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Diaspora Greeks Snap Up Holiday Homes in Greece

Diaspora Greeks Holiday Homes
Sunset on the majestic Aegean island of Ios. Credit: Greek Reporter

Over one in ten holiday home (12.35 percent) acquisitions this year in Greece were made by Greeks of the diaspora, data released by estate agents Elxis show.

Elxis, with offices in Thessaloniki, Crete, and Utrecht in the Netherlands, is an elite provider of realty and legal services in the Greek market.

The company says that Greek expatriates of second and third generation, mainly coming from the U.S., Canada, and Germany, are making a strong comeback to their motherland. They want to buy a house in order to visit Greece more often.

One of the driving forces behind this increased demand, especially this year, is the fact that the Greek property market is in a state of rapid recovery in pricing, Elxis says.

At the same time, buyers can find high-quality properties that are competitively priced, especially compared to the countries where these people live permanently.

Where do Greeks of the diaspora come from to buy holiday homes

According to George Gavrilidis, CEO of Elxis, “based on our data, 20.5% of expatriates buying properties in Greece come from Germany, an additional 20.5% are from Canada, while US expatriates are responsible for 17.5% of the acquisitions.

“Holiday homes in Greece are also bought by expatriates who live permanently in the Netherlands (11%), France (6.8%), and Switzerland (5.4%). Expatriates are mainly interested in properties in Crete, Chalkidiki, and the Ionian Sea.”

Over 75% of Greek expatriates prefer to purchase newly built houses off-plan. They want to use the home for their vacations but also to lease out, mainly as short-term rentals.

“One such example was a project of ours in Chalkidiki’s popular first peninsula,” Gavrilidis adds. “The project had cave houses, 35% of which were bought by expatriates. In another one of our projects in Crete, 27% of its buyers were expatriates.”

In its latest monthly report for the European short-term rental market, AirDNA said that the summer of 2023 was characterized by the full comeback of U.S. tourists in popular European destinations.

This was the first time that U.S. visitors came to Europe at such scale since the pandemic. Up until now, they mainly preferred destinations on the American continent, or solely within the U.S. borders.

17% of Greece’s visitors came from the U.S.A.

This development has considerably increased demand for short-term rentals. As a result, 17% of Greece’s visitors came from the U.S.A.

In fact, according to AirDNA, this was the fifth-highest group of U.S. tourists in all of Europe. A portion of these visitors were Greek expatriates of second or even third generation who finally took the opportunity to visit their homeland for the first time in their lives.

This had a significant effect on sales of vacation homes as well, which is often the case in secondary housing markets. People who visit a beautiful location for holidays often research the property market as well so they can buy the house of their dreams.

Exis says that the same can be said for visitors from Germany, who also form part of a large “pool” of vacation home buyers in Greece.

Elxis’ data from 2022 showed a “boom” in holiday home buyers from Germany, with a 300 percent rise compared to 2021. Expatriates played a major role in this increase, returning back to Greece in search of a property to enjoy during their summer holidays.

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