BUSINESS

Greeks reluctant to buy a home

By Nikos Roussanoglou

Demand in the local housing market has dropped to almost zero and many Greeks are avoiding property purchases due to the high taxation involved, according to a survey carried out by the University of Macedonia for Skai TV.

A remarkable 37 percent of citizens responded that they would not buy a residence even if they had the money for it, against just 29 percent who said that if they had the money they would make a purchase now that the market is full of bargains.

Another 16.5 percent said that they wouldn’t buy a home today but would do so in five year’s time, presuming that the general financial conditions will have improved by then. A mere 7.5 percent said they would wait 12 months before making a purchase, while just one in 20 (5 percent) responded that they would have liked to have bought a house last year.

This illustrates the difficulty that the market is having in absorbing the supply of unsold residential properties, estimated to range between 200,000 and 250,000 units around the country. This is said to include 50,000-60,000 holiday homes and 80,000-90,000 newly built properties. The rest are used houses whose owners in most cases cannot pay the taxes their ownership entails.

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