by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- One in two Greeks today considers renting better than owing properties due to the taxation imposed during the eight year debt crisis, according to a survey released by the Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA) of real estate owners.
The percentage of Greeks who own real estate dropped from 81.6 percent in 2006 to 73.9 percent in 2018, POMIDA President Stratos Paradias said during a conference held in Athens this weekend.
The 49 percent of respondents believe that it is better on financial terms to lease a house nowadays, due to the burden of property taxes which have doubled in recent years, while 42 percent still prefer owing their apartment.
Three out of ten participants in the survey said they were willing to sell their properties even at a low price and then become renters, since the average rent for a home in Greece in recent years has dropped by 40 percent.
Only 20.3 percent of Greeks today is willing to buy property. In 2009 the percentage stood at 53.5 percent.
The 38.3 percent of respondents said they will struggle to pay their property taxes this year. The 25.4 percent replied they will definitely not be able to do it, since due to prolonged austerity bank deposits which were used to pay taxes so far have also ran out.
The 28.7 percent of home owners still has to pay mortgage and 24 percent of these owners cannot meet their obligations.
One in two Greeks said that although property ownership has become a liability for Greeks, they believe that the interest of foreign investors, in particular for properties on the islands and seaside areas, will increase in the next few years.