The number of residence permits issued to non-European Union citizens who invest at least 250,000 euros in Greek properties (known as Golden Visas) recorded a major increase in the first 11 months of 2019.
According to data published on Wednesday by Enterprise Greece, 2,008 new permits were issued in the year to December 1, while the number of permits issued came to 4,059 between the launch of the program in 2013 and the end of 2018. Of the more than 6,000 Golden Visas issued to date, almost 70 percent (4,129 permits) concern Chinese investors.
The growth trend has been spectacular over the last few months: From early September to early December, Greece issued 742 new five-year residence permits to non-EU investors and their families, with 90 percent (665 permits) going to Chinese buyers.
Property market professionals say that interest from abroad in Greek real estate has been climbing since the outbreak of the economic crisis a decade ago, with the Golden Visa program playing a decisive role as it constitutes a key incentive, probably being the most attractive program of this type in the EU. This is also reflected in Bank of Greece data showing a 94 percent annual rise in inflows of money for buying property in January-June 2019 to 736 million euros.