Real estate auctions: 309 properties sold every day. Where to search

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Buying houses at auction is an alternative to the open market. Italy had more than 192 thousand auctions in 2022, totaling more than 113 thousand real estate units. What are the most purchased types, and where?

The 2022 Auctions Report by AstaSy Analytics (Npls Re_Solutions) and the Cherry brick Observatory draw a detailed picture of the Italian real estate auction market trend

In 2022, the province of Rome surpassed Milan for the second time, holding the record as the province with the highest number of real estate executions in Italy

Focus on real estate auctions in Milan and the curious case of Pioltello

There were 113,056 (between 309 and 310 per day) real estate units subject to auction in Italy in 2022, down 10.33 percent from the previous year and 44.75 percent from the pre-Covid period of activity (2019). Npls Re_Solutions' AstaSy Analytics study center took the snapshot in its "Auction Report 2022," which analyzes the real estate auction sector in Italy every year by drawing a detailed and accurate picture of it.

The reduction, however, does not mean less investor interest in this alternative form of buying a home but a trend related to the closure of the courts during the pandemic, which has brought delays on procedures yet to be disposed of. The trend is the opposite.

"In general, the spread of agencies specialized in assisting potential buyers of properties at auction has increased interest in buying in the alternative segment to the open market, increasing the positive outcome of sales and the closure of procedures," commented Massimiliano Morana, managing director Npls_Re Solutions.

Real estate auction trends in 2022

If we move from analyzing the number of properties at auction to analyzing the number of procedures carried out, the figures rise because the same property can go to auction several times. "Last year, there were more than 192 thousand auctions that took place on national soil, registering a 7 percent increase in the third quarter compared to the second, but an 8 percent decrease compared to the first, for a total value of the minimum starting bid of just over 31 billion euros," states the Cherry brick observatory, a new service that monitors investment opportunities among auction properties developed Cherry. This fintech startup provides technological solutions to the world of credit.

Provinces and regions most active in real estate auctions

"Seventy-one percent of the auctions took place between the Northwest, South, and Central Italy, with the latter concentrating 26 percent of the lots put up for sale throughout the Peninsula, while 13 percent and 16 percent were in the Northeast and Islands, respectively," explained Cherry brick, which then added that among cities, Rome with over 4. 800 auction attempts (2.5 percent of the national total) is first in Italy in the relative ranking, with numbers almost three times those of Naples (second with 1,532) and nearly three and a half times those of Catania (third with 1,394).

Among provinces, however, the top spot goes to the metropolitan city of Rome (with 11,790 lots for 6 percent of the national total), followed by Milan (5,567 for 3 percent), Catania (5,471), and Perugia (5,450).

"In 2022, the province of Rome surpassed Milan for the second time, holding the record as the province with the highest number of real estate executions in Italy," AstaSy Analytics also confirmed.

Focus on real estate auctions in Milan and the curious case of Pioltello

Properties at auction in Milan and province in 2022 were, according to Npls company Re_Solutions, 3990 (down from 4693 in 2021), of which 1095 were in the capital and another 1059 distributed in 10 municipalities, among which the situation of Pioltello stands out with several properties at auction equal to 311 in a territory of only 37,045 inhabitants.

"The phenomenon recorded in Pioltello finds its main motivation in the "case" connected to Satellite, a "ghetto-neighborhood" of 40 buildings made up of 1,972 apartments, conceived in the 1960s as a neighborhood for wealthy families seeking escape from the city, then transformed into a suburb inhabited mainly by delinquent tenants. Nearly 50 percent of the apartments went to auction. To date, executions that began in 2010 are still pending," explain experts at Npls Re_Solutions.

"The city of Milan has experienced a significant increase in rents, settling in fourth place (according to HousingAnywhere) in the European ranking of the most expensive cities to rent an apartment," recalled Morana, who then wondered: "It will be interesting to observe how the phenomenon will condition the real estate market, including compulsory, by being able to incentivize purchases for investment purposes aimed at renting, accessible, however, to those with sufficient liquidity given the rise in interest rates on mortgages that makes recourse to loans more hesitant, or by directing purchases to the auction market aiming at lower purchase prices than the open market."

Types of properties at auction

Again according to data from AstaSy Analytics, 68 percent of units at auction are residential properties (studios, apartments, and villas, accounting for 57.45 percent) and their accessories (basements and garages, with 10.62 percent). Growing at 12.28 percent is the category of stores, offices, and premises used for commercial purposes, to which 3.3 percent of warehouses and 3.05 percent of warehouses should be added. An essential share of 11.42% is then covered by land, agricultural, and building land, while 0.49% can be attributed to building sites under construction, finished, semi-finished, abandoned, or partially built, and a further 0.47% to hotels and other hotel facilities. Finally, the remaining 0.87%, referred to as "other" to trulli, theaters, cemetery chapels, barracks, and oil mills.
Director of and editor-in-chief of the magazine. A professional journalist, she holds a law degree from the University of Turin. She has worked at MF, Bloomberg Investments, and Finanza&Mercati. She has contributed to Affari&Finanza (Repubblica) and Advisor.


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