Greece Golden Visa
and Real Estate
Is the Growth of Greece Golden Visa Affecting Real Estate?
Table of Contents
Ever since its inception, the Greece Golden Visa has been in high demand. This program not only grants residency permits but also offers the potential of obtaining an EU passport if the applicant fulfills the requirements for a specified period of time. To date, Greece has issued an impressive 4,154 Golden Visas to investors from around the world.
According to a report from the business newspaper Naftemporiki, in 2018 alone, a total of 1,399 long-term residence permits were granted through this program. When including dependents, the program has benefited a remarkable 11,445 individuals. Notably, Chinese nationals have received the highest number of Golden Visas with 2,416, followed by Russians and Turks.
Real Estate is by Far the Most Popular Investment Choice for the Greece Golden Visa
Most the Golden Visa issuances in Greece are associated with property purchases. The Golden Visa program necessitates a minimum investment of €250,000 in real estate. Successful applicants receive a residency permit without the obligation of residing in Greece. During the nine-year financial crisis, Greece’s real estate market piqued the interest of property investors. Many of these properties were subsequently converted into short-term rentals. However, with the advent of Airbnb in Athens neighborhoods, prices skyrocketed, displacing long-time residents.
Recently, the threshold for obtaining the Greece Golden Visa through real estate investment has increased to €500,000 for specific regions, including the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and the Greater Area of Athens. Investors must invest the entire amount in a single property.
Consequently, Greece is experiencing an influx of foreign investors in its real estate market, leading to the revitalization of previously uninhabited areas. However, the majority of these properties remain unoccupied by long-term residents. Short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb and property investments for residence permits constitute the primary demand in these areas.
Athens, in particular, is a popular choice for affluent foreign investors due to the opportunity to apply for the Greece Golden Visa. This program offers a valuable advantage for wealthy individuals, allowing them to navigate the Greek bureaucratic system, which has a less than favorable reputation. Even members of the Greek diaspora encounter difficulties with Greek bureaucracy. Thus, the Greece Golden Visa process offers a time-saving solution for affluent investors.
Airbnb and the Greece Golden Visa have Boosted Real Estate in Greece
With the rising popularity of Airbnb and similar applications, the Greece Golden Visa program is reshaping the market structure in the country. Properties in Athens, Thessaloniki, and on Greek islands are priced at the exact minimum requirement of €250,000 for buyers to qualify for the visa program.
This synergy between Airbnb and the Greece Golden Visa program is also invigorating the short-term rental market, as investors opt to rent out their properties to yield returns on their investments. Lefteris Potamianos, the president of the Athens-Attica Real Estate Association, highlights that these visas have not only revived the market but have also led to a significant surge in rental costs, with some areas experiencing an increase of up to 30 percent.
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