New ‘objective values’ may not be reality-based, surveyors warn


The shortage of property transactions in most areas is forcing surveyors to draw up average rates using data such as classified ads.

TAGS: Property, Taxation

Facing a Thursday deadline to submit their recommendations for new real estate zone rates, surveyors warn that the so-called “objective values” may not be reliable, given the short period of time allocated to the task and the small volume of data from a shortage of transactions.

Finance Ministry officials already consider it highly unlikely to have the new property rates used for tax purposes issued by the end of March. This is because the committee tasked with examining the surveyors’ recommendations will needs at least a month before it can deliver the final proposal to the ministry.

Property market professionals, meanwhile, take it for granted that the new zone rates will no reflect reality in many parts of the country as there are several areas where there hasn’t been a single transaction in years on which to hinge an assessment. They also argue that a fresh adjustment of the objective values will need to take place next year.

With just a few days to go before they have to deliver their proposals for the entire country to the ministry, a large number of surveyors are saying that they have not found enough data to make a precise zone rate recommendation. Problems have even cropped up in Attica, where some surveyors have been forced to use well-known classified ad websites in order to calculate an average rate for the area they are in charge of.

It is also worth noting that surveyors are obliged to submit recommendations for their area of responsibility, as not doing means not be getting paid for their work.

“We cannot really speak of a quality assessment of objective values, as the time frame and the low number of transactions, even in Attica, do not allow for the proper determination of zone rates,” one Attica zone surveyor tells Kathimerini.

Most surveyors – if not all – are working from their desks, as the time they have been given is not enough for visits to their respective zones.

Besides using the rates from classified ads, surveyors are also using home-sharing platforms on the Internet, such as Airbnb. In parts of downtown Athens and on a number of the islands especially, new trends in the real estate market are emerging all the time, with rates growing due to demand from short-term lease platforms.