Is €800,000 the New Price of Greek Dreams? Golden Visa Changes Under Scrutiny

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Proposed Increase Raises Concerns

Plans to significantly raise the minimum investment required for Greece's Golden Visa program have sparked worry among real estate professionals, foreign investors, and current residents. While the specific details are still being discussed, the potential for hikes in certain areas to €800,000 has ignited concerns about the program's future competitiveness.

Loss of Competitiveness Feared

Experts fear that raising the minimum investment to €800,000 in regions like Attica and Thessaloniki would lead to a decline in foreign investment. This, they argue, would stem from the program losing its competitive edge compared to similar offerings in other European countries.

Alternatives Offer Lower Thresholds

As a point of comparison, several European countries offer residency-by-investment programs with lower investment requirements for real estate options. Cyprus requires €300,000, Malta €350,000, and Spain €500,000.

Tiered Pricing System Under Consideration

Reports suggest a tiered pricing system for the Greek Golden Visa program under consideration:

  • Zone A: €800,000 (potentially including central, southern, and northern Attica, the capital region, central Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Cyclades, and Dodecanese islands)
  • Zone B: €400,000 - €500,000 (areas previously requiring €250,000 but experiencing price increases)
  • Zone C: €250,000 (municipalities with lower investor interest)

Addressing Housing Concerns

The increased investment threshold aims to address the ongoing housing shortage in Greece. The government hopes to curb rising property prices driven, in part, by the Golden Visa program. In August 2023, similar concerns led to raising the minimum investment in specific areas from €250,000 to €500,000. However, this initial increase reportedly resulted in a temporary surge in sales as investors rushed to apply before the change took effect.

Uncertain Future

While the proposed changes to the Greek Golden Visa program aim to address housing concerns, their potential impact on investor interest and program competitiveness remains to be seen. Only time will tell whether the program maintains its appeal or succumbs to the increased investment requirements.

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