Home buying inflows soaring 72 pct
by NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU, ekathimerini.com, 09 November 2017

Capital inflows from abroad for the purchase of property in Greece are expected to come close to half a billion euros this year, after posting a remarkable 72 percent annual increase in the first seven months of the year according to the analysis of Bank of Greece data.

The increase in incoming tourism combined with the emergence of significant investment opportunities - even in the luxury property category - have considerably strengthened demand for assets such as holiday homes around the country and apartments in Attica.

This year's major growth comes on the back of a 45.3 percent increase in 2016, which saw incoming capital reach 270 million euros, against 186 million in 2015 - the year when the capital controls were first imposed.

A recent survey by international property consultancy Algean Property indicates that the rise in asset transactions and development is set to continue in the next few years: "The Greek holiday home market remains the most dynamic domain of Greek real estate and, along with tourism, the sector that has the best prospects. Last year the market emerged from the crisis, with the trend strengthened this year," noted Constantinos Sideris, an Algean Property analyst.

Sideris stressed that the stock of holiday homes has remained virtually unchanged over the last few years, at 50,000 unsold properties, as a result of limited construction activity and the low number of transactions. Yet now it appears that more than 3,000 tourism accommodation units will gradually be added to the market over the next five years; these are part of plans for new resorts around the country, combining luxury hotel accommodation, complete with golf courses, with the chance to buy or rent a holiday home.

Besides the demand for holiday properties, investors are focusing on Attica apartments, with two main trends: The first concerns buy-to-let foreign investors with an eye on the short-term holiday rental market, and the second non-European Union citizens who buy assets to acquire a Golden Visa and then rent out their new properties, also on short-term letting platforms.