CYPRUS: Online auction platform for repossessed properties launched

An online e-auction platform was launched by a subsidiary of the Cyprus Banks Association in an attempt to boost the sale of foreclosed properties that have mounted up.

The first auction on the e-platform will be conducted on 18 December, enabling Cypriot citizens or Cyprus registered companies to participate in home sales, thus eliminating the need of a physical presence at an auction procedure.

Cyprus banks are now able to sell-off foreclosed properties online after the Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades issued a decree allowing electronic auctions, earlier this month.

Online auctions was a key demand from the banks to help them reduce the large volume of real estate accumulated in their portfolios from foreclosures.

The decree foresees that bidders must submit bids higher than the one that has already submitted.

Reportedly, bank executives expect that electronic divestments will eventually lead to more real estate sales, just as in Greece, where data shows a record increase in auctions and sales after the introduction of online auctions.

Bidders may participate in electronic auctions through the website upon registration with the system. In order to do so, bidders need to be listed on the Civil Registry of Cyprus or with the Registrar of Companies.

The e-auction system will be administered by ACB E-auctions LTD, a subsidiary of the Cyprus Banks Association. The company responsible for the maintenance, control and operation of the Electronic Auction System through which the electronic auction of mortgaged properties takes place.

A wide range of properties will be available for auction, such as private residences, commercial spaces, parking lots, storage units and industrial plots of land.

Currently, there are 18 properties up for grabs during the first pilot auction to be held on 18 December, while banks are expected to add more properties on the second auction to be held on 10 January next year.

The properties are displayed in the system with their main features as well as the reserve selling price. Currently properties on offer for auction are agricultural parcels with a price tag ranging from Euros 17,000 and Euros 777,000.

Source: The Financial Mirror