The number} of residence permit holders under the “golden visa” scheme at the end of the year’s first half showed a decrease for the first time, by 544.
Migration Ministry data show permit holders at end-June had fallen to 9,075 from 9,619 in January, which is the first time since the investment incentive program began in mid-2014. In total, 1,035 new licenses were issued in 2021, which was 10.3% higher than in 2020, with the total number reaching 9,619 licenses at end-January 2022.
According to real estate market executives, this is due to the fact that some of the first-year license holders chose not to renew them once they expired after five years, because they preferred another country’s license or no longer needed it, or because they chose to resell the property they had bought.
As Risvas and Partners law firm head Alexandros Risvas tells Kathimerini, “several foreign investors who bought into the Greek real estate market in 2017 and 2018, are now choosing to transfer their property in order to capitalize on the capital gains created. In some cases of high-demand realty, the profits are significant.”
For example, one Turkish investor who had bought a property in Kolonaki in 2017 for 260,000 euros, recently sold it for almost twice as much.