Greece’s real estate sector continues to attract foreign interest, according to the most recent Bank of Greece (BoG) figures, either through the resilient “Golden Visa” program or residents of EU countries interested in retirement or semi-retirement in the country.

In 2022 alone and in the first nine months of 2023 foreign direct investment (FDI) in the real estate sector reached 2.9 billion euros, the BoG’s interim report on monetary policy revealed.

The figure for the Jan-Sep 2023 period, in fact, was higher by 28.7%, compared with the corresponding period of 2022. The figure in absolute terms for 2023 until September was 1.644 billion euros.

A report by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices estimates that very high-income buyers of properties in Greece increased by 20% in 2023, with around 1,200 individuals comprising this category.

The Greek market is calculated at seventh, worldwide, in terms of popularity for purchasing luxury residences, having recently surpassed Portugal and Spain, which are in ninth and 14th place, respectively.

Another noteworthy conclusion from the private company’s survey regarding Greece is the increase in American buyers, pegged at 15 to 20%, compared to 2022.

The latter are mostly interested in real estate along the so-called “Athenian Riviera”, the leafier northern districts of Athens and popular islands, such as Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Crete, Corfu and Rhodes.

The Golden Visa

A significant factor in this year’s continued surge was last-minute interest in the Golden Visa scheme, as the an extension of a deadline for applying with the 250,000-euro price tag in order to receive a residency visa expired on the last day of July 2023. As of Aug. 1, 2023 the “Golden Visa” minimum purchase doubled to 500K.

The current year is been characterized by a higher demand from buyers within the EU looking for holiday homes on various islands and resort areas, with market analysts optimistic that the year may exceed the three-billion-euro mark for FDIs in the real estate sector.