Prime Minister Mitsotakis Addresses Housing Crisis and Proposes Measures to Address Affordability Issues

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

During "Prime Minister's Question Time" in Parliament, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis responded to a question posed by opposition leader Nikos Androulakis regarding the housing crisis.

Mitsotakis expressed his agreement with the assessment of the problem and stated that the government is exploring potential solutions. One of these solutions includes the possibility of increasing the minimum investment limit for the golden visa program.

Mitsotakis further pointed out that the housing problem has had repercussions in various aspects of society, particularly in areas heavily impacted by tourism. Due to the high demand for rental properties, these areas often struggle to attract doctors and medical professionals due to the lack of affordable accommodation. The prime minister acknowledged that the surge in short-term leases has contributed to a decrease in the availability of properties for long-term rentals, resulting in a 40% increase in rent prices compared to 2018. He described this as the opposite side of the problem faced a decade ago when the real estate market collapsed.

The prime minister also highlighted that although Greece has a relatively high rate of homeownership, three out of ten Greeks are compelled to rent their primary residence. He emphasized the positive impact of the golden visa program in attracting foreign capital, revealing that 7% of real estate transactions in recent years were facilitated through this program.

Mitsotakis stated that the government has already raised the minimum purchase price limit for the golden visa program and believes that further increases are warranted. He mentioned that discussions with the Economy Minister are underway to raise the lower limit for golden visa investments, particularly in areas experiencing significant rent pressure such as west Attica. The potential increase could be up to 800,000 euros.

Additionally, the prime minister mentioned concerns regarding short-term leases and their potential to alter the character of entire neighborhoods. He suggested further discussions on this topic and emphasized that individuals operating more than three apartments as short-term rentals should have the same obligations as hotel operators.

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