Greece as a major investment attraction in the Real Estate sector as recorded at the 3rd Premium Real Estate Expo, 09-11 June, at MEC Peania
The Greek real estate market offers a number of opportunities, such as tourist residences and infrastructure, office complexes, as well as industrial facilities, while at the same time it contributes significantly to the economic development of the country and is a pole of attraction for foreign investors. This was supported by the speakers at the 2nd Real Estate Forum on Saturday, June 10, held as part of the 3rd Premium Real Estate Expo, at Mec Peania from 9-11 June 2023.
The 3rd Premium Real Estate Expo is the meeting point for investors and an important milestone in the discussion on the growth prospects of the sector in Greece. In this context, the Secretary General for International Economic Relations and External Relations (DOSE) and President of Enterprise Greece, Vicky Loizou, in her address to the 2nd Real Estate Forum, referred to the advantages of Greece that make it a pole of attraction for both domestic and international investors, stressing that foreign direct investment in our country for 2022 amounted to 7.22 billion euros, of which 1.975 billion euros related to Greek real estate.
In turn, the speakers Mr. Konstantinos Arslanoglou, CEO of Invest Greece Solomon United Realtors, Ofer Reshef, Director of Business Development of Arledan Group in Israel, Anna Pazdurova CEO Vision Properties Group UK and Volodymyr Tribat, Owner of A-Syggrou Group referred to the competitive superiority of Greece in real estate prices compared to the rest of Europe, the importance of its geographical location and of course the climate of the country. Factors that increase the demand for Greek properties. In fact, Mr Tribrat, presenting data from the Dubai market, proved that this market is expensive and saturated, while Athens has much more demand for properties than it can handle and predicted that it will outstrip the demand from foreign investors in both Dubai and Cyprus.
They did not fail to mention, however, the thorn in the side of Greek bureaucracy which negatively affects sales in the country. Mr. Arslanoglou stressed that in Turkey the process of buying a property is very simple and quick, while in Greece it seems to be insane. Turkish investors, who are the second buying power in the country after the Chinese, come from the fastest system in the world to the latest in Europe.
The importance of the digitization of procedures and the faster transfer of real estate was highlighted by the President of the Union of Notaries of Greece, Mr. Georgios Rouskas and the Attorney at Law, Christos Kleiosis in their speeches.
Mr Rouskas stressed that 70% of the purchases and sales that take place in Greece today are made by non-Greeks. Greek property is cheaper than the European average and construction is superior to the European average. However, the transfer procedures are very difficult due to bureaucracy which has been reinforced by a series of unfortunate legislation. Today up to 45 different documents are required for a transfer (!) when 6-7 are necessary. Some of these documents may take up to 10 months to be issued, said Mr. Kleiosis, while some may not even be feasible.
It is worth noting that due to the digitisation of even part of the transfer process, Greece’s OECD index has risen by 7 points. Mr. Rouskas and Mr. Kleiosis appealed to all stakeholders and businesses to support digitisation with rules, so that Greece can come close to the European average.
Regarding Golden Visa and the doubling of the investment limit in key areas, Mr.Vangelis Kteniadis, President of V2 DEVELOPMENT, stressed that it will bring the opposite results from those expected. In their speeches, the President of the Association of Realtors of Athens – Attica, Mr. Lefteris Potamianos and the Head of External Networks of Eurobank for private housing products, Mr. Ioannis Karnavas, attributed the lack of real estate to the reduced construction activity and the concentration of real estate in a few hands (funds). They believe that incentives need to be given to the owners in order to make the “closed” houses available on the market. The “My House” programme has brought an increase in demand in the market which was confirmed by Mr. Karnavas, who spoke of a 40% increase in loan demand and a disbursement of €1.2 billion in 2022. But this demand is being held back by excessive restrictions. In the same vein, the speech of Landea’s Development Director Mr. Vasilios Patras, who said that bank lending for buying property at auction will help to open up the market, which is currently B2B to B2C i.e. the general public can buy.
Finally, Mr. Fotis Mouzakis Neolis, Professor at the University of Athens, Consultant & lecturer of the MSc in Real Estate, spoke about the need for informed professionals in the Real Estate sector, while Alexandros Koudounas, Partnership Sales Manager South Greece & Cyprus of IWG, spoke about the importance of the new hybrid work model that is applied abroad and saves up to $11,000 per employee per year.
More than 60 exhibitors participated in the 3rd Premium Real Estate Expo, the only exhibition for real estate and investment in Greece, while in terms of traffic, more than 4000 professional visitors from Greece and abroad were recorded. The opening of the exhibition on Friday 9 June was attended and addressed by the Member of Parliament of the New Democracy, Mr. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, the Regional Councillor for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Athanasios Katsigiannis, the President of the Association of Realtors of Athens – Attica, Mr. Lefteris Potamianos and the Honorary President of the Association, Mr. Ioannis Revithis.