After a decade of recession and debt, Greeks are buying real estate “like there’s no tomorrow.”

Greek Real Estate Seen as Safer than Currencies or Commodities

Ten years of staggering debt and deep recession are giving way to a recovering economy and real estate market in Greece.

Antonis Markopoulos, co-founder and chief executive of Prosperty, a digital real estate platform that makes transactions faster, said, “All the macroeconomic figures are getting better and better.  And after not spending during the pandemic lockdown, people are seeing to put their money into a safe investment like real estate.”

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Markopoulos said that people are looking at real estate as a safer investment than currencies or commodities.  The head of Aegean sales with Greece Sotheby’s International Realty George Kasimis said that 2021 was the best year yet for Greece Sotheby’s.  We made four or five times more sales in 20220 than 2019, and this year is even better.  People are buying like there’s no tomorrow.”

Demand Strong from Locals and Foreigners

Apartments in the center of Athens, the capital and financial center of Greece, are seeing particularly high demand from locals and international investors alike.  Markopoulous said, “There is massive demand for short-term rentals, so the yield investors can get is extremely high.”

Prices for apartments in the city center range from 1,500 to 3,500 euros a square meter, or $158 to $368 a square foot.  Suburbs south of the capital are particularly appealing to international buyers.  Large resort developments, such as the planned site of the former Ellinikon International Airport, are most definitely contributing to the uptick in prices.

Prices in Athens saw an uptick of +9.8% during Q3 2021, according to data from the Bank of Greece.  Additionally, apartment prices countrywide increased +7.9% y/y.  The top end of the market, driven by local shipping industry wealth, is driving prices both in Athens and on the islands of Myknonos, Porto Heli, Tinos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Santorini.

Who Are the Buyers?

Local and foreign buyers, the most active among them come from the European Union, have their eyes peeled on new listings.  Also active are buyers from the Middle East, Turkey, Britain, China, Russia and the US.

Greece’s Golden Visa program accommodates buyers from outside the European Union with residency permits.  Applicants much invest a minimum of 250,000 euros ($283,000) in a property.  The permit may be renewed every five years for as long as the buyers own property in Greece.  Permits are also available to foreign who make a minimum of 400,000 euros, $452,000, financial investment in Greece.

Thus far in 2021, the Greek government has issued more than 9,300 residence permits, up from 8,575 in all of 2020, according to Enterprise Greece, the country’s official trade promotion agency.

Thanks to The New York Times.


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