"Now we'll be on the street"

The man in the interview says that people are using …

The man in the interview says that people are using the dire situation of people from Grindavík to line their pockets by increasing their property prices through the roof. mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

“I’m a Grindvík resident and a refugee from Grindavík and I’d already confirmed my purchase of a house in Sandgerði,” a home-owner from Grindavík tells us. “I’m not satisfied with the real estate transactions in Sandgerði,” he says, “but the seller of the real estate has increased the sale price by millions to line his pockets and use the situation of those who have been forced to flee their homes.”

The interviewee chooses not to appear by name, as the matter is sensitive and his wife is not aware of what will follow. “I simply cannot put it on her after all that has happened,” says the man, who is in his forties and will be on the street with his family in a fortnight following a property transaction that turned into a bitter disappointment.

Not the first example

“I had confirmed the purchase of a house in Sandgerði and everything had gone through that way except for what you were waiting for real estate company Þórkatla to act, which has taken its time. The woman I was buying from was buying from someone else and everything had gone through,” the man from Grindavíktells me.

At that point, he says that the seller, who his seller was planning to buy from, had arranged for a lawyer to terminate the offer, as he planned to increase the price of the property by ISK five million and then put it back on sale.

“It’s just greed in people who are taking advantage of the plight of us people from Grindavík,” says the man of this transaction which never went through. “You’re already stretching too high, with the fire insurance assessment [being lower than market price], and you never get the same house you had in Grindavík,” he continues, but he got his lawyer to terminate his part of the deal yesterday and is more than disappointed.

“This is not the first example I heard of this kind of thing, it’s happened a few times, and now we'll be on the street at the end of the month instead of getting a house in Sandgerði. I own a trailer, but you can just see how it feels, with two children, a wife, a dog, and a cat in a trailer. I don’t know how long that situation will last, we were supposed to get the house on May 15, and there’s no way to get a rental. Now we could be looking forward to some months in a trailer.”

Wants people to know about this

He made an offer for the property in Sandgerði two months ago, but a third buyer was also in the game, so the domino chain had grown to be extremely long. The third buyer was waiting for a newly built property.

The man points out that the increase in the real estate market due to increased need for real estate by the people of Grindavík after the disaster is seven percent. “But we are the ones who are involved in this and I just want people to know about this and see what’s happening,” he says. “The seller gets five million into his pocket to get either of us on the street,” he continues, referring to himself and the aforementioned woman who was next in line. “I don’t understand how people can go to sleep and feel good about themselves. One of us hits the street, but the other party always goes away smiling with five million extra,” he says.

“We don’t have a home and no home is in the pipeline anywhere,” are the final words of the man from Grindavík after this sudden end of his dream of a home in a new place.

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