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Wave of Property Auctions in Southwest Iceland

The sale of 98 properties at forced auctions in Sudurnes, a region on Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland, is planned for next week, which is two more properties than were sold at forced auctions over the course of the entire last year.


From Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Proportionally, there are many more forced sales for each inhabitant in Sudurnes than in other parts of the country. So far this year, 224 forced sales have taken place in Sudurnes compared to 1,306 in the entire country, Morgunbladid reports.

District Commissioner in Keflavík Thórólfur Halldórsson said not only have cases increased, they have also become more complex. There is extensive strain on his staff, he said, meanwhile a ten percent cut is demanded next year.

“People don’t seem to realize that here in Sudurnes, we are going through the second crisis,” Halldórsson said. “It has only been four years since the [US] defense force left the country, at which point more than 1,000 people lost their jobs. […] The crisis comes on top of that.” Sudurnes is the region hardest hit by unemployment.

According to visir.is, a wave of forced sales is currently hitting the country; 205 properties had been sold at forced auctions at district commissioner in Reykjavík during the first eight months of this year, a similar number as all of 2009. This summer alone, 141 forced sales took place.

To protest the government’s lack of actions to solve this problem, a group of people slept in sleeping bags outside Althingi, the parliamentary building in Reykjavík, last night. According to visir.is, the protestors wanted to raise awareness of what happens when people lose their homes.

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