If the Finance Ministry's main objective in adjusting the property rates used for tax purposes – known as objective values – was to reduce the discrepancy with market prices, the plan has failed.
In more than half of property transactions conducted, actual prices are as much as 60 percent below the new zone rates, according to estate agents and surveyors. The differences are greatest in densely populated areas of central Athens, where most properties are old, while there also are significant differences in low-rate areas.
On the other hand, the new values are bringing major hikes to the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) paid on large properties. In most cases, this amounts to 1,500 euros or more per year due to the rise of the supplementary property tax. Therefore, the government is once more shifting the burden to large property owners so as to reduce increases in low-income areas.
Real estate experts speak of fake objective values that do not correspond to market reality so that the necessary 2.65 billion euros per year be collected. Through surgical interventions the government is seen to have moved the objective values up and down buy 50-100 euros per zone to stave off hikes for low-income households.