Offering EU permanent residency for a real estate purchase of just €250,000, the Greek golden visa is one of the world’s cheapest investment immigration programs.
However, this is set to change in 2023. Greece has announced its intention to double the minimum investment to €500,000.
Real Estate: Preferred Choice of Investment Immigrants
Real estate has long been the asset class of choice for investment immigrants. Buying a property automatically secures a second home for the investor and opens up good opportunities for capital gains in the long run.
In cases of countries like Greece and Portugal, investors have the additional option of earning steady rental income from tourists.
Real estate offers better returns compared to sovereign bonds but involves significantly lower risk compared to startups or VC funds in a foreign country.
Buying a property in Greece is not the only way to qualify for a golden visa. Investors can qualify for permanent residence through bank deposits, the purchase of Greek bonds, shares, or securities, or through equity stakes in Greek companies.
But buying real estate remains the preferred option because the minimum investment is just €250,000 compared to €400,000 for the other categories.
Greece was among the worst-hit countries during the 2008 recession, which meant investors could snap up cheap property.
Greek Golden Visa: Victim Of Its Own Success
Like many other programs, the Greek golden visa program has become a victim of its own success. Sustained demand for real estate among wealthy foreign investors has made it impossible for Greek citizens to afford to buy or even rent homes in Athens and other big cities.
Greek businesses are struggling to fill vacancies because employees are unable to afford a residence in a locality of their choice. The economic and social consequences of a supercharged real estate market is beginning to outweigh the benefits of foreign investments flowing into the country.
It means Greece has joined Canada, Australia, and Portugal in making changes to its program to make real estate valuations affordable again.
A growing real estate bubble in Vancouver and other big cities prompted Canada to take the drastic step of terminating its investment immigration program. Canada has resisted calls to restart the program since it was terminated in 2014.
Buying a home in Australia is no longer an eligible investment under its Significant Investor Visa. Candidates can invest in funds that have invested in real estate, but even this option comes with severe restrictions.
Portugal stunned golden visa investors by declaring that buying property in Porto, Lisbon, and other in-demand destinations would no longer be eligible investments for fast-track permanent residence.
Greece has chosen a less-disruptive option by doubling the minimum investment requirement without imposing additional restrictions.
Considering the risk of a global recession due to the withdrawal of liquidity by central banks around the world, it remains to be seen whether Greece will implement the planned increase.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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