May 25, 2024
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Greece to Raise Golden Visa Investment Requirements Starting March 31

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Greece is gearing up for changes in its Golden Visa program, targeting the influx of investors impacting the country’s property market dynamics. The Greek government has announced that from March 31 onwards, investors seeking residency rights through the Golden Visa program will need to meet increased investment thresholds.

The new requirements stipulate that investors must invest a minimum of €800,000 ($873,280) in sought-after locations such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, and other islands with a population exceeding 3,100 inhabitants. This adjustment aims to address the strain on the property market caused by the program’s popularity among foreign investors.

This change follows a previous increase in the investment threshold, which was doubled to €500,000 in popular areas back in August. Additionally, in other parts of Greece, the minimum investment threshold will rise to €400,000 from the previous €250,000 requirement. Investors are also limited to purchasing a single property with a minimum surface area of 120 square meters (1291.7 square feet), specifically for long-term residential purposes and not for short-term rentals.

The revised investment thresholds are designed to bolster the availability of long-term rental housing and mitigate the impact of the Golden Visa program on housing costs, according to a statement from the Finance Ministry.

Greece has experienced a surge in applications for the Golden Visa, with over 25,100 applications received and 17,184 permits granted to buyers seeking residency in the country. Notably, Chinese investors constitute nearly 60% of all visas issued, followed by Turkish investors at 7%.

The heightened demand for residential properties in Athens has been fueled by foreign interest, the country’s economic recovery, and the appeal of the Golden Visa program’s affordability. Consequently, rental prices in these areas have also seen a corresponding increase.

The changes to the Golden Visa program signal Greece’s commitment to balancing foreign investment opportunities with the need to maintain a stable and sustainable property market, ensuring long-term benefits for both investors and the local economy.

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