Greek housing market remains extremely depressed

Sept. 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM

ATHENS, Greece, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Home values in Greece have plummeted from pre-recession levels as banks are unwilling to offer mortgages, real estate agents said.

In and around Athens, many homes are being listed for half what they were worth in 2008 when the global recession hit Greece particularly hard. Adding to the problem, the government's assessments are what determines the taxes paid on the home -- not its market value -- so buyers who are actually able to take advantage of the bargain home prices are still paying taxes as if the home was worth far more than what they paid, Ekathimerini reported Saturday.

Lefteris Potamianos, vice president of the Athens-Attica Estate Agents' Association, says that "interest is minimal, while there may even be some more margin for negotiation," even if the home is already listed at half its 2008 value.

For example, a 230-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in central Athens that was listed at 80,000 euros ($106,450) in 2008 is now selling for 38,000 euros ($50,560). And as far as the government is concerned, the flat is worth 50,000 euros for tax purposes.

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