- Dynamics of real estate prices in Greece
- Current prices for real property in Greece
- The procedure of purchasing property in Greece and requirements to foreign investors
- Taxes and state duties involved in purchasing property in Greece
- Tax incentives and immigration opportunities available to foreigners buying property in Greece
- Assistance in purchasing real estate in Greece
Are you thinking of purchasing some real estate in Greece? If you are, then please read on to find out about the current prices, tendencies, and extra costs involved in buying a house or an apartment in a warm and sunny Mediterranean country. If you have any questions remaining, please do not hesitate to apply for an individual consultation on the matter with International Wealth experts.
Dynamics of real estate prices in Greece
When considering the opportunity to purchase real property in a foreign country, you have to analyze the tendencies in the real estate market. Are the prices going up or down? How long has the current tendency been in place? Is the cost of property close to the peak level? These questions are especially important if you are thinking ahead and looking to earn some money when you resell the property after a few years. We will use the statistical data that the Greek Central Bank (Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος) has published to answer these and other related questions.
Are you planning to purchase property in Greece or another foreign country? Are you planning to relocate abroad when purchasing property? Some countries do issue legal residence permits to foreign investors purchasing real estate on their territories. However, the procedures of acquiring legal residence in foreign countries are rather complicated and we invite you to apply for our professional assistance in the matter. Please supply your email address below and we will get back to you shortly.
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According to the Greek Central Bank, the average growth of real property prices was 11.1% in 2022 on a year-on-year basis. New property (not more than 5 years old) prices grew by 11.8% while old property (over 5 years old) prices grew by 10.5%. This was the fastest growth rate over the last fifteen years. The demand for Greek property keeps on growing as the country’s economy is reviving from a recession. Consequently, the real property prices are growing too and the tendency is expected to continue.
At the same time, the prices have not yet reached the peak that they reached in 2007, immediately before the global financial crisis. Greece was one of the countries that suffered from the crisis severely. The table below shows the real estate price dynamics in Greece between 2006 and 2022.
|Period||All property in Greece||New property in Greece (not more than 5 years old)||Old property in Greece (more than 5 years old)|
|Index (2007 = 100; base)||Change over the year, %||Index (2007 = 100; base)||Change over the year, %||Index (2007 = 100; base)||Change over the year, %|
|2022 (provisional figures)||80.4||11.1||84.6||11.8||77.8||10.5|
Real estate price dynamics between 2006 and 2022. The data for 2022 are provisional. Source: Geek Central Bank.
The table shows that there is potential for further growth in 2023. The real estate prices have been steadily growing over the last few years in the country and they are probably going to hit the ceiling (reach the peak) in the near future. This means that you should not postpone purchasing property in Greece to qualify for legal residence in the country by investment or to solve any other issues that you might have.
Current prices for real property in Greece
What part of Greece should you choose to purchase property there? You should probably consider the regions where the prices are growing at a fast pace but they are not at an exorbitant level thus far. Spitogatos, a Greek consulting firm, has analyzed the market tendencies and the table below shows in which municipalities (Nomes) the prices for real property have decreased since last year and in which municipalities they have increased.
