Greece’s Golden Visa, introduced in April 2013, currently offers a five-year residency permit to buyers from outside of the EU, in exchange for a minimum investment of €250,000. The permit, renewable while the owner possesses the property, could also be extended to members of the buyer’s family.
It joined a similar wave of schemes in struggling European property markets, each designed to stimulate investment. Greece has always enjoyed popularity among international visitosr thanks to its beautiful landscapes, Mediterranean climate and ancient heritage. Since the Golden Visa was introduced, demand has notably increased, driven by the offer of residency as well as the country’s low property prices.
According to figures from the Bank of Greece (reported by Athens daily newspaper ekathimerini), overseas investment in Greek real estate doubled in the first half of 2014 year-on-year to €117.4 million.
Greece also climbed up one place in TheMoveChannel.com’s chart in October to become the 12th most popular country on the site. In April 2014, Greece entered the top 10 countries for the first time in seven months, as the country’s share of property enquiries on the portal trebled in Q1 2014.
Realtor.com has also seen Greece enter its top 10 most searched-for countries for the first time.
“Many Greek real estate agents, including us, have experienced a clearly noticeable rise in interest in Greek property from buyers from non-EU countries, like Russia, Isreal, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon etc.,” Kay Stoeffler of Buy and Sell Real Estate Agency in Crete tells TheMoveChannel.com.
However, some “faced difficulties” with “complicated bureacracy”, the agency explains: “That is why the Greek Government is now bringing out a new improved legislation to smooth out any anomalies that appeared with the application of the previous law.”
The amendments, which are expected to be implemented by the end of 2014, will give investors the chance and legal right to apply for a long-term residency permit as well as citizenship.
“Investors will now be able to bring with them not only their spouse and children, but also their parents,” adds Stoeffler. “This right will be also given to the parents of the wife or husband, who is not included in the purchase contract.”
With prices still affordable and interest already climbing, Stoeffler predicts that the new law is expected to boost demand even further:
“We believe, that the improved law will have a great, positive impact and cause a breakthrough for the Greek real estate market by making it even easier and more interesting for foreigners to buy highly attractive Greek real estate.”
Photo credit: Adam Balch
Source: The Movechannel