Greece's Golden Visa Program, which offers residency permits to foreign investors who invest in real estate, businesses, or other activities in Greece, has been highly successful in recent years. In 2022, investments under the program totaled €1.2 billion, with Chinese investors being the main group of investors.
In September 2022, the Greek government announced a series of changes to the Golden Visa Program, which took effect on January 1, 2023. The most significant changes relate to the minimum investment amount required to obtain a residency permit through real estate purchase, which increased from €250,000 to €500,000.
These changes have already begun to impact the real estate market in Greece. According to data from the Bank of Greece, sales of real estate to foreign investors for the purpose of obtaining a Golden Visa fell by 40% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same quarter of 2022.
This decline is expected, as foreign investors must now invest significantly more money to obtain a residency permit through real estate purchase. However, it is important to note that the Golden Visa Program remains attractive to foreign investors, as it offers the opportunity for legal residence and work in Greece, as well as access to EU member states.
The changes to the Golden Visa Program are expected to have the following impacts on the real estate market in Greece:
Reduction in the supply of real estate for purchase by foreign investors:
➪ Investors who wish to obtain a Golden Visa through real estate purchase will need to seek real estate valued at least €500,000. This will lead to a reduction in the supply of real estate that meets these requirements, as property owners are less likely to sell them at this price.
➪Increase in demand for real estate valued below €500,000: Investors who cannot afford €500,000 to obtain a Golden Visa will turn to real estate valued below €500,000. This will lead to an increase in demand for these real estate, which could lead to an increase in their prices.
➪Shift in demand to other investment options: Investors who are interested in obtaining a Golden Visa, but cannot afford to purchase real estate for €500,000, will turn to other investment options that meet the program's criteria, such as investing in businesses or infrastructure projects.
It is important to note that the changes to the Golden Visa Program are still recent and it is still early to fully assess their impact on the real estate market in Greece. However, it is clear that these changes will have some impact on the market and will lead to some changes in the supply and demand of real estate.