Finding affordable housing is not easy, especially in metropolitan areas. Finance Minister Lindner now wants to help with relaxations in the real estate transfer tax.
Berlin – Finance Minister Christian Lindner has appealed to the federal states to ensure a lower tax burden when buying real estate. "If it is up to me, the real estate transfer tax for owner-occupied housing in the countries should be reduced to zero," said the FDP politician on Tuesday of the German Press Agency. "I wanted to create the necessary legal leeway for the countries last year, but unfortunately the offer has not yet been accepted."
High interest rates and construction costs: real estate transfer tax as an additional burden
Anyone who wants to build a single-family home or buy an apartment today already has to deal with high interest rates and increased construction costs. However, owner-occupied housing must remain affordable for the broad middle of society, Lindner argued.
The Ministry of Finance had proposed to make the real estate transfer tax for owner-occupied housing more flexible, among other things, with an allowance. In addition, countries should be able to create reduced tax rates for owner-occupied residential property.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner has spoken out in favour of tax relief for the purchase of real estate. (Archive image) © Sven Hoppe/dpa
Real estate transfer tax: Countries against abolition
However, such a regulation requires the approval of the Federal Council, which, according to ministry sources, is currently being denied by most countries. The real estate transfer tax is one of the state taxes, so the revenue flows to the states. It accounts for up to 6.5 percent of the purchase price. On Tuesday (30 May), Savings Bank President Helmut Schleweis proposed a complete abolition of the real estate transfer tax on owner-occupied residential property. (ph/dpa)