Data shows that the Golden Visa program, which provides residence permits to non-EU investors when they buy real estate worth at least 250,000 euros, is turning out to be a huge success, as funds over 1.1 billion euros are estimated to have entered the Greek property market since 2013 when the programme was first introduced.
According to newspaper Kathimerini, the latest available data by Enterprise Greece, from 2013 – when the programme kicked off – until September 2017, the total number of licenses granted to foreign investors-owners of real estate amounts to 2,014. By the end of 2016 the corresponding figure was 1,550. This means that 464 third-country nationals have been granted residence permits so far this year, while the licensing process is pending for applications made in the summer. A further 2,948 residence permits have been granted to their family members.
The average cost per investor is around 550,000 to 600,000 euros, according to Kathimerini, far exceeding the minimum threshold of 250,000 euros. This expenditure is an indication that luxury and large properties are preferred, and there is an increasing demand for luxury holiday houses, as prices of these properties have fallen sharply.
According to Enterprise Greece, the countries of origin of the investors are the following:
1. China with 850 residence permits
2. Russia with 388 residence permits
3. Turkey with 161 permits. Turkish applications recorded a sharp rise after the failed coup and the situation in the neighbouring country.
4. Egypt with 98 licenses
5. Lebanon with 85 permits
6. Ukraine with 73 licenses
7. Iraq with 62 licenses
8. Syria with 48 permits
9. Jordan with 46 licenses
10. Saudi Arabia with 18 licenses
11. US with 18 licenses