Prop­erty draw­ing more in­ter­est from in­ter­na­tional mar­kets

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

In­ter­est from abroad in Greek prop­er­ties in the first cou­ple of months of this year was more than dou­ble that seen in the same pe­riod last year.

A sur­vey by the Spi­togatos real es­tate ad­ver­tise­ment web­site recorded a 125.6 per­cent yearon-year rise in searches for Greek prop­erty ads on the In­ter­net in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary. The sur­vey re­port at­tributes this jump to the con­sid­er­able in­crease in in­ter­est from coun­tries such as China, Turkey and the United Arab Emi­rates, which are not tra­di­tional buy­ers of Greek re­alty.

The big­gest in­crease was for prop­er­ties in Thes­sa­loniki (up 281.2 per­cent), fol­lowed by the south­ern suburbs of Athens (251.5 per­cent). Real es­tate in the rest of Mace­do­nia and Thrace saw a 163.8 per­cent surge in in­ter­est, while the equiv­a­lent fig­ures were 157.7 per­cent for the cen­ter of Athens and 133.3 per­cent for Crete.

Who’s search­ing?

In terms of ori­gin, Chi­nese in­ter­est was up 203.6 per­cent in the first two months of 2016, year-on-year. This is ex­plained by the Golden Visa pro­gram, which of­fers a five-year res­i­dence per­mit to non-Euro­pean Union buy­ers of prop­er­ties cost­ing 250,000 euros or more.

In­ter­est from Turkey also dou­bled (up 100 per­cent). The Turks ap­pear to be evolv­ing into a con­sid­er­ably group of po­ten­tial pur­chasers, as fol­low­ing last sum­mer’s failed coup in the neigh­bor­ing coun­try, there has been a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple – pri­mar­ily from higher-in­come strata – search­ing for in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in Greece.

Ac­cord­ing to es­tate agen­cies, Turk­ish in­vestors are mainly look­ing to buy main res­i­dences in Athens or Thes­sa­loniki, while also show­ing in­ter­est in sec­ond homes in pop­u­lar sum­mer des­ti­na­tions with the aim of leas­ing them out on on­line plat­forms such as Airbnb.

There was also an upswing in in­ter­est from Ger­many and the United Arab Emi­rates, amount­ing to 70 per­cent and 50.5 per­cent re­spec­tively. Buy­ers from the Emi­rates are mostly in­ter­ested in the pop­u­lar Cy­clades is­lands in the south­ern Aegean, while the Ger­mans ap­pear to be drawn to Crete.

Pop­u­lar sum­mer des­ti­na­tions in the Cy­clades such as San­torini are draw­ing the in­ter­est of po­ten­tial buy­ers from the United Arab Emi­rates.

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