Dhe dream of having your own four walls is widespread. But in Germany only about every second person lives in a house that belongs to him. Because real estate prices have risen, especially in large cities, housing issues have become a factor in election campaigns. The SPD wants to tax the increase in value of land more heavily and therefore brings an increase in land value tax into play.
The SPD co-chair, Norbert Walter-Borjans, told the F.A.Z. that municipalities can use this tax to participate in enormous random profits that arise when they "make construction land out of commercial areas, agricultural land or anything with a rededication". At the same time, he talks about making living cheaper – "not only for tenants, but also for people who live in their own four walls". So far, many taxes and duties have made housing more expensive, as this overview shows.
What tax does the property buyer pay?
First, real estate transfer tax is due. However, this does not go to the municipality, whose income Walter-Borjans wants to increase, but to the federal state, which decides the amount of the tax. In Bavaria and Saxony it is 3.5 percent of the purchase price, elsewhere more. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg, Thuringia and the Saarland, the tax rate is 6.5 percent. The income from this almost tripled from around 5 billion euros in 2010 to around 14 billion euros in 2018. The state also receives money if the seller has owned the property for less than ten years and has not lived there to a certain extent: the seller then has to pay income tax on the profit from the real estate business.
Are there any more costs?
In addition to the real estate transfer tax, notary fees of around one percent of the purchase price are payable. About 0.5 percent is due for entry in the land registry. A broker receives up to 7.15 percent of the purchase price for the brokerage of a property, depending on the state. In most federal states, buyers and sellers share the broker bill. Taxes and ancillary costs of buying a house increase up to 15 percent of the purchase price.
How can you save money when buying a house?
Those who can avoid the broker. If you build a house yourself, you usually pay the real estate transfer tax only for the property. The new owner should make sure that the purchase of the property has nothing to do with the construction of the house: So the seller should not agree with the construction company. If the tax office assumes that both processes belong together, it also demands real estate transfer tax for building a house.
What taxes do I have to own?
Property tax is payable for each piece of land: the amount of the property is determined by the property value, the tax rate and, above all, the rate of increase, which each municipality determines itself. The community receives the income from it. In 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Office, the municipalities achieved the highest property tax income since 1991 with around 14.2 billion euros. Of this, 13.8 billion euros are attributable to property tax B for built-up and buildable land and 400 million euros to property tax A for agricultural areas. A landlord can pass these expenses on to the tenant with the service charge settlement. Therefore, property tax is a cost block of housing expenses.
. (tagsToTranslate) Norbert Walter-Borjans (t) SPD (t) F.A.Z. (t) property purchase (t) land ownership (t) North Rhine-Westphalia (t) Bavaria