Greece’s annual gains from transforming the local property market into Europe’s Florida by attracting thousands of northern European pensioners, is estimated at 5 billion euros, according to a report by the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, in association with DiaNEOsis researchers.
This transformation is the aim of Finance Ministry bill regarding the attraction of retirees from other countries in Europe. It is a move that follows the pattern set by fellow countries in the European South, as well as by the American state of Florida, which is popular among pensioners from across the US thanks to its warm weather and low taxes.
Apart from the annual gains of €5 billion, the Greek economy stands to benefit from the creation of 60,000 jobs per year from the shift to the so-called “silver economy.” If the regulation is appropriately advertised and fetches the results expected, the benefits for the economy will be numerous, far above other initiatives to attract foreign funds such as the Golden Visa residence permit program addressing non-European Union citizens.
One of the key questions from the effort to develop the silver economy in Greece is where the retirees who choose to move to Greece will be located. The financial crisis of the previous decade has created a surplus of about 50,000 houses across the country. However in their majority these properties do not form part of residential areas and are not combined with the services for maintenance, management and care that many potential buyers seek.
According to the DiaNEOsis survey, in areas with a high density of foreign nationals the problem could be resolved by independent service providers undertaking numerous individual properties in the same area. This is already happening at several tourism destinations such as islands.
In the rest of the country the attraction of foreigners seeking a second home in Greece could be difficult based on the existing house stock.