Real estate

How to get a Greece residence permit by buying property

To obtain a Greece residence permit, investors and their families purchase real estate for at least €250,000. Greece provides such an opportunity through the Golden Visa Program. The property can then be rented out and, in five years, sold, if necessary.

Read on to find out the conditions and costs of obtaining a Greece residence permit by buying property.

Greece residency through buying property

Conditions of obtaining Greece residency by buying property

Buying real estate in Greece is the most popular option for residency by investment. The procedure is simple, and investors get a residence permit within 2—3 months after submitting documents. There is no need to pass a Greek language proficiency test or live in the country permanently.

€250,000
Minimum property cost for one applicant
€500,000
Minimum property cost when applying with a family
5—6 months
Obtaining period with a real estate purchase

Cost of real estate for obtaining Greece residency. To participate in the Golden Visa program, investors purchase real estate that costs at least €250,000. If investors apply with spouses or parents, the minimum investment amount increases to €500,000. 

Types of real estate qualifying for the program. Any type of property gives the right to obtain a residence permit. Greek law does not distinguish between commercial and residential real estate. You can buy a villa, a city apartment, a house by the sea, a hotel complex, or a land plot and apply for a residence permit.

The main requirement for real estate is an investment of at least €250,000. For this sum, you can buy several real estate objects, apartments, or commercial properties.

The Golden Visa Program also allows you to rent an apartment for 10 years and apply for a residence permit. 

Requirements for the main applicant and family members. Investors can apply to participate in the program alone or with family members. The property can be owned by a single investor or a married couple. 

Requirements for the main applicant:

  • over 18 years old;
  • a clean police record;
  • medical insurance for the whole family that is valid in Greece and covers at least €30,000;
  • a Greek bank account. 

A spouse, children under the age of 21, and parents of both spouses can also apply for a Greek residence permit with the main applicant. Family members can submit documents for the residence permit with the main applicant or separately.

Examples of properties for obtaining a residence permit

Getting a Greece residence by buying property

The property is suitable for participation in the investment program. The apartment is located in Athens. Prices start at €306,000

Greece Golden Visa by real estate

The complex is located on the south hill of Kastelli. It includes classic-style villas priced from €389,000

How to obtain a Greece residence permit by buying property

The price for an apartment in the residential complex varies from €250,000 to €330,000. The complex is located near the beach and is designed in the classical Greek style

Real estate purchase prices in Greece

Real estate prices in Greece have been rising for the past four years. Despite this, Greek properties are still cheaper than in more popular Mediterranean countries, especially France and Italy. 

Due to the pandemic, the price growth slowed by half compared to the same period in 2019. The pandemic has had an adverse impact on the Greek tourism sector, but it is expected that the robust demand for Greek real estate from foreign buyers will keep prices rising in 2022.

Average real estate prices by region in Q1 2022

RegionPrice per m²
Athens, Central €1,667 
Athens, North€2,542 
Athens, South€2,977
Athens, West€1,472
Athens, East€1,667
Piraeus€1,667
Thessaloniki€1,676
Corfu€1,714
Lefkada€2,143

Athens is the capital of Greece. The city is attractive to investors because it is not subject to seasonality: tourists come to the capital all year round. 

The average price of real estate in Athens differs and depends on the region. Housing prices in the southern areas are the most expensive because the apartments and houses are closer to the coast.

The cost of properties away from the sea is cheaper, but they are usually not in high demand. If you want a good return on investment, you might consider apartments or houses attractive to tourists. Renting out real estate in Greece brings a good income.

Greek villas vary in price, but the average cost is still lower than in other European countries. For example, a traditional-styled villa on the seafront in Crete costs €800,000 for 81 m². A villa located in Santorini costs €428,000 for 87 m². Having a villa in Greece, owners will be able to admire the beautiful sea views.

Property taxes in Greece

Transfer tax. When you buy a property in Greece, you must pay a transfer tax. The tax rate is 3.09% of the taxable value of the real estate. The tax amount depends on your property location, size, and technical specification. 

The Greek government has temporarily suspended the imposition of value-added tax (VAT) on real estate purchases. This applies both to new and secondary objects. There is a need to pay only a transfer tax of 3.09%. The period of validity of this relief is not precisely set.

