1. Is Greece a safe place for real estate investment?
Besides being a modern democratic European state, Greece is a country with a very strong feeling of its people towards real estate property. More than 80 % of its inhabitants own their homes. The Greeks were never deprived from their properties, unlike most of the other Balkan peoples during the communist era. Greek Constitution, courts and authorities fully respect property rights, so Greece is a very safe place to invest in real estate property.
2. Who can invest in Greece?
Greek laws allow foreigners to own properties in most areas of Greece. Restrictions apply for Non European Union citizens who wish to buy in border areas (East Aegean, Dodecanese islands, regions of Northern Greece, Crete, Rhodes). Non European Union citizens who wish to purchase real estate property or rent it for a period over six years in border areas, have to apply to the relevant authority which can grant authorisation for the transaction.
3. Is it simple or difficult and risky to invest in Greek real estate property?
The procedure for buying real estate property in Greece is fast and simple. The law requires that for each real estate property transaction, there are three legal professionals involved: A lawyer, to investigate for the property, a notary public to draw the contract and a registrar to register it officially to the local Mortgage Office.
All property titles in Greece are kept on the Mortgage Offices of each municipality, according to the alphabetical order of the names of the owners. A modern Land Registration System is being constructed, and is gradually replacing the old registration system, while most of the country has been mapped with new technology systems.
4. What is the cost of the fees of the law professionals involved?
Lawyer: The fee is 1-2% of the agreed price, depending on the difficulty of his research.
Notary public. The fee is approx. 1-1,5% of the contract price plus a small sum for other duties and certificates.
Mortgage office: The fee is approx. 0,5% on the contract price, plus a small sum for other duties and certificates.
Land Registration fee. It is only 1‰ of the tax value, with a minimum of 35 euros for every property right.
Real Estate Agent. It is usually 1-2% of the market value of the property. Any special agreement is valid.
5. What about taxation when buying?
Concerning taxation for property acquisition, the eneral transfer tax s now 8-10% . VAT 23% is being gradually introduced upon the purchase of newly built houses.
6. What about annual taxation on the possession of property?
In Greece there is now an annual state Property Tax at the rate of 2 o/oo - 2 o/o on real estate property except off-plan building land, and a local annual Municipality Rate of up to 0,35 o/oo, to built properties, collected mainly through the electricity bills.
7. What about taxation when selling?
Currently there is no taxation upon the seller of real estate property.
Note : The above Article is a part of a whole published by the Hellenic Property Federation : http://www.pomida.gr/english/special/how.html