The dire situation that thousands of Greek households and enterprises are in because of the financial crisis is reflected in soaring property auctions held by the state, banks and private parties.
In 2011 the value of real estate sold in auctions was almost double that of 2008, just before the start of the crisis: The value of properties auctioned in 2008 was at 2.7 billion euros, while last year it skyrocketed to 4.5 billion euros.
What is most interesting about this rise is that it was recorded in a year when banks could not auction houses worth up to 200,000 that are the main domicile of their debtors. This means that the auctions mostly concerned properties of high value.
Confiscations of properties more than doubled within three years, as their worth soared from 1.4 billion euros in 2008 to 3 billion euros last year. The number of properties confiscated rose from 20,600 in 2008 to about 25,000 in 2011.
The deterioration in the cash flow conditions of the market is also evident from the combined value of bouncing checks and unpaid bills of exchange that came to 2.3 billion euros last year, up by 15 percent from 2 billion euros in 2010.