As the Daily Mail reports, In Spain, as in Britain, the buyer must pay sales tax on a property. This is known as Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales (ITP). It is paid as a percentage of the value of the house. The exact figure varies depending on what type of property is being bought and where it is in the country.
But since the Spanish property market crashed, the amount of this tax flowing into the Government’s coffers has dwindled.
Now the tax authorities are combing through home sales dating back over the past four years and comparing the declared sales price to what they believe the real value is. If the house’s sale price does not match with the taxman’s own official valuation of the property, the owner is asked to pay the difference in stamp duty.
For uber-wealthy Russians, "an apartment in Miami, even the most glorious beachfront apartment, is not a priority right now," warns one real estate attorney, as The New York Observer reports, Russian buyers no longer felt they had the liquid assets to carry on with the transaction and were looking to break closed real estate contracts.
"Your average Russian buyer tends to be someone who works in the $5, $10, $15 million range. Obviously very wealthy people, but also people who are much more likely to feel a pinch given the economic situation and the exchange rate," and with maintenance costs sky-high, the trophy apartments have shifted from 'safe-deposit-boxes' out of reach of sanctions to burdensome drains.
Over two decades ago, George Soros took on the Bank of England, and won.
Just before lunch local time, the Swiss National Bank took on virtually every single macro hedge fund, the vast majority of which were short the Swiss Franc and crushed them, when it announced, first, that it would go further into NIRP, pushing its interest rate on deposit balances even more negative from -0.25% to -0.75%, a move which in itself would have been unprecedented and, second, announcing that the 1.20 EURCHF floor it had instituted in September 2011, the day gold hit its all time nominal high, was no more.
What happened next was truly shock and awe as algo after algo saw their EURCHF 1.1999 stops hit, and moments thereafter the EURCHF pair crashed to less then 0.75, margining out virtuallyevery single long EURCHF position, before finally rebounding to a level just above 1.00, which is where it was trading just before the SNB instituted the currency floor over three years ago.
Here is the full SNB press release for more ...