Everything you need to know when buying a house in Greece
A sunny Mediterranean country, rich in historical and cultural treasures, Greece is an irresistible destination for many tourists, travelers and expats. It is a country many people dream about, the vibrant life in Athens, Thessaloniki or on the Greek islands. Maybe it's time to make your dreams come true!
About 75% of Greeks fully own their homes. This is partly due to their long and strong family branches, so homes are often inherited. But... don't worry, there are still plenty of homes on the market, so you can create your own Greek paradise.
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What’s the property market like in Greece?
It's no secret that the Greek economy has struggled in recent years.
After a major crash in 2009, the country has struggled to regain its footing. This, along with the global coronavirus crisis, has affected the housing market. These are advantages; homes aren’t that expensive anymore - however, this opportunity comes with a degree of risk.
After impressive growth in 2019, house prices in Greece are on the rise again. Urban areas of the country saw a 3.38% price increase in 2020. Experts believe the value of the property market will recover as the country recovers from the pandemic.
Can foreigners buy property in Greece?
EU residents will face almost no restrictions when purchasing real estate in Greece. On the other hand, non-EU residents must justify several things; what is their connection with the country and the intention of them buying the property. The application is made to the Ministry of National Defense.
Can I buy property in Greece and get residency?
One of the reasons of buying real estate in Greece is the Golden Visa system. The Golden Visa system ensures that a five-year residence permit is granted to foreigners who invest money in a real estate property. There are a few rules attached to this; you must spend a minimum of €250,000 on your property, you may not have a criminal record, you must have a good health insurance et cetera.
You do not have to live in the home you bought and may choose to rent it out. If you do choose to reside in the purchased property, you may apply for citizenship once you have lived here for 7 years.
When a Golden Visa has been granted to an individual, his/her family members may legally live and work in Greece.
How much does it cost to buy property in Greece?
The cost of real estate in Greece depends largely on the type of property you want to buy and its location. However, you can find the average prices of properties for sale in the most popular parts of the country below:
In Athens, you will pay €200,000 to €400,000 for an apartment and at least €1,000,000 for a detached house. In Thessaloniki, Khalkidhiki, and Crete you pay at least € 70,000 for an apartment, however these cities differ in the average price for a detached house. In Thessaloniki you pay at least € 100,000, for Khalkidhiki around € 150,000 and in Crete around € 350,000.
In Corfu you will pay between € 100.000,- and € 200.000,- for an apartment and at least € 300.000,- for a detached house.
The best places to own real estate in Greece
In Greece, you have plenty of choices when it comes to location. There's something for everyone; from bustling cities and rural hideaways to tiny fishing villages and picturesque seaside resorts.
Corfu is a mega popular destination for British expats. The island has an old town, which belongs to the UNESCO heritage list, beautiful sandy coves, and lively tourist areas.
Kefalonia is a beautiful island, it is slightly quieter than Corfu; with charming fishing villages, hiking trails and sparkling turquoise waters. It is a great destination for those who are retired or looking for a quieter life.
Zakynthos, one of the Ionian Islands, has it all: beautiful beaches, historic castles, hilltop villages, family-friendly resorts, and party hotspots.
The town of Chania on the island of Crete is a popular spot for buyers from the UK. It is known for its safety, sunny climate and choice of bustling cities, art communities and beautiful mountain villages.
The vacation hotspot of Rhodes has a beautifully preserved medieval old town, lively seaside village and good air routes to the UK and Europe. Rhodes is a great place to buy property, mainly vacation homes. However, it can be more expensive than other countries.
Peloponnese is a large and central region in Greece, which is full of history. It's also a great place for foodies, thanks to the wide range of exceptional local products - including the famous Kalamata olives.
With year-round entertainment and facilities, Athens is the historic capital of Greece. Ideal for lovers of vibrant city life. Athens has good flight connections, with regular direct flights to the Benelux. Generally, Athens is not cheap, when buying property, you will find that an apartment is the most convenient, affordable, and common option.
How do I choose the right property?
Villas are among the most popular types of real estate in Greece. But it's good to remember that there are always multiple options that may suit you better and cost less in the long run.
Apartments are significantly cheaper to purchase and maintain and may have beautiful ocean views and beach access, for example.
There is no type of property you cannot find in Greece. Modern houses, historic villas, townhouses, apartments, and plots are all available depending on where you look.
Condition of the property
Realistically, buying a home in Greece should be approached with caution. Because of the historical background of many homes, they may need modernization or rigorous maintenance - essential work that may have been neglected after the economic crash.
It is always smart to take your own inspector with you as you walk through the house. This will give you a better idea of any problems or needed maintenance.
It is certainly possible to find well-maintained homes in Greece, but it is always a good idea to do some research.