BUSINESS

Lawyers’ abstention results in major drop in property auctions

EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Economy, Banking

Property auctions fell to a historic low in 2016, mainly due to the nine-month strike staged by lawyers until mid-September and the abstention of notaries in the first quarter of the year.

The number of auctions this year amounted to just 4,800 around Greece, most of which took place since October, after lawyers returned to work. The value of the properties auctioned also dropped to a record low, as the total money collected amounted to 1 billion euros.

Both the number of auctions and their value is the lowest of the last eight years and the figures are indicative of the extended inactivity on this front, also partly due to the general protection introduced by the government. In 2015, when there was an informal moratorium by banks, the number of auctions came to 8,700, while back in 2009, the first year of the crisis, 52,000 property auctions were recorded.

The liquidation of property assets is expected to serve as the main instrument for banks to reduce their nonperforming loans. A commitment has been made to the European Central Bank that they will reaching revenues of 11.5 billion euros through asset liquidations through the end of 2019.
 

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