Vacation homes on the continent of Greece or the Greek islands have long been a craving. The clear blue waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, temperate climate, natural beauty, historical associations, clean beaches and a peaceful lifestyle have made Greece a favorite among those looking for relaxation, fun and more.
And offers an interesting variety of homes. While celebrities and millionaires buy mansions on the island or on the coast near Athens, others have a choice between modern apartments and quaint country houses. Prices range from 20,000 euros for Greece phone number list a villa in one of the most remote villages to millions of euros for beautifully located luxury villas and villas.
Recently, Greece’s economic troubles have lowered the demand for real estate. When the country was in a sovereign debt crisis last year, the IMF and the European Union agreed to a bailout of EUR 110 billion if the government took austerity measures to reduce the country’s high budget deficit. The measures, which include cuts in public spending, tax increases, privatization and ways to control tax avoidance, have put heavy pressure on the housing market. In addition, media coverage of public sector protesters discouraged tourists and potential foreign buyers.
According to the Central Bank of Greece, the average decline in house prices in the third quarter of 2010 was 4.3%. In Athens prices fell by 3.1%, in Thessaloniki the average price decline was significantly more pronounced around 9.7% and in other cities the average price fell by 5.9%. Outside the city, the average price fell 2.7%.
Given the uncertainty, the price is not expected to be a target anytime soon. At the end of 2010, Greece’s budget deficit was 9.4% of GDP, well above the EU maximum of 3%. Analysts are not optimistic that the government can cut the deficit by up to 3% over the forecast period. Only a convincing economic recovery can boost demand for real estate in Greece again.
Rental yields have also fallen significantly in recent years. The average rental income for a small apartment in the heart of Athens is about 2.8%. On the outskirts of Athens, the rate of return was slightly higher. In Crete, the average return on a rented apartment is 3.5%. Investing in rental properties nowadays is not a good idea.
However, there is a silver lining to all of this. Home depreciation can be an opportunity for those who have always wanted to rent a vacation in the Mediterranean. Since prices tend to continue to fall, interested buyers should look for better deals. In some parts of the continent and the island, luxury property prices have fallen by up to 45% due to higher property taxes on high-end properties valued at more than 400,000 euros. There are many properties on the market, but buyers are also reluctant to invest and start looking for apartments in France or elsewhere. In such a scenario, a very interested buyer has room to negotiate.
However, investors should look for specific signs of recovery before investing. According to the Greek Ministry of Finance, the economy is expected to contract by 2.6% in 2011. Many analysts have expressed doubts about the country’s ability to continue lending on financial markets this year. Overall, the prospects are quite uncertain. In these circumstances, investors are cautious about the potential for investment in Greek real estate.
Tips for buying property in Greece:
• It is important to appoint a reputable attorney who will seek property rights, verifying that the seller has paid all property taxes and that they are not legally bound. Make sure your attorney is independent from your real estate agent.
• In general, EU citizens can buy property in Greece. Citizens of some non-EU countries require prior approval from the local prefecture before purchasing Greek property.
• All local and international buyers need a local tax registration number or AFM issued by the local tax office. Foreigners who receive a tax ID must file an annual tax return in Greece, regardless of whether they live there or earn money.
• You need to open a bank account in Greece. All funds you send to Greece must be supported by a pink piece of paper showing the source of the funds and tax information.
• A notary public directs transactions. A preliminary contract is being prepared, after which the buyer pays a 10% deposit. A binding purchase contract is then drawn up and signed by the buyer and seller in the presence of a notary and real estate agent.
• If you intend to lease your property b2c phone list to tourists, you need permission from the Greek National Tourism Organization.
• You want to spend enough time shopping and comparing prices because there are often multiple agents trying to sell the same house for different prices. It is important to choose a reputable and licensed real estate agent.
• If you are planning to buy property in a remote location, make sure that your sales contract includes a fee for utilities, telephone, and internet connection.