Costs Too High: Greeks Disclaiming Inherited Properties

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis, FILE)

ATHENS – With the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA burying people with an avalanche of tax hikes and new taxes – reneging on campaign promises – more than 135,000 people in Greece in 2017 refused to accept property they inherited, unable to afford a slew of costs imposed on them.

That led to the state acquiring properties few people want because of high property taxes and continuance of the dreaded ENFIA surcharge that Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras said he’d scrap but pumped up on the orders of international creditors.

The disinheritances were cited to Kathimerini by real estate analysts, said to be because the inheritance taxes, property taxes and cost of acquiring and keeping the property were too much, with the market depressed until Chinese and other companies began snapping up apartments and buildings for short-term rentals such as Airbnb, spiking rental prices above what many can pay.

Many of the properties have been neglected during a more than eight-year-long economic crisis, making them even more unattractive for the state to find buyers.

“Property has become a burden,” Babis Haralambopoulos, a certified valuer, scientific consultant to Solum Property Solutions and former president of the Hellenic Valuation Institute told the paper.
“Since the start of the crisis, residential properties have shed an average of 45 percent of their value, while there’s a trend toward stabilization right now.”

Rent data from Eurostat showed that Greece had the highest housing costs as a percentage of disposable income among the European Union’s member-states, in 2016 accounting for more than 40 percent of what they had left after obligations. That was almost four times the EU average of 11.1 percent.