Information on real estate in Greece
Real Estate Purchase in Greece
There has never been a better time than now to acquire a cheap & beautiful property in Greece!
There has never been a better time than now to acquire a cheap and beautiful property in Greece! In comparison with the rest of Europe, real estate prices in Greece are currently very favorable. Dropping real estate prices have greatly increased buying interest by foreign buyers in recent years. In order to make Greece more attractive as an investment location, the land transfer tax has been reduced from 10% to 3% in recent years, while purchase costs are at a very low level compared to other European countries (additional costs around 7%).
The financial and economic crisis in Greece was also accompanied by further legal reforms in the field of real estate law: steady expansion of the land registry, legalization of buildings without permit, etc.
Therefore, to purchase property in Greece, you need a) competent / expert advice on the technicalities by civil engineers and possibly architects who could fulfill the requirements for the granting of a building permit or the examination of an existing building permit (now legally safeguarded for the buyer’s protection); and b) legal advice by lawyers / notaries and tax consultants, who in turn will initiate the legal review of the property, draft/review the purchase contract, file applications for permits, etc.
On the following pages you will find all the necessary information & links about real estate acquisition in Greece.
On the following pages you will find all the necessary information and links about real estate acquisition in Greece. These will help you find out in advance everything that is important when buying property in Greece. The most important points about real estate acquisition and the real estate law in Greece are presented below in a concise and clear way.
All information is subject to change without notice and is not legally binding. Only individually tailored legal advice should be considered, along with adequate examination of all factors, to prevent any possible difficulties in your real estate acquisition.
General Information on Real Estate in Greece
Property in Greece can be included or excluded from the civil development plan.
Property in Greece can be included or excluded from the civil development plan (= officially recognized civil development plan).
Real estate / land / building plots within the development plan, including properties located in districts, can be considered building plots (= oikopeda) on which buildings have already been erected in accordance with applicable legislation or on which buildings may be erected. In Greece, this includes real estate property located in districts, which are excluded from the development plan or included in a so-called "not yet planned" development plan.
Land / land plots excluded from the development plan are referred to as agricultural land and are either "simple" plots of land or agricultural land from public distribution (the latter were distributed by the state to low-income farmers). In both cases, plots of land are used in agriculture.
However, according to the Greek law, the construction of real estate located outside the development plan is possible. Depending on the type and use of property, there are corresponding building regulations. A general guideline is that a property may only be built if its area is at least 4,000 square meters.
Despite the distinction in real estate included or excluded from the development plan, the construction of buildings is entirely possible, considering all building regulations and other legal regulations in Greece. According to the building regulations, the property is first reviewed by a topographer / surveyor and a civil engineer to determine whether it is suitable to build (= artio) and constructible (= oikodomisimo) (due to size and other criteria such as restrictions, building regulations, building conditions, caverage and structure cost etc.). If the review reveals that the property is suitable and constructible, the topographer / surveyor / construction engineer will mark the topographical plan with the corresponding stamp and all the licence needed.
Usefull information for bying properties in Greece
The time has never been better than now to buy an affordable and beautiful property in Greece.
- Lowest prices in comparison to all other European countries
- High return
- Low purchase costs. Low real estate transfer tax
- Vacation property
Unique quality of life, all year round. The currently low real estate prices in Greece bring your dream holiday home within reach. Holiday homes in a beautiful landscape, away from the hustle and bustle of summer, are still easy to find in Greece.
- Real estate for investment
When buying real estate in Greece, the focus is usually on private use as a holiday property or year-round residence. But Greece is also a very good location for capital investments. In addition to the returns on the classic residential and commercial space rentals, there are excellent conditions for tourism rentals. All buyers can expect good returns from rentals and a large increase in the value of their property in the next few years.
- Real estate for retirement
Many people in northern European countries are looking to retire to a place with better living conditions, in terms of climate and landscape. Greece offers an ideal place for retirement, with its mild climate all year long, the above-average number of sunny days (more than 300 per year) and the healthy diet options.
The safest way to buy property in Greece is via a local legal representative. In this case, a lawyer or a civil engineer is usually not only advisable, but definitely recommended. Our strategic cooperation with the German-Greek Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) enables us to provide you with professional advice in German and with relevant experience in Greek real estate law.
Popular locations for a holiday home in Greece include the Mediterranean islands of Crete, the Cyclades (Paros, Mykonos, Santorini), the Ionian Islands (Corfu, Kefallonia) and the Dodecanese (Rhodes, Kos). Hot, dry summers, sandy beaches, historic cities and sights, low prices and the famous Greek cuisine combine with enjoyment of nature, quality of life and culture in a perfect way.
The mainland is also very attractive. The peninsulas of Peloponnese, Pelion and Chalkidiki, with miles of sandy beaches and undeveloped coastlines, seas of flowers and romantic cities like Nauplio, are ideal locations for a house by the sea.
For those looking to buy a town house or apartment in Greece, Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Volos are recommended. Find everything a city has to offer, without missing out on the typical Greek old town charm.
The ancillary purchase costs are at a very low level compared to other European countries (ancillary costs around 7%).
Ancillary purchase costs & taxes when purchasing a property in Greece are the following:
- Real estate transfer tax: 3.09% of the purchase price.
- Notarization costs or notarial costs: approx. 1.5% of the property value.
- Land registry costs: approx. 1% of the property value.
- Legal fees are freely negotiated. Other costs such as the legal review of ownership (amounting to at least € 150) must also be taken into account.
- Costs for the broker: starting at 2% of the purchase price (depending on the property, region, broker, etc.)
The following taxes and fees apply after purchasing real estate:
Uniform Real Estate Tax (ENFIA):
The Uniform Real Estate Tax (ENFIA.) is levied on any type of property without any tax exemptions, regardless of whether or not a property generates (real or fictitious) income for the owner.
The assessment basis is the value of the property, as in effect on January 1st of each taxable year.
Property, garbage disposal and street lighting fees:
These charges are included in the electricity bill and paid to the respective municipality. The size of the property determines the amount of these fees.
For property acquisition, buyers will need the following:
- A valid passport
- A Greek tax number (AFM)
- A certificate from the responsible tax office on the payment of the real estate transfer tax
A step-by-step completion of your real estate purchase.
13 simple steps for your dream property:
- Search and find the ideal property
- Agree on the price
- Apply in the Land Register/Cadaster office, examination & clarification of ownership and burdens on the property, etc.
- Inspection of building law issues, aspects, etc.
- Purchase contract draft
- Apply for Greek tax identification code & open a bank account in Greece
- Pay the land transfer tax
- Sign the purchase contract and certify
- Pay the purchase price
- Possibly cancel any mortgages
- Entry in the Land Registry / Cadaster
- Handover of the keys to the buyer
- The property is yours!
Villas in Greece: A typical villa in Greece is found in a beautiful location, with very large plots. An airy style, arches, large decks, a private pool, and natural stone features are common. Holiday home in Greece: These are mostly single-story, with less than 100 square meters of living space and simply furnished. Semi-finished properties: A special feature of the Greek real estate market includes half-finished buildings that are for sale. Both single-family houses and villas can be purchased at low prices and built according to your own ideas of a dream house.
The beautiful weather and low prices make Greece very interesting for investors worldwide. However, one question remains: what is the optimal location for buying a house or apartment? Surely, many investors are attracted by one of the country’s many beautiful islands, but the surrounding areas and vibrant cities also have their own appeal. Our guide includes descriptions to the most important Greek regions.