Can we actually still speak about a "Greek estate property market"?
By Vassiliki Tsigarida, ASnetwork
The recent Law 4093/2012 ("Memorandum III") has imposed major horizontal cuts to salaries and pensions. The purchasing power of the average Greek citizen is in free-fall and this leads, among other economic and social consequences, to an alarmingly extended stagnancy in the volume of sales and lease transactions. At the same time the number of units remaining closed and unexploited steadily rises.
Despite this gloomy recessionary period, several Greek estate experts appear to have invested in a revival due to the upcoming new tax law. This will mean that numerous tax burdens on property will be replaced by a single tax and in view of the dramatic increase of unemployment rates and the bad estate loans the suspension of foreclosures of domiciles will be extended for one more year, until the end of 2013.
Concerns have been also expressed with regard to the proposed taxation of leases, but the relevant provisions have not been crystallized yet.
Finally, the Ministry of Environment is preparing a new Bill, which will introduce pioneering provisions regarding spatial planning and environmental protection. At the same time also under consideration is that several minor urban-planning discrepancies will no longer de facto exclude the issuance of ownership titles.
While the above law initiatives seem to be on the right track and may contribute to the recovery of the local estate market, the good intentions of the legislator will not suffice, unless they are combined with the loyal application of the relevant rules as well as the kick-start to the Greek economy.
ASnetwork, Athens, Greece
T.: +30 211 4804432; F.: + 30 211 4804499
Snetwork (comprising of Accounting Solutions S.A. and Audit Services S.A.) provides a full range of accounting, payroll-administration, tax and legal consulting services. The network employs more than 90 highly-qualified tax consultants, accountants and lawyers, who add value to our clients' businesses through a proactive approach of the issues identified. In the area of real estate property ASnetwork provides specialized tax services and also undertakes due diligence projects with property (ownership titles, encumbrances, lease agreements) and environmental (e.g. photovoltaics' licensing) aspects.
Vassiliki Tsigarida is a lawyer (manager) with ASnetwork (and more specifically Accounting Solutions S.A.) since 2011. Previously, she worked for several years, as a legal consultant of PricewaterhouseCoopers S.A. and as a freelance lawyer. She is a graduate of Athens Law School and Ruprecht-Karls Universitaet Heidelberg, holding a Master degree (LLM) in capital-market law. She was admitted in the Piraeus Bar Association in 2003 and ever since she practices law mainly in the following areas: Corporate, civil, labor, social security and immigration.