Who buys in Greece? How and why?

11 March 2013


A severe recession compounded by a national debt crisis has had a profound impact on Greece’s real estate market. According to Mr. Bosdas, property prices have dropped an average of 35 to 50 percent since their peak in 2008. He said about 150,000 properties were sold annually in Greece from 2002 to 2008. “But in 2011, which are the latest figures, only 11,000 properties were sold,” he added, “so the market shrank by 95 percent.” Greece is therefore the perfect buyers’ market, as prices can now be negotiated and “cash buyers are kings.”

Kostas Dokimakis, a lawyer who owns Dokimakis & Associates on Syros, an island south of Athens, expressed a similar view. He too has seen a drop-off in prime prices on popular Greek islands like Mykonos, Santorini and Crete since 2008, although declines have not gone further than 20 percent. According to Mr. Dokimakis, on less touristy islands like Naxos, it is possible to buy a property for $60,000, which “gets you nothing on Mykonos.”

New property taxes imposed over the past few years, coupled with 30 percent unemployment and pension cuts, have forced some homeowners to put their properties on the market in “fire-sales,” said Arsinoi Lainioti, a lawyer who practices in Athens and in Boston, Mass.


Most foreign buyers in Greece are from European Union countries and North America, according to Mr. Bosdas. Ms. Lainioti has seen that same demographic, along with South Americans, adding that the buyers are generally “Greek-somethings,” as she calls them — people of Greek descent. There is a concentration of French and German buyers on the islands, and Russians tend to buy in Crete, Mr. Dokimakis said. Mykonos attracts buyers from all over the world, he said.


There are no restrictions for foreigners, except for a few select areas along the border with Turkey. For homes costing more than $104,700, a buyer is required to hire a lawyer, typically costing 1 to 1.5 percent of a property’s selling price.

The lawyer performs the title search, investigates any liens or claims, and finds a notary. It is also recommended that the lawyer hire an engineer to inspect the property and review the building permit.

Prospective buyers are advised to secure financing from their own countries rather than Greece, whose banks are generally not lending, brokers and lawyers said.


Government portal: primeminister.gov.gr

Greece tourism: visitgreece.gr


Greek; euro (1 euro = $1.31)


The transfer tax is about $143,255. The annual property tax is about $14,290, and notary fees are 1.2 to 2 percent of the sale price. The agent’s fee is 4.96 percent of the sale price, split between buyer and seller.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/greathomesanddestinations/real-estate-...