After experiencing real estate falling prices, Greece real estate market is coming back into the game, stabilizing and developing steadily. According to research conducted by the Bank of Greece (BoG), huge contributions to this positive situation were influenced by the tourism and home-sharing industries. The BoG report also emphasized that the development of tourism was driving the Greek economy force by drawing attention from a large number of investors which in the end, put a positive effect on the prosperity of Greece real estate market. Some of the credit for this improvement goes to a smart program implemented by the government in Greece called Greek Golden Visa Program. The program took off and was the main factor behind the story of a variety of foreign investors acquiring properties in Greece every year since day one.
Greek Golden Visa Program – an open door to residency by real estate investment
The Greek Golden Visa Program was first launched in July 2013. Basically, the program grants a five-year residency visa for any individual, in return, they ought to invest a certain amount of money in real estate in Greece. Minimum stay requirement is not specified and children under the age of 21 can be included in the family application. The interesting part is that the visa is first granted for five years and if it is retained after that period of time, the property owner can renew his/her visa for five more years. Also, it is not compulsory for the investor to live in Greece so as to retain or renew the visa. However, the investor is required to reside for at least seven years in Greece in order to obtain citizenship.
“Greek Golden Visa” and its role
“Golden Visa” for years, has been known as an effective program that attracts major investments into the country. Besides, it has a significant impact on assisting the country’s real estate industry. For more information, the program allows citizens of other countries to acquire real estate under certain circumstances, receive a residence permit in Greece, which means that the real estate owner can live freely in the country. The current visa program aiming to attract investment was implemented within Greece’s participation framework in the Silk Road initiative and had an emphasis on going to the Chinese market and gaining investment intentions from China. According to the Deputy Minister of Economy, Stergios Pichiorlas, the Greek Golden Visa policy strategy is doing a great job of becoming one of the most competitive and effective plans in Europe by providing important investments for Greece. “Golden Visa” grants a five –year residence permit with the opportunity to extend the validity as long as the applicant invests in a property which costs at least EUR 250,000 and the property can be bought individually or through a legal entity.
Countries that have the most active investors
This year, people from certain countries like Turkey, China, Egypt, Russia, and other African and Asian countries have expressed their interest in this real estate investment program with a view to obtaining the European Schengen Visa. Properties in different parts of Greece, for example, Athens which is the central part; Faliro, one of the coastal suburbs in the eastern part of Greece as well as cities like Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete are appealing and attractive to investors.
What is more intriguing now is that the Greek real estate market representatives suggest that the real estate investment program should be expanded and enabled the capability of acquiring a visa. By doing this, they believe the improvement of the real estate market in Greece will be further sustained and developed.
Results of the real estate investment program
Ever since 2013, the year that Greek Golden Visa was first put in place, Greece has welcomed numerous excellent dividends. Due to that aspect, dozens of foreign investors make real estate investment in Greece and get a residence permit every year. BoG research showed that real estate prices in Greece increased by 1.3 % yearly from the first three quarters of 2018 and it was a good sign compared to a decrease of 1.2% in the same period of 2017.
In Athens, the real estate market received a positive sign with the fact that the cost of apartments experienced an increase of 2.1%. The price of properties in Thessaloniki also increased by 0.8% and in other popular Greek regions, 0.7%. The demand for rental properties played a decisive role in raising real estate prices in Greece. In the first three quarters of last year, 2018, residential real estate investments gained by 12.3%, however, it was still a minor factor in terms of contribution to the country’s GDP, and this number was only 0.7%. Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE) stated that housing transactions were expected to increase by 21.7% in the 11 months of 2018, while the Athens Land Registry assumed that this respective number could be considered as much higher.
The Greek Golden Visa is a program that should be complimented and European countries should imitate and establish similar programs in the future to attract foreign investments. The reason behind why it is such an effective program is because it brings about benefits for both sides, the investors and the Greek government. Regarding the investors, this appealing program is a decent method for them to make extra income by renting out purchased property in Greece and at the same time being able to travel within Europe with their families without having to be worried about visa problems. On the other hand, the Greek government receives some economic benefits as well. It is undoubted that the country’s real estate market develops significantly in terms of profits through the program which at the same time contributes to the country’s GDP. Have you been convinced and persuaded by the Greek Golden Visa Program already? At Liveonriviera.com you can find a selection of properties for sale in Greece.
We hope that you and your family would be qualified for the program in the shortest amount of time!