Greece is the next frontier for Chinese and Russian buyers

Investors attracted to country’s cheap real estate and “golden visa” program

Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece

The latest trend for Russian and Chinese buyers? Greece.

The country is one of the few nations in Europe with a real estate market that has not fully recovered from the economic crisis in 2008, and it may now be primed for a rebound, according to Bloomberg. Apartments in Athens that are more than five years old have seen prices drop by 45 percent between 2008 and June, and the country’s average price per square meter is equivalent to $3,369 — much cheaper than Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy and Austria.

Chinese investors are especially attracted to Greece’s “golden visa” program, which gives property buyers a visa to the country and, with it, much of Europe. Chinese investors accounted for 43 percent of the 2,053 golden visas Greece issued between 2013 and October, and Russians came in second place with 18.6 percent.

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The booming tourism industry is a draw as well, as it is fueling a strong demand for short-term rentals and giving investors a good opportunity for strong returns on their Greek properties.

George Kachmazov, a Russian realtor who has been buying property in Athens, gave Bloomberg a host of reasons why he was so interested in Greece.

“The country’s residence-for-investment scheme is the best in Europe as it’s cheap at 250,000 euros,” he said. “Property in Greece is cheap; yields for short-term rentals are high, and the country’s growth potential is greater.” [Bloomberg] — Eddie Small

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