National Bank to auction properties, concerns rise about sell off
National Bank of Greece (NBG) announced Monday that it will auction off 131 properties tied to non performing loans.
The news comes amidst growing concerns that forced real estate auctions by Greek lenders will result in a further drop in property prices that plummeted more than 40% during the country's eight year economic downturn.
NBG said in a statement that the auctions relate to apartments, holiday homes, land plots and retail stores, among others. The majority of the properties are located in the broader Athens area but are also located in northern Greece's Thessaloniki and the islands.
The auctions will take place between October 30 to November 8.
In a rush to meet targets to reduce non performing loans set by European bank regulators, Greek banks are selling the assets but broader demand in the market remains weak.
Tassos Kotzanastassis, who chairs the Urban Land Institute, Greece and Cyprus, said banks are adamant the auctions will be paced in line with demand, saying that they won't flood the market but that is uncertain.
"Banks have committed to reduce bad loans by 40 billion euros by 2019, of which 11 billion euros will be effected through property auctions. The latter is a hard target and is disproportional to the anaemic demand. Something has to give," said Kotzanastassis, who is also managing director of real estate firm 8G Capital Partners.