Demand for summer houses in Greece, especially for luxury villas in popular destinations has skyrocketed during the last few years, as a result of the rise in tourists’ numbers in the country. Prices for summer houses in high-demand islands, like Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu and Crete have began their steady ascend, already since 2017. Most buyers are looking to lease their summer house for at least a few weeks per year, in order to achieve a faster amortization of their investment.
In fact, demand for summer housing grew even further during 2020, despite the pandemic. Real estate experts point out that this was due to the fact that Greece is considered an ideal destination in the Mediterranean for buyers looking for increased levels of privacy. Today, the country offers more than adequate supply of houses for sale, covering every price range.
Investing in Greek tourism
In many cases, investing in the Greek residential market, equals to investing in the Greek touristic product. The significant investments which were undertaken in the country’s touristic infrastructure, combined with Greece’s improved place in the international scene, led to a boom in annual revenues from incoming tourism, which amounted to 17.7 billion euros in 2019, versus 9.6 billion euros in 2010. According to data from the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, by the end of 2019, tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP was up to 20.8%, from 15.3% in 2010. Similarly, the country welcomed 31.3 million tourists, while in 2010, it had welcomed 15 million tourist, i.e. less than half.
Greece’s hotel infrastructure is comprised of 10,121 hotels and 798,650 beds, versus 9,732 hotels and 763,407 beds at the start of the decade. Furthermore, today, tourism is responsible for 21.7% of the country’s total employment, versus 17.9% back in 2010.
The above figures exhibit the important effort undertaken to lengthen the touristic season in the country and lower the high level of seasonality. Prior to the pandemic, 2020 predictions were quite optimistic, with most tourism delegates, expecting a mild increase, both in the number of tourists and the level of revenues. Today, the goal is the quickest possible return to normality and the constant improvement of the level of services provided, together of course with the quality of hospitality infrastructure.
Who Can Buy a Property in Greece?
There’s no limitation with regards to who can buy property in Greece. Every interested party can acquire the property of their choice, provided they follow the relative process. However, citizens from third countries (i.e. outside the E.U.) have the additional option of benefiting from the “Golden Visa” program which has been set in place since 2014. Through this program, investors in properties can also procure a five-year long residency permit for them and their families.
The main prerequisite for all foreign buyers of property in Greece, is to issue a Tax Registration Number (A.F.M.). They also need to set up a banking account in a Greek bank. This account should be used to perform the transfer of money needed to buy the desired property. The Tax Registration Number is a personal number to identify each given person/taxpayer to the relative tax authority. It’s comprised by nine digits and is unique to each taxpayer.