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GREECE

Buying a property in Greece

You should always seek expert advice when buying your first Investment Property in Greece. However this article aims to provide a basic insight into points to remember or consider when you embark on buying property in Greece.

In recent years buying a property in Greece has become extemely popular, particularly with UK nationals. There is something very rewarding about owning your own second home in another country and many find that this arrangement is more preferable to seeking a different destination for each holiday. Since the advent of low cost air flights the Greek property buying business has become huge.

There are an increasing number of property exhibitions that aim to persuade you to purchase brand new or nearly new properties in Greece. Sales staff are skilled in using highly seductive marketing methods to sell as many as possible. Like all other salespeople, they know that if a customer has time to go away and think about a purchase, then a sale is lost as is their commission! You should not however feel pressured into ‘signing on the dotted line’ there and then.

The climate in Greece is exceptional and temperatures in the summer months can be much much higher than in countries like France or Spain.

In Greece there is a choice or two main types of property for second-homers. You can choose an old character village home that may need extensive renovation or a new apartment in one of the many smart new developments springing up all over the country.

The appeal for those seeking to buy a property in Greece, is generally the older properties which can be picked up very cheaply although the renovation costs can be extortionate. You have to weigh up what you really want and perhaps the modern townhouse, ready to move in instantly for £50,000 may be the better option.

Property prices in Greece are cheaper than those in the UK, however, when considering your budget you need to be mindful of the many additional costs associated with the purchase of the property that can amount to up to one fifth of the purchase price.

You will need to appoint a notary as you would when buying a property in France. The notary's purpose is to ensure that all the relevant paperwork is in place and that the property is actually in a position to be sold.

Ownership of many older properties in Greece can be between several members of a family. If this is the case, all of the owners will need to give permission for the sale to go ahead. It is therefore essential to appoint a solicitor who is totally familiar with Greek property matters.

You will have to prove that you do not owe any income tax in Greece by obtaining a Greek tax number from the local tax office.
You will also have to pay a transfer tax levied on the size of the property.

You will also need to open a Greek bank account which must always be in credit.

When buying your property in Greece there is one big difference than property purchase in the UK. There is currently no national land registry in Greece although this is being set up.

To acquire title to a property you must therefore obtain a copy of the title held by the seller and instruct a solicitor to search the titles. You, or the seller must then appoint a notary to draft the contract with the solicitors.

The signed contract deed is filed at the notary's office and transferred at the Registry of Mortgages and then becomes the official title of the property.
December 2005

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