spain, sells around 30 homes a day and has divested over 1.2 billion euros of properties and loans backed by real estate over the past six months, according to the company’s website.

Haya, Anida and Servihabitat are the largest servicers in Spain, representing 50 percent of the market. The rest is made up of smaller companies such as Aliseda, CXG, Altamira, Aktua and Solvia, according to Aura.

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