A recent study by Portuguese property service company Imovirtual shows that Greece’s Golden Visa program for the provision of a five-year residence permit is the 2nd cheapest in the European Union and the 5th cheapest worldwide.
According to the news from ekathimerini.com, non-EU citizens may obtain a residence permit in Greece for themselves and their families by purchasing real estate in the country amounting to at least 250,000 euros. In addition, the current conditions in the local market allow investors to buy decent assets within this budge, assets that can deliver significant value for money. This is without factoring in the potential capital gains from resale, given that housing prices are on the rise.
Imovirtual’s survey also shows that Greece’s golden visa program allows an investor could purchase a 178-square meter property for 250,000 euros. In comparison, in Hungary, a 122 sq.m. property can be bought for the minimum investment of 200,000 euros required for a residence permit. However, in Malta, where the minimum is 270,000 euros, that amount would only be enough for a 98 sq.m. property.
This may explain why a wave of foreign investors from non-EU countries have been observed entering the Greek property market. The latest numbers from the Migration Policy Ministry showed that a total of 3,892 Golden Visas had been issued by end-2018, and that almost 1,400 such permits were issued over the course of last year.
The latest available data for this year, regarding the period from January to June 4, showed that another 645 Golden Visas have been issued to non-EU citizens. At this rate, it is estimated that some 1,550 permits will have been issued from January to December by the end of the year, a rise of over 10 percent compared to 2018. In total 4,537 have been issued since the start of the program.
80 percent of these golden visa are properties bought in Attica, with much smaller shares for assets purchased in Thessaloniki and Crete. The Chinese are the leading group of buyers, having obtained 60 percent of the permits issued (2,757), and continue to be very active. They are followed by Russians and Turks, but there also are a few investors from Iraq and Iran.
For more details on the Imovirtual survey, please go here.