With prices starting at 1,000,000 euros, Greeks and foreigners of means can acquire their own island, according to a feature article in Eleftheros Typos daily. Most preferred are the private islands in the Ionian Sea, because of the beautiful landscapes and neighboring mainland.
According to the report, most prospective buyers reside outside the European Union, with the majority coming from Arab states, while those who acquire the islands look forward to future collaborations with foreign companies in the tourism sector, or resale.
However, legislation regarding the purchase and sale of private islands in Greece is both an encouraging and inhibiting factor.
A new legislation automatically gives those who buy real estate property exceeding 250,000 euros in Greece, a 5-year residence permit. Renewal of residency is instant and includes the owner of the property and their family.
However, the completion of the purchase process involves labyrinthine bureaucratic procedures and up to 32 signed licenses before the buyer takes full ownership of the property, including, for example, permits from the Forest Service or the Archaeological Service.
Yet, the price of these islands has become more enticing, since the political instability over the past few months allows foreign buyers to bargain with owners and get lower prices. In fact, from the beginning of the financial crisis until today, Greek island prices have dropped by 40 percent, making them the cheapest worldwide.
At the moment, buyers can choose between 40-50 beautiful Greek islands, including, Isle Modi near Kefalonia, Isle Sophia in Echinades, Isle Vouvalos in Amvrakikos Gulf, the peninsula Katakali near Corinth, the Tragonisi in the Saronic Gulf, Isle Strogkylo near the island of Marathos and many more in the Ionian and Aegean Seas.