Time to invest in Greece by Democrit Tersenov

Time to invest in Greece by Democrit Tersenov

Tourism is a driving force for the economy of Greece and its development, sector of its «heavy industry», which gives up to 25% of the country’s gross income.

«Over the past three years, the external orientation of Greek tourism has been significantly strengthened, aimed at tourism 365 days a year», says Greek Minister of Tourism Elena Koundoura: «During the period of strong growth in Greek tourism, we are striving to increase accessibility to meet the growing demand, and in this direction a framework has been created to facilitate and attract new investments with high added value».

Among the state measures, it is worth noting periodically launched programs of state subsidies to strengthen small and medium businesses in tourism sector.

By investing in real estate in Greece the amount from 250.000 euros under the Golden Visa Program, a private investor gets the opportunity to obtain a 5-year residence permit with the right to extend to all family members and parents of both spouses.

To date, this is the lowest threshold for entering the market for obtaining a European residence permit.

Athens is a city of great opportunities

During the crisis period in Greece, property prices fell faster than rental rates, which ultimately led to an increase in the investment yield from leasing.

The average yield of apartments of 40-60 sq.m. in large cities for year-round long-term rent increased from 3.5% in 2010 to 6-7% in 2017. In the central and tourist areas of Athens, residential real estate brings up to 8-9% per annum from investments.

According to official data, the growth of international passenger traffic through Athens airport for the last 3 years increased 1.8 times and in 2016 the total volume was about 10 million people.

The increase in the number of low-budget air carriers – low-cost airlines contributed to the increase in the popularization of city breaks among the tourists.

For investors in real estate, year-round tourism in Athens, financial and economic, tourist center with a developed infrastructure, a warm climate where one may combine business, leisure and investment, which remains interesting and popular for foreigners at all times, regardless of the economic situation, makes a promising area for the purchase of apartments, apartments for rent.

Over the past two years, the number of apartments booked by tourists in the central areas and southern suburbs of Athens for short-term rent through international portals has increased up to 10 times, and the number of transactions on analytical data of the national statistical agency of Greece to 1.4 times.

The students form stably high demand for the rental of real estate in Athens, who visit the capital’s universities from all parts of the mainland and island Greece. Also, to date, according to the Ministry of Education in Greece, about 30 thousand foreign students are studying, including Russian ones.
Admission to Greek universities is conducted without entrance examinations on the basis of average points in secondary school diploma.
Free training programs, low cost of rental housing (the cost of renting a one-room apartment is from 200 to 350 euros per month) along with other popular European countries offering a good but expensive education make education in Greece available to a large number of foreign students with the possibility of finding employment in almost all countries of Europe.

Democrit Tersenov – Director of Grekodom Moscow

Invest, remake, earn

According to analytical data of the commercial department of Grekodom Development, the most correction of prices for reduction during the crisis since 2008 has affected real estate in large cities.

A large number of liquid real estate in Athens in the sought-after locations and possible uses in the hands of many owners who failed to adapt to the current realities of the global technological breakthrough and trends make them a burden that requires annual maintenance, maintenance, taxes, etc.

One of the options for obtaining a high return on investment can be a purchase of a unoperated  property, building in a good location with a subsequent change in the type of use for apartments or hotels and mini-hotels, renovation of the facility using modern technologies and further delivery to long-term guaranteed rental through an international management company.

These are redevelopment projects that give the investor the income up to 20-25% per annum on invested capital and rental in a guaranteed lease at 7-8% per annum.

Optimization of these investment projects is achieved at the expense of low real estate prices and the peculiarities of Greek taxation: if VAT for buyers of apartments whose construction permits is received after 2006 is 24% of the fair market value, then for buildings built before that date, property rights in the amount of 3.09% of the property value.

An important advantage of these projects is also a short implementation period (up to a year) and management without personal involvement.

Also, the opportunity to join the project as a co-investor and a partial or full exit with the sale of apartments at various stages of the project to private investors who wish to receive a ready-made profitable business and issue a European residence permit.

A professional team of Grekodom Development works on more than 60 buildings located in the central districts of Athens: Monastiraki, Metaksourgio, Keramikos, Koukaki, Psyri, etc.

Surfaces of buildings vary from 300 to 5000 sq.m., the cost of square meters is from 350-400 euros / sq.m., the estimated costs for the renovation on a turn-key basis vary from 400 to 700 euros / sq.m., depending on the year of construction and the condition of the building’s structure, the type of intended use and filling category. The renovation project, the list of works, the categories of finishing materials and the filling are made taking into account the recommendations of the management company, ready to sign a long-term guaranteed lease agreement with the investor.

During the year, the investor-owner receives a modern building with added value, a ready-made business (apartment, hotel) with a profitability of 5 to 9% and cost per square meter from 1,700 to 2,500 euros, with the option of full or partial sale of the operating business to private investors with a budget of 250 thousand euros, wishing to receive a Golden Visa, i.e. European residence permit for 5 years for the whole family.

It should be noted that the format of investment projects for redevelopment is in demand and is actively promoted in the second largest metropolis in Greece with a population of more than 1.2 million people – the city of Thessaloniki – a tourist center with a rich ancient history and international universities.

Passenger traffic through the largest airport Macedonia in the city of Thessaloniki for the last 3 years has increased 1.5 times and for 2017 it has already made more than 5 million people.

The sales department and the construction department of Grekodom Development is currently working on some 35 buildings and facilities in the central tourist areas of Thessaloniki (Tsimiski, Egnatia, Agias Sophias, Ermou, Ladadika and others).

The construction and development company Grekodom Development, a member of the Greek holding Mouzenidis Group, provides a full range of services for the selection of properties for investment, transaction structuring, legal and technical support, development and receipt of initial permits, construction of turnkey projects, management, long-term guaranteed lease, etc.


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