The recent real estate boom in Athens, precipitated by the thousands of Chinese citizens visiting Athens seeking out a bargain on property, was the focus of an extensive report published recently by Reuters. As reported by the wire service, Chinese investors are seeking out houses and apartments worth more than €250,000 ($285,000).
Chinese visitors, who are arriving in Athens by the hundreds every week, are welcomed with open arms by the city’s real estate agents. The aim of these prospective buyers is to take advantage of Greece‘s generous “golden visa” scheme,” which allows non-EU nationals to attain a Greek residence permit if they invest more than €250,000 in Greek real estate.
The acquisition of legal residency in Greece would allow Chinese investors to easily access the remaining 26 European Union states that are members of the Schengen area.
Following the financial collapse of 2009, Greek properties have lost about 40 percent of their value, making the Greek real estate market one of the most competitive in the EU.
The Chinese investors are not only interested in Greece’s generous “golden visa” program, however. As reported by Reuters, most prospective buyers from China who are seeking to purchase property in Greece are motivated by the country’s warm climate, rich history, and culture of hospitality.
It is this strong interest in Athenian real estate on the part of Chinese buyers that has increased optimism of a turnaround in the Greek real estate market.