Foreign direct investment in Greek real estate bounces 76 pct in Q2

Real estate investments in Greece from foreign investors shot up 76 percent in the second quarter of the year on the back of a strong rebound in the Greek economy and advancing property markets globally.

Data from the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, shows that foreign direct investment in property rose to 247.7 million euros in the second quarter, from 140.6 million euros in the same period a year earlier. The figure stood at 214 million euros in the January to March period this year.

Figures are still well short of levels seen in 2019, when foreign investment in real estate totaled 1.45 billion euros for the year, but have been rising since the lockdown periods in Greece – and much of Europe – were lifted.

Demand had been coming mostly from from Central Europeans coming from the DACH regions (45 percent from Germany, 15 percent from Switzerland and 10 percent from Austria) as well as the Benelux countries, Russia and the USA, experts say.

Improving economic conditions are also helping breathe life into Greece’s Golden Visa program. Enterprise Greece chief executive Georgios Filiopoulos recently told that Greece’s Golden Visa numbers have started climbing again as evidence appears of pent up demand emerging for the country’s residency-for-investment program.

Although foreign buyers were mostly behind rising demand for homes in the first half of the year, buying interest has also been emerging more recently among Greek households as the economy powers ahead by a forecast growth rate of about 6 percent this year and the job market shows signs of improving.

Where is the demand?

Demand for a home in Greece from foreign nationals is mostly targeted in the Cycladic islands, Athens (central and southern districts) and Halkidiki, in the north, according to classifieds site spitogatos.

Based on searches conducted on the site this summer, most foreign buyers are looking for a place on a Cycladic island, with Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Santorini and Syros drawing the most interest. The next most popular area is central Athens (Kolonaki-historical centre-Pangrati) and the capital's southern suburbs, alongside the beach stretch.

Higher up the price chain, brokers also report solid interest in properties in Crete and Corfu and the coastal areas of the Peloponnese like Porto Heli.