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Greece – Buying Property

Legal Restrictions on Property Ownership and Sale in Greece

Greece generally welcomes foreign nationals to own and sell property within its territory. However, there are certain legal restrictions and regulations that foreign nationals should be aware of:

  • Reciprocity: Greece typically follows the principle of reciprocity, which means that citizens of countries that allow Greek citizens to own property in their homeland are also allowed to purchase property in Greece.
  • Special Permits: In some cases, foreign nationals may need special permits from the Greek government to buy specific types of property, such as land near the border or on Greek islands.
  • Strategic Areas: Restrictions may apply to property purchases in strategic areas, including islands near the Turkish coast or military zones.

It’s advisable to consult with legal experts or local authorities to ensure compliance with Greek property ownership regulations.

Average Property Prices in Greece and Regional Variations

Greece offers a diverse range of property prices, and the cost of real estate can vary significantly based on factors such as location, property type, and condition. Here is an overview of average property prices in Greece:

  • Athens: The capital city tends to have higher property prices, with average rates ranging from €2,000 to €5,000 per square meter.
  • Popular Islands: Islands like Mykonos and Santorini can have premium property prices due to their popularity among tourists and investors.
  • Mainland: In rural areas or smaller towns, property prices may be more affordable, with averages starting at €1,000 per square meter.

It’s important to note that property prices may have evolved since my last update, so it’s recommended to consult local real estate agents or websites for the most current pricing information.

Popular Locations to Buy Property in Greece

Greece offers a wide array of beautiful locations to buy property, each with its unique charm:

  • Athens: The capital city is a bustling urban center with historical landmarks and a vibrant cultural scene.
  • Islands: Greek islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, and Rhodes are popular choices for beachfront properties.
  • Thessaloniki: Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, offers a mix of historical and modern properties.
  • Peloponnese: The Peloponnese region is known for its beautiful landscapes and historical significance.

Your choice of location should align with your preferences, whether you seek a bustling city, serene island life, or a peaceful countryside retreat.

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New Upcoming Areas in Greece

Greece is continually evolving, and new areas may emerge as attractive options for property buyers. While specific areas can change over time, it’s worth exploring regions with potential for growth and development:

  • Emerging Islands: Lesser-known islands or those undergoing infrastructure improvements may present investment opportunities.
  • Mainland Development: Some rural areas on the mainland may see increased interest as infrastructure and amenities improve.

It’s essential to stay updated on local real estate trends and consult with experts for insights into emerging areas.

Trends in the Greek Property Market

The Greek property market experiences various trends and developments:

  • Short-Term Rentals: The rise of platforms like Airbnb has led to increased interest in short-term rental properties, particularly in tourist destinations.
  • Renovation Projects: Some buyers invest in older properties for renovation and resale, capitalizing on Greece’s historical architecture.
  • Golden Visa Program: Greece’s Golden Visa program, which grants residency to property buyers, has attracted international investors.

These trends reflect evolving preferences and opportunities in the Greek property market.

Is Buying Property a Good Investment in Greece?

Buying property in Greece can be a promising investment for several reasons:

  • Tourism: Greece’s status as a popular tourist destination can provide rental income potential, especially in tourist hotspots.
  • Golden Visa: The Golden Visa program offers residency in Greece to property buyers, making it appealing to international investors.
  • Stability: Greece’s political and economic stability can provide confidence to investors.

However, like any investment, success depends on factors such as location, property type, and market conditions. It’s advisable to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before making an investment.

Common Property Types in Greece and Buying Procedure

Greece offers a wide variety of property types to suit different preferences:

  • Apartments: Apartments are common in urban areas and coastal regions, ranging from studio units to spacious penthouses.
  • Townhouses: Townhouses provide a mix of privacy and community living, often found in suburban areas.
  • Detached Houses: Detached houses offer standalone living spaces with gardens or yards.
  • Villas: Villas are often luxurious properties with spacious interiors and outdoor amenities.
  • Rural Properties: Rural properties include farmhouses and countryside estates.
  • Land Only: Some buyers purchase land for future development or agricultural use.

The typical house buying procedure in Greece involves several steps:

  1. Property Search: Start by searching for properties through real estate agents, property listings, or online platforms.
  2. Property Inspection: Visit the properties you’re interested in and consider hiring a property inspector for a thorough evaluation.
  3. Offer: If you find a property you like, make an offer to the seller through a real estate agent or directly.
  4. Purchase Agreement: Once the offer is accepted, both parties sign a Purchase Agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the sale.
  5. Notary Public: Transactions are typically finalized before a notary public who ensures legal compliance and authenticity.
  6. Exchange of Contracts: Contracts are exchanged, and the buyer pays the agreed-upon deposit.
  7. Completion: The property is transferred to the buyer, and the remaining balance is paid.

It’s advisable to work with a qualified notary public and legal professionals throughout the process to ensure a smooth transaction.

Finding a Reputable Lawyer in Greece

When buying property in Greece, having a reputable lawyer is essential to navigate legal complexities. Here’s how to find one:

  • Greek Bar Association: The Greek Bar Association is the official body representing lawyers in Greece. Their website provides a directory of registered lawyers.
  • Recommendations: Seek recommendations from real estate agents, expats who have purchased property in Greece, or local residents.

Legal fees can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction but typically range from 1% to 2% of the property purchase price. It’s advisable to request quotes from lawyers and discuss their fees upfront.

Greek Bar Association is the official website of the Greek Bar Association, where you can find more information about registered lawyers in Greece.

Pitfalls and Common Problems in the House Buying Process

expats and foreign nationals buying property in Greece may encounter certain pitfalls and issues:

  • Property Title Issues: Ensure that the property has a clear title and is free from any encumbrances.
  • Taxes and Fees: Be aware of property transfer taxes, notary fees, and any additional costs associated with property ownership.
  • Legal Compliance: Adhere to all legal requirements and regulations, especially if you plan to rent out the property.

Working closely with legal professionals and conducting due diligence can help you avoid these common problems.

Purchasing Property through a Company in Greece

Yes, it is possible to purchase property through a company in Greece. This approach may offer certain advantages, including asset protection and tax benefits. However, it’s crucial to understand the legal and financial implications involved.

If you plan to buy property through a company in Greece, you’ll need to follow the legal requirements for setting up and registering a company in Greece, including obtaining a Business ID and adhering to corporate governance rules. It’s advisable to consult with a lawyer and an accountant to ensure compliance with Greek corporate and tax laws.

Keep in mind that property ownership through a company may have specific tax implications and legal requirements, so it’s essential to seek professional advice and stay informed about any regulatory changes.