Foreign Investors Buying Property Make Up 50% of Greece Real Estate Deals

April 10, 2024

ATHENS – Fueled by the Golden Visa program, which offers affluent foreigners and their families 5-year residency permits and valuable European Union passports, real estate emerged as the prime attraction for investors once again.

According to data from the Bank of Greece, foreign investments in the sector accounted for half of the total in 2023, reaching a record €2.133 billion ($2.32 billion), surpassing the €1.75 billion ($1.9 billion) recorded in 2022.

However, there was a note of caution as investments declined in the fourth quarter. This came after the New Democracy government raised the minimum investment requirement in popular areas to €500,000 ($543,450), aiming to deter buyers from acquiring multiple properties for short-term rentals, which contributed to the displacement of residents and soaring rents.

The minimum investment threshold has since been further increased to €800,000 ($869,520) for the most coveted locations in the country, including islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, and Corfu, as well as prime areas in Athens and Thessaloniki.

The fourth quarter of 2023 saw real estate investments totaling €489.5 million ($532.04 million), the lowest figure of the year. This was partly attributed to strikes by notaries, which resulted in a freeze on the finalization of sales.

Real estate executives anticipate a strong first quarter in 2024, with delayed transactions being finalized and the arrival of spring generating increased interest in the market.


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