Greek Islands Property Update 2016

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Greek Islands Property Update 2016

February 08, 2016

 Are you looking to sell property in Greek Islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Samos or Kos? The message one hears from Greek Islands is that things are looking good once again.

No, Greece is not yet the same as it was 5 or 6 years back, and the Greek economy is still in a spot of bother. But Greek Islands such as Rhodes or Santorini are relatively unaffected by what happens in Athens. You have the usual tourist crowd in these islands, partying late into the night and generally having a great time, without a care for the troubles of the world! Crisis, you say? What crisis!

Indeed, the Greek Islands were virtually insulated from everything that was happening in the rest of Greece. There were no major protests here, and not even a single riot or disturbance of any sort, even during the worst days of 2015. The folks in the Greek Islands such as Samos, Mykonos, Kos and Rhodes were pretty much in their own world. Incredibly, 2015 saw a record number of tourists in almost all of the beautiful islands.

Tourism is closely linked to the overseas property market. As you might expect the interest in properties in the Greek Islands is still pretty much high in spite of the economic instability in the rest of Greece. In fact, the property market in the Greek Islands never quite lost its lustre, and is still going strong. The only difference is that luxury properties are available for a bargain now, which foreign investors are snapping up like there’s no tomorrow.

What about the Greek economy? Well, the Greek economy is still struggling to stay afloat, but there is no question that things are a lot better than they were a year ago. In fact, the rating agency Standard & Poor increased Greece’s rating from the previous junk grade of triple-C-plus to a slightly more respectable B-minus, which is great news indeed.

The austerity measures taken by Greece are working and there is at least some stability in the national economy. There’s no real danger of the economy collapsing any time soon, as it was feared to, in 2015. In 2016, experts expect to see the Greek economy to stabilize. Certainly, there won’t be the negative rate of growth as witnessed in previous years, which is a great thing.

 In Greek Islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Samos and Kos, the real estate situation is improving slowly. No, we are not close to the highs seen in 2007. A luxury property in Rhodes, that was worth $12 to $15 million in 2007 can now be had for $5 million. Sure, that’s a big reduction in price, but it’s not disastrous for sellers either. Properties in the Greek Islands are still worth something.

So who buys properties in Greek Islands? There is the usual interest coming from Britain. Brits are the most prominent buyers of overseas property in Europe and they are also big buyers in the Greek Islands, especially in Rhodes and Mykonos. French, German and Italian buyers have been active buyers in the Greek Islands as well. There is also a great deal of interest from Russia and Eastern Europe. What has changed is that there are today a lot of buyers from the Middle East, especially from Israel, Lebanon and Egypt.

The Greek government has done its bit to encourage property purchases by foreign buyers like reducing the transfer tax from 10% to 3% and introducing the Golden Visa for non-EU investors, which promises them European Residence Permits for investments worth 250,000 or more in Greece. This is a good thing because a lot of Chinese, Brazilian, Russian and Ukrainian investors are buying property in Greece as it serves as their gateway to Europe.