The basic steps that need to be followed for the acquisition of real estate property in Greece are:
1. Search at the Registry of Mortgages/Land Registry
Based on the contract deed (title) held by the vendor, a lawyer appointed by the purchaser conducts a search at the Registry of Mortgages/Land Registry in order to secure that:
- The vendor is the uncontested owner of the property.
- The property is free from any liens.
2. Check Conducted by a Civil Engineer
It is advisable that a civil engineer
a) checks if the property complies with local municipal plans and government regulations
b) drafts a land drawing to confirm the size and the property’s topographical boundaries.
3. Issuance of a Tax Registration Number (AFM)
A tax registration number must be issued for the purchaser to be able to proceed with any transaction. The tax registration number is applied for and issued by the competent Tax Authorities. A lawyer provided with an appropriate Power of Attorney by the purchaser may proceed with such issuance on behalf of the latter.
4. Payment of the Transfer Tax
- The applicable transfer tax must be paid to the local tax authorities by the purchaser prior to the execution of the contract. (see below under section B for further details)
- In case of an acquisition of an apartment for which the construction permit was issued after 01.01.2006 VAT of 23% might be applicable.
5. Evidencing the Source of the Purchase Price
If the purchase price is paid from income acquired outside Greece, then its transfer to Greece needs to be evidenced through bank documents etc.
6. Execution of the Contract
Such type of contract needs to be executed before a notary public.
7. Registering the Transfer with the Registry of Mortgages / Land Registry
The title of the property needs to be registered in the purchaser’s name by obtaining the relevant certificate from the Registry of Mortgages and/or Land Registry.
The purchaser has to cover the following costs to complete the acquisition transaction:
- Transfer Tax: This is payable to the local tax authority and amounts 7 or 9% for the value up to 15.000 Euro plus 9 or 11 % for the value above 15.000 Euro.
Please note that this is currently under revision.
- Lawyer’s Fees: subject to agreement usually depending on the selling price (currently 1-2%).
- Notary public’s Fees: approximately 1,5-2% on the value of the property (currently under revision)
- Municipality Tax: This amounts to 3% of the above transfer tax and is also payable to the local tax authority.
- Registry of Mortgages: The fee payable to the Registry of Mortgages amounts to approximately 0.5 % of the property value.
In general, European Union nationals can freely purchase property in Greece. There are, however, restrictions for non-EU nationals related to areas in Greece which qualify as “frontier regions deemed of military importance”. Property in such areas may only be acquired once non-EU nationals have applied for and received official permission.
As at January 2013