Are you 18 years old and have internet access? Find out where you can buy a house at a “very favorable price”

Platform can be an alternative for Portuguese families. However, getting credit can be a little more complicated.

Gone are the days when property and real estate auctions were restricted to a small part of society. Today, the e-auctions site allows any citizen to acquire a good or immobile that has been enforced by the Portuguese courts. All you need is internet access and be 18 years old. And the price, an essential detail in any transaction, is always “much more favorable”, especially in residential properties, as explained to CNN Portugal by the president of the Professional Council of the College of Enforcement Agents (CPCAE), Duarte Pinto.

The power to bid “is no longer restricted to the judges’ office, where proposals were opened in sealed letters by a very restricted group of interested parties”, explains the same official, stressing, however, that “the typical buyer continues to be the investor . There are couples looking for their first home, but they are a very small fringe”.

The platform belongs to the Ministry of Justice, but was created and is managed by the Order of Solicitors and Enforcement Agents (OSAE). Of all the properties sold here, located in different parts of the country, the average value is around 60 thousand euros. The most common typology is the T2, but there are also garages, storage rooms, shops, that is, everything that has been executed ends up being auctioned.

The president of CPCAE explains that these auctions are “exclusively electronic” and “safer” than any other. “To consult the goods that are for sale, the only thing that is necessary is to have an internet connection”, explains Duarte Pinto, adding that, afterwards, “to bid, it is enough that the person registers on the site” and that, therefore, , is “much more transparent, because all proposals are registered”. Authentications on the site take place through two methodologies: with a digital mobile signature or by filling out a paper form, “a more archaic methodology that requires the signature to be recognized by a solicitor or lawyer and then sent by post. “, says Duarte Pinto.

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In practice, any registered person can bid, and the highest bid is always visible. At the end of the auction period, the bidder with the highest amount retains the property.

Last Wednesday at 2 pm, for example, there were 1,245 active auctions on the platform, including 792 properties between residential and non-residential properties. Like this T2 in Praia da Rochain Portimão, with a bid of 187 thousand euros, or this semi-detached house with three floors in the neighborhood of Alvalade, in Lisbon, whose highest bid was set at 800 thousand euros or even this house T4 in Canelas, Vila Nova de Gaia, whose offer was around 230 thousand euros.

2 bedroom apartment, in Praia da Rocha, in Portimão. If this auction had ended right now, the property would have sold for €187,000. (Picture e-auctions)

It all started on November 9, 2015. The Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem at the time, approved the order that gave the green light to the platform, which ended up going online in 2016. Since then, in just six years , the global sales value already exceeds 4.3 billion euros. Until today, the most expensive item ever sold on the site was a property that reached 16 million euros and the cheapest item cost just 21 euros.

In 2022, 4,787 houses were auctioned and, despite the prospect of a crisis, with rising inflation and interest rates, the values ​​for 2023 should be similar to those of this year. This is because, explains Duarte Pinto, “until the goods reach the e-auctions” there is a period of time that must pass: the judicial sale of a house, for example, “can never happen before at least six months have passed after the execution”. That is, the greatest impacts of the crisis should only be verified in the following year.

“It is a reasonable period. We are apprehensive about this crisis, because we also know that it is dependent on what the conflict we are witnessing in Ukraine is and if this conflict ends, I am fully convinced that we will witness the recovery that we were experiencing post-pandemic” , points out the president of CPCAE.

No risks, no regrets?

“On our platform there is no risk at all”, says Duarte Pinto. The person in charge clarifies that the worst that can happen is “a deferment of delivery due to a contingency such as a difficulty in relocating the debtor”, but “there is no legal risk.”

However, those who buy a house at e-auctions do not have the right to regret. “What regulates the judicial sale is the law, and the law only allows the withdrawal of the deal if, through no fault of the bidder, after a few months the bidder is not notified to pay. But, from the moment that bids, from the moment he wins the deal, then he is bound to the proposal he made, except in the private negotiation, but that we will also be able to change”, explains the president of the CPCAE.

Anyone who buys a property or any other asset at e-auctions, “after being notified by the enforcement agent, has 15 days to make the payment and also demonstrate compliance with accessory tax obligations”, says the specialist, warning that “it is not just pay for the good so that it is yours and can be registered in your favor. You also have to demonstrate compliance with tax obligations”.

For each item auctioned, the platform charges a small fee to the buyer, which varies between 2.5 euros and 40 euros depending on the value of the item.

Good Value (€) <500 500 – 1.000 1.000 – 10.000 10.000 – 50.000 >50.000
Taxa (€) 2,5 5 15 20 40

Is it possible to get a mortgage loan?

This seems to be the biggest problem and one that may restrict access to this modality to a larger number of Portuguese people, because, for now, “it is not feasible” to obtain a mortgage loan for this type of business.

Duarte Pinto explains that “there is a certain resistance on the part of banks in granting credit in this type of sale, because normally what they do is only give access to credit when the goods to be transferred are free of ownership and encumbrances” and that is not the case. case because when the goods are “being transferred there is still the attachment”.

But this is an obstacle that could be overcome. “We are developing some contacts with the Portuguese Association of Banks to be able to disseminate a methodology that allows a young person, as long as he has pre-approved credit, to do so. If this pre-approval exists and winning that auction, then, changing the methodology in the transmission of the good, we managed to get the credit”, he clarifies.

There are three important notices on the platform:

  1. Unless otherwise stated, the goods are not guaranteed.
  2. Any citizen has access to the portal for free.
  3. Bids cannot be withdrawn and you should bear in mind that you may be held liable for damages caused.

The president of the CPCAE recalls that the vast majority of properties auctioned originate from cases in which the debtor was unable to pay the mortgage, but there are still cases in which the “assets owned by the debtors are responsible for other debts, whatever say that the debt may originate from a motor vehicle, for example, and that asset has been arrested”. “But broadly speaking, we will certainly be talking about 90%, which will in fact be mortgage credit”.

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