How Kenyans are losing properties worth billions to auctioneers

How Kenyans are losing properties worth billions to auctioneers

If the current auctioning trends is anything to go by, loan defaulters in Kenya have a reason to get more worried as financial institutions aims to recover money from bad loans.

In the  recent days we have seen a rise in the number of properties being advertised in local dailies  for auction worth billions of shillings.

No  single day passes before you hear of an institution or an individual having lost his car or a house to auctioneers following a move by one or two banks to recover their money owed to them.

Thousands of vehicles ranging from personal cars to heavy-duty commercial trucks have been repossessed and put up for auction.

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The recent auction of a 3-star hotel in South B, Nairobi County with a projected annual income of Ksh. 3 million came as a shock to many but that was just the tip of an iceberg.

In February 2020, NextGen Mall (located along Mombasa) made headlines after a local auctioneer listed a section of its 1st floor in order to recover a loan of an undisclosed amount. The Mirage Executive Office Complex building in Westlands was also listed.

Just last week, KCB bank went on to auction lavish mansion belonging to former Nakumatt CEO in an attempt to recover over Ksh. 2 billion owed to the bank

Owing to the struggling Kenyan economy that was heavily hit by Covid-19 pandemic, institutions and individual who had acquired loans from various financial institutions could not service them as expected.

Recovery hurdle

With various banks going on a loan recovery spree, a new challenge has been presented as auctioneers are finding it difficult to find buyers for the auctioned properties.

A recent analysis revealed that of the hundreds of properties on auction, on the back of a slowing economy, only a handful have found buyers. The most affected are high end properties.

A background check reveals that some banks have been forced to return the properties to initial owners after failing to find suitable buyers. The banks are then forced to enter into new agreement with debtors on loan repayment plan.

In one unique case, NCBA bank has acquired a car yard for storing and selling cars repossessed from its loan defaulters.

The bank says that the acquisition of the car yard will help it sell vehicles faster and at a better price. This means that the bank will no longer rely on auctioneers to sell the repossessed cars. It also implies that the repossessed vehicles will no longer be taken to auctioneers’ yards for public sale.

In a statement released by NCBA Group, the move has helped the bank sell the repossessed properties at a higher value while at the same time fast tracking the selling process.

“This has seen a 15 percent increase in the selling price of repossessed vehicles and faster turnaround in their disposal as we are now able to conduct basic maintenance like regular cleaning of vehicles and ensuring proper tyre pressure to restore their value,” the bank said.

 


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