Home sellers getting paid in banks
by Nikos Roussanoglou, ekathimerini.com, 5 December
The bulk of transactions concerning Greek real estate acquired by foreign nationals are conducted outside the domestic
banking system, making it even harder to get a clear idea of the situation in the Greek residential properties
market, particularly as regards holiday homes.
Estate agents who mainly work with foreign buyers say that the majority of sellers in agreed transactions ask for
the money to be deposited in banks abroad. Sellers are even prepared to travel abroad themselves, with contracts
in hand, in order to open a bank account.
"After the imposition of the capital controls [at end-June 2015], the cases of sellers requesting that money be
deposited abroad have multiplied. Of course such transactions are entirely legitimate and taxed in Greece, but
the revenues remain in other countries," says Yiannis Ploumis, general director at the Ploumis-Sotiropoulos estate
agency, which specializes in the luxury property market. That way, the funds paid by foreign property buyers do
not enter the Greek credit system or the local economy in general.
This trend concerns virtually the entire construction sector, as well as private owners, especially those selling
houses of significant value, as transactions of 50,000-100,000 euros hardly ever lead sellers to open a new bank