Greek govt confiscates 10,000 properties due to unpaid taxes

Greece state confiscating homes

More than 10,000 real estate assets were taken over by the Greek government in 2016, showing a 75% jump from recent years, due to taxpayers being unable to meet their tax obligations, according to industry data.

The growing supply of properties, mostly apartments, that will eventually be sold is likely keep up downward pressure on home prices this year, as predicted recently by the Bank of Greece, the country's central bank, in its annual report.

Figures presented by daily Kathimerini, citing Alpha Astika Akinita, showed that 10,500 properties were confiscated by the state versus some 6,000 in 2013.

The government has ended up with these assets as taxpayers struggle to keep up with higher tax obligations amid the austerity drive dictated by the country's lenders - the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. It is not clear how or when Greek authorities will offload these assets to bump up budget revenues.

Industry officials expect rising confiscation numbers to continue this year as high unemployment levels remain steady and recently introduced taxes remain in place.