The number of buyers coming from abroad for the acquisition and development of real estate in Greece showed an annual increase of 130 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest data published by the Bank of Greece.
Long popular with British overseas property investors, Greece is now attracting many others from abroad.
This year, up to June 4, 645 new ‘Golden Visas’ have already been issued to non-EU investors. At this rate by the end of the year some 1,550 residence permits will have been issued to investors from abroad, up from last year’s 1,400 Golden Visas.
In total, since the start of this program in mid-2013, Greece has issued 4,537 such residence permits, with 60 per cent of them (2,757) concerning Chinese investors who continue to be the most active.
The overall increase in buyers from abroad in the Greek market is a clear indication that this year foreign investors will be at the forefront once more of boosting demand for property in Greece, despite a small swing by some Greeks in favor of buying a house.
If the existing pace of property purchases continues throughout 2019, it is possible the year will end with a total inflow of funds from abroad coming to 3 billion euros, another historic high for Greek realty.
In 2018, the amount of money placed in the local property market rose 172 per cent from 2017, to reach about 1.3 billion euros. Almost half of that, or 655 million euros, concerned property purchases from abroad by foreign investors, while the rest regarded investment moves, such as the development and reconstruction of existing properties. In 2017, an estimated 300 million euros came into Greece for the acquisition of properties.
Real estate market professionals say that the main factors behind this massive spike in interest in Greek realty – besides a sense of financial stability after the end of the bailouts – are the expectation of considerable returns from the utilisation of properties for short-term rentals and the success of the residence permit concession program for non-European Union citizens buying property assets of at least 250,000 euros.
Whatever the reasons, it seems that the Greek property market, both on the mainland and the islands, is very much back.