Greece adds red tape to property transfers

Greece red tape worsens

Greece has increased the red tape concerning the sale of property despite promises from the left wing government to reduce bureaucratic procedures, according to a law published in the government gazzete.

The extra paperwork - and cost- is seen as weighing on the sector, industry experts say, after prices in the market plummetted by some 45% due to the country's eight year economic downturn.

Property sellers in Greece must now prove that they owe no money to the local council, in a decision that increases the total number of documents required for a property transfer to up to 23, depending on the asset.

The sale of a regular apartment in Greece often requires fewer documents, about 10, but this number is still far higher than in many other European countries. Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development show that an average of 4.7 documents are needed to complete a property transfer.