The Greek property market looks set to find itself in a privileged position once the travel restrictions are lifted and foreign investors return. The main attraction will once again be the Golden Visa residence permit program for those who invest at least 250,000 euros in Greek realty, providing they originate from non-European Union countries.
Henley & Partners, an investment consultancy firm specializing in the housing market through programs such as Golden Visa, notes in a report that the coronavirus pandemic will motivate more high-income investors to reassess their investment strategy, mainly as to how they can safeguard their capital and families in case of future financial shocks. In that context, countries with successful residence permit or nationality concession programs will be at the focus of interest, with Greece well positioned to benefit.
The company’s CEO, Juerg Steffen, notes that “investment migration is a beneficial solution for foreign investors as well as for the states implementing it. Many high-income investors select the property acquisition programs of European countries because they offer a unique investment opportunity that includes returns for the acquisition and utilization of properties, the future reaping of capital gains and the option of an alternative residence or even a second nationality.”
Those investors (in Greece’s case, from China, as the Chinese account for 75-80 percent of residence permit applications) are expected to start returning from the fourth quarter of the year.
According to Nicky Simbouras, head of Proprius property services, “the impact of the pandemic on the realty market is obvious. We are expecting a particularly weak second and third quarter and hoping for a fourth quarter with more intense activity.”
Notably, there continues to be some activity on the part of domestic buyers, who are seeking out property opportunities, a trend that keeps growing every week. Those active in the office market have largely postponed their relocation plans by at least a few weeks, and are mainly examining shorter leases on flexible terms.