Greece is one of the countries with the longest coastline in the world because it owns more than 3,000 large and tiny islands – about 20% of the territory. There are an average of 300 sunny days a year. The local climate is considered one of the best in the world. But how to become a property owner in this paradise?

Can foreigners buy property in Greece?

Citizens of any country have the right to buy residential and commercial real estate in Greece. You can make a deal as an individual or a legal entity.

The only exceptions are the areas considered border territories. A foreigner needs the authorities’ permission to buy real estate in these places. The list includes some Greek islands bordering Turkey (for example, Rhodes and Kos).

How much does it cost to buy property in Greece?

The cost depends on the property type and region. In general, Greece is still a relatively inexpensive country. In Athens, Thessaloniki, you can buy property at a price of up to € 2,000 per sq. m. There are locations with € 500-750 per square meter.

It is also useful to study Greek or international real estate sites to learn more about the process of buying property.

Best places to buy property in Greece

Most settlements in Greece have all the necessary infrastructure, which means that can easily choose property between big cities and small towns. Transport links are well established between the regions.

Athens is the capital city of Greece, one of the oldest and most famous cities in the world, and the cradle of an ancient civilization. Modern Athens is a developed metropolis with all the necessary infrastructure. Housing prices in Athens range from €1,400 per sq. m. in the western districts to almost €3,000 in the south of the city.

Thessaloniki is the largest city after Athens, the cultural capital of Greece. It is full of museums, restaurants, and shopping malls, and for lovers of nightlife and clubs, there is a big reconstructed historical district Ladadika. Housing prices in Thessaloniki range from €1,200 to €1,700 per sq. m. You can buy a small apartment can be purchased for €50,000-70,000.

Corfu is the northernmost and the second largest among the Ionian Islands. A little more than 100,000 people live here. Corfu has everything you need for year-round living. Many ancient villages are gradually turning into resorts with numerous cafes and shops. On average, a square meter of housing in the prefecture of Corfu costs €1,700.

Crete is the largest and southernmost island of Greece, the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. The infrastructure of Crete is rich: eight public hospitals, three universities, museums, and historical and cultural attractions located in the largest cities. According to Spinogatos, the cost per square meter in Heraklion Prefecture is €1,300.

Santorini is a volcanic island of the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. The area is 76,000 square kilometers, and the length of the coastline is 66 km. Here you can find a variety of restaurants and cafes with local cuisine, water sports clubs, shops, beauty and health centers, and tanning salons. If you are looking for a Santorini property for sale, remember that this is one of the most expensive islands in Greece: a square meter of housing in Santorini costs more than €2,000 on average. 

How can I find a property in Greece?

You are not obliged to hire a real estate agent. But you will save yourself the need to understand legal documents in an unfamiliar language. You can contact a Greek real estate agency or a company in your country that sells real estate in Greece through its partners.

About buying property in Greece

When looking for a new home in Greece, the most important thing to do is to obtain a local TIN. An individual tax number is required for all calculations on the transaction. The local tax authority issues it. You can handle it via a lawyer, who can also help you with making an offer. Previously, the participation of a lawyer was mandatory by law, but now they work only at the buyer’s request.

Greece is one of the best options for investors due to its geographical location and attractive conditions of the Golden Visa program. You can get a five-year residence permit by spending at least €250,000 on Greek property.

Real estate taxes and fees in Greece

The standard tax rate for the purchase of new buildings in Greece is 24% (VAT). Since 2014, a preferential rate (3.09%) has been applied only for facilities whose construction permit was issued before January 1, 2006.

However, since 2020, the Greek government has announced a VAT freeze for all new buildings, including unsold real estate built after 2006. The new rules will be in effect for three years – until the end of 2022.

For the lawyer’s fee, you need to pay about 1.5% of the cost of the object. Additional services (for example, legal analysis of the transaction in non-standard situations) are agreed upon and paid separately. This amount already includes the preparation of all documents and transfers.

Notary expenses usually amount to 1.5% of the contract value of the property.

The commission of the real estate agency is up to 2% of the transaction amount. In rare cases, companies do not charge a commission if a seller is a developer.

In conclusion

  • As a foreigner, you can buy Greek properties on the same terms as residents, except for border regions. 
  • You have the right to obtain a Greek Golden Visa by buying property for €250,000 or more.
  • You don’t have to use a lawyer’s help by law, but they are very helpful if you don’t speak Greek. 
  • Greece is a relatively cheap destination for investors.