Walking up Tremont Street across from the Boston Common, earlier today, we came across an unusual occurrence, even in this economy: a downtown Boston real estate auction. It was taking place in front of The Grandview, a "luxury" (is there any other kind?) condominium building completed in 2004.
There were four or five people with $10,000 certified bank checks in hand, ready to bid (and also one person who brought a personal check, which is no good in these situations).
After reading some disclosure statements and a description of the property, the guy in charge said the auction would be begin, with a price of (if I remember correctly) $1,018,400.
No one made any move indicating they were interested in making a bid at that price, and then it was over. The representative said that the bank would "probably" buy the property (and, presumably, resell it on the open market, after that).
The public record shows that the (ex-) owner, a real estate investor, purchased the property for $1,325,000 back in 2007, with a mortgage loan of $1,060,000. A second mortgage loan was taken out in May of this year, for another $240,000. Second mortgage holders don't usually get paid back until first mortgage holders are paid off. So, very little chance they'll see their $240,000 again.