Savvaidis Calls for a Change in the Greek Property Market

By Savvaidis Associates, PRNE
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

RHODES, Greece, June 30, 2011 -

Savvas Savvaidis, managing director at Savvaidis & Associates
and ex - President of the Hellenic Association of Realtors was
recently invited as a key note speaker at the Greek Real Estate

His message was strong; the recovery of the Greek economy is not
possible without the recovery of the Greek Real Estate

According to Mr Savvaidis the green light has been finally given to
a critical sector of tourism in Greece, “the golf tourism”;
investing in the golf industry is very expensive.  The key to
addressing the high cost of investment is the development of
housing within golfing resorts, this provides a considerable amount
of financing for the project whilst at the same time profits from
house sales enhance the feasibility of the whole operation still

The same logic is practiced by “condos” which instead of villas
offer hotel rooms for sale.

The benefits of the above “mixed” developments are manifold;
enhancing government liquidity by selling off government owned land
to investors, a boost in the construction industry and ultimately
“quality” tourism throughout the whole year.

However, the above [golf resorts] alone is not enough to “stir” the
real estate market in the area of second homes as it covers only
20%-30%% of the demand. The majority of demand from foreign buyers
is for property close to urban facilities and neighborhoods.
There is a wealth of “second homes” in Greece with many varying
types and design to satisfy the majority of the market demand.
 Our Real Estate market does not suffer from a lack of supply.
 The Greek real estate market suffers from a lack of demand
just the same as any other Mediterranean destination.

It is a well known fact that demand for second homes has fallen
significantly in recent years because of the global economic
crisis. Let’s not forget that a second home is not a basic

The government however does have the ability to stimulate the
demand for second homes by adopting a series of measures that will
make the Greek market far more competitive and more in line with
other Mediterranean destinations, the below suggestions to mention
a few; 

1. A reduction in VAT on the purchase of new build properties
from foreign buyers to 10%; the equivalent amount of VAT applicable
today on a new build property in Spain and Italy.  The current
VAT rate of 23% puts Greece out of the market.
2. A reduction in transfer tax for foreign investors to 5%.
 The injection of capital into the market and the development
of the real economy will benefit our economy far more than the
current meager income from VAT and Transfer Tax.

3. Removal of the ban on non-EU citizens purchasing real
estate in border areas. The current law allows for a lifting of
this ban, on an individual basis, which usually takes 18

4. Simple licensing procedures by the by the Greek Tourist
Board to allow rentals of second homes for a tourism use. The
renting of such homes is an essential first step for at least 50%
of potential buyers.  To allow only the rental of residences
that are embedded within the new mixed developments will create
serious distortions in the holiday home real estate market.

Savvas Savvaidis concluded that there is no doubt that the
planning of “mixed” tourism developments is excellent news. Even
better news would be the adoption of immediate fiscal measures.
 The injection of capital from the second home market in
Greece would stimulate the real economy.

Savvaidis re-iterated that the recovery of the Greek economy is
not possible without the recovery of the real estate market.

Savvaidis & Associates, +30-22410-75100, info at

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