COVID-19 motivates foreigners to purchase Greek vacation homes cheap

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
COVID-19 motivates foreigners to purchase Greek vacation homes cheapreece is one of the safest places during the time of COVID-19

Having your own home is one way to avoid the risks of COVID-19 from staying in hotels and short-term rentals like Airbnb, and foreigners who can afford it are turning to look at buying vacation homes in Greece on the cheap.

While Greece's hopes to lure tourists by touting the country's relatively successful rate in holding down the number of cases and deaths have so far been dashed with lower-than-expected bookings, people still afraid to fly or drive to another country for summer vacation, interest by foreigners in buying homes is soaring.

In a feature, the German public news broadcaster and site Deutsche Welle (DW) noted the overnight trend developing as Greece lifted its lockdown, although the government moved to reconsider after tourists brought infections with their luggage.

Greece is one of the safest places during the time of COVID-19 that is still raging in the United States and other parts of the world, an incentive indeed to visit and vacation.

But people with means want to take it a step further by owning, not renting or using hotels.

Curiously, the hunt for safe retreats now has created, the site said, one of the biggest buyer's markets in Greece in a decade, before the onset of an economic and austerity crisis that saw the property and home values plummet, leading to speculative buying from rich foreigners and companies.

It's being sparked primarily by the Hellenophile British, who've long had a love affair with Greece but were barred from coming until July 15 on direct flights because the United Kingdom, like the US, has seen COVID-19 out of control after Prime Minister Boris Johnson-like US President Donald Trump – favored the economy over life.

British demand for Greek properties has jumped 200 percent in only a few weeks, real estate agents told the site, with data from Britain's biggest property marketplace, Rightmove, showing Greece the hottest search destination in Europe, along with Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy. 

There were more than a million online inquiries recorded on the day the UK government announced its new travel orders in late June, about the same time that the British film The Trip to Greece was released, a giant free ad for the country.         

Piers Williams of the British property firm Chestertons Ionian told the site that Greece "is really bouncing back … It has been over a decade since we had such activity,” the country reaping the benefits for an early lockdown that made it safer than most.

That hasn't yet translated into sales because looking at property online from your home is one thing and going there to buy it is quite another, of course, and many British are said to still be reluctant to go anywhere with the virus still around.

The British and others have competition as Germans are said to be eyeing buying Greek properties too, said DW, along with house hunters from France, Austria, and Switzerland, Greece getting more attractive ironically because of the Coronavirus.

"The phone just hasn't stopped ringing," said Hillary Dawson of Crete Homes. "I have viewings lined up solid for the rest of the summer months," she said after showing a seaside estate to a French couple in the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos.

There are no official figures yet but industry officials told DW that German property investments alone have spiked by 50% in recent months, focusing on even arid land in the Peloponnese and million-dollar villas on islands like Amorgos, Crete, Karpathos, and Corfu, put up for sale as Greece's economy is taking a hit from the cost and aftermath of dealing with COVID-19.

Greece's economy is heavily reliant on tourism, the biggest revenue engine that brings in as much as 18-20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of some 175.42 billion euros ($200.3 billion) annually.

The driving force behind the keen interest by foreigners is how safe the New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has made the country, people looking to hide away from the virus.

"People just feel safer here," said Williams of Chestertons. "And they want to preserve that safety under the sun."

Dawson said for British clients there's another factor: the UK leaving the European Union by the end of the year. 

"COVID-19 may have scuppered their relocation designs, but the mad dash is on and all are now rushing, almost desperate to buy a home by the end of the year in order to get (EU) residency status," she said.

Next to the nearly 4 million German nationals who holiday in Greece each year,  bringing in more than €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion) in hard currency, British nationals account for Greece's biggest pool of foreign visitors, said DW.

While private properties may find themselves with pools of buyers, as many as two-thirds of the country's hotels could wobble or even go under during a year with almost no bookings, the summer already looking lost.

"We have seen no real movement on the commercial front yet," said Williams, but if even a relatively few inquiries turn into purchases, it will mean property owners cashing in, although leaving out many Greeks in their own country.

