The Greek property market is evolving into the promised land for aspiring holiday home buyers from around the world. This is thanks to a series of targeted interventions by the government in addition to the existing instruments for the attraction of investors/buyers, and to the country’s inherent advantages.
In the last 12 months the government has introduced the suspension of the 24% value-added tax on new houses that paved the way for foreign buyers to acquired newly built holiday homes – which also means they are built to higher quality standards. Through that measure that will last for three years, up to the end of 2022, buyers of a secondary home in Greece will not be taxed the 24% VAT but only the 3% transfer tax.
Even more important is the regulation concerning the transfer of pensioners’ tax residence from countries with which Greece has bilateral agreements for double taxation avoidance. This is included in the Finance Ministry bill to be voted into law, providing for any foreign retiree choosing to take his tax residence to Greece to pay income tax of just 7%. This flat rate will apply for an entire decade.
Besides the existence of a double taxation avoidance agreement, there is a condition for the pensioner to spend at least 183 days per year in Greece. Eligible retirees should have also not been Greek tax residents for five of the last six years.
These measures are also combined with the Golden Visa residence permit program that concerns potential investors in Greek real estate hailing from outside the European Union. This makes Greece a prime destination for buying a holiday home, complete with tax and investment incentives for citizens from the EU and from third countries such as China, Russia, Turkey, the Middle East and the US.
Besides those incentives, there also exist other major advantages, such as the affordable acquisition cost of holiday homes in most areas, the capital gains that can be reaped, and the undisputed unspoilt natural beauty of the Greek landscape.