January 5, 2018 – Greece online foreclosure auctions are drawing Chinese nationals looking to snap up Greek golden visas in return for buying property.
The recent move by the European country to put the auctions online is aimed at encouraging more Chinese investment, according to experts in the Greek real estate industry.
With the Greek economy still struggling to recover from the pummelling it has taken since the 2008 financial crisis, taking foreclosure auctions online is seen as a way to make the bargains more widely available.
Benefits of Greece Golden Visa
- Greek residency for property purchase of just €250,000.
- Live and work in Greece when maintaining residence in another country.
- Study in Greece.
- Visa-free access to the Schengen area of EU countries
- Family members are included.
- Visa can be renewed every five years.
Chinese investors already account for more than half of the visas issued under the Greek program, which gives a five-year permit to those investing €250,000 or more in real estate.
Figures from one auction website say interest from Chinese bidders rose more than 150 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.
Meanwhile, Turkish investors are also lining up as key customers of the Golden Visa Investor Program.
Real estate experts say more than 160 Turks have invested the required €250,000 in Greek property and obtained a five-year residency permit. It makes Turkish investors the sharpest rising nationality of investor in the Greek golden visa program.
Figures show residency permits have been issued to 2,000 candidates since the program started in 2013. In that time, more than €1 billion has been spent on Greek property by foreign investors.
Greece Golden Visa: Investment Requirements
- Purchase real estate property in Greece with a minimum value of €250,000.
- Sign a 10-year lease with minimum €250,000 for hotel or another tourist residence.
- Have purchased a property before 2013 currently worth €250,000 or more.
- Own Greece real estate of minimum value €250,000 acquired through donation or parental concession.
- Purchase land with intent to build, provided value of land and construction contract is minimum €250,000.
In the case of Turkish investors, the sums often significantly exceed the €250,000 threshold required for residency. Political instability in Turkey could be a key driver behind citizens looking elsewhere for residency and second citizenships.
Chinese investors dominate with 850 candidates approved for a visa. Russians are the second most prolific investors, with 388 visas issued.
A key driver is the attractive property market following the 2008 downturn.
Greece Golden Visa: Inclusion of Family Members
- Children up to the age of 21
Prices in the capital Athens are half what they were before the 2008 economic crisis, when Greece accepted billions in bailout money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The success of the golden visa program has caused prices to recover somewhat, although they remain significantly below their 2008 peak.
The Greece Immigration Golden Visa Investor Program allows you to apply for a residence permit by purchasing or leasing Greek real estate. You can obtain a five-year residency permit in return for an investment of €250,000.
The program also allows investors who purchased property before its 2013 start date to apply for residency. The residency is renewable every five years provided the investment is maintained.
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