Property prices in Greece are recovering from their debt-crisis depths with the help of government investment programs. Even still, Greek prices are a bargain.
Government Policies Help Greek Real Estate Market
In 2013, the Greek government launched its residency-by-investment program, known as the Golden Visa, to encourage foreign buyers to buy in Greece. The Golden Visa ties a residency visa to a 250,000-euro or $293,000 property investment or a 400,000-euro or $470,000 financial investment in Greece.
In 2019, Greek policymakers doubled down on another boost to the country’s property market. This time policymakers targeted high-net worth buyers and retirees. Investors who essentially “park” 500,000-euros or $586,000 in Greece will, in return, get a Greek tax residency. This Greek tax residency offers investors a 100,000-euro or $117,000 annual flat tax on worldwide income from any of the 57 countries with which the Greek government has a tax treaty.
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Greek Real Estate Market Nearing Full Recovery
Greece’s debt crisis during the 2010’s nearly bankrupted the country. Its real estate market was devastated. The two above-mentioned government-initiated programs helped turn the Greek real estate market around.
According to Alexandra Sekouri, founder of the Athens real estate advisory group Lithos Investment and a vice president of the Hellenic Association of Realtors, ”There’s almost a total market recovery from that loss.”
The latest glitch, pandemic lockdowns in 2020, froze the markets. Sekouri said, based on data from the Bank of Greece, real estate transactions plummeted nearly 50% from 2019 to 2020 and Golden Visa program revenues dropped nearly 75% in 2020.
The good news for pre-pandemic residential investors in Greece is that border re-openings in 2021 buoyed prices as foreign buyers returned in droves. Now, because inventory dried up quickly from pent-up demand, prices in the “most expensive parts of Athens, Kolonaki, Parliament and the Athens Riviera” are over $1,100/square foot and up to $2,700/square foot in luxury seaside villas and apartments.
Real Estate in Greece Still Retains its Comparative Bargain Status
Even with the recovery of Greece’s real estate market, Greek residential properties remain a bargain. Giorgos Gavrilidis, co-founder and CEO with Elxis at Home in Greece, a real estate agency and property law firm with offices in Greece and the Netherlands, said, “Property in the south of France costs 10 times more than coastal Greece.”
According to a 2021 Ernst & Young report on investment in Europe, “…Greece ranks – for the first time – among the 10 most attractive destinations for foreign investment, with 10% of survey respondents mentioning Greece among the three most attractive countries for 2021.”
To make property investments in Greece even more attractive beyond its spectacular Aegean coastline, culture and food, Microsoft recently announced it would build a European cloud-services hub in Greece.
Thanks to The New York Times and MansionGlobal.