In Greece it can take between 10 days and up to 2.5 years to transcribe a property purchase and sale contract, and that depends on the specific mortgage, or cadastral office.

In Maroussi the leafy middle class suburb of northern Athens the time required can be just 10 days, in Athens’ city center it may take up to four months, while in the Zografou, one of the most populated suburbs in Athens, reports to Kathimerini say the process can tale up to 2.5 years.

Property market operators say this is a chronic challenge in the real estate market, that creates serious problems in transactions, especially if, as they often do, require bank loans.

“To approve a housing loan, the bank asks for the relevant certificate from the relevant land registry office, or mortgage office. But what seller can wait months or even more than a year for the buyer to obtain a mortgage loan and complete the purchase of the property?” said Lena Kontogeorgou, the vice president of the Athens Notaries Association.

The time it takes to complete a purchase and sale varies depending on the operating status of the office in question, whether it is still operating as a mortgage office, or is in the process of becoming a land registry office.

Notaries in Attica estimate that it takes about six months to transfer the title to the new owner of the property. Buyers cannot, if they are seeking a loan, complete their payment to the seller and fully secure their rights to the property, despite the fact that they are compelled to pay taxes for it and all the other expenses that accompany the ownership.

Another factor adding to delays is the volume of transactions as a consequence of the 400 mortgage offices gradually being transformed into cadastral offices of the National Cadastre, while undergoing digital transformation.