Today, investors are focused on the markets at the beginning of the recovery phase, where housing prices have dramatically decreased several years ago but are starting to grow bit by bit. In this article, we will talk about the reasons that motivate investors to get the residence permit of Greece, and find out whether it is profitable to buy real estate in the Balkan Peninsula right now.
Successful investment: why residence permit of Greece?
By investing in Greece, you invest in your future – you have the opportunity to create a “safe harbor” in the country that offers social and political security, and high standard of living in general. To clarify, we have prepared an impressive list of advantages of a Greek residence permit:
- Visa-free travel to all Schengen countries. The holder of the Greek resident card does not need to spend time and resources on the issuance of travel documents.
- Possibility to stay and live in Greece. The status gives the right to enjoy all the advantages of European life – a developed legal system, a high level of medicine and education.
- Permit for the whole family. The applicant can include a spouse and children under 23, parents / grandparents, grandchildren.
- Application process takes only 3 months. It’s pretty quick compared to other European programs, plus there is no need to visit Greece during the process – the applicants must only visit the country to submit biometrics and to receive the resident ID cards.
- No requirements to live in Greece constantly. But: if the program participant wants to obtain citizenship in the future, it is necessary to reside in the country at least 183 days a year.
Greece offers more than favorable conditions, setting a relatively low real estate investment threshold.
The opportunity to get a “golden visa” appeared in 2014. Since the launch, the program has been steadily gaining popularity year after year. Only 20 visas were issued in the first year of the program, while over 1,700 applications were approved during the next 3-year period. More than € 1.2 billion of foreign investment has been poured in the economy of the country with the help of “golden visa” program. According to the analysts, there is a good chance this tendency will continue in the near future.
Kind of hit and miss with these meters: the current situation at the real estate market
Although the housing price index in Greece decreased from 100 in 2009 to 59.6 in 2017, experts are convinced that this situation is temporary. What are the prospects?
- First, the Greek economy is directed towards stabilization – GDP grew by 0.4% in the second quarter of 2017, according to the data of the Greek Statistical Office.
- Secondly, the development of tourism business entails active rental of real estate. And considering that well-off tourists are willing to pay for a comfortable holiday, this positively affects the overall situation on the market.
- Thirdly, the real estate market in Athens has recently demonstrated signs of life. If the government continues to pursue a policy of lowering mortgage rates, Athens has every chance of becoming the hottest real estate market in the EU.
According to official data of the Bank of Greece, property prices in the period from 2008 to 2017 decreased by 42%, and property purchase tax declined from 10% to 3%. According to experts, the price of Greek real estate would rise by maximum 0.6% a year. It means that the price level would become as high as in 2008 by 2050.
Where to invest? In Greece, there is no shortage of luxury real estate. Property that holds great potential for investors is located in the prestigious resort areas. It is worth noting that housing prices vary greatly. For example: for only € 70k you can get the keys to an apartment in the Greek capital, but modern comfortable options closer to the center, as a rule, do not cost less than € 200k. The cost of a luxury villa on the island of Crete is € 3-4 million, and a private house on the island of Corfu will cost you at least € 300k.
How much for a residence permit in Greece if I decide to buy real estate?
Investors can choose from great variety of real estate at the Balkan Peninsula. The value of property there is approaching the initial minimum (€ 250k), it’s higher than in Portugal, Spain or Malta. Spanish residence permit by investment program, for instance, requires an investor to purchase a € 500k real estate. But prices for elite real estate there start from a € 1 million mark.
One of the advantages of the Greek «golden visa» program — the investor can buy any type of real estate that is within the required price range. This could be a private or commercial building, one real estate object or several. Purchased property can be rented or “switched” to a more suitable object.
Other expenses regarding the acquisition of residence permit of Greece:
- € 500 – issuance of ID cards;
- € 300 – medical insurance;
- Fee for a real estate sale and purchase agreement – approximately 10% of the value of the property.
Thus, the minimum budget for a Greek permanent residency by investment would not exceed the € 300k threshold.
Is it possible to obtain both residence permit and citizenship in Greece?
According to the terms of the residence permit by investment program, there is no need to permanently live in the country. But if the investor wants to settle down in Greece, he will have to undergo the procedure of registration of permanent residence and citizenship on general grounds. For this, it is necessary to live in the country at least 915 days during the period of 5 years. You can apply for a second passport only 10-12 years after receiving a permanent residence card, and if all the rules of residence and the conditions of the immigration program are complied with.
The European residence permit makes the world closer, and its benefits more accessible. This is an excellent chance to create a “safe haven” outside of your home country, where you can hide from the wind of change – political, social and economic.
Interested in more detailed information about real estate in Greece and Greek Golden Visa program? Contact us!
- We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision.
- We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the investor’s goal.
- We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries.
- Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about all additional fees and expenses.
- We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chances of obtaining the desired citizenship.
- We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result.
- We are in touch 24/7.