|Region (English name)||Region (Greek name)||Price per 1m2 in 2023 (euros)||Price per 1m2 in 2022 (euros)||Price change, %|
|Nome Pieria||Ν. Πιερίας||1,000||1,000||—|
|Nome Kozani||Ν. Κοζάνης||637||714||-10.8%|
|Nome Castoria||Ν. Καστοριάς||667||732||-8.9%|
|Nome Cardica||Ν. Καρδίτσας||688||714||-3.7%|
|Argo Saronic Islands||Νησιά Αργοσαρωνικού||1,887||1,923||-1.9%|
|Nome Kilkis||Ν. Κιλκίς||633||642||-1.3%|
|Nome Lefkas||Ν. Λευκάδας||2,118||2,143||-1.2%|
|Nome Lasithiou||Ν. Λασιθίου||1,716||1,714||0.1%|
|Nome Rodopis||Ν. Ροδόπης||933||926||0.8%|
|Nome Larissa||Ν. Λάρισας||1,130||1,120||0.9%|
|Nome Chios||Ν. Χίου||1,098||1,083||1.3%|
|Nome Trikala||Ν. Τρικάλων||978||965||1.4%|
|Nome Serres||Ν. Σέρρες||763||750||1.7%|
|Nome Drama||Ν. Δράμας||714||700||2%|
|Thessaloniki (resort area)||Θεσσαλονίκη – Υπόλ. Νομού||826||806||2.5%|
|Nome Samos||Ν. Σάμου||889||858||3.6%|
|The rest of Attica||Υπόλοιπο Αττικής||1,778||1,707||4.1%|
|Northern Lesvos||Ν. Λέσβου||1,059||1,017||4.1%|
|Nome Ioannina||Ν. Ιωαννίνων||1,314||1,256||4.6%|
|Nome Kavala||Ν. Καβάλας||1,250||1,184||5.6%|
|Nome Heraklion||Ν. Ηρακλείου||1,408||1,328||6%|
|Nome Rethymno||Ν. Ρεθύμνου||1,616||1,524||6.0%|
|Nome of Kefalonia||Ν. Κεφαλονιάς||2,143||2,000||7.1%|
|Athens (center)||Κέντρο Αθήνας||1,809||1,667||8.5%|
|Nome Corfu||Ν. Κέρκυρας||1,872||1,708||9.6%|
|Nome Xanthi||Ν. Ξάνθης||970||884||9.7%|
|Nome Preveza||Ν. Πρέβεζας||1,444||1,317||9.7%|
|Athens (eastern suburbs)||Αθήνα – Ανατολικά Προάστια||1,837||1,667||10.2%|
|Athens (northern suburbs)||Αθήνα – Βόρεια Προάστια||2,800||2,538||10.3%|
|Athens (western suburbs)||Αθήνα – Δυτικά Προάστια||1,635||1,471||11.2%|
|Nome Florina||Ν. Φλώρινας||624||561||11.3%|
|Nome Artas||Ν. Άρτας||827||732||13%|
|Piraeus (suburbs)||Προάστια Πειραιά||1,500||1,327||13.1%|
|Athens (southern suburbs)||Αθήνα – Νότια Προάστια||3,368||2,976||13.2%|
|Thessaloniki (peripheral municipalities)||Θεσσαλονίκη – Περιφ/κοί δήμοι||1,438||1,255||14.5%|
|Nome Chania||Ν. Χανίων||2,076||1,813||14.6%|
|Thessaloniki (central municipality)||Θεσσαλονίκη – Δήμος||2,000||1,673||19.6%|
As the table above shows, prices in Thessaloniki have been growing at the fastest pace. It must be admitted that the average price per square meter of property is rather high there (around 2,000 euros), but there is a further growth potential anyway.
Top 5 locations to buy property in Greece also include the resort town of Chania on the island of Crete, suburbs of Thessaloniki and Athens as well as the port town of Piraeus. The growth rates at these locations are 14.6%, 14.5%, 13.2%, and 13.1%, correspondingly.
We must note, however, that the average prices are quite dissimilar in these regions of Greece. They are 2,076, 1,438, 3,368, and 1,500 euros per square meter (in the first quarter of 2023), correspondingly.
Therefore, if you are looking to buy inexpensive property in Greece whose price is growing rapidly, you should probably consider the town of Piraeus and the periphery of Thessaloniki. You will also be buying real property at the seafront, which greatly improves its liquidity.
The procedure of purchasing property in Greece and requirements to foreign investors
Citizens of the EU can purchase real property in Greece without any restrictions. Citizens of other countries will have to put up with certain limitations. In particular, they cannot buy property located close to military objects and national borders. (This especially concerns the neighboring country of Turkey that administers a citizenship-by-investment program, by the way.) Besides, non-EU citizens cannot purchase property on some Greek islands.
