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Greece: the place you wish to live forever

It is said that God made Greece in order to give us a taste of heaven. Discovering Greece can take a lifetime, but falling in love with her takes only a few moments, with her ancient ruins, a plethora of islands, breath-taking beaches and massive mountains.

By Fotini Androulaki, Herausgeberin vom Volta Magazine

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion on the southernmost tip of Attica

Every year, millions of tourists go to Greece in search of a sunny beach holiday or a history-focused trip to learn about the country’s long and glorious past. Its major resorts are great for partying in the summer, but there’s plenty of opportunity to get away from the crowds, and beyond the summer season, you’ll often be the only tourist around. Greece was awarded by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) for its efforts in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of tourism, and after a winter long lockdown, the beaches are finally filling up again.

Tourism expectations
Business organisations already believe that the basic goal of achieving roughly 50% of 2019 tourism earnings is no longer achievable. The sector has reduced its revenue forecast for this year to €6 billion, having already reduced it from €8 billion at the start of the season.

Covid-19 situation: “fast lane to facilitate travel
Greece has fared better than many other European countries during the Covid pandemic. To help the tourist sector recover from another lost summer due to the coronavirus and to facilitate travel for those seeking to visit the country, Greece has unveiled the European Union’s first Digital COVID-19 Certificate.
Currently, the country allows unrestricted access to all EU citizens and residents from the Schengen Zone, as well as anybody who has received a digital or paper EU COVID-19 vaccine passport.
Except for residents of the EU/Schengen Zone, residents of the following countries are also exempt from the entry ban: Albania, Australia, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, Canada, Belarus, New Zealand, South Korea, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine, Rwanda, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Singapore. Nonetheless, the government retains its entry ban for all other foreign nationals.

To support Greece in recovering from the devastation wrought by the coronavirus, the European Commission has approved a total of €800 million in financial assistance in June. In the tourist industry, hotels are currently unable to create any forecasts due to the inherent variability. At present, hotels are not even at 35% capacity. British tourists have been absent, as Greece remains on the United Kingdom’s ‘amber list,’ while Germans and French visitors are moving at a snail’s pace. On the other hand, Greece has become a popular tourist destination for Americans.

Picturesque alley on the island of Sifnos

The demand for Greek holidays from the United States has surprisingly increased this summer, prompting major US airlines to increase direct flights to Athens. The country was one of the first EU countries to open its borders to American visitors and Greece has also adopted a more lenient stance toward foreign passengers. Additionally, passengers from Russia are required to submit a negative test regardless of vaccination status.

Greece is one of the most sought-after property investment destinations in 2020-2021. Property investment conjures up a variety of thoughts for different people and with good reason. Different investors have their own agendas and reasons for entering the property market, and this is not always motivated by monetary gain.
Greece and the Greek Islands will retain their beautiful, white sandy beaches and the sun will continue to shine. The Ionian islands continue to amaze travellers with their stunning scenery and laid-back Mediterranean culture. Simultaneously, several Cycladic islands can accommodate even the most discerning buyer, from isolated residences overlooking the sea to cave villas near popular tourist sites.
Clearly, there is potential for all sorts of investors to invest in property in Greece.
Greece’s property market is booming as the economy recovers from the crisis, but expansion risks pushing property prices out of reach for many citizens as salaries remain low. Prices are also expected to climb in Greece, despite the economy’s persistent structural difficulties, which are impeding employment creation amid restricted bank credit. In the previous 18 months, property prices in Greece have shown themselves to be remarkably resilient, which has surprised many in the market.

Nafplion – the first capital of Independent Greece after the Greek Revolution

According to data from the Bank of Greece, property prices increased by 3.2% in the first quarter of this year, up from 2.5% in the last quarter of 2020. Apartment prices grew at an average annual pace of 4.3% last year, compared to 7.2% in 2019. Prices continued to rise in 2020, despite the economy contracting by 8.2% as a result of the pandemic. For 2021, everyone is quite convinced that prices will continue to climb due to a restricted supply of new houses and significant infrastructure and renovation projects that are generating demand in some regions.

According to market officials, buying interest is now dominated by foreigners and businesspeople, with the majority of transactions taking place in Athens. With little fear of price inflation, as witnessed in Europe, owning property in Greece is becoming an attractive option. In Athens, the southern suburbs and historic centre continue to attract the most interest. Now, we’re witnessing an increase in buyers flocking to the northern suburbs, which are drawing a greater number of international buyers. These are investors that have done their due diligence and undertaken extensive market study prior to aggressively bidding on items.