Greece’s Golden Visa Reviving Covid-hit Property Market
Greece’s investor visa scheme, which grants five-year residency rights to investors who purchase property valued at a minimum of 250,000 euros, is reviving the property market, which was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the migration and asylum ministry, 747 new permits have been granted from the beginning of 2021 to October.
So far in the program’s history (the golden visa scheme was introduced in 2017), Greece has issued a total of 9,322 visas to investors (27,944 including family members) with total investments in real estate reaching at least 2.33 billion euros, the ministry said.
In October, 193 new permits were issued and 554 in the nine-month January-September period.
In 2020, a total of 938 residence permits had been issued as part of the program.
According to ministry data, in 2020 the number of permits issued dropped by 73.4 percent over pre-pandemic 2019 – a record year with 3,535 permits and an inflow of 1 billion euros in foreign capital for the purchase of property.
In 2020 however, as a result of the pandemic, the influx of capital dropped to 875 million euros.
There is a big flaw in the Greek ‘Golden Visa’ system. The areas that need most help are those with properties valued at far less than the €250k minimum for this scheme. Buying old traditional houses at much lower prices and in need of renovation brings business to small run down villages where populations drastically reduced in past recessions and where employment opportunities are much needed NOW. Not to mention the money brought in when new owners visit their 2nd homes and bring friends and family to these quieter parts of Greece. The Greek government should also allow Greek property owners to visit UP TO 180 days per annum at any time (as Greeks can to UK) to be part time residents and remain UK tax resident, ie tax resident in the country where they have their 1st home & income and spend more than 6 months per year.
As one of those visa holders let me tell you that there is much more to the drop of those numbers then the pandemic. Greece has a lot to learn as to how to treat and deal with foreign investors. Let’s just say that you are not as welcoming as you think you are and mostly quite the opposite!