Property tax. This tax is paid in Greece once a year. It consists of a main and an additional part. The amount of tax varies for cities and districts. If we consider the coast, you will have to pay an average of €10—12 per year for 1 sq. m. An additional 0.5—1% tax applies to real estate exceeding €300,000.

Municipal taxes. They usually amount to 0.025—0.035% of the cadastral cost of the property. You do not need to pay them separately as they are included in the electricity bills.

Rental tax. If you decide to rent your property out, you will have to pay tax on the rental income. There are progressive tax rates for individuals that depend on income:

  • 15% on a rental amount of up to €12,000;
  • 35% on €12,000 to €35,000;
  • 45% on more than €35,000. 

How to buy real estate in Greece and obtain a residence permit

1. Select a property. First, you need to choose one or more properties worth at least €250.000. Immigrant Invest specialists help at any stage of obtaining a Golden Visa, including the selection of real estate. If you do not have an opportunity to come to Greece, we organise online viewings of the properties.

2. Reserve the selected property. When you have chosen the property you like, you need to reserve it by depositing to a special bank account. Usually, it is 1% of the property cost. This process will be controlled by a state lawyer, who becomes the guarantor of its legality.

You have seven days to return the deposit fully. During this time, you can cancel the transaction. If your decision takes longer, the deposit will automatically transfer to the seller’s account.

3. Get a tax number. Investors should get the tax ID number to complete the reservation. The tax number can be obtained via the General Commercial Register’s electronic system. 

4. Pay a real estate transfer tax. Then a legal check of the property is carried out. After receiving positive results, you pay a real estate transfer tax. 

5. Sign the main purchase and sale contract. You can already use the property at this stage, but you don't own it yet. You need to pay 40—60% of the property cost. 

One copy of the sale contract is drawn up in your native language; the second is in Greek. As soon as this amount appears in a special bank account, you will receive the keys. A notary and a lawyer will be required to sign the main sales contract. The agreement's language is Greek, but one of the copies can also be translated into your native language. 

Expenses for the purchase of real estate include the services of a lawyer, notary, the cost of registration, and the real estate transfer tax. Be prepared that you will have to spend 10—12% of the property’s cost on making a purchase.

6. Register real estate in the Land Register. After the documents have been notarized, it is necessary to register the sale in the Land Register. Now you fully own the property and can immediately submit a package of documents for obtaining a residence permit.

7. Prepare a package of documents for the Golden Visa. Provide the following list of documents:

  • two copies of the application;
  • four recent colour photos;
  • a certified copy of a valid passport;
  • the fee paid, which is €500 for a residence permit for up to five years;
  • medical insurance.

If you apply with your family, you must also provide a recent certificate of family status confirming the relationship between the investor and relatives.

8. Provide fingerprints. You have to provide the biometric data. Family members who apply for a residence permit should also provide their fingerprints, including children over 6 years old. 

9. Wait for a documentation check. After you submit all the documents and biometric data, the authorities will give you a confirmation that your application has been submitted. This confirmation is valid for one year. During this period, you can legally reside in the country. 
10. Obtain a residence permit. You will get your residence permit when the Secretary-General of the Decentralised Administration reviews the application and makes a favourable decision.

Benefits of buying Greece property

Visa-free travelling. When you obtain a residence permit in Greece, you will be able to visit other Schengen countries without a visa. You can spend up to 90 days out of 180 there.

Additional income from renting. After buying the property, you can rent it out and have official income in the EU. Greece is attractive to tourists, and real estate rentals are popular. After 5 years, you can sell the property and return investments. 

In 2021, investors could receive up to 4% profit from renting out apartments and more than 9% from renting hotels.

Affordable education. Investors and their children can study at Greek universities without applying for a student visa. The Greek higher education system is respected and ranks 41st in the world in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings.

Pleasant climate. Greece has a warm but not stifling climate. Spring and fall are more pleasant periods to visit the famous places of Greece. Winter time is also mild, with an average temperature of +15 °C.

