GREEK hidden treasures of real estate
by Terina Kalogeropoulos Armenakis
Greece, the cradle of civilization the motherland of the brightest brains and heroes. Aristotle, Plato and Alexander the Great, all were inspired through the brightness of the sun and the colors of the sea.
The sky is also different in Greece as it absorbs the reflection of all the Mediterranean Sea.
Greece is known for the Olympic Games, the great Marathon run and the greatest coastline with thousands of beautiful islands.
Millions of tourists discover the beaches and the mountainous beauties and are overwhelmed by the Greek hospitality and warmth.
There are many hidden treasures to be discovered in Greece due to its endless coastline, the number of islands and the mountainous resorts. Due to the unique variation of the landscape one can ski on the beautiful green mountains in the morning and enjoy sailing in the afternoon.
Greece is endowed not only with its natural beauties but also is geographically located bringing east and west. Only 3 hours flight connect Athens with most European capitals.
As a targeted tourist destination, Greece has also a great potential as it can accommodate Medical and Conference tourism, Cultural and Gastronomic, Religious and Sports activities tourism.
Recently Greece came to the world attention for the economic crisis that it is ongoing.
A financial crisis all Countries have suffered at some point of time in their history, others less severe and others more. Financial crises are always temporary hiccups and we know “what comes also goes”… but Greece’s beauties will always remain.
The same blue sea and sky, the antiquities which transport you to the past and bring you to the philosophical spirit of the hospitable Greek brothers, “Yunani” as you say.
Greece now needs friends to come and support her, believe and invest in its uniqueness and as the people here are sentimental, they want to dispose with much more pleasure some of the many beautiful properties they own to nations they relate with.
The Greek financial crisis did not have only the negative parts of the sovereign borrowing and the financial implications but had positive side effects. People became more aware of the real value of money especially the younger generation, people regained the values of humanity and solidarity. The gifted brains made a restart which is promising for the future of Greece.
The impact of this deep 8 year crisis on the real estate market:
Greece has been in a deep financial crisis for the last 8 years. This had a negative impact on the real estate prices in all sectors commercial, residential and holiday homes up to 60% of decline in prices on average. Currently prices have reached the lowest levels and in some less prime areas in the center of Athens the sale price of a property is very close to the cost of construction.
Therefore investing in Greece at this point is considered an attractive investment market due to high potentiality of capital appreciation, high returns on commercial properties and most importantly the zero risk factor on a further downward price trend which exists in other European capitals.
Among the most interesting investment opportunities are unique residential properties located on the Southern suburbs of Athens, the so called “Greek Riviera” which starts from Faliro to Sounio and the islands.
Hotels are also very attractive as an investment due to the crisis struck banking system, hotel owners do not have any financing to support renovations and further investments. There is lack of large and high end hotel units as there are in Cyprus, and quality holiday houses fill in this gap which is not sufficient.
Tourism has a good potential as Greece is a safe destination compared to the neighboring Countries and reaching the Mediterranean basin.
Greek Tourism continues its positive trend in spite of negative internal and external factors and has become the most promising sector for new investments in Greece.
Two major investment projects are to be launched in Athens, the Astir Palace Resort which is one of the hidden treasures recently discovered by a group of investment parties and the old airport Hellinico which is going to be one of the largest seafront projects of the Mediterranean basin. Both projects are located on the Southern coastline of Athens the “Monaco of Greece”.
Schengen visa permissions: Investors placing funds to purchase properties above 250,000 euro obtain a 5 year Schengen visa renewable also for family members.
Lessons learnt from the crisis: A deep crisis always has a greater impact on less prime areas, therefore the saying when you buy a property three parameters should be looked at “location, location and location”.
I would add good team of lawyers and engineers to make the pre contract careful consultation and an experienced investment consultancy firm which can undertake and coordinate the investment.