mygoldenvisa logo
Guides
April 1, 2024
9 min

Real Estate Investment in Greece: Everything You Need to Know as an Investor

Brittany Collins

Greece’s real estate sector has experienced significant growth and presents numerous prospects for investors. To participate in the Golden Visa program, investors purchase real estate that costs at least €250,000.

In this guide, we’ll explore the Greek property market and legal complexities to identify potential investment opportunities for foreign investors, including through the Golden Visa program and across prime locations in popular tourist destinations as well as emerging hotspots.

Learn how foreign investors can benefit from the Golden Visa program by obtaining residency through investment.

Additionally, we’ll examine infrastructure considerations that impact rental demand and explore essential amenities required for successful short-term rentals. You’ll gain insights into choosing suitable property types based on your target market to maximise returns on your investments.

Real Estate Investment in Greece: Everything You Need to Know as an Investor

Real Estate Investment in Greece: Everything You Need to Know as an Investor

Benefits of real estate investment in Greece

Obtaining a Greek residence permit. The Greek government also offers a Golden Visa Program, which grants residency permits to foreign buyers who invest in real estate. This program is an excellent option for those seeking Greek citizenship and the ability to travel freely throughout the EU.

Additional income. Investing in real estate in Greece offers the opportunity to generate income through rental income or resale. Property prices in Greece can vary significantly depending on the location and condition of the property. High property taxes can also be a concern for property owners, especially in central Athens.

In actuality, this was its most successful quarter since Q4 2006.

Greek real estate costs are steadily rising as a result of rising overseas demand and the nation’s ongoing economic expansion. According to the Bank of Greece, house prices increased significantly in urban regions of Greece during the year to Q3 2022, rising by 11,32% after yearly rises of 10,26% in Q2 2022.

Real estate price growth in the major Greece cities

Region

Annual house price growth in Q3 2022

Athens

13,02%

Thessaloniki

11,07%

Other cities

9,39%

Best areas to invest in real estate in Greece

Real estate prices in Greece have been rising for the past five years. Still, Greek properties are cheaper than in other Mediterranean countries, such as France, Italy and Malta.

Athens is attractive to investors because it is not subject to seasonality. The average price of real estate in Athens depends on the region. Residential prices in the southern areas are the most expensive because the apartments and houses are closer to the coastline.

The cost of properties away from the sea is cheaper, but they may not be in high demand. If you want a good money return, you might consider apartments or houses attractive to tourists.

Greek villas vary in price, but the average cost is still lower than in other EU countries. For example, a villa on the seafront in Crete costs €800,000 for 80 m². The same property located in Santorini — €500,000 for 87 m².

Cost of Properties in Greece by Region in Q1 2023

Region

Price per m²

Athens, Central

€1,809

Athens, North

€2,800

Athens, South

€3,368

Athens, West

€1,635

Athens, East

€1,667

Piraeus

€1,833

Thessaloniki

€2,000

Corfu

€1,872

Lefkada

€2,118

Greece Residence Permit by Property Purchase

Buying real estate in Greece is the most popular option for residency by investment. Investors get a residence permit within 2—6 months after submitting documents. There is no need to pass a Greek language proficiency test or live in the country permanently.

Cost of real estate for obtaining Greece residency. To participate in the Golden Visa program, investors purchase real estate that costs at least €250,000.

Starting August 1st, 2023, the minimum value of property required for obtaining a Greece residency by investment will increase from €250,000 to €500,000.

The modifications will impact 36 municipalities in:

  • Athens,

  • Thessaloniki,

  • Mykonos,

  • Santorini.

To obtain a Greece Investor Visa, an investor can presently acquire a property for €250,000 in any region of the country. This is one of the most affordable investment thresholds among Europe’s well-known residency-by-investment programs.

Requirements for the main applicant and family members. Investors can apply to participate in the program alone or with immediate family members. The property can be owned by a single investor or a married couple.

Requirements for the main applicant:

  • over 18 years old;

  • a clean police record;

  • medical insurance for the whole family that is valid in Greece and covers at least €30,000;

  • a Greek bank account.

A spouse, children under the age of 21, and parents of both spouses can also apply for a Greek residence permit with the main applicant. Family members can submit documents for the residence permit with the main applicant or separately.

Investment in real estate to get Greece Golden Visa

By investing in Greek real estate, foreign buyers can obtain a residence permit and even Greek citizenship

Process of Buying Property in Greece

1

1 week

Registration of a taxpayer number in Greece

A taxpayer number is required for transactions, such as a purchase of the real estate. To get it, you need to contact the Greek tax office. The applicant receives a unique nine-digit number used when making payments and paying taxes.

2

2 week

Opening an account in a Greek bank

A Greek bank account is needed to buy real estate and pay taxes. To open an account, a personal presence is required.

