7There are nearly 20,000 Brits registered as permanently living in Greece which is a surprisingly low number given the beauty of the county and its many islands. There is more coastline in Greece than in any other European country and beachside property is very reasonable at present.
Affordability and a low cost of living are not the only attractions. There is a great climate, low crime, easy access, a fantastic history and culture as well as fabulous Greek food and wine.
Obviously, Greece has not been without its problems. A long and severe financial crisis nearly resulted in bankruptcy and ejection from the Euro. As it is, the country is still faced with years of austerity, high unemployment and low economic growth. The property market has been hit hard by the recession and has nearly halved in value from its peak in 2008.
Added to the issues surrounding austerity, the county has also been adversely affected by the migrant crisis. Islands close to the Turkish coast in the Aegean Sea such as Lesbos, Chios, Leros, Samos and Kos have been the most impacted. Over 80% of the migrants have landed at Lesbos and Chios which shows other areas have been largely been unaffected even if the perception is otherwise.
The popular Ionian islands of Corfus, Cephalonia (Kefolonia) and Zakynthos (Zante) have been largely untouched by the crisis as have Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Crete.
So, whilst there are still economic and political risks with buying property in Greece, we believe that Greece offers some of the best value in Europe at present along with good long-term potential.
The beautiful island of Corfu, with its rolling olive groves and pine trees leading down to secluded sandy beaches, is the most popular Greek destination for Brits. There are strong British ties and the island was a British protectorate during the 19th century and boasts the only Greek cricket club.
Popular areas are the town of Corfu as well as the north of the island. Corfu old town is particularly charming and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with British and Italian influences. The affluent north of the island is fashionable and the beautiful old fishing village Kassiopi has its fair share of admirers.
As we head south in the Ionian Sea, we come to Kefalonia which is attracting a lot of interest as a result of direct flights and popular new developments. The island has been popular with locals for some time but the tourist industry really only started growing in the Eighties. The film, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, was shot on the island which has helped with growing the tourist industry. The area around Karavomilos and Sami is very popular with a lovely fishing harbour and an excellent beach fringed by Eucalyptus and Mulberry trees.
Zakynthos is a green and unspoiled island and longstanding popular tourist destination with very affordable property. The most famous landmark of the island is Navagio beach (Shipwreck Bay) whilst there are numerous white sandy beaches and secluded covers at the south of this island including nesting sites for the Loggerhead sea turtle.
The largest of the Dodecanese, the chic island of Rhodes is one of the sunniest places in Greece. The east coast is most popular with several traditional Greek villages. Travelling down the east coast, Tsambika, Kalathos, Lindos, Pefkos, Asklipio