Cape Drastis on Corfu

View of Cape Drastis on the island of Corfu, which can be visited by boat or by car

Meteora rock in Greece

Amazing cliffs in a place called Meteora, which rise more than 366 meters into the air. This place is also famous for the historic monasteries of the 16th century along the cliffs 

Acropolis of Athens

View of Athens and the famous Acropolis, an ancient Greek complex built at the end of the 5th century BC

How to renew a Greece residence permit

For property owners in Greece, a residence permit will need to be renewed every 5 years. To renew it, investors must have full ownership of the property. And the relevant contracts and leases must be ongoing.

5 years
The validity period of the investor’s residence permit

Resale of real estate during the validity period of a residence permit grants another person the right to obtain a residence permit. But in this case, the seller's residence permit will be cancelled. 

To extend a residencу permit, you need to provide the following list of documents:

  • a filled-in application;
  • four recent colour photos;
  • a true copy of a valid passport;
  • a certified copy of the previous residence permit;
  • insurance contracts.

Family members should also submit a package of documents, including certification by an insurance agency for the cost of medical care. You have to provide the sponsor's statement that family circumstances have not changed. If a child was born during the validity period of the residence permit in Greece, provide a copy of the birth certificate.

You and your family must submit documents for the renewal of residence permits at least two months before they expire. Otherwise, you will have to pay a fine of €50.

How to obtain Greece citizenship 

If you want to stay in Greece for permanent residence, you must live there for at least 183 days a year during these 5 years. After two more years, you can apply for citizenship. The total period for an investor is 7 years. 

Family members can obtain permanent residence after 5 years, but they can apply for citizenship only 7 years later. The total period takes 12 years.

Greek law requires citizenship applicants to prove their knowledge of the Greek language and the country's geography and history. You must pass the "Panhellenic" exam with more than 80% of the total score.

Greece allows its citizens to have multiple citizenships at once. Investors do not have to reject their first citizenship if their country of origin does not require this.

Frequently asked questions

Do you get residency in Greece if you buy a house?

Yes, you can get a residence permit in Greece by buying a house for at least €250,000. 

Investors can apply alone or with family members. The property can be owned by a single investor or a married couple. If investors participate with parents, the minimum investment amount increases to €500,000.

How can I get permanent residency in Greece?

If you want to stay in Greece for permanent residence, you must live there for at least 183 days a year during these 5 years. After five years, you can apply for permanent residence, and after another two years, for citizenship.

How much do I need to invest in Greece to get citizenship?

By investing, you can only get a residence permit. The minimum investment amount is €250,000. You can buy real estate or land for €250,000. It is also possible to rent a room in a hotel or an apartment in a tourist complex. 

Investors can also buy bonds, stocks, government bonds, or shares in a venture fund. It is also possible to open a time deposit account in a Greek bank. In these cases, the minimum investment is €400,000.

If you want to stay in Greece for permanent residence, you must live there for at least 183 days a year during these 5 years. Then you get a permanent residence, and you can apply for citizenship after another two years. The total period takes 7 years.

Can a foreigner buy property in Greece?

Yes, foreigners can buy properties in Greece and even get residence permits if the cost of the property exceeds €250,000. There are no restrictions as to who can purchase property in Greece.

How much does it cost to get residency in Greece?

The minimum investment amount is €250,000. You can buy real estate or land for €250,000. It is also possible to rent a room in a hotel or an apartment in a tourist complex. If you apply with your parents, the minimum investment amount increases to €500,000. 

Investors can also buy bonds, stocks, government bonds, or shares in a venture fund. It is also possible to open a time deposit account in a Greek bank. In these cases, the minimum investment is €400,000.

Is there property tax in Greece?

Yes, a property tax in Greece should be paid once a year. It consists of a main and an additional part. The amount of tax varies for cities and districts. If we consider the coast, you will have to pay an average of €10—12 per year for 1 sq. m. An additional 0.5—1% tax applies to real estate exceeding €300,000.

You also need to take into account municipal taxes. They usually amount to 0.025—0.035% of the cadastral cost of the property. You do not need to pay them separately as they are included in the electricity bills.

Do you have to be a Greek citizen to buy property in Greece?

No, foreigners can also buy property in Greece and even get a residence permit if the cost of the property exceeds €250,000. There are no restrictions as to who can purchase property in Greece.

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How to get a Greece residence permit by buying property