The procedure of buying real estate in Greece includes the following main steps:
- Bank account. The foreign national buying property in Greece has to open a bank account in the country to transfer the capital there. This is required by law.
- Central bank approval. The transfer of the money needed to pay for the property needs to be approved by the Greek Central Bank. If you fail to obtain an approval, the Greek tax authorities are going to inquire about your sources of income.
- Taxpayer’s identification number. The foreign buyer has to obtain a Greek taxpayer’s identification number. If a married couple is buying property in Greece, each spouse needs to obtain a taxpayer’s identification number.
- Realtor and attorney hire. The first practical step towards purchasing property in Greece would be hiring a realtor and an attorney in the country. These specialists are going to help you choose the piece of property to buy and make sure that the purchase deal is 100% legal.
- Negotiations with the seller and provisional purchase agreement. When you have chosen the piece of property to buy, you have to quote your price to the property owner. If he/ she is happy with your offer, you can make a provisional purchase agreement with the realtor’s help. When you sign the agreement, you will have to make a 10% deposit to reserve the chosen property.
- Possible encumbrances and conformity to the requirements. The realtor and the attorney are going to check the property for any encumbrances (such as outstanding taxes, mortgage debts, etc.). Besides, they are going to assess the conformity of the property to various standards.
- Deal closure. If everything is fine, you can finalize the purchase deal. You will have to transfer the remaining part of the money to the property owner’s account and pay the state duties. The process of finalizing the purchase deal usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks in Greece. The buyer is responsible for hiring a notary public who will register the deal with the state Register. Both parties have to sign the purchase agreement in front of the notary. When registering the purchase deal, you will also have to bring your TIN and a certificate of no fiscal debts from Hellenic Fiscus (the Greek fiscal body). Finally, the property will be registered in your name.
Taxes and state duties involved in purchasing property in Greece
Purchase of real estate in Greece involves paying some taxes and state duties in addition to paying the price of the property. Some transactional costs will also have to be covered. Most fees are payable by the buyer and some by the seller. The table below shows the amount of additional costs that you are going to incur when buying a house or an apartment in Greece.
|Percentage (of the property price in the purchase agreement)||Payable by|
|Tax on property rights transfer||3.09%||buyer|
|Registration fee||0.48% — 0.68%||buyer|
|Notary fee||0.8% — 1% (+ 24% VAT)||buyer|
|Legal services||1% — 2%||buyer|
|Realtor’s fee||1% — 2%|
1% — 2%
|Total costs payable by the buyer:||7.04% — 6.88%|
|Total costs payable by the seller:||1.24% — 2.48%|
|Total additional costs involved in buying/ selling property in Greece||8.28% — 9.36%|
Land Cadastre fee
The transfer of property rights is registered with the Land Cadastre in Greece. The fee covers the Registrar’s remuneration, the certificate issuance, and the stamp duty. The amount of the fee is between 0.48% and 0.68% of the cost of the property.
The purchase agreement needs to be notarized to have legal power. The notary fee is between 0.8% and 1% of the cost of the property (plus 24% of the fee as the VAT).
We highly recommend that you should hire an attorney who would help you avoid various traps and pitfalls that you might encounter when purchasing property in Greece. The attorney will ensure the legality of the deal, check all the property owners, and make sure that there are no debts, collaterals, and any other encumbrances. The attorney will also help you act in accordance with the Greek laws.
There is no fixed fee for the attorney’s services in Greece. You will have to negotiate the fee with the lawyer that you hire. Normally, the buyer has to pay between 1% and 2% of the cost of the property (plus 24% of the fee as the VAT).