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source:pixabay.com 

Tornos
  1. 04/10 16:55

    Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission takes part in World Investor Week 2022

  2. 04/10 16:25

    Embassy of Greece and DOP present tribute to Greek-American women on November 3

  3. 04/10 15:45

    Greek Tourism Minister to Le Monde: Next campaign will focus on sustainable tourism

  4. 04/10 14:28

    Greece's Corinth Canal closes again for completion of restoration works

  5. 04/10 13:59

    Domestic passenger traffic in Athens Airport surpassed 2019 levels by 1.5% in September

  6. 04/10 13:14

    International Micro μ Festival: A 'live' film festival in nine European cities

  7. 04/10 11:58

    EU greenlights €800 mil Greek scheme to support non-household electricity consumers

  8. 04/10 11:07

    Cyprus Airways announces more than double capacity and destinations for summer 2023

  9. 03/10 23:00

    IATA and ITC join forces to improve access to global trade and air cargo supply chain info

  10. 03/10 22:32

    World Tourism Awards 2022: The gems of Greek tourism among top European brands

  11. 03/10 13:55

    BEYOND: Greek tech show in Thessaloniki aims to attract international interest

  12. 30/09 22:44

    Amendment to cap profit margins for fire wood and other solid fuels in Greece

  13. 30/09 16:33

    Wings of Change Europe conference to focus on rebuilding EU air transport system

  14. 30/09 09:38

    Distinguished athletes like Petrounias, Tentoglou, Ntouskos, Millousi, Vlachos, Diamantidis, Printezis, Volikakis, Prevolaraki, Gkolomeev will join the 10 years of Navarino Challenge 2022

  15. 30/09 01:49

    IATA air cargo priorities: Sustainability, modernization, safety and people

  16. 30/09 01:46

    SerExpo Fair: Greece's organic food products could compete in markets abroad

  17. 29/09 22:50

    UNWTO at G20: Putting people and MSMES at forefront of recovery

  18. 29/09 17:24

    'Extra' outdoor space for hospitality sector extended in Greece to January 15

  19. 29/09 16:50

    IATA: Dangerous goods aviation transport survey highlights challenges

  20. 29/09 14:31

    Google's investment plan will create nearly 20,000 well-paid jobs in Greece

  21. 28/09 22:55

    Bill to reorganize Hellenic Railways Organisation voted in Greek Parliament

  22. 28/09 19:58

    "Greece 2.0" plan includes 372 investment projects worth 13.5 billion euros

  23. 28/09 01:36

    IATA: High expectations on sustainability and pandemic preparedness

  24. 28/09 00:51

    Jet2 and Jet2holidays raise capacity to Greece adding three new routes to 2023

  25. 27/09 22:15

    Greek Prime Minister addresses EPP annual meeting held in Crete

  26. 27/09 19:23

    President of Hellenic Republic to inaugurate Athens Democracy Forum on Wednesday

  27. 27/09 19:19

    World Tourism Day 2022: Sector rallies around “Rethinking Tourism” for Mankind

  28. 27/09 17:34

    Greece records 44,775 Covid-19 cases and 97 fatalities on September 19-25

  29. 26/09 23:28

    International tourism returns to 60% of pre-pandemic levels in January-July 2022

  30. 26/09 01:04

    Ancient cemetery findings showcased at Archaeological Museum of Piraeus

  31. 24/09 01:00

    UNWTO welcomes Málaga into International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories

  32. 22/09 23:50

    Animasyros 2022 festival offers wide range of activities on Syros island through Sunday

  33. 22/09 23:45

    Greece's Thessaloniki and Florida's Fort Lauderdale preparing to be twin cities

  34. 22/09 22:38

    US Navy looks for second Greece base at Alexandroupoli port of Greece

  35. 22/09 21:42

    Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund asks for improved offers for Igoumenitsa port

  36. 22/09 21:34

    Thessaloniki port concession amendment ratified by the Greek Parliament

  37. 21/09 19:04

    Accommodation and food service see July turnover soar in Greece

  38. 21/09 18:20

    UN World Tourism Organization supports sector promotion in Tenerife

  39. 21/09 18:17

    Vaccines against O4 and O5 Covid mutations in Greece as of early October

  40. 21/09 11:48

    Greek Prime MInister meets Israeli counterpart in New York

  41. 21/09 09:55

    Direct flights from US to Greece extended during the winter

  42. 20/09 20:48

    Market checks for PDO halloumi compliance in Cyprus

  43. 20/09 20:42

    Volcano lights up in spectacular display of fireworks on Greek island of Santorini

  44. 20/09 20:34

    Impressive statue of Hercules unearthed in Philippi of Northern Greece

  45. 20/09 20:29

    Greek capital of Athens among top-10 most beautiful cities for the second time

  46. 20/09 20:29

    Russian embassy denies claims over flights from Russia to occupied Cyprus

  47. 20/09 19:57

    India and Greece form closer ties after 2400 years of Indo-Greek empire

  48. 20/09 18:14

    No public transport in Athens for Wednesday due to 24-hour strike

  49. 20/09 18:09

    Greece records 36,146 Covid-19 cases on September 12-18, first week of school

  50. 20/09 14:19

    Greek Minister speaks on digital learning and transformation at UN summit

  51. 20/09 12:49

    Minister: Almost 'zero chances' of power cuts due to energy crisis in Greece

  52. 19/09 18:18

    Smyrna Centennial Commemoration organized at Illinois Holocaust Museum

  53. 19/09 18:13

    Tourist arrivals grow by 40% and Cyprus residents' trips abroad by 59% in August

  54. 19/09 18:09

    United Arab Emirates Economy Minister sees strong investment interest in Greece

  55. 19/09 18:05

    GNTO boosts sports tourism in Greece

  56. 19/09 17:55

    Media report: Greece now bets in extending tourist season during the winter

  57. 15/09 18:04

    Media: New King Charles III rules the UK and keeps Greece in his heart

  58. 15/09 17:55

    Stavros Niarchos Foundation offers grant to SFU and UCLA for 3-year pilot program

