Feb 18, 2019

Greeks squeezed by foreign investors in Athens property boom

The property market, once completely dead, is on the rise - house prices in Athens rose 3.7% last year. The worry is that foreign investors are benefiting while ordinary Greeks miss out. Investors receive five-year residency after purchasing €250,000 of property, making the country a new hotspot for foreign buyers. "There are a lot of companies buying properties from Greeks and reselling to the Chinese," says Lefteris Potamianos, president of the Athens Real Estate Association, who estimates at least one-third of property sales in the city now go to golden visa investors. Because prices in central Athens fell so much during the crisis - down to €1,000 per square metre or less - Mr Potamianos explains that investors will typically purchase three or four apartments in popular tourist spots and rent them out on Airbnb.

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