Property drawing more interest from international markets
by Nikos Roussanoglou,, 12 March 2017

Interest from abroad in Greek properties in the first couple of months of this year was more than double that seen in the same period last year.

A survey by the Spitogatos real estate advertisement website recorded a 125.6 percent year-on-year rise in searches for Greek property ads on the Internet in January and February. The survey report attributes this jump to the considerable increase in interest from countries such as China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, which are not traditional buyers of Greek realty.

The biggest increase was for properties in Thessaloniki (up 281.2 percent), followed by the southern suburbs of Athens (251.5 percent). Real estate in the rest of Macedonia and Thrace saw a 163.8 percent surge in interest, while the equivalent figures were 157.7 percent for the center of Athens and 133.3 percent for Crete.

In terms of origin, Chinese interest was up 203.6 percent in the first two months of 2016, year-on-year. This is explained by the Golden Visa program, which offers a five-year residence permit to non-European Union buyers of properties costing 250,000 euros or more.

Interest from Turkey also doubled (up 100 percent). The Turks appear to be evolving into a considerably group of potential purchasers, as following last summer's failed coup in the neighboring country, there has been a growing number of people primarily from higher-income strata searching for investment opportunities in Greece.

According to estate agencies, Turkish investors are mainly looking to buy main residences in Athens or Thessaloniki, while also showing interest in second homes in popular summer destinations with the aim of leasing them out on online platforms such as Airbnb.

There was also an upswing in interest from Germany and the United Arab Emirates, amounting to 70 percent and 50.5 percent respectively. Buyers from the Emirates are mostly interested in the popular Cyclades islands in the southern Aegean, while the Germans appear to be drawn to Crete.