March 1, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Real estate: The housing market is betting on "Golden visas" and pensioners

New measures are coming to strengthen the real estate market and attract foreign investment.

The interest of buyers from abroad in purchasing housing in Greece is growing. Today, the list of potential buyers has significantly expanded with those wishing to purchase real estate, including in the form of a “dacha”.

The government is launching new measures to strengthen the property market and attract foreign investment through the Golden Visa and so-called senior housing. For investors not previously included in EUwho are interested in issuing a residence permit under the Golden Visa program are now added pensioners from Northern and Western European countries.

K. Hatzidakis: government plan for the real estate market

It is noted that Greece has begun to gain ground by taking into account the elderly, as more and more retirees prefer Greece to previously leading “traditional destinations” such as Spain, Italy and the south of France. Our country’s excellent climate attracts older people from the other side of the Atlantic, who until now preferred more exotic places.

For the first time about government steps Minister of National Economy and Finance Kostis Hatzidakis recently spoke (at the and Forbes Greece real estate conference), emphasizing that for objects included in the list, a special scheme for obtaining a “golden visa” is being studied. “We are thinking about concluding a special agreement, about minimum limit of 500 thousand euroso to direct investment funds to a category of real estate that requires special attention from a cultural and environmental point of view,” the minister noted.

Thus, the Golden Visa program is preparing to make changes so that foreign property buyers have incentives to invest in architectural monuments or historical buildings that have been empty for a long time. The goal is to “revive and release” onto the real estate market at least some of the hundreds of thousands of apartments that were closed many years ago.

Let us remind you that today the minimum limit has been doubled (from 250,000 to 500,000 euros) for properties located in some areas, for example, in the center of Athens, the northern and southern suburbs, the center of Thessaloniki, as well as on the islands of Mykonos and Santorini.

Pensioners – investors

The Minister particularly focused on attracting foreign partners through the development of new investment products. As an example, Mr. Hatzidakis cited the development of a relatively new investment product related to accommodation for pensioners in EU countries (so-called accommodation for elderly people). Foreign pensioners will invest in real estate in Greece, boosting the real estate market and local communities in general through the transactions they will carry out.

It is noted that they will be able to receive their pensions issued to them in their homeland in Greece by transfer. The transfer of tax residence provides an independent tax rate of 7% on the total income received abroad. Recent research shows that Greece and Cyprus are among the top ten most affordable countries in the world to live in after retirement.

As reported, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia and Cyprus are tied for fifth place in the life expectancy category with 81 years, behind Japan with 85 years, Malta with 83 years and Spain and Italy with 82 years, and the percentage of the population over 65 years is 14%. (relatively low level compared to other countries).

Villa in Agia Theodori, Greece

What does the senior living category include?

It is essentially a concept that covers a range of housing and lifestyle options for seniors. These choices usually take into account health concerns associated with aging, such as limited mobility and susceptibility to disease. This may concern retirees from rich countries who see advantages in lower prices in Greece compared to their high pensions. In this way, they can easily ensure a higher standard of living for themselves.

It is worth noting that the real estate industry around the world has begun to invest heavily in housing for the elderly, since this category of citizens remains especially resilient in times of crisis. In fact, according to the U.S. National Investment Center, “senior housing is the only commercial real estate asset class that experienced positive rent growth during the Great Recession.”

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