Insider Business Banks buy what fails to sell at auctions

Banks buy what fails to sell at auctions

A year after the first round of the auction process, banks in Cyprus resort to buying themselves whatever real estate they unsuccessfully put up for sale.

This is what data by the Central Bank of Cyprus for the first quarter of 2019 shows. This was submitted to parliament, yesterday.

Specifically, banks purchased 219 properties over the first quarter of 2019, 149 properties in the fourth quarter of 2018, 129 properties in the third quarter, 85 in the second quarter and 65 in the first quarter. Of the 219 properties purchased by the banks in the first quarter of this year, 183 are fields, 11 are plots of land, 7 are commercial properties, 15 residences/ apartments (ready or under construction), two are main residences /apartments and one comes under the category of “Other Property”.

The latest data seems to be an indication of the poor results of the foreclosure process in Cyprus. At the same time, the House Finance Committee yesterday continued debate on submitted draft amendments on foreclosures laws which were strengthened a year ago.

The data also shows that final notice letters sent out by banks dropped to 602 in the first quarter of 2019 from 887 in the last quarter of 2018. Notice letters over the first residence were also down, recording a total of 39 over the first quarter of 2019, compared to 61 in the last quarter of 2018.

Complete foreclosure procedures over the first quarter of 2019 range from 5% of properties for which a final warning was sent out, while in previous quarters the rate ranged from 3.5% to 4%.

However, the slight increase does not seem to change the overall picture. A total of 100 properties were sold during the first auction process in the first quarter of 2019. In the fourth quarter of 2018, a total of 72 properties were sold, compared to 58 in the third quarter, 41 in the second quarter and 32 in the first quarter. These 100 properties are the maximum sold so far at first auctions within a quarter.

By Theano Theiopoullou


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