Friday October 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Building firms turn attention to luxury homes

By Nikos Roussanoglou

Local construction firms are considering an investment switch to luxury homes to respond to the growing demand by non-European Union citizens for this category of properties that come with a residence permit.

While a number of EU countries have similar investor visa schemes, whereby non-EU citizens who buy properties in Europe (in Greece’s case worth at least 250,000 euros) get a visa, the country’s share from this very promising market currently stands at less than 3 percent, according to a recent survey by the association of Greek estate agents and chartered surveyors (EPPA). Greece joined this club a year-and-a-half ago by introducing a law to that effect, but the results to date have been disappointing.

The EPPA survey tracked residential property transactions conducted over the last few weeks across the country. Non-Greek property buyers accounted for 28 percent of all transactions, with half of them (14 percent) involving non-EU citizens, although only 22 percent went for luxury houses worth at least 250,000 euros.

There are plenty of candidate buyers from countries such as China and Russia, but the main problem is the shortage of the appropriate product, even though it is estimated that the number of unsold houses in Greece exceeds 250,000, some 50,000 of which are holiday homes.

According to EPPA’s vice president Theologos Bosdas, “large-scale investments are required, in the order of 40-50 apartments or maisonettes, that can be promoted in an organized fashion to those buyers.” He adds that demand has been expressed for housing complexes of a significant size, comprising 40-50 units, aimed at creating communities of foreign owners. There are no such developments currently available in Greece, hence the slow purchase rate.

Now a series of property development companies and some major construction groups are eager to change that and are seeking plots for the development of major housing complexes. Listed construction group Ellaktor is examining the option of getting actively involved in this market, although, as group officials point out, no decision has been made for now as additional improvements to town-planning legislation are required for such large-scale investments.

An investment move could be in the works at Markopoulo in eastern Attica, as a group of architects and civil engineers have approached a Chinese construction group to discuss plans for a joint development project in an area of 100,000 square meters that is expected to be brought in to the town-planning zone. Interest has come from the Chinese side, too, and the issue is likely to unfold in the coming months.

Chinese groups are mostly interested in the direct concession of plots around the country so they can move ahead with large-scale housing developments. Local property experts say that the overheating of the Chinese housing market has already led a number of companies to seek out investment opportunities abroad, especially in Europe. As a result one of the countries being examined as a possible destination is Greece, thanks also to the increasing tourism flow from the world’s most populous country.

With this in mind, the visits by the Chinese premier and president scheduled for later this month represent a great opportunity for Greece to attract more potential investors to the local real estate market. After all, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the country’s biggest construction group, is about to implement of a series of investments around the world, and is said to be examining Greece, too, as recent talks have shown.

ekathimerini.com , Friday June 6, 2014 (20:57)  
Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
Cyprus court ruling opens way for bailout funds
The Cypriot supreme court ruled as unconstitutional Friday four bills on bank foreclosures whose passage by parliament prompted international lenders to halt payments on the country’s 10-bil...
Greek PM appoints new defense, development ministers [Update]
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras named his development minister to the defence ministry portfolio on Friday to replace Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is set to become an EU Commissioner. Nik...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
SOCCER
Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
The second round of games for the group stage of the Greek Cup produced plenty of interesting games and results in midweek, but it still lags the upset potential that the knock-out stages of...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The judiciary’s responsibility
The reform efforts over the past few years have begun to bear fruit. Greece has improved its standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, rising 48 positions from 2010 to 61st place...
EDITORIAL
Findings raise eyebrows
An investigation into money transferred to foreign banks by civil servants since 2010, when Greece’s brutal debt crisis erupted, has come up with some striking findings. The checks, which we...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Cyprus court ruling opens way for bailout funds
2. Greek PM appoints new defense, development ministers [Update]
3. PSI victims protest in Athens, Thessaloniki
4. Archaeologists find underground vault in Amphipolis tomb
5. Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
6. Nikos Dendias appointed defense minister
more news
Today
This Week
1. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
2. Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
3. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
4. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
5. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
6. Traffic accidents rise 1.3 pct in August, year-on-year
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.