Residential buildings in Greece, Source: Depositphotos

Greece considers raising Golden Visa investment limit for islands, cities

Greece considers raising Golden Visa investment limit for islands, cities

The government will also oblige property owners to only offer long-term rentals in a bid to ease housing crisis

Today, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis indicated that he is considering proposing changes to the investment thresholds for the country’s five-year residency programme, commonly known as Golden Visa. The statement was made during a Q&A session in the parliament, following questioning from the opposition.

Currently, foreign investors can purchase properties in the Mediterranean country priced minimum of 250,000 euros, which then grants them the option to apply for a Golden Visa. According to the prime minister, though, that barrier might be raised to 800,000 euros depending on the location of the property.

The reason is that most properties bought for residency permit purposes are actually not occupied by the buyers but are instead rented out and in many cases, they are converted into short-term rental accommodation for tourists as this can then provide a good return on the investment made.

Impact on Greek housing landscape

The programme, which has been in existence for about a decade, is estimated to have brought more than 5 billion euros into the Greek economy. According to critics, this has, at least indirectly, also led to having a negative impact on the housing market in Greek cities, such as Athens and Thessaloniki.

That’s why, the newly raised limits would specifically apply to major cities and holiday islands in Greece whereas in rural areas the old threshold would still apply.

In addition, the government is considering obliging the investor owners to only lease their properties on the long-term rental market to increase the housing supply available to residents.

The Greek Golden Visa programme grabbed the attention of media and authorities after it was revealed that interest in it had drastically surged last year, with the number of applications more than doubling compared to the averages of preceding years.



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