Property auctions by banks slowed down considerably in March, amid the government’s negotiations with the country’s creditors over the protection of borrowers’ primary residences, while the same trend appears to have continued into April, ahead of the activation of the new platform for that purpose.
According to data compiled by AXIA Research, only 1,790 online auctions of properties repossessed by banks were conducted in March, which was 55 percent lower than in February. The auctions conducted this month up until Friday did not exceed 800.
AXIA Research points out that the property auction rate had returned to pre-2015 levels in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a sluggish Q1 in 2018, but adds that the banks still need to raise their pace in order to meet their annual target for 25,000-30,000 auctions conducted by the end of 2019.
In the first three months of the year 6,416 property auctions were conducted, which is four times the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2018, when the e-auction platform was in its early stages. However, the figure for the January-March period is significantly smaller than that of the previous quarter, when 9,613 auctions took place. The main reason is that banks have dropped a gear in an effort to pressure debtors to settle their dues.