ECONOMY

Decline in auctions of properties

The first four months of the year saw 8,110 property auctions worth a total of 2.5 billion euros, according to data from the country’s courts.

These are auctions conducted mostly by the state that has repossessed houses and other properties over unpaid debts, as well as auctions for debts between private parties, given that the law forbids banks from auctioning houses used as a main domicile and worth up to 200,000 euros. This regulation has contained the phenomenon of massive house auctions by banks for mortgage loans.

In 2012 auctions numbered 26,000, down from 44,000 in 2011 and from 52,000 in 2009.

Government coalition partners PASOK and Democratic Left have tabled proposals for the extension of the protection for homeowners beyond 2013, but Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis dismissed any such talk for now, saying on Monday in Parliament that the issue will be addressed again at the end of this year.

Consumer groups EKPOIZO and INKA, meanwhile, called in a press conference on Monday for an extension to be given to people fulfill the terms for protected status.