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Friday, 12 December 2014

Mortgagee sales surged sevenfold as lenders strive to recoup losses



Blame it on higher bankruptcies.

Mortgagees turned to property auction in a bid to recoup losses in a weak market. According to data released today by Colliers, the Singapore property auction market through 2014 saw a total of 529 properties being put up for sale. One-third of this figure, or 159 homes, were put up by mortgagees.

Not only is this 5 times the 32 properties put up by mortgagees in 2013, it is also the highest number in 5 years since 2010. Meanwhile, the proportion of properties put up by owners in 2014 remains high at close to 69.9%.

“The higher number of mortgagee listings this year was on the back of the stricter regulatory and financing environment, in which borrowers in default are finding it challenging to sell their properties on their own, as buyers generally remain cautious.” said Annie Chan, Director of Auction & Sales at Colliers International.

In addition to buyers having to fork out a higher cash outlay with measures such as Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty and Total Debt Servicing Ratio in place, there are also concerns of a mounting supply of residential units and an impending increase in interest rates.

The high number of bankruptcies could have also contributed to the increase in the number of properties put up for mortgagee sale.”


Ms Chan continues, “However, there is little cause for anxiety, as the 159 properties put up by mortgagees this year are still fewer than the mortgagee listings during the 2008 global financial crisis, the 1998 Asian financial crisis, as well as the last market downturn in 2004.”


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