The mythical and mystical nation of Greece is scattered among thousands of islands and islets throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Fewer than 250 are inhabited. The country is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries, yet its bays and coves, sand dunes and blue flag beaches are often what second home buyers have their eyes on.
Greece has 13 administrative divisions or peripheries. A quarter of the population resides in Athens, the City of the Gods. Its history is rich and its lifestyle relaxed.
Kolonaki is one of Athen’s most fashionable neighborhoods and boasts a lively pedestrian scene. The capital is also known for its elegant suburbs. Expats gravitate to sophisticated Ekali for its international schools, high end boutiques and choice dining. Kifisia is one of the most expensive suburban neighborhoods. The area spills over with greenery and its 19th century villas are home to a good number of established Athenian families.
Greece’s economic woes dampened the momentum the country experienced in the real estate market after Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. These days, buyers seeking trophy homes and holiday villas--even private islands--are nabbing them at great values as a result. The hope is that sustained tourism will be a catalyst for renters to become buyers.
Buyers from Northern Europe, North America and Russia are attracted to Greece’s long summers. Sprawling coastal villas are a status symbol in the investment portfolio of high net worth individuals, especially on islands like Crete, Corfu, Mykonos and Santorini. Top money buys a residence with a private beach and a jetty to tie up the yacht. Real Estate Buyers view Greece as a lifestyle investment--think infinity pools, smart home automation and sunsets to boot--that are easier on the wallet than comparable homes in similar European locales. Except for special permits required by non nationals in certain so-called “border areas,” there are no restrictions on real estate in Greece purchases by foreigners.