Greece will increase the minimum value of the property that must be acquired to grant eligibility for a Golden Visa to 500,000 euros ($532,000) in certain parts of the country, according to an amendment tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.
The new minimum value at the time of purchase will apply to the North part of the country, the Central and South Sector of Athens in the Attica Region, the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.
It also applies to the total agreed price of contracts for the lease of hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences in these areas, which must be paid in full before applying for a permanent residence permit for investors.
That was being done, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said, because investors were snapping up Greek properties, particularly in Athens, and driving Greeks out of their own neighborhoods and raising rents.
Golden visa for the rest of Greece to remain at 250,000 euros
The amendment clarifies that the above investment is related to the purchase of a single property, while in cases of joint property ownership, the minimum value of the ownership share must be 500,000 euros and again pertains to a single property.
For the remainder of the country, the previous minimum value of 250,000 euros will continue to grant eligibility for an investor permanent residence permit, or the Golden Visa as it is called.
Third-country nationals who already have a permanent residence permit for investors can renew this for an equal time period provided they still have ownership or possession of the property. The period of absence from the country should, however, not cause problems. Additionally, third-country nationals who own property in Greece are permitted to lease it.
The Golden Visa is issued within two months of submitting the application and supporting documents.
Third-country citizens will have until December 31, 2023 to complete contracts that are in progress in the areas where the upper limits will change.
Golden visa demand skyrocketed in 2022
According to data from the Bank of Greece, during the second quarter of the year, capital inflows from abroad for the acquisition of real estate in Greece amounted to 414.4 million euros. This is an increase of sixty-seven percent compared to the corresponding period last year.
Apartments in the center of Athens, quality constructions along the Athens Riviera, and luxurious country houses in popular tourist areas are the main areas chosen by foreign investors.
During the first half of 2022, foreign capital inflows in Greece registered an annual increase of sixty-one percent to 788 million euros compared to 488 million during the corresponding period of the previous year.
Analysts say that based on the current pace and considering that traditionally real estate investment activity is strongest during the second half of each year, it is now almost certain that a new record will be set for 2022.