Fever of transactions on the islands – Who, where and what properties are acquired

Fever of transactions on the islands – Who, where and what properties are acquired

The example of the Dutch businessman who sold his IT business in the Netherlands and decided for tax reasons to relocate to Greece is indicative of the great appeal that the Greek holiday home market continues to have during 2023 despite the fluctuation observed in the global economy and the increase in interest rates.

Mr. George Gavrilidis, founder and CEO of Elxis, which specializes in the provision of real estate services, especially holiday homes, says that indicative of the demand and investment interest is the course of sales in a development project of 25 independent houses with swimming pool in the area of Plakias, in the South of Rethymno in Crete. Within a few weeks, 50% of the residential complex has already been pre-sold, as deposits have been given for 13 of the 25 residences. Similarly, according to Mr. Ioannis Revithis, head of Revithis & Partners, the interest this year for holiday homes remains high.


According to a relevant analysis by Elxis, during 2023 there are significant differences in the investment behaviour of foreign buyers. Mr. Gavrilidis says that “What we see is that most of our clients prefer to buy homes from plans, as the cost is up to 20% lower, compared to buying a turnkey home. In Crete, for example, such properties, costing 250,000 euros (villa with swimming pool), or from 300,000 euros and above (seaside apartment), are in high demand”.

This diversification in investors’ preferences is due to the increase in borrowing costs. Higher interest rates have reduced the demand for home loans, with the result that foreign investors finance the acquisition of property exclusively with their own funds. In previous years, most transactions were mainly financed through bank borrowings as the cost of money was at a low point. Now, most buyers are using their own funds, without bank borrowing, which has reduced the available budget, and this explains why the average value per transaction this year has fallen by 12%. In fact, slightly cheaper properties are preferred than last year, but the overall value of sales, according to Elxis data, has increased by 4% compared to last year. This is due to the fact that the number of transactions has also strengthened at a rate of 10%.


The shift of British buyers to securing a residence permit through the “golden visa” programme is also significant this year. As Elxis reports, in the past many British people turned to higher value properties in Greece, up to 500,000 euros, taking advantage of the low cost of borrowing. This year, however, the financing of property purchases comes exclusively from personal funds. At the same time, there is a clear boost to the flow of residence permit applicants, as the Greek scheme is one of the last in force in the European Union and offers significant advantages for British investors following the country’s exit from the European Union.

[1] The present constitutes a summary of the article entitled “Foreigners rush to buy holiday homes from house plans – feverish transactions on the islands-Who, where and what properties they acquire” published in the newspaper “Kathimerini” on 29.05.2023 available in Greek at: https://www.kathimerini.gr/economy/562443610/trechoyn-na-agorasoyn-apo-ta-schedia-exochika-oi-xenoi/.