Like so many other countries, Greece’s economy shrank significantly in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed travel and tourism, one of Greece’s economic cornerstones. But those days are over; since the country reopened in mid-2021, analysts have been recording one positive index after the other, validating the European Commission’s bright predictions for GDP growth reaching 6% in 2022.
While these trends were to varying extents replicated in other countries as the world reawakened after repeated lockdowns, Greece’s real estate market was not only immune to Covid 19, but even went up a gear. According to Yiannos Trisokkas — Founder, CEO and Partner at Velment — interest in acquiring property in Greece was stimulating and continues to grow among Europeans choosing to relocate to Greece, mostly for lifestyle reasons, as well as among non-EU nationals who want to benefit from the country’s Residence by Investment program, in combination with a promising investment. In fact, more and more investors are recognizing the potential and currently favourable timing for purchasing property in Greece.
One of the main reasons why property acquisition in Greece in particularly appealing at this time, is the government’s recent decision to extend the suspension of 24% VAT, which previously applied to new properties for which the construction permit was issued after 1 January 2006. As it stands, and until the end of 2024, buyers will only pay the transfer tax of 3,09% of the property’s price, a relief that significantly reduces the buyer’s tax burden.
Construction and commercial revival
Compared with 2021, construction activity soared in 2022, as demand rose in the wake of tax incentives and economic growth trends. In particular, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data on construction activity, revealed that the number of new permits for the construction of business premises — both offices and shops — jumped by 52.2% and 68.3% respectively. Even the broader picture of commercial real estate showed similar trends, as demand for new premises rose alongside an interest in renewal of existing premises.
As always, location speaks loudest
What is not new and comes as no surprise, is the consistent popularity of properties in Athens, and even more so in the southern areas of the capital. Especially investors aiming to generate rental income are aware of the appeal of these beautiful as well as accessible locations in a city that attracts millions of short and longer-term visitors. In terms of the Islands, Crete tops the list of preferred investment destinations that provide good price margins, while the “hottest” islands of Mykonos and Santorini continue to claim the highest prices. However, it is safe to say that the property rental market as a whole is extremely healthy.
Consult an expert
The ‘how-to’ of buying property in Greece is pretty straightforward. However, foreigners are always advised to consult a property expert who will be able to lead you to what you’re looking for — or whatever comes closest to it — while accelerating the search and eliminating fruitless viewing. Instead, your needs and wishes will be recorded and matched with a shortlist that will interest you. Here it is crucial to balance patience and action: Don’t rush, but don’t delay. Be very clear about the minimum requirements and the desirable features. And once a place feels right, remember that it is likely to appeal to other buyers as well…
For further information regarding property sales, rentals, management as well as advisory services and Greece’s Golden Visa program, visit https://yiannostrisokkas.com/