Now, just two years after he lost the property to the bank, wild sheep roam at will and with no hunting, the deer population has multiplied more than fivefold, said Fabian Vinagre, the caretaker of the estate near the Spanish city of Caceres 305 kilometers (190 miles) west of Madrid.
Sareb’s sell-off is part of the process of Spain’s recovery from a five-year slump that caused property prices to plunge more than 30% and drove default rates on loans for real estate activity as high as 31%.
Even so, Spain’s property market slump is still deep. House sales fell 15% in August from a year earlier and home- mortgage approvals fell an annual 43% in July, according to Spain’s National Statistics Institute. Fitch Ratings said today the non-performing loan ratio for mortgages increased to 5.2% from 4.1% last quarter.