Regions and cities to invest in Greece

6 min read

Are you thinking of relocating or investing abroad? If you’re looking for year-round sunshine, a low cost of living and affordable property then Greece is an exciting option to consider. Having always been a popular destination for holidaymakers, it is now also a hot spot for property investors. So, are you ready to find your slice of Mediterranean sunshine?

6 reasons to invest in Greece

Greece is a country that captures the imagination. Think of picturesque villages with gleaming white houses set against the deep blue sea. Imagine buzzing tavernas full of people and visualise miles and miles of coastline where you can lie back and relax. All that is just a snippet of what Greek life has to offer.

So, let’s get into it. Why should you buy property in Greece? Here are 6 of our top reasons:

  1. Greece gets around 3,000 hours of sunshine every year. The Mediterranean climate creates hot summers with a cooling breeze and mild winters with minimal rainfall.
  2. Although smaller in size than the UK, Greece has 6,000 islands and thousands of miles of coastline. From sandy beaches to rocky coves, sheltered bays and even volcanic areas each island is unique. Only 227 of these Greek islands are inhabited.
  3. The cost of living in Greece is 12% below the European average. Groceries, travel costs and rent are significantly cheaper in this part of Southern Europe than compared to countries like the UK, Italy, or France.
  4. As part of European Union and the Eurozone, Greece offers great accessibility, ease of travel and a stable currency.
  5. Greece offers great residency options to non-EU citizens and has a Golden Visa programme for people investing in real estate.
  6. If you’re looking for a laid-back lifestyle, welcoming people, and stunning natural scenes, then Greece is your perfect location.

Property market in Greece

Over the last decade, the Greek economy has experienced significant difficulties and has often hit the headlines. But now, things are improving, and the economy has shown slow and steady growth since 2022.

A huge sign of things getting better are increasing property prices. In 2023, they rose by around 11%. The major factor driving these prices upwards is interest from buyers like you; non-residents looking to invest, relocate or purchase a second home.

Despite this increase in prices, Greek property is still a great buy, as prices are much lower than other European countries. The table below shows the average price of an apartment in the centre of 5 major European cities:

City Price per m2 of city centre apartment (£ equivalent)
London, United-Kingdom 11,950.18
Paris, France 10,127.86
Berlin, Germany 7,013.63
Madrid, Spain 3,735.01
Athens, Greece 2,463.20

All pricing information has been sourced from Numbeo.

The data above shows how Greece is considerably less expensive than other parts of Europe. This gives buyers the chance to explore a range of property styles that may be out of their price range in other countries.

The average rental yield in Greece in March 2024 was around 4.82%. In popular tourist areas this could be higher during the holiday season.

Step-by-step guide to buy a property in Greece

Explore Greece

Where you start your search for the perfect Greek property, depends on how you’re going to use it. For example, are you planning to relocate permanently with a young family? Are you looking for an idyllic retirement location or hoping to rent your investment to tourists? Whatever your needs, our iad Overseas property consultants can find somewhere that fits your lifestyle. Here we look at some of the most popular areas to invest in.

Athens

A city steeped in ancient history, surrounded by stunning scenery and bustling with modern life – there’s nowhere quite like the Greek capital. As one of the world’s oldest cities and the birthplace of democracy, Athens is a bucket-list destination for many and is popular with tourists.

 

Just a short distance from the city centre, you’ll find miles and miles of scenic coastline. In 2023, average property prices in Athens ranged from around €1,875 (around £1,587.66) per m2 up to €3,636 (around £3,078.78) per m2.

Crete

If you’re hoping to find a thriving expat community, then Crete – the largest of the Greek islands – is buzzing with Brits and other non-nationals who have chosen Greece as their home.

From busy holiday resorts to picturesque villages, stunning beaches and valleys of vineyards, Crete offers a relaxed holiday-vibe all year round. It’s popular with foreign property buyers due to the range of property choices like traditional houses, villas, and apartments. It’s also budget-friendly and apartments can be found for as little as €80,000 (around £67,740)  with sea view villas priced at around €350,000 (around £296,362.50).

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Cyclades islands

Located southeast of mainland Greece are the Cyclades – a group of 220 islands and two of the most famous – Santorini and Mykonos.

Loved by honeymooners and a magnet for tourists, Santorini’s hilltop sunset views and volcanic black sand beaches are infamous. While Mykonos has become the number one luxury party spot in recent years. Both these islands are much more expensive than other, more peaceful options, and could appeal to those with large budgets.

Neighbouring islands such as Naxos and Paros may present better opportunities for property hunters.

Peloponnese

Located in Southern Greece, the Peloponnese region offers the best of Greek life: ancient art and history, delicious food, beautiful volcanic scenery and (of course) pretty beaches.

Unlike the tourist islands of Crete, Santorini and Corfu, here you can really experience Greek culture and see ancient architecture in all its glory, without the large crowds.

There are countless small villages and towns to explore and plenty of opportunities to find your dream home from pretty villas to small cottages, modern coastal apartments and more. The average property price in this region is around €1,441 (around £2,220.17) per m2 (this information was correct in August 2023).

Why foreign buyers are choosing Greece

One of the main reasons Greece has increased in popularity with foreign buyers is its Golden Visa programme – which is one of the most affordable in Europe.

A Golden Visa offers a non-EU resident the right to live in Greece for up to five years, visa free travel throughout Europe, access to public healthcare and education, and visas for family members. In 2023, more than 31,000 Golden Visas were granted to applicants and their families.

You can qualify for a Golden Visa by investing as little as €250,000 (around £211,637.50) in real estate. However, this depends on the area where you buy. More popular areas, such as Athens, Santorini and Mykonos, require a higher investment to qualify for the visa.

Other reasons for increased foreign investment include:

  • Lower real estate prices when compared with its European neighbours.
  • After a decade of economic hardship, the country’s economy is slowly rebounding with reduced inflation and increased growth – all good signs for interested investors.
  • Tax incentives to attract foreign cash include no VAT for three years on property purchases and a reduction in property transfer taxes.

Expats in Greece

It is estimated that 8% of Greece’s population are foreign residents, which shows how many people have fallen in love with this beautiful country over the years. People are attracted by the laid-back lifestyle, friendly locals and (of course) the beautiful sunny climate.

One of the most popular locations for expats (especially Brits) is the gorgeous island of Crete. The capital city Heraklion is small but well-connected and Chania – a large town – has plenty of beautiful beaches, bars, and restaurants to enjoy.

As well as British nationals, Greece is also home to plenty of American expats and people from a range of German-speaking countries. Over the last three years, there has been an increase in investors from countries such as China, Turkey, Russia, Lebanon and Egypt.

How iad Overseas can help you

We have several iad Overseas property consultants* who can help you in your search for a home with our local partners.

With many years of experience working in real estate, you can rely on us to assist you on the exciting journey ahead.

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