  59. 15/09 17:44

    Greek government announces seven measures for cheaper housing

  60. 15/09 16:29

    President of Hellenic Republic calls KIng Charles III to express her condolences

  61. 15/09 15:23

    Maritime glow at the 8th Greek Maritime Golf Event

  62. 15/09 14:49

    Modern waste management unit to replace caldera dump in Santorini

  63. 15/09 13:25

    2022 UNWTO Students League starts with national competition in Switzerland

  64. 15/09 11:17

    Officials: Greece and France can improve already good economic collaboration

  65. 15/09 09:34

    Greece plans to boost internet speeds through new satellites

  66. 14/09 21:39

    The United States repatriates ancient Greek sculptures to Italy

  67. 14/09 21:21

    Temperatures to reach 36 Celsius in Greece over the weekend

  68. 14/09 21:06

    AP: Athens Acropolis Museum President Dimitris Pandermalis dies at 82

  69. 14/09 20:50

    Emblematic Zorba the Greek, film, stage actress Irene Papas passes at 96

  70. 14/09 19:35

    Announcements on program for cheap housing loans in Greece on Thursday

  71. 14/09 18:09

    Greek government offering incentives to households to reduce energy consumption

  72. 14/09 17:29

    UNWTO marks 6th Global Conference on Wine Tourism

  73. 14/09 15:33

    Greece’s Vaccine Panel recommends updated COVID-19 shots for vulnerable

  74. 14/09 14:59

    3.50-metre long marble lintel 'rewrites' the late Byzantine history of Lesvos island

  75. 14/09 11:12

    US Ambassador to Athens: Greece the most important partner of the region

  76. 13/09 18:50

    Iconic US Jazz Orchestra performs in support of Athens pre-term newborns

  77. 13/09 18:46

    Media report: Despite COVID, energy crisis, Greece on track for big growth

  78. 13/09 18:30

    Greece records 33,590 Covid-19 cases and 129 fatalities on September 5-11

  79. 13/09 18:21

    Vaccinations against Covid with updated vaccines begin in Greece on Wednesday

  80. 13/09 18:16

    IATA: July aviation passenger demand remains strong

  81. 13/09 18:10

    Times: Andros, Patmos and 8 other islands singled out for a quieter Greek getaway

  82. 13/09 18:07

    Hotel occupancy rates reach 90% in Mykonos island during September

  83. 13/09 17:05

    NEW JOB: COOKING INSTRUCTOR

  84. 13/09 13:37

    These are King Charles III's paintings of Greece

  85. 12/09 21:55

    Greek Tourism Minister signs deal with Austrian counterpart in Vienna

  86. 12/09 21:51

    Greek President addresses symposium on UNCLOS on Rhodes island

  87. 12/09 21:47

    Further Greece-France defence collaboration explored in Thessaloniki

  88. 12/09 17:59

    Expert: Greece can be the 'pleasant exporting surprise of Europe'

  89. 11/09 21:38

    Belgian driver finishes first in EKO Acropolis Rally 2022 in Athens

  90. 08/09 21:43

    International air cargo tracks near pre-COVID pandemic levels

  91. 07/09 11:36

    Run with us for the 10 years of Navarino Challenge

  92. 05/09 21:35

    Greek Tourism Minister in Berlin to discuss extension of season with airlines and tour operators

  93. 05/09 21:32

    British Chef Jamie Oliver in Thessaloniki for TV production

  94. 05/09 21:22

    Research | Tourism: Value for money determines travel destination selection

  95. 05/09 14:43

    Ambassador to Athens Sulaiman Almazroui: Greek-UAE relations exceptional

  96. 03/09 21:38

    UNWTO joins European Historic Thermal Towns Association to promote thermal tourism

  97. 29/08 15:51

    More unsettled weather expected in Greece during the week

  98. 29/08 15:04

    Athens mayor meets NY counterpart to discuss promotion of Greek capital

  99. 29/08 09:54

    Greek island of Rhodes seeking to attract tourists during winter also

  100. 28/08 22:08

    Circular economy to be in the spotlight at 86th TIF in Thessaloniki of Greece