Upsurge in property bargain hunters as Greek tourism booms

Monday, September 30, 2013

Upsurge in property bargain hunters as Greek tourism booms

A boom in Greek tourism has led to an upsurge in Greek bargain-hunters, according to property industry sources.

One of the biggest travel groups in the World, TUI, is set to bring an additional 300,000 tourists to Greece in 2014 compared with this year, exceeding two million visitors.

Tourism professionals are already talking about a new record of 18 million foreign visitors to Greece next year, provided no significant domestic or international developments have a negative impact on Greek tourism.

September and October 2013 also appear to be particularly good, in the wake of a record-setting summer. Some three million arrivals are expected by air in total for these two months.

While tourism booms, mainstream real estate prices in Greece have dropped to 31 per cent below their market peak.

This has led to an upsurge in bargain-hunters, report several sources.

According to the property portal Rightmove Overseas in its 2013 Consumer Survey, Greece is the third most popular destination for people buying to relocate abroad is Greece - not USA, Portugal, Australia or Canada.

Maybe less of a surprise bearing in mind the drop in property prices there, Greece is the fourth most popular place for those buying with investment the main priority - beating Italy, Turkey and Thailand.

But while Greece may not be a blue-chip investment financially, it remains reliable in other ways.

In spite of the country's economic difficulties and those of the eurozone, Greece and its islands offer sun, sea and sand and a unique charm.

Greece is also getting a lot of interest from non-Europeans seeking a fast-track route to EU residency.

In sync with the raft of other recent "golden visa" schemes in the eurozone (Portugal and Spain especially), as of this year, Greece is giving speedy residency to buyers of any property from just €250,000 ($329,075) and gave out its first property-tied residency to a Chinese man on 8 August 2013.

Luke Smith, Managing Director of Crystal Investment and Real Estate - a company specializing in emerging markets - comments: "We have certainly seen an upsurge in bargain-hunters interested in investing in real estate in Greece from UK and international investors.

"The market in holiday properties is reasonably buoyant, certainly compared with other sectors of the Greek economy. We will almost certainly see a surge in demand for residential property from non-Europeans looking to secure a residency permit in the EU over the coming months.

"The cost of living in Greece is substantially lower than in Britain and there are many low-cost flights to the country. And Greece offers something for everyone, from party animals to nature-lovers to people who just want to sit and watch the sunset with a glass of ouzo."

Some people are still keen to renovate. Read about one British couple who did so in Crete and have plenty of great advice to share.

In contrast, Crystal are offering units targeting investors at the Aigaia Siviri Residence, Halkidiki, Greece which is a 70 km drive from Thessaloniki International Airport. Prices start from £110,000 inclusive with and a promised ROI of 9 - 13 per cent per annum.

Just 90 metres from the sea, the apartments have private gardens and lawns or spacious balconies, depending on the level and all come fully furnished, to a luxury standard.

"Halkidiki is an idyllic and beautiful part of Greece with 30 blue flag beaches and two blue flag marinas in the region. The area is completely unspoilt with zero pollution and benefits from 300 sunny days each year. It is a family oriented environment which boasts 550 km of coastal line," adds Mr Smith.

Search here for dozens of Greek homes for sale suitable for lifestyle and/or investment.

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A Place In The Sun