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  • Italy property auctions rise 15%

Italy property auctions rise 15%

Italian properties sold under auction and through foreclosures rose by more than 15% in 2009 compared to the year before, figures show.

And the three years to 2009 saw a huge 60% leap in such transactions – equating to a total of some 130,000, research by property in Italy conglomerate Tecnocasa reveals.

Meanwhile, nearly half of Italian households struggle to meet their monthly mortgage repayments, up from 38%, a separate survey shows. And by the end of last year Italian banks were saddled with some €59 million of "toxic" mortgage loans, compared to €41.3million just 12 months earlier.

It it worth noting, however, that a considerable number of court enforcement orders do not end in  a court-ordered sell-off at auction.

Anyone buying an Italian house at auction can obtain discounts of 25%-plus on what the property would have been worth on the open market. These knockdown prices often act against the interests of the creditor, seeking to obtain as much of the outstanding debt as possible, and the debtor, who aims to realise as much as possible of the property's true open-market value.

However, it is possible to obtain an equitable balance between the interests of all three parties –debtor, creditor and purchaser – if all receive the correct assistance. One can strike a happy equilibrium where the creditor agrees waive part of the sum owed to take into account the reduction in the time required for sale and the avoidance of enforcement costs.

In exchange, the debtor agrees to  asset at a value sufficiently below market price to attract buyers' interest. Meanwhile, the purchaser knows he or she is acquiring a property in a safe, convenient fashion and without the unknowns that can often overshadow such transactions.

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