After seven years of calamitous house price decline, it seems that Greece’s property market is on its way to recovery. The Greek’s economy seems to be following suit thanks to the huge boost in tourism.
According to the Bank of Greece, house prices fell slightly by 0.46% in urban areas in 2016. In Athens, properties in the city center cost US$286 per square feet (sq. ft.), while the houses in the suburbs cost US$223 per sq. ft. Surprisingly, as the house prices fell, the same happened with rental yields. The gross yields now range from 4.01% to 4.52%.
In Thessaloniki — Greece’s second-largest city — properties cost US$146 sq. ft. and rental yields are higher and range from 4.23% to 4.61%. In Heraklion, house prices are US$127 per sq. ft. the rental yields are similar and range from 4.03% to 4.43%. In Patras, properties cost US$160 per sq. ft. the rental yields are the lowest and range from 3.14% to 3.37%.
In order to resuscitate the housing market — because it really was on life support — the Greek government recently offered non-EU nationals to purchase or rent properties over US$285,171 — and get a EU residence visa. It is valid for five years and can be renewed.
EU nationals can easily own property in Greece and while non-EU nationals are allowed to buy real estate in the country, they face a complicated and lengthy purchasing process. There are numerous steps that must be done before the actual sales begin. Moreover, Greek authorities are very wary about how non-EU nationals get funding for the purchases and it has to show where the money originated or it will be taxed!