Banks to dominate home auctions


Banks intend to buy back four out of every five properties that go under the hammer this year, in an effort to prevent a collapse of prices on the real estate market, sector sources have told Kathimerini.

The recent agreement between the government and the country’s creditors provides for the auctioning of some 10,000 properties within 2018, and banks believe they have set a realistic target in planning to absorb some 8,000 of them. Besides containing a price drop, the banks have two more main objectives: the reduction of nonperforming loans based on the commitments they have made to their supervising authorities, and forcing strategic defaulters to settle their arrears.

Lenders will focus on properties that will not attract any buyers at the asking price, which is expected to be the case for the majority of assets to be auctioned, as well as on homes expected to see a significant rise in value on the market once the latter has regained its balance.

This year’s foreclosures are expected to prioritize properties in traditionally popular tourism destinations, such as the islands, as well as assets in Athens, where demand is likely to be high due to the rise in short-term letting.