If you are buying real property in Greece for the first time in your life, the attorney will also have to do some preparatory work. This includes acquiring a TIN for you, setting up a bank account, checking the transfers, and so on. Some additional charges may be payable in this case.
|Legal services involved in registering the purchase deal||Negotiable, normally 1%-2% (plus 24% VAT)|
The property buyer together with the seller usually pays between 1% and 2% of the cost of the property (plus 24% of the fee as the VAT) to the realtor in commission. The buyer may have to pay the entire sum sometimes.
Tax incentives and immigration opportunities available to foreigners buying property in Greece
- Investment immigration. One of the most powerful incentives to buy real property in Greece is the opportunity to qualify for a ‘golden visa’ or a legal residence permit in the country. The program has been extremely popular with foreign investors. In 2022, foreign investments in real property in Greece reached a record high of 1.975 billion euros. This is 68% more than the year before and 37% more than the previous record high. In 2019, foreigners brought 1.45 billion euros to the Greek real estate sector. The Government of the country made an announcement in September 2022 promising to double the amount of the required investment in the future. Even though the officials did not mention when exactly the new regulations were going to come into force, the announcement clearly stimulated the growth of foreign direct investments into the Greek economy. Another factor that has contributed to the growth is the weakening of the anti-pandemic measures in China. Chinese investors are actively returning to the Greek market.
- Rental opportunities. Real property prices are lower in Greece in comparison to other Mediterranean countries. This fact, together with a wonderful climate and rich cultural heritage, makes Greece a highly popular tourist destination. Therefore, having some rental property in the country can bring a substantial income. The Greek regions most popular with tourists include Athens, the southern suburbs of the capital city, the port town of Piraeus as well as the wonderful islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Tax incentives for developers. The Greek Prime Minister announced VAT tax exemption for new construction projects in 2019. Recently the tax exemption has been extended until 2024. This fact has incentivized the developers to launch new construction projects in large numbers.
- Reduction of the property tax (ENFIA) in Greece. In 2019, the property tax for physical persons was reduced in Greece. The reduction rates were as follows: 30% lower tax on property worth up to 60,000 euros; 27% lower tax on property worth up to 70,000 euros; 25% lower tax on property worth up to 80,000 euros; 20% lower tax on property worth up to 1 million euros; and 10% lower tax on property worth more than 1 million euros. In 2020, property owners in Greece enjoyed a further tax reduction of 10% on average. In February 2022, the ENFIA was reduced by 13% more.
Assistance in purchasing real estate in Greece
The opportunity to acquire legal residence in Greece by investment is not the only reason to buy real property in the country. Prices for houses and apartments in Greece are growing so the potential return on investment is high. Our experts will be happy to help you pick the most attractive property in Greece and make a lucrative investment without putting yourself to too much risk nor spending too much time on achieving the goal.
You are welcome to contact us at any time and inquire about the investment opportunities that are of interest to you. We are not going to charge you anything for the first consultation.
What are the main benefits of purchasing property in Greece?
First and foremost, the foreign investor can qualify for legal residence in Greece if he/ she purchases a piece of real property in the country. It doesn’t matter if it is a house at the seaside or an apartment in the mountains. The important requirement is that it shouldn’t cost less than the set sum. Besides, you can earn money by investing in real property in Greece. The country is a popular tourist destination and by letting your house or apartment on a lease, you can make money without putting too much effort into it. Moreover, the real estate prices have been growing steadily in Greece over the last few years. If the tendency remains the same, you will be able to resell your property at a much higher price after a few years.
Can a foreigner buy property in Greece?
Yes, citizens of foreign countries are entitled to buy real property in Greece. Non-EU citizens will find some restrictions, however. For example, they are not allowed to buy property in the vicinity of national borders and military objects. Citizens of EU countries have to acquire special permits before they can do that.
What taxes do I have to pay when buying property in Greece?
When purchasing a house or an apartment in Greece, you have to pay 3.09% of the property cost as a tax on property rights transfer. Please bear in mind that some additional fees are involved in buying property in Greece (realtor’s commission, attorney’s fee, notary’s fee, etc.).