BUSINESS

Taxes shake Greeks’ love of home-ownership

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property, Taxation

Greeks’ traditional love affair with property ownership has been going through a crisis of late. The reason is the extremely high taxation, which has transformed home-ownership into a heavy burden for taxpayers. As a result, the majority of those who own more than one property have resorted to renting out their assets as the most beneficial solution.

Nevertheless, only 30 percent of owners told a nationwide Kapa Research survey that they would be inclined to sell their property, due to the dramatic decline of prices in the market. Nearly half (49.2 percent) of those who feel forced to sell their assets said they would do so at a price equal to or below the objective value (the rate used for tax purposes).

The survey found that the rate of home-ownership in Greece, traditionally among the highest in Europe, has dropped to 73.9 percent from 81.6 percent in 2006. It also revealed that three in four owners (76.8 percent) consider the property taxation to be unfair while 75 percent consider the abolition of the tax discount for properties that fetch no income to be wrong. Also, of the 28.7 percent of owners who have taken out a mortgage loan, one in four (24 percent) said they are unable to service it.

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