Holiday home prices on the top Greek islands soar

holiday home

Greece's leading island destinations, which attract the most tourist traffic, also attract the most interest from prospective holiday home buyers, foreigners and Greeks alike.

Rhodes and Crete, particularly ​​Heraklion, are the top islands in terms of demand for holiday homes. While offering the most affordable options to prospective buyers, they also have very expensive properties that can exceed 8,000 euros per sq.m.

In fact, according to Spitogatos, the city of Rhodes is among the top 10 regions in Greece and the safest.Rhodes

The capital of the Dodecanese is also among the top five most popular destinations for buying holiday homes, followed by Santorini, Corfu, and Mykonos.

In the Cyclades, Paros also attracts a lot of interest from prospective buyers and has consistently raised its tourism performance year by year. In the real estate sector, the prices in the requested ads on the island have increased by over 100% in the last six years, with over 4,500 euros per sq.m., now surpassing Santorini.

Skopelos in the Sporades is also a more favourable alternative destination, according to Spitogatos.

Interest from foreigners, but also Greeks

However, interest in buying a second residence is palpable both in Greece and abroad, "from where the demand in general for the purchase of a residence in our country is significant," as stated by Mr Babis Charalambopoulos, honorary president of the Hellenic Appraisal Institute, former certified appraiser, and scientific advisor of the consulting company SOLUM Property Solutions.

"Foreign investments in real estate reached approximately 2.1 billion in 2023, with those interested from abroad still having Greece on their radar, since, despite the rise in real estate prices in recent years, it remains cheaper in comparison with other European Mediterranean destinations," he added.

Overall, as a more general comment on the course of the housing market in our country, Mr Charalambopoulos points out that until now, there has been an upward trend, "but possibly in the next period, we will have corrections in some areas without this meaning that there is a 'bubble'."

At this stage, construction costs, wage levels, and inflation are negative factors likely to affect property prices and cause a correction. However, the demand from abroad also plays a crucial role, which is important.

At the same time, the domestic public is now making more requests to purchase a second home, a fact reflected in the latest analysis of Elxis, a company providing real estate and legal services with offices in Thessaloniki, Crete, and Utrecht in the Netherlands.

"For the first time since the outbreak of the economic crisis, Greeks have started to return to the holiday home market. Development is indicative of the great buying interest, especially if we take into account the fact that Elxis promotes Greek properties almost exclusively to buyers from Western European countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands, where the company is headquartered, Belgium, the United Kingdom Kingdom, Austria, France and Switzerland, as mentioned. Despite the fact that the purchase of holiday homes has been, for the last -several- years and even more so during the country's fiscal crisis, a secondary option for the domestic public, there is now a category of Greek prospective buyers who seem to be returning to the holiday home market - and indeed from plans for spec houses," according to Mr Giorgos Gavrielidis, managing director consultant to Elxis.

"These are prospective buyers who are interested in houses of high aesthetics, which are sold from the plans at prices ranging between 250,000 and 350,000 euros, without having as their sole concern the very low price," he added.

This category prefers up-and-coming areas and not particularly saturated locations; for example, in Crete, they move to areas of the Prefectures of Rethymno and Chania without much tourist traffic, while buying interest is also observed along the entire coastline from Igoumenitsa to Preveza and Palairos.

Correspondingly, in Rhodes, the demand manifests itself in the not-so-developed central and western sides of the island, while Greeks also observe significant mobility in the islands of the eastern Aegean.

The prices

Based on data from Spitogatos, the asking prices on the most popular islands for buying a second home show that Mykonos, as expected, leads the way in terms of values. However, Paros's rise is impressive, even higher than Santorini's!

The most affordable option among the most popular island destinations is Crete, in the area of ​​Heraklion.

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In particular, in Mykonos, the average asking price currently reaches 6,750 euros per sq.m, as can be seen from the advertisements, while in 2018 (the first rising year of real estate values ​​after the complete collapse of the real estate market during the country's fiscal crisis), the corresponding figure was 4,500 euros per sq.m.

During the period 2018-2024, prices in Paros more than doubled: the average price for purchasing a house is currently above 4,500 euros per sq.m., always based on published ads, having marked an impressive increase of 108% since 2018, when the corresponding figure was 2,177 euros per sq.m.!

The increase in the other premium destination of the Cyclades, Santorini, is clearly milder: with the average asking price on the island now at 4,190 euros per sq.m., the increase compared to 2,667 euros per sq.m. of 2018 corresponds to +57%.

The average asking price has risen by 38% in the last six years in Corfu, the most popular destination for buying a second home in the Ionian. Prices from 1,500 euros per sq.m. in 2018 now reach 2,100 euros per sq.m.

Corfu in winter/christmas

In Rhodes, the average price is now just over 1,800 euros per sq.m., an increase of +57 % in six years. The island is the first choice in terms of demand due to its infrastructure, connectivity throughout the year, etc.

The same happens in the case of Heraklion, Crete, which is, together with Rhodes, the most popular option for buying a second home at the moment, offering the most affordable prices, with an average asking price in the ads just over 1,500 euros per square metre.

In a more alternative destination, due to the diversity of the natural landscape in the Sporades, in Skopelos, the average asking price for a property currently corresponds to slightly higher levels of 1,800 euros per sq.m.

Stefania Souki is a columnist for New Money. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos

READ MORE: ON Residence: A 5-star hotel in the heart of Thessaloniki.

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