Greek banks to auction online 10,000 properties this year

Greece’s banks are expected to sell off this year some 10,000 properties owned by loan holders that have defaulted in auctions that will be held for the first time in the country online.

The auctions are expected to start in March and are likely to involve another 15,000 properties going under the hammer next year, according to bank and government officials.

Greece must approve the legal framework for online property sales in line with demands made by international creditors in order to qualify for its next slice of rescue money from its third bailout. The move is also seen helping Greek banks manage some 110 billion euros of bad loans festering on their balance sheets, amounting to about one in two loans.

The auctions are seen by many as adding to downward pressure on real estate prices that have already fallen 40 since the crisis started in Greece.

The ministerial decision needed to approve the legal framework on this procedure is expected to be signed in February.

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