Interest in "Golden Visa" falls

Investment under the “golden visa” program in Greece, in the first five months of 2021, decreased by 65.68% compared to Portugal, and losses for 2020 reached 95.4%, in contrast to Portugal, which had losses of only 5% according to research by Panhellenic Real Estate Network E-Real Estates.

Greece since the beginning of the program “Golden visa” until June 1, 2021, issued to investors, buyers of real estate, a total of 8692 residence permits, and including family members – 26,123.

For the entire 2020, including the January licenses, according to the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum of the General Secretariat of Immigration Policy, 403 new “golden visas” were issued to foreign citizens of the European Union by 01.05.2021.

95.4% losses in 2020 under the Greek Golden Visa program
“For 11 months of 2020, real estate investors of all nationalities, including Chinese, were issued 161 golden visa licenses, while in 2019 3504 licenses were issued.

“We are dealing with losses of 95.4% in 2020 compared to 2019, in contrast to Portugal, where losses in 2020 were only 5% compared to 2019,” says Temistoklis Bakas, President of E-Real Estates …

Portugal managed to implement its own program with the issuance of 1,182 Golden Visa licenses. The country has made changes aimed at accelerating and attracting foreign investors, with the ultimate goal of injecting funds into the national treasury while supporting the domestic real estate market.

Greece vs. Portugal: 117 vs. 341 Golden Visa issued in the first five months of 2021
According to the new data for 2021, by June 1, 117 licenses for the “golden visa” were issued to citizens-investors of third countries who have invested at least 250,000 euros in real estate. As Mr. Bakas emphasizes, “in order for our country to be able to cover the losses of 2020 and 2021, according to the available data, and return to the leading positions that it held in 2019, it must immediately make structural changes that will increase investment interest “.

Portugal for the same period in 2021, according to statistics published by SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – a service integrated into the Ministry of the Interior (MAI)), issued 341 “golden visas” to real estate investors. Greece, with the cheapest “golden visa” in Europe (250,000 euros), lags behind in the first five months of 2021 by 65.68% compared to Portugal, where investment limits are much higher.

Investment limits in Greece and Portugal for obtaining a “golden visa” when buying real estate
The President of E-Real Estates explains that the low investment threshold is not the main motivating factor for attracting investors from third countries to Portugal. It is directly related to the strategy of growth and inflow of foreign capital through a national plan that adapts to the needs, goals and data of each time in the global community.
“Investment limits in Portugal have been and remain increased, even by 100% compared to Greece. With higher investment thresholds, Portugal dominates the Golden Visa program, targeting large investors, and through this program plans development policies for both the domestic state and the national real estate market.

Thanks to the changes that are planned and will begin to be implemented from January 1, 2022, some category of real estate (affected by the covid pandemic) will be given benefits (for example, offices, shops, commercial premises and tourist apartments), ”says Mr. Bakas.

Real estate investment statistics in Portugal
Based on the study, it is noted that buying real estate with a minimum investment of 500,000 euros is the most popular option for obtaining a “golden visa” in Portugal. 73% of investors chose this option in 2021. The total amount of transactions amounted to € 129.6 million in the first four months of 2021, of which only € 28.6 million relates to a minimum investment of € 350,000 related to real estate in need of renovation.

In Portugal, most investors have focused on hot spots in metropolitan areas such as Lisbon and Porto, or popular tourist coastal areas such as the beaches of the Algarve.

In early 2020, the Portuguese government recommended no longer granting golden visas to investors buying properties in these areas in order to curb price increases and speculation.

On February 12, 2021, the Portuguese government announced changes to the program, which will initially take effect on July 1, 2021, and upon extension, on January 1, 2022. Under the new legislation, non-EU citizens can invest in Lisbon and Porto, as well as obtain a golden visa, but only invest in commercial real estate.

The issuance of a “golden visa” for the purchase of real estate will be granted to those who have purchased an object worth at least 280,000 euros, “secondary housing” requiring renovation and located in areas with low building density. As well as to owners who have purchased a property with a minimum value of 350,000 euros, which is in need of renovation (including in Madeira and the Azores).

Greece has the right “tools” to achieve the goal
“The changes made by Portugal not only sparked a big wave of demand in 2020, but at the same time laid the foundations for the functioning of the real estate market at the national level, thereby contributing to the economic development of the region and supporting commercial real estate in Lisbon and Porto, in case of a possible decline. cost due to the Covid-19 pandemic “, – emphasizes Mr. Bakas, commenting:” Our country has all the relevant “tools” of the legislative framework, allowing you to make changes aimed at immediately attracting investment funds to the country’s economy. “

According to the expert, Greece can immediately announce an increase in investment limits in Attica prefecture, from the beginning of 2022 to 400,000 euros, and at the same time, for the next 5-6 months until the end of 2021, the investment limit from 250,000 euros, that is, issuance today ” the golden visa “should be reduced only in the region and / or only in certain regions in need.

Investment in Elliniko can be a starting point
Investment program in Elliniko could be a starting point. “Since there is a lot of interest in buying residential real estate in Metropolitan Park, and instead of the 400 houses that were planned to be built in the first 5 years, 1,400 will eventually be built, undoubtedly, most of those interested will also strive to obtain a“ golden visa … Therefore, it is necessary to immediately plan changes that will bring income to the Greek state and at the same time prevent any problems in the real estate market in the event that investors massively turn to residential real estate in the Metropolitan Park in the Helliniko area, ”says Mr. Bakas, commenting that this takes time and a comprehensive plan.

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