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Greece Property Investment For Sale

 

"Although in economic crisis, Greece is still a popular holiday destination."

 

With its rich cultural history and dramatic coastline, Greece has captured the world’s imagination since the days of the Trojan wars.  From the mid 1950’s onwards Greece has also become one of Europe’s favourite holiday destinations thanks to the picturesque rocky coves and natural harbours that can be found amongst its collection of over 2,000 islands.  As the home of the gods and the birthplace of democracy, Greece is steeped in history from the Parthenon in Athens to the blue-domed churches and whitewashed houses on the island of Santorini

Although historically famed for its shipping industry much of the Greek economy relies upon the tourist industry and never have they needed it more than they do today.

Greece has suffered the worst financial crisis in its history since the international recession took hold and the controversial bailout by the EU and the IMF (International Monetary Fund).  With unemployment and national debt at record highs, property prices have also dropped dramatically. The bad news for potential investors does not stop here as rental yields are also low – even in the capital Athens and transaction costs and tax on rental income are high at present.
 

Country Guide

Geography

Greece is situated in southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and located between Albania and Turkey. 80% of Greece consists of mountains or hills making it the most mountainous country in the world, it also has the tenth longest coastline in the world. Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in the country situated in the north Pieria prefecture; this mountain is particularly popular with hikers and climbers. Athens is the county's capital and most populated city and is home to the Piraeus port. Thessaloniki is the second largest city, the capital of Macedonia and also an important seaport giving access to the Balkans.

Government

The structure of the Greek government is similar to those in western democracies and currently stands as a parliamentary democracy. The legal system is based on Roman laws where the courts are divided into civil, criminal and administrative. The Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is currently serving his second term in power and he and the Cabinet dominate the main role in the political process. The people nominate three hundred parliamentary deputies who form the parliament and take care of the duties within the government.

Language

Greek is the official language in Greece; a minority of people speak English and French which totals to around 1%.

Standard of Living

The standard of living in Greece n has traditionally been relatively high with a good quality of life and lowest costs of living. However since the international financial crisis and the euro-zone problems much has changed in Greece and the wealth of the state and individuals has declined. Crime rates in Greece are very low so Athens is seen as a very safe city to live in. Although it may have its problems Athens lacks major problems other cities come across. 

Principle City

Athens with its population of 3.3 million is a very popular city bringing a high number of tourists each year.

Country Economy

Greece is a capitalist economy with a public sector that accounts for almost half of the country's GDP with tourism providing just 15% of GDP.

Greece is one of the EU's poorest countries. with excessively large public dept.  In exchange for the largest bailouts ever from the IMF and Euro-zone governments Greece has introduced severe austerity measures which will keep Greece in economic recession for some time and have caused much public discontent and political instability.

Key Industries

Tourism and Shipping industries contribute the most to the Greek economy, Greece receives more tourists than the country's population each year and the shipping industry is one of the most important in the world due to the country's location. Greece also exports food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals and  textiles.

 

Hotspots

Athens

Athens is the country's capital situated on the island of Attica. Vibrant, lively and now considered very desirable, Athens is too busy and polluted for some but since the 2004 Olympics the capital has cleaned up its act. The infrastructure is far better than previous years and there are lots of upmarket shops, hotels and restaurants. Standard apartments, even in central locations can be remarkably cheap while prestigious suburbs such as Ekali or the nearby island of Aegina can command very high prices. With mild winters and hot summers this is a perfect destination for holidaymakers.

Corfu

Located in the Ionian Sea, Corfu is the second largest island in Greece and an international tourist centre which caters to all of its visitor's interests. It is a very green island with pine forests and a mixture of long sandy beaches and small shingle coves. There are incredible sightseeing opportunities, a huge night life, music festival, numerous beaches, water parks and much more.

Property tends to be divided into high-end villas, often in small fishing villages on the north-east coast, cheap apartments in large-scale resorts and village properties. Much of the island is very well developed due to the long history of tourism and this offers scope for a longer season. 

Peloponnese

A large land mass joined to the Greek southern coast, the area is a mix of developed coastal resorts, a wealth of historic sites, peaceful mountain villages and rural areas. This is also an attractive holiday destination to Athenians who come to escape the city. The beaches down the west coast of Peloponnese are considered some of the best in Greece because apart from their natural beauty they are considerably less crowded than those in other tourist destinations.

Like the islands, property ranges from standard apartments and new-build developments in popular tourist locations, to small cottages in undisturbed villages or coastal towns.

Crete

This is the largest of the Greek islands and is very popular with both Dutch and UK buyers. Two airports on the island mean both halves of Crete have their fair share of tourists. To the western side of the island are the busy towns of Chania and Rethymnon, while the east has the major towns of Heraklion and Malia's sprawling resorts. Crete is the most popular holiday destination in Europe mainly due to the amount it has to offer visitors from its clubs, bars, restaurants and hotels in its developed tourist spots to quieter areas that offer small mountain villages, quiet coves and hidden beaches.

There are many small, pretty villages both inland among the mountains, and along the coast that offer a mix of traditional stone houses, renovated property and ruins ripe for restoration. 

Rhodes

A part of the Dodecanese islands, Rhodes is one of the largest islands in Greece and often referred to as the isle of sun. It has a mature tourist market and offers a combination of cultural and historic sites, good beaches and lively resorts. Some of the beaches are able to offer water sports and the night life is boasted to be one of the best in Greece although it is usually within the resorts.

There are restrictions on development to protect the coast and rural areas and there is a large ex-pat population of all nationalities. The northern part of the island is less developed by tourism and is popular with property buyers. Popular towns such as Lindo and Tsambika are particularly expensive.

Patras

Patras is the third largest city of Greece and the capital of the Achaea prefecture. A beautiful and historic city, it is the 2007 European Capital of Culture and has had much interest from the media and tourism as a result. Carnival seasons, festivals, good restaurants, little cafes and lively inner city streets all add to the atmosphere and culture of the city. Patras is also home to the second largest port in Greece and so thrives on its shipping business.

Kos

Kos shows a mixture of old historic Greek and Roman architecture imbedded within the modern restaurants, shops and cafes. It's no secret that Kos's main attraction from tourists is its lively nightlife and clubbing scene in locations such as Kos Town and Kardamena and is said to be the touristiest place in Greece. One of Kos' most popular monuments is the castle of the knights of St Johns which is a very popular attraction. Tigaki Beach offers over ten kilometres of sand and is one of the most popular beaches on the island while Kefalos beach has the added quaintness of the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos positioned on a rocky mass a few hundred metres out to sea.

 

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