The covid-19 pandemic may have broken the upward trend in Greece's property market, but realtors expect a comeback once the virus recedes, Xinhuanet reported.
Demand will likely increase again for airy properties with balconies and gardens in the suburbs or the countryside, real estate agents told the media outlet.
According to the Bank of Greece, after the debt crisis that started in late 2009, property prices in Greece nosedived 50%. The real estate market started to recover in 2017 only, growing by 7.3% last year.
However, in the second quarter of 2020, the respective growth figure was merely 4.1%.
It is recalled in 2013, Greece launched its Golden Visa Program. It grants a five year residency visa in return for an investment in real estate. There is no minimum stay requirement and children up to the age of 21 are included in the family application.
Last year, foreigners invested some 1.5 billion euros in the Greek real estate market.
Following the worldwide covid shutdown, demand is now growing again and the trends are changing, according to market experts
"At the moment, the Greek market is frozen, but we see big interest in houses with gardens," Kosmas Theodoridis, vice president of Greece's Federation of Realtors, told Xinhua.
"The pandemic fuelled trends that already existed in certain demographic groups, like newlyweds or new parents, who want bigger homes, houses with gardens or in the countryside. Amidst the pandemic, this trend was strengthened and expanded to other demographic groups as well."
"The advantages of living in the center, such as being close to theaters, cinemas, cultural events, restaurants and cafes, are now off the table. People prefer to have what they can enjoy even during a pandemic, like a walk in the countryside," he explained.
Alon Zadok, owner of a real estate development company active in the Greek market, also confirmed this shift.
"Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, most of them were looking for small to medium units, residential units, fully renovated, in order for them to be able to rent them out and have a nice return. Over the past three months we have seen increased demand for the same, but also for houses, any kind of investment, out of the city center," he told Xinhua.
His clients include potential investors from Israel, Italy, Greece, Turkey, India, France, Lebanon and China.
In addition to advantages such as the good climate, the environment, the living conditions, the safety and the rich history, Greece seems to have gained points with interested investors thanks to its handling of the COVID-19 crisis, Zadok added.
New incentives for foreigners with means to live in Greece – leaving out many in the Diaspora who can’t afford the terms of programs such as Golden Visas and moving their tax base, is being considered by the New Democracy government.
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