The main reasons for the notable activity in the Greek property market are the Golden Visa program and the high returns offered by investing in property for short-term rentals, according to Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ).
In an extensive report, the Zurich-based daily says the huge decline in real estate prices in Greece alone does not explain the increase in foreign investors planning to buy properties in this country. It says that many people perceive local real estate assets as their key to the European Union, in a reference to the five-year residence permit the Golden Visa program provides to people who invest at least 250,000 euros in property in Greece, the lowest threshold in the bloc.
While the financial benefit of the program has not been significant, it is helping the local property market to recover, NZZ argues, saying that over 1 billion euros has been invested in Greek realty by non-EU citizens since 2013.
The other main factor has been the rise of short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb, NZZ points out, highlighting the increase in rates in areas including the center of Athens that are experiencing unprecedented price growth, although this is generating concern among ordinary tenants.