This pragmatic guide to real estate in Greece takes the whole spectrum of tax and legal actions and issues that often arise, while you are ready to purchase, utilize, manage, resell, or develop a new property in Greece. These are applicable for both the citizens of Greece and foreign citizens of other European or non-European countries. Investors who have a keen interest in legal matters and tax matters in Greece face several challenges whose only aim is to initiate or facilitate entrepreneurship or business in the Greek market. To be more precise, it is the license for foreigners to get access to the markets of Greek.
Similar to a lot of other European countries, Greece too suffered a strong economic crisis in 2007. The real estate prices collapsed immediately, leading the market to lose over 45% of its original value in a few months.
The market for real estate in Greece is generally a hard and difficult one. This is exactly why tons of foreign investors hold huge interest in it. However, the major problems continue, with
- High investment rates
- Uncertain returns
- Lack of finance
- Lack of national cadastre
- Clear-cut regulations on building in several areas of the country
- Taxation of the entire real estate
- Unstable tax system
The shortcomings continue to be there in the basic framework in terms of property transactions. Currently, there are sub-sectors of the real estate market where foreign investors have shown interest. These are least impacted peripherally due to the shortage (the energy-efficient buildings, tourism real estate, and holiday homes) or due to the opportunities that have elevated because of another crisis (privatization).
Tourism real estate
In the tourism real estate sub-sector, the crisis hides tons of opportunities available for foreign investors. This is because several hotels are ready to buy at rates that five years ago from now would have been unbelievable. At the same time, the tourism of the country flows even in the worst phase of crises. However, these promises have relatively slow returns in the long run.
To curb the deficit of the country, back in the summer of 2011, the government of Greece decided to sell off a considerable number of state assets. This involved the real estate and landholdings referred to as a unique and important element at a national and European level. By a method of indication, the privatization program involves the development of the former international airport of Athens at Hellenikon. This site is relatively three times bigger than Monaco.
The privatization also involved the sale of several other properties including public housing, huge embassies (Present in Greece as well as abroad), hotels, etc. that are owned by the state in unique locations.
The sub-sector of holiday homes in the real estate market provides innumerable properties with great quality in unique and captivating locations. If there is depreciation in rates further, we expect it to be more positive in terms of correction.
Another major interest of foreign investors is these energy-efficient buildings. These properties are merged with energy-saving technologies and photovoltaic installations. Particularly, when holiday homes are integrated with photovoltaics, they can benefit from the incomes that are earned from installing photovoltaics. It covers all the rates of maintenance and owning a property. In many cases, they can even drive and attract extra income.
Granting a permit of residence in Greece with a minimum purchase value of the real estate of €250,000
The government of Greece started a process that is meant to gain residential permits permanently. Furthermore, you can renew it every five years, for the citizens of a third country who already possess real estate in Greece that costs up to €250.000 minimum. This is a friendly step for people who desire to own a beautiful property in beautiful Greece.
Can a foreigner purchase a property in Greece?
Generally, any foreigner can buy a property and become a legal homeowner in Greece. The government hardly applies any restrictions or limitations on such investments and purchases. However, on the contrary, nationals of non-European countries can gain huge advantages from the Greece Golden Visa. However, this is only applicable as long as their investment in real estate is minimal and up to €250,000.
With this, you can renew a five-year residence permit, and it extends to the buyer’s family (children, parents). After a total of 7 years of residence, the investor can apply for a Greek passport.