PROPERTY

Six-month delays at cadaster offices

six-month-delays-at-cadaster-offices

The long delays in the completion of property transactions have not been halted, despite the efforts made in that direction.

Realty market professionals say that it still takes four to six months for the processing of a contract and for the property’s title deeds to pass to the new owner in many cadastral offices around the country.

This is generating significant delays for buyers hoping to secure a mortgage for the completion of a property transaction, as well as investors from third countries that want to obtain a residence permit via the Golden Visa program: They cannot apply for a permit until the contract for the property they are acquiring has been processed. That is another reason why the number of Golden Visas issued amounted to just 747 in the first 10 months of this year.

According to the process currently under way, the country’s 400 land registers will become cadastral offices. They will therefore provide fully digitalized services, shifting from the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry to that of the Digital Governance Ministry. That process is now close to completion, although certain land registers continue to operate under the old system or are in a hybrid phase – i.e. a transitional stage until they become cadastral offices. That has hampered their smooth operation, while there have also been problems with the new cadastral offices, which have now entered the fray of the National Cadaster.

For instance, the Zografou office, which is in a transitional stage, requires up 12 months of waiting for the transfer of a contract to be completed. Delays of more than six months are seen at several cadastral offices, such as that of Thessaloniki, while major offices in the capital, such as those in Glyfada and Piraeus, require six and four months of waiting respectively.

National Cadaster sources attribute these delays to the understaffing of offices and the problems the pandemic has created, as there are constant staff absences, either due to individuals being in close contact with a Covid case or due to contracting the coronavirus themselves. They add that all land registers will have become cadastral offices and more staff will be hired by the end of the first half of 2022.