When it is more profitable to invest in real estate in Greece: in 2020 or 2021

November 10, 2020
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Greece: credit rating and residence permit programme for investments
Photo: Adobe Stock
The international agency Moody’s upgraded the credit rating of Greece from B1 to Ba3 despite the pandemic and crisis. The agency forecasts stable economic growth from 2021.

Moody’s experts noted the reforms that the Greek government has been implementing since 2018. They are aimed at sustainable economic development, improving tax legislation and fighting corruption. These actions have increased the country’s credit rating.

In 2020, the Greek economy was affected by closed borders and a pandemic. Moody’s predicts a 9% drop in GDP for the year. The main reason is the decline in tourism revenue, which accounts for around 20% of the country’s GDP.

From 2021 onwards, the situation will start to change for the better and the economy will start to recover. Analysts believe that Greece’s GDP will, among other things, grow thanks to an improved investment climate in the country.

Moody’s forecast is fully consistent with the calculations of the European Commission, which also predicts a drop in Greece’s GDP in 2020 and growth in 2021-2022. We talked about the forecast in the material “European Commission: the EU economy will start to grow from 2021”.

Analysts at the European Commission and the Moody’s agency expect the pandemic to decline in 2021. With the lifting of the quarantine, the influx of foreign tourists to Greece will recover. This will have a positive impact on the country’s trade and real estate market.

GDP dynamics in Greece as projected by the European Commission

GDP dynamics of Greece in 2020-2022
European Economic Forecast, 2020

Why it is more profitable to buy property in Greece by the end of 2020

Between January and September 2020, 69% fewer foreign tourists visited Greece than in the same period in 2019. As a result, housing was less frequently rented out. Foreigners who were interested in buying Greek real estate could not come to the country to select and buy objects. Property prices have either stopped growing, or are growing much slower than in previous years.

When the borders open and the economy begins to recover, property prices will rise again faster. We therefore recommend taking advantage of the moment and buying more attractive properties at a lower cost.

When buying one or more properties, the investor can participate in the Greek residence permit programme for investment. The minimum transaction amount under the terms of the programme is 250 000 €. In 5 years the property can be sold and the investment can be fully refunded.

How to buy property in Greece in a pandemic

How to buy property in Greece in a pandemic

In May 2020, the Greek government simplified procedures for participants in the residence permit programme for investment. The investor was allowed not to come to the country to conclude a contract of sale and purchase of the real estate. Expenses under the program can be transferred from a foreign account.

Those wishing to buy property under the investment programme still need to fly to the country to surrender biometrics. Investor’s fingerprints are needed to produce a residence permit card – a document that confirms the resident status of the country.

Now Russians can fly to Greece to see real estate, personally sign a contract and hand over biometrics. The country accepts up to 500 Russian citizens per week. To enter, you need a certificate with a negative coronavirus test result and hotel reservation or other document that confirms the address of your stay in Greece.

The air traffic regime will remain in force until 30 November. After that, it may be reviewed depending on the epidemiological situation.

2 flats in Greece with total value 295 000 €

Apartments in Athens for participation in the Greek residence permit programme for investments

Boutique apartments in the centre of Athens, Greece. Price — 133 000 €

Apartments in Alimos for participation in the Greek residence permit programme for investments

Boutique apartments near the sea in Alimos, Greece. Price — 162 000 €

Apartments in Athens for participation in the Greek residence permit programme for investments
Apartments in Alimos for participation in the Greek residence permit programme for investments

What gives Greece residence permit for investment

A residence permit card for investment allows you to live, work and do business in an EU country. In addition to this, the investor can:

  • Travel and stay in the Schengen area without a visa for up to 90 days per half year.
  • Apply for Greek citizenship in 7 years and for naturalisation in 12 years.
  • Open an account, hold money and make foreign exchange payments in European banks.
  • Become a tax resident in Greece and optimise taxation.
    From October 2020, new tax residents can pay tax on world income in a fixed amount of 100 000 € per year. We talked about this in the material “Greece has introduced tax relief on world income for foreign investors”.

976 Russian citizens have become Greek residents through real estate purchases since the launch of the programme in 2014. Russians are ranked 3rd in terms of the number of participants in the Greek residence permit programme for investment.

Apartments in Athens for participation in the Greek residence permit programme for investments

Apartments in the historical part of Athens, Greece. Price — 275 000 €

Apartments in Crete to participate in the Greek residence permit programme for investment

Apartments by the sea in Crete, Greece. Price — 268 000 €

Villa in Crete to participate in the Greek residence permit programme for investment.

Two-storey house with sea and mountain views in Crete, Greece. Price – 300 000 €

Apartments in Athens for participation in the Greek residence permit programme for investments
Apartments in Crete to participate in the Greek residence permit programme for investment
Villa in Crete to participate in the Greek residence permit programme for investment.

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