3

2 weeks

Verification of the clean title to the real estate

Verifying the real estate clean title is carried out in the Land Registry or the Greek Cadastre at the place of property registration.

4

1 week

Conclusion of a sale agreement

The property’s reservation is possible while the buyer passes the Customer Due Diligence at a bank and opens an account. After that, you need a purchase and sale agreement, which is signed in the presence of a notary. The signed sale and purchase agreement is registered in the Land Registry.

5

1 months

Registration of a new owner

The Land Registry issues a certificate of ownership in the new owner’s name. In case of participation in Greece Golden Visa program, the investor submits a certificate of ownership to the migration service with an application for a resident permit.

Maintaining of Real Estate in Greece

The cost of utilities in Greece for an apartment of 80 m² is from €100 per month. It includes the cost of electricity, water, heating, and garbage disposal.

Taxes. The annual property tax ENFIA is charged at €0.001 to €13 per square metre. The calculation considers the year of construction of the property, location and the region’s market prices per square metre. Depending on the geographical location, the owner pays the annual municipal tax 0.025—0.035%.

Rental income is taxed on a progressive scale.

Tax rates on rental income in Greece

Annual rental income

Tax rate

Up to €12,000

15%

€12,001 to €35,000

35%

Above €35,001

45%

Property Taxes and Greece Government Measures to Boost Property Market

In addition to the Golden Visa programme, a number of initiatives unveiled by Greek government recently have boosted the property market:

Suspension of VAT payments on new building permits. VAT payments for unsold houses and new building licences constructed after January 1, 2006 will no longer be required, Mitsotakis declared in October 2019. Initial suspension dates are December 12, 2019, to December 31, 2023. However, Mitsotakis announced in September 2022 that the tax relief will be extended for an additional year, till the end of 2024.

Reduction of the single property tax — ENFIA. The property tax for individuals was reduced in 2019:

  • 30% reduction for properties valued up to €60,000;

  • 27% for those valued up to €70,000; 25% for those valued up to €80,000;

  • 20% for those valued up to €1 million;

  • and 10% for properties valued more than €1 million.

Real estate tax relief. In 2020, the government will have abolished real estate taxes on 26 islands.

Transfer tax. When you buy a property in Greece, you must pay a transfer tax. The tax rate is 3,09% of the taxable value of the real estate. The tax amount depends on your property location, size, and technical specification.

Property tax is paid in Greece once a year. It consists of a main and an additional part. The amount of tax varies for cities and districts. If we consider the coast, you will have to pay an average of €10—12 per year for 1 m².

Municipal taxes. They usually amount to 0.025—0.035% of the cadastral cost of the property. You do not need to pay them separately as they are included in the electricity bills.

Rental tax. If you decide to rent your property out, you will have to pay tax on the rental income. There are progressive tax rates for individuals that depend on income:

  • 15% on a rental amount of up to €12,000;

  • 35% on €12,000 to €35,000;

  • 45% on more than €35,000.

When investing in Greek real estate, it is essential to comprehend the legal elements that come into play. In addition to working with a reliable agent, you’ll need both a lawyer and notary when completing any property transaction within Greece. They will ensure all legal aspects are handled correctly while also registering your contract at the Land Registry. This step is essential since unregistered contracts may lead to issues later down the line.

A local lawyer can help you navigate complex regulations and requirements set by the Greek government for foreign investors. Their expertise will be invaluable during negotiations with sellers or developers, safeguarding your interests throughout the process.

Notaries in Greece play an essential role in real estate transactions by drafting and authenticating contracts between buyers and sellers.

They verify that both parties have met their obligations before finalising any agreements, including payment terms, transfer fees, and other related expenses — ensuring transparency throughout each stage of buying property in Greece.

Choosing Property Types Based on Target Market

Different travellers have varying accommodation preferences based on factors such as budget, group size, and desired experience. Therefore, selecting an appropriate type of property is crucial in maximising returns from investments.

Villas often attract higher-end clientele seeking privacy and luxury amenities. They can generate substantial rental income during peak seasons but may require a more significant initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs.

Apartments are generally more affordable to purchase and maintain while still offering attractive rental yields due to their appeal among various traveller demographics.

Greece residence permit by real estate investment

Local realtors provide valuable insights into the best property types for different markets within Greece

Infrastructure Considerations

One factor that can heavily influence an investment decision is the availability of transportation options for potential renters. In this section, we’ll discuss why proximity to airports and ferry ports is essential and how it impacts rental demand.

A property with convenient transport links will be more appealing to tourists who want a hassle-free travel experience. Ensure that your investment property is located near major airports or ferry ports, allowing guests easy access during their stay. For example, properties on islands like Mykonos or Santorini should ideally be within a short drive from their respective airports.

Transportation convenience is a major factor in attracting renters, particularly during peak holiday times when demand for lodging is high.

Here are some points highlighting its importance:

  1. Better accessibility. Tourists prefer locations where they can easily reach popular attractions without spending too much time travelling.

  2. Increase in occupancy rates. Properties with good transport connections tend to have higher occupancy rates as they cater better to travellers' needs.

  3. Potential for higher rental income. As demand increases due to better connectivity, you may be able to charge premium prices for your well-located property.

To sum up, considering infrastructure when selecting an investment property in Greece ensures maximum returns by making it more appealing to potential renters. Keep these factors in mind while exploring the Greek real estate market. With the Greek economy on the rise, buying real estate in Greece offers a great opportunity for foreign investors.

Considering the infrastructure is essential to successful real estate investment in Greece, it is important to assess the proximity of airports and ferry ports as well as their impact on rental demand. Additionally, amenities such as nearby attractions and essential facilities should also be taken into account when planning a profitable venture.

Amenities for Successful Rental Properties

By understanding the needs and preferences of tourists, you can tailor your investment property accordingly, ensuring it attracts maximum occupancy rates throughout the year.

Nearby attractions that drive tourist interest. Proximity to beaches, restaurants, shopping centers, cultural sites, and other attractions is a significant factor in attracting tourists to your rental property. Research local points of interest and choose properties located within easy access of these hotspots. For example, investing in a villa near ancient ruins or an apartment close to bustling nightlife areas can help generate consistent rental income from foreign visitors eager to experience all that Greece has to offer.

Essential facilities for short-term rentals:

  • Wi-Fi — high-speed internet access is crucial for modern travellers who want to stay connected during their vacations.

  • air conditioning — given Greece’s warm climate during peak travel seasons, air conditioning is a must-have feature for any successful rental property.

  • fully-equipped kitchen— providing guests with cooking facilities allows them more flexibility when planning meals and helps attract longer-term stays from those looking for self-catering accommodations.

  • parking space — if your target audience includes families or groups travelling by car, offering secure parking options on-site can be a valuable selling point.

Incorporating these features into your Greek real estate investment plan can make the property more attractive to potential renters and help generate revenue from the venture.

It’s essential to weigh up all the alternatives prior to investing in a rental property, as having suitable amenities can be crucial for success. Realising which kinds of assets are most suitable for diverse target audiences can help you acquire the highest yields and guarantee that your investment is a successful one.

Conclusion

Real estate in Greece offers a lucrative investment opportunity for the affluent. By navigating the Greek real estate market, understanding legal aspects of property investment, and taking advantage of the benefits of the Golden Visa program, investors can make informed decisions to maximise their returns.

Property prices in Greece are relatively low compared to other European countries, making it an attractive option for those looking to buy property. The Greek islands, in particular, are popular among foreign investors due to their stunning natural beauty and potential for generating rental income.

Awareness of legal ramifications concerning real estate investments in Greece is essential for safeguarding one’s capital and holding all involved parties liable. Moving on from there, the Golden Visa Program offers a number of benefits for those who meet certain requirements such as residency through investment.

When selecting prime locations for investment properties, it’s important to consider the infrastructure and amenities that will attract tourists. Additionally, choosing property types based on target markets such as villas or apartments can also impact rental demand.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are the Benefits of Investing in Real Estate in Greece?

    Investing in Greek real estate offers several advantages, including attractive property prices, a strong tourism industry driving rental demand, potential for capital appreciation, and eligibility for the Golden Visa program, which grants residency rights to investors and their families.

  • What Types of Properties Can I Invest in Greece?

    In Greece, you can invest in various property types such as apartments, villas, commercial spaces, or land. Popular options include holiday homes on islands like Santorini and Mykonos or urban properties in cities like Athens that cater to both tourists and locals.

  • How Much Money do I Need to Invest in Greek Real Estate?

    The minimum investment required varies depending on your goals. For the Golden Visa program, a minimum investment of €250,000 is necessary. However, average property prices vary across regions; therefore it’s essential to research specific locations based on your budget and objectives.

  • Are There any Tax Incentives for Foreign Investors Buying Property in Greece?

    Yes Greek government recently announced a number of initiatives unveiled that have boosted the property market:

    • VAT payments for unsold houses and new building licences constructed after January 1, 2006 will no longer be required, Mitsotakis declared in October 2019;

    • the ENFIA for individuals was reduced in 2019;

    • in 2020, the government abolished real estate taxes on 26 islands.

  • Is it Easy to Obtain a Mortgage Loan when Purchasing Property in Greece?

    Mortgage loans are available from local banks but may be more challenging for non-residents. It’s essential to have a good credit history, sufficient income, and meet banking regulations. Working with an experienced mortgage broker can help navigate the process.

you might also like