BUSINESS

No interest in state’s e-auctions

EVGENIA TZORTZI

Banks have bought back almost half of their debtors’ properties that went up for sale on line.

TAGS: Finance, Banking

All the online auctions that the state had scheduled for Friday ended without a sale due to the lack of buying interest, on the first day of e-auctions triggered by the state.

The 15 plots of land and buildings that went under the electronic hammer, with starting prices of between 96,000 to 600,000 euros, belong to individuals and (mostly) enterprises with debts to the state ranging from 970,000 to 863 million euros.

The next move for the liquidation of those properties – the first the state has put up for sale at their market price – will be the reduction of the asking price to a third of the original. According to the law, this can happen after a second effort to sell each property at the original price also proves fruitless.

The e-auction online platform has so far announced that 7,630 foreclosures will take place up until the end of the year, and the electronic system already allows for them to take place on all weekdays, and not just on Wednesdays, as had been the case until this week.

The lack of buyers for properties put up for auction is one of the biggest problems the market faces, as banks have also reported. Property market sources attribute this phenomenon to the various legal and technical problems associated with those auctioned assets that deter potential buyers. These properties, the same sources add, could be sold close to the asking prices, but only after the various pending issues dogging them are resolved, ranging from unpaid bills to the legalization of built spaces that remain undeclared.

Data compiled by Kathimerini show that out of the 1,241 auctions conducted from late 2017, when the e-auction platform opened, to end-March, 509 have been declared void, while buyers were only interested in 115 of them.

The same data confirm that banks have been doing what they said they would, namely buying back the assets they themselves had put up for sale: Since late November they have bought back 617 properties.

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