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Job losses lead to spike in forced home sales

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Job losses lead to spike in forced home sales
Bo Lind/imagebank.sweden.se; Jason Morrison
14:37 CEST+02:00
More and more Swedes are having their homes repossessed and sold through executive auction as household budgets tighten in the wake of job losses caused by the economic crisis.

The first four months of 2009 has seen a 76 percent increase in the number of homes auctioned off by Sweden's Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden) compared with the previous year, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

“Many people bought expensive homes in recent years and have very slim margins. If they lose their jobs they can no longer pay their bills or the interest on their mortgages,” Kronofogden's Alena Koren told the newspaper.

So far this year, 243 residential properties have been sold by executive auction. The number of tenant-owned apartments (bostadsrättlägenheter) sold has more than doubled, while the number of single-family homes sold at auction has gone up nearly 60 percent.

For the most part, the homes sold by Kronofogden so far this year came into the agency's possession prior to the wave of layoffs which hit Sweden in the late autumn of 2008

As a result, the agency expects an even greater increase in the number repossessed homes it is tasked to sell in the coming months.

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