Greek banks are asking for tax reductions and exemptions for the properties they buy at auction, in a bid to reduce the cost of purchase and maintenance of the assets they obtain.
Among the proposals they have made to the government – to be submitted to the country’s creditors when their representatives return to Greece in the week after next – are a reduction of the property transfer tax they have to pay, their exemption from the supplementary property tax, and their exemption from the special tax on properties as well as property taxation for their real estate portfolios.
The issue of reducing the tax burden associated with property assets is particularly important given that banks intend to acquire the vast majority of properties that go under the hammer this year. The target for online foreclosures in 2018 is for 10,000 auctions, and due to the low demand banks are themselves planning to buy up to 8,000 of those assets. These are mostly residential or commercial properties that are expected to fetch significant capital gains in the future, once the real estate market reverts to normal.