The antiparochi system was constituted with a 1959 law according to which a landowner could turn over the plot to a constructor, usually a small scale construction company, in order to build a multi-storey apartment block receiving in exchange an agreed number of apartments in the finished building.
Antiparochi became the synonym of Reconstruction Era of postwar Greece and the Athenian polykatoikia- 90% of them were built with the system of antiparochi. The great interior migration wave plus the casualties of the war, counting thousands of demolished houses, urged for a fast mass housing program.

Antiparochi was a kind of a social welfare policy of the State, which couldn’t afford to finance directly a social housing program   so it invested in this type of semi-informal urbanism, creating favorable conditions for the unplanned expansion of the city. This was also a State directive to incentivize and promote the construction sector as its basic productive activity that in the following decades leveraged the Greek economy.  Tolerant as it was with illegal building, and very accommodating with building quality controls, the Greek state furthered primed new constructions imposing a high tax on property transfers as an anti-incentive to buying existing buildings.

The mechanisms of capitalizing on land were to raise the floor area ratio thus creating surplus value out of the existing land, against the urban space quality and public space. There were special tax incentives for antiparochi that enabled its wide spread out – it was almost free of tax for the land- owner, who had just to pay a very small fee (around 3000 euro).

In the postwar period and until 1967, it can be assumed that antiparochi was the only funding mechanism of the construction sector, which outgrew almost independently of credit system.  During the dictatorship there were some more favorable terms for housing bank loans, but just afterwards the loans’ number fell again.  Until 1979 housing bank loans comprised just the 16% of the gross capital formation on housing. It was just after 1997 when credit limits alleviated and the market was liberated, triggering the housing bubble that followed that housing loans increased. However, even in the peak of bank housing transactions, on 2006, housing bank loans were just the 34% of gross domestic product which is half of this  in other EU countries.

After 2006 the law on antiparochi changed and now the owner of the land has to pay a tax of 18% on the value of the apartments he receives as antiparochi, thus putting an end to the golden era of antiparochi.
Siomopoulos, Ioannis (2007), A tax puts an end to antiparochi (Φόρος βάζει τέλος στην αντιπαροχή), TO VIMA (TO BHMA)

Since then, and amplified by the crisis, there is a downturn in antiparochi transactions. More construction companies prefer to buy the land plot, instead of exchanging it, in orader to have an absolute control of the overall construction, though the final price turns out to be a little higher and a loan is unavoidable.
Antiparochi loses ground (Χάνει έδαφος η αντιπαροχή ), (2007),, last accessed 25/08/2016



About Κ.Θ.

Urban narratives, theory and research