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Real Estate in Greece: to buy or not to buy?

By Kosmas Theodorides*

When is the best time to buy Real Estate in a crashing market? That is an easy question to answer: wait at least for the first up leg after the major precipice. We do not know when the precipice will end and for sure you will have time to buy later as the market goes into the consolidation phase. By historic standards, the consolidation phase lasts several quarters even years when we are talking about drops of biblical proportions like the one we are currently experiencing. So question answered, the article could end here.

Why read any further? Why indeed are enquiries about property from abroad coming back to life? 

One reason is of course our own mobilization in the foreign markets in order to attract investment. But what I think is the major reason is that unlike stocks, gold bars or other assets each piece of real estate is unique. If you want o buy a whole building on a central square you have only so many chances in a lifetime. The same goes for a beachfront property close to a major airport or land for development that will sell for a premium as Greek legislation finally catches up with international reality and competition. So here is another reason to think about it: foreigners buying now may have the right to have a long term Schengen visa once they have bought property in Greece. Needless to say of course, people interested in a a bargain and not a visa are also in the market.

Whatever the reason for your being interested in the question may be let me assure you of one thing: no-one can convince you to buy a property if you do not really want to. What we can do is give a professional opinion and facilitate your purchase as you go through the various steps and the – considerable -  paperwork, as well as provide expert advice or connections to people who can give it. Buying property is a process, not a time-point.

Has it ever been a better time to buy in Greece pricewise? Definitely not. Will there be lower prices generally? Perhaps.  Ultimately that is up to you to judge and you can now more than ever drive the prices to your liking simply by making offers. Cash buyers have never had so much power. So, if you want to buy exactly what you want in the best possible price, you better start having a look at the market. The process takes time.

I do not know what will happen in the next few months or quarters but I am convinced that when we look back five or ten years from now we will all agree that there has never been a better time to buy than this period. Crisis after all is the Greek word for judgment. And good judgment  is likely to pay handsomely.

*Kosmas Theodorides is a Broker, Owner of Polis Real Estate
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