The level of interest shown by Chinese property buyers in Greece soared in the fourth quarter of last year due to the country's investment-for-residency program, says Shanghai based real estate agent Juwai.
In its annual report, Juwai said that Chinese buyer enquiries for Greece soared 658.9 percent. Thailand topped the list with buyer enquiries in that country jumping 687.4 percent, added the real estate company.
Greece is now one of the most heavily enquired countries for Chinese buyers.
In terms of buyer interest, the country ranks as the ninth most popular country in the world for the Chinese.
Its residency for investment scheme, also known as the Golden visa, is driving this interest. Non EU nationals are eligible for a residency permit in Greece after investing at least 250,000 euros in property. When compared with other Golden Visa programs in Europe, Greece's plan is among the cheapest.
"Chinese buyers have seen the opportunities to buy stunning Mediterranean homes at a time when the Greek real estate market has probably bottomed out. More importantly, the growth in demand in Greece is a reflection of the popularity of that country’s citizenship by investment programme," says Juwai.
The latest data shows that Greece has issued some 4,100 residency permits since the Golden Visa program started in 2012. In addition to the Chinese, buying interest from non EU nationals is also coming from Russian and Turkish investors.
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