Greece at a Glance
Greece is located in south-eastern Europe, in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It borders with Turkey to the east and Albania, Bulgaria, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the north. The Aegean Sea lies to the east and south and the Ionian Sea borders the west. These two bodies of water, both part of the Mediterranean basin, contain several islands. Greece is known for being the birthplace of democracy, the Olympics, major scientific foundations, drama and Western philosophy; among several other factors that have had a great impact throughout the world.
Greece's population is around 11.3 million with the official language being Greek (with the use of the Greek alphabet). It has been a part of the European Union since 1981 and up until recently, has experienced steady and sustained economic growth. With the recent intervention of the IMF and other European Union nations aiding in the economic recovery, Greece is becoming an ideal nation for real estate investment - with many properties becoming available at discounted prices.
Greek Property Market
Until 1990, foreigners were not allowed to purchase property in Greece. Therefore, with the rather young market, until very recently, Greece did not have many estate agents offering services to foreigners interested in buying property. The country is widely undeveloped, in the sense that it has not yet been flooded with people seeking out a paradise holiday home or a nice retirement destination. Although it is on the rise, the market in Greece has not yet reached the level of other Mediterranean countries like: France, Spain, and Italy. This beautiful country, with it's nearly 2,000 islands (although many are uninhabited), 15,000 km of coast, 300+ days of sunshine every year and a vast majority of land untouched by high-rises and industrial buildings, is becoming more and more popular among foreigners looking for a holiday or retirement home or as an investment.
The cost of living in Greece is relatively low, compared to many other EU or North American cities; it is about 25 – 50% lower. This is a very appealing feature for prospective foreign buyers, along with the general, relaxed way of life in Greece. The friendly hospitality of the locals, the breath-taking landscapes and the wonderful climate only make it more popular. But, that is not to say that buying property in Greece is inexpensive - there are costs associated with buying there that can be quite expensive: as well as any unforeseen renovations or other problems that can arise when the proper steps aren't taken before buying a property.
The average price for residential property in Greece fluctuated and was on the rise by 5 – 10% in the late 1990s, but more recently it has been dropping. Again, that is not to say it is extremely inexpensive, as the popularity of Greece grows, so do the prices of property. It is not common to buy property as a “get rich quick” investment; many Greeks live in one home for their whole lives. Make sure you are clear with what your expectations are for your potential purchase.
The average price for a 1-bedroom apartment averages from € 60,000 – € 150,000, a 2-bedroom apartment or townhouse ranges from € 90,000 – € 300,000, a village home or older, restored home will vary from € 50,000 – € 300,000, and you will find the most deluxe properties from € 350,000 – € 1,000,000.