Repressed demand emerges for Greece’s Golden Visa

Greece’s golden visa the numbers have started to climb again as evidence emerges of an emerging pent-up demand for the country’s investment residency program, said Georgios Filiopoulos, managing director of Enterprise Greece.

In an interview with, Filiopoulos said recent changes to the Golden Visa law allow the process to be completed online, although most people prefer to inspect the property in person.

Other adjustments to the legislation introduce incentives for applicants to purchase properties outside Attica, a change which may be particularly attractive to Britons seeking residency in the EU following Brexit.

“So far this year, we have evidence of a pent-up demand and an increased number of applications,” he says.

The latest data from the Ministry of Migration shows that interest in the Golden Visa has thawed amid the easing of international travel restrictions. In the first five months of the year, 117 new permits were issued, the total number reaching 8,692 permits. This compares to 8,575 in 2020 and 7,637 in 2019.

Georgios Filiopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece, the country’s investment agency.

This trend is in line with reports from brokers indicating an increase in buying interest from foreign nationals in recent months. More than eight in ten potential buyers on the Greek islands during the summer were foreign nationals with a strong interest in Central European countries.

Since then, however, housing demand has spread among Greek buyers, encouraged by forecasts of a strong economic rebound this year and next, as well as job growth.

Hotels in demand

Request for hotel investments also picked up after the country experienced a stronger-than-expected tourist season this summer. A number of global investment funds without a presence in the country are said to be hovering over Athens and some of the larger islands, such as Crete, Rhodes and Corfu.

Most showed a preference for hotels already operational and in need of renovation rather than starting from scratch, avoiding lengthy authorization processes.

High-end assets in the hotel market, both for luxury resorts and upscale branded hotels are widely targeted.

“We expect this trend to continue,” says Filiopoulos.

“Regarding the settlements, we see activity all over the country, as well as in Athens, but I would say that the next flagship project will be the privatization of the property of Gournes in Crete,” said the CEO.

Among the consumer trend that is likely to continue and affect the industry in the future is the demand for longer trips.

“These could be remote workers moving temporarily – an extension of the ‘leisure’ trend of combining business and leisure while traveling. In the same vein, families extend the holidays and bring in guardians for their children, ”said Filiopoulos.

“Longer stays mean, among other things, an increased demand for serviced apartments, which are added by many hotels,” added the CEO.

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