Golden visa permits rise to 1570 in Jan-Oct data

Greece Golden visa permits rise strongly

Growth in Greece's residency for investment program remained solid in the first ten months of the year, according to the latest data from the country's Immigration Ministry.

The figures shows that 1,570 investors obtained a residency permit, up from 932 in 2015. The figure stood at 10 in 2013, when Greece launched the program offering a five year renewable residency permit to non EU nationals that have invested at least 250,000 euros in Greek real estate.

Most of the interest is coming from the East with 675 Chinese nationals getting hold of the visa followed by Russians (335), Lebanese (76), Turks (53) and Iraqis (52), the data showed. These figures relate to the investors that completed the investment and not their family members, who also qualify for residency.

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Strong growth in Greece's tourism sector is fueling interest in property from foreign nationals who mostly rent out their Greek assets on a short term basis after acquiring them. Others factors cited by foreigners for buying in Greece are a stable geopolitical outlook and low property prices that tumbled more than 40% since the country's debt crisis erupted in 2010.

Interest from foreign buyers is helping breath life into pockets of Greek housing but the broader market remains in the doldrums due to a lack of bank lending and continued austerity measures being introduced by the left wing government that are sapping disposable income.