Spanish Government aims to break grip of auction mafia with foreclosure portal

Soraya Saénz de Santamaria
Soraya Saénz de Santamaria

Any member of the public will be able to bid online for a foreclosed home under new plans announced by the Government.

The time has come to break the grip the so-called subasteros have on the public auction business in Spain, says the Spanish Government. Vice-president Soraya Saénz de Santamaria has announced plans to create a new online platform to auction foreclosed homes and other assets, that anyone will be able to use once they are registered, bidding from “almost anywhere”.

Subasteros are members of a closed club who dominate public auctions, and are notorious for the practises they use. They are suspected of rigging auctions in their favour, and intimidating outsiders to keep them away.

By scaring off outsiders, subasteros get to buy at lower prices, whilst vendors get a raw deal. Vendors are typically people who have had their homes repossessed and desperately need to get the best price to minimise the debts they have to pay off. It’s easy to see that subasteros are not a very pleasant bunch.

The new portal will be run by the same agency as the Official State Gazette, and the auction process will be “much more transparent” says Saénz de Santamaria, who also points out that vendors will benefit from a bigger pool of buyers.

Once up and running buyers will only have to register once to get access to all auctions, which will reduce the cost of buying. It will be possible to bid “almost anytime, anywhere,” she said.

The previous Government, led by José Luis Zapatero, tried to introduce a similar portal in 2011, but despite much fanfair the portal never worked.

There were 72,000 properties sold at auction in 2012.

SPI Member Comments

Thoughts on “Spanish Government aims to break grip of auction mafia with foreclosure portal

  • How Spanish!

    In any civilized country, it is obvious that this kind of auctions are completely public and transparent, but in Spain with its introverted culture of secrecy it has been able to continue for years without anything happening.

    What is wrong with the Spaniards?

  • Spain is essentially still a feudal country controlled by ancient Roman mafia relationships between powerful families, the notion of being political in the ruling classes is confined to a small group whereas most do it to line their pockets and ensure alliances. The EU is a great but politically driven construct not well economically thought through. Spain was allowed to join to early and they are masters at taking without giving to those they don’t want to give to , Simple 😉 I still love the country but a surreal and impossible place to live 😉

    • France Fradet says:

      You’ve summed it up in a nutshell. Love my Spanish partner and his warm loving family, loathe with a passion any official stuff there : all on the make it seems.

  • You name it and it will be bent, that’s Spain for you. Expats have to realise “just arrive, leave your money and depart, simple.

    If you want to leave Spain with a small fortune you have to arrive with a big one.

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