The Greek islands continue to attract the same number of tourists despite the current economic crisis. House hunters are looking to take advantage of this maintained popularity and stabilized prices of holiday rentals to turn property bargains currently available into yield.

Article written by Exclusive Greek Properties

Visiting many Cycladic islands this summer, we have been surprised by the tourist crowd we’ve encountered. Most medias were forecasting a decrease in the tourist inflow for fear of riots, strikes or just bad press about Greece, but tourists still visit the country. We’ve noticed though a change of nationalities, maybe less Nordic and German tourists, more French and Italian. But is it really a long-term phenomenon?

More and more of these visitors aren’t there only for rest and relaxation. They see the current crisis as an opportunity to buy their place in the sun cheaply. “Summer is generally the high season for us, and this year we’re facing a stronger interest in Greek holiday properties”, says Christina Misailidi of London-based Exclusive Greek Properties. “People contact us before their holidays in Greece, asking for a list of offers in the areas they will be visiting, a good way to combine viewings and holidays”.

Visitors are expecting somehow to travel in the Greek islands with a reduced budget, but they end up paying a respectable amount, especially for hotels or holiday rentals. Some big tour operators have been forced to discount their packages heavily, but renting an accommodation on your own remains as expensive as in the past. Do not expect to pay less than 100€-150€ per night for a small apartment for 2 in the high season in any tourist destinations. “As a result, your rental yield starts looking attractive on these properties priced between €40,000 and €70,000 depending on location”, comments Christina. “The sector of home rentals and villas is rapidly developing in touristic destinations.”

Therefore, most of the enquiries this summer have come from people with an investment mind-set looking for new-built apartments in small developments at low prices. “This is where people see the most value, and the maintenance cost of such properties is low”, explains Christina.

The second market where we see significant transactions is for large villas. There is a wave of sales in which, owners unable to cope with their loan expenses or tax payments, decide to sell at a loss. Prices for such properties can be reduced by up to 60% and these situations have become more frequent. However, most of these sales happen “off-market”.

“Over the past few decades, the Greek real estate market has never been such a buyer’s market. The large offer and number of opportunities create an environment that deserves the glance of prospective investors”, adds Christina.

Some investors remain though sceptical and still wonder whether Greece will be able to remain within the Eurozone. “The market for holiday homes and villas on the Greek islands is an international market, prices are already in dollar, pound, ruble, yuan. The real question is whether you really believe that people will stop coming to Greece or not ”, concludes Christina of Exclusive Greek Properties.

Cash-rich investors are probably better positioned to take advantage of the present situation and of the relative weakness of the euro against the pound. One thing is certain, Greece will always keep those characteristics that make it one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the world.

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