"It is understandable that patience is running low"

Grindavík.

Grindavík. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Örn Viðar Skúlason, CEO of real estate company Þórkatla, says it is understandable that the residents of Grindavík are getting impatient and that they had hoped for a faster processing of their applications in the state property buy-outs.

This is stated in an announcement made by the company.

“We know that the majority of Grindvík residents are in a tight position in their housing. Many have tried to secure their properties elsewhere and are waiting to sell. It is understandable that patience is running low and that they have hoped for faster processing of their applications. Real estate is by its nature a complicated process and there are many things we need to consider,” Skúlason stated in the announcement.

Örn Viðar Skúlason.

Örn Viðar Skúlason.

A very complex task

He points out that the project in Grindavík is even more complex than traditional real estate transactions, as Þórkatla handles loan acquisition and settlement on behalf of the sellers and has to elaborate on this procedure in consultation with 18 different lenders.

“There must be a level playing field among Grindvík residents regarding this government rescue and hundreds of individual real estate transactions, where the issues are often very different, present challenges in this regard. We are working very closely on this but just as in real estate transactions in general, there can be delays. We want to avoid, by the longest stretch, that something goes wrong with the purchase of these properties, which may lead to issues coming up later,” he writes.

Take the messages of residents as an encouragement

He also says that a common question the company has been asked is whether people will receive their cases in the same order as they applied for. The answer to that is that Þórkatla generally considers applications in the order they were received, however, since the cases are different, it is not possible to guarantee that their handling will be in the same order.

“We need to take great care to follow the law and that the tens of billions of krónas that Þórkatla has available will be spent according to what the parliament decided at the outset. We respect the right of the residents of Grindavík to speak up and we hear them. We take the messages that they send as an encouragement to do the job quickly, but we also know that both residents of Grindavík and other people in the country want us to do this well.”

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