American Buyers Invade Greek Property Market
Greek property prices have tumbled more than most in the last six years, giving rise to a virtual land-grab as international investors scrabble to get their hands on bargain holiday homes.
Americans in particular have shown increased interest in all types of Greek real estate and according to data, the higher the cost, the higher the demand.
Greece ranks among the top 10 most popular countries for Americans searching for property abroad. "The top five countries retained their positions in August as the most searched on Realtor.com, a US real estate website – but Greece was a surprise entry in the top 10," remarked OPP in response to Realtor’s findings.
Other popular countries for American investors include Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. According to real estate expert David Lauster, "The US market is wide open for international buyers. The continued interest of international buyers will soak up any excess in the US market and push prices up, which is good for property owners and for real estate agents who are able to connect with these global clients."
House prices have dropped by 7.9% from last year which has naturally attracted more buyers to the perennially popular holiday destination. As with many other international property markets, the commercial sector is mainly driving demand although increasing numbers of buyers are investing in second homes and residential rental properties, indicating a strong recovery in the non-commercial real estate sector is now taking place.
Despite being one of the countries hardest hit by the global crisis, Greece has survived largely due to the economy being underpinned by a strong tourism sector. After about 2 years of a lull in visitor numbers to the Greek mainland and islands, tourists have since come back in full force with 2014 seeing record numbers of visitors, contributing heavily to the slowly-but-surely recovering economy.