Between 50 and 60 private property auctions have culminated in a sale but only one such case was recorded last year, according to data provided by website targ.bg during a seminar organised by imoti.net.
"About a third of private auctions end with a deal," targ.bg owner Georgi Palpourin said. "However, the number of such auctions is negligible given that, at any time, there are often more than 2000 sales ads posted by private bailiffs. The Ministry of Justice is the only source with information on how many actually end in a deal since it gets the transaction reports."
"Private property auctions are still somewhat of an oddity in Bulgaria. Still, they are useful for people who want to save time and money as they can sell their property within two months. However, the success of the undertaking depends on setting the right asking price. Sellers often try to extract the amount they paid for a property bought before the crisis but experts insist that a deal at such terms is impossible. Motivation to clinch a deal is the highest among people experiencing financial difficulties, which most often means they cannot service their bank debts. Public auctions also take place when a real estate agency has been unable to sell the property," Palpourin said.
Inability to access credit has so far been the main problem facing buyers at property auctions. However, about a month ago First Investment Bank introduced a mortgage loan designed for that purpose.
"We have so far extended 12 chance mortgage loans for the purchase of properties sold by bailiffs," retail banking chief Milka Todorova said. However, the bank is required to work with the bailiff who has declared the property for sale. First Investment Bank has signed agreements with bailiffs in Sofia, Varna, Stara Zagora, Shoumen, Bourgas and Pleven.