News on the Greek residence permit program

On February 9, the Greek Parliament met, where the topic of the Greek residence permit for the purchase of real estate was also touched.

We remind you that now the Greek residence permit is the most affordable investment program. It is only necessary to purchase real estate worth €250 000 (in some regions €500 000). Citizens of Belarus and Russia need an alternative citizenship to apply for a residence permit, but the ownership of real estate can still be issued for holders of Belarusian or Russian passports.

It is reported that foreign investors from the following countries were leading in 2021-2023: China (56%), Turkey (10%) and Lebanon (~5%). In our view, among the mentioned Turkish citizens, applicants with first citizenship of Belarus or Russia can be distinguished. Citizens of these countries have been actively acquiring Turkish citizenship in recent years, while they could participate in the Greek residence permit for investment program only if they had an alternative citizenship.

So what may be expected for new applicants as early as 2024?

  • Increasing the minimum real estate value to 800 000 euros. This will most likely affect Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Thessaloniki as areas with the highest property values and rent levels;

    In other areas it is possible that real estate values will remain the same. However, it is likely that the situation will be as follows: an increase in prices from the current 250 000 euros to 500 000 euros and an increase from 500 000 euros to 800 000 euros.
     
  • Possibility of an obligation establishment for foreign investors to enter into long-term lease agreements for real estate owned by them. The issue of rent growth (by 40% compared to the 2018 price level) has become acute, and such a measure would help support local tenants.
     

Based on the experience of last year, we can say that regulations will be adopted soon. Most likely, as in 2023 will be given a transitional period, within which it will be possible to have time to book (pay partially) real estate at the previous prices. But all this will inevitably entail an influx of new applicants, as well as an increase in the cost of services of agents.

From our part, we recommend not to delay the issue of applying for a residence permit in Greece, if you have already thought about it. The conditions of migration programs are not becoming more loyal, so it is much more advantageous to take advantage of the available opportunities.
 


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