The trend has been clear for several years – German’s steady demand for residential housing has helped drive down the number of homes ending up at forced auctions, as distressed owners avail of buoyant demand to bail out before the courts order foreclosure.
The Ratingen–based publisher Argetra, which tracks the foreclosure market in Germany, reports in its half-year study that Germany saw 30% less foreclosures in the six months to June than in the corresponding period last year. At 23,500 court-ordered forced sales, the number is the lowest for 13 years, and represents the sharpest fall since tracking began more than 15 years ago.
The publishers underscore the anecdotal evidence that many more troubled owners are finding willing buyers before court proceedings are initiated, or that more are able to stave off the worst by finding fresh finance at lower interest rates. Argetra says the trend was apparent across the whole country, although the lower rate of forced sales was more pronounced in Lower Saxony, Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Mecklenburg-Pomerania and Bremen. Running slightly against the trend were the cities of Hof, Heilbronn, Cottbus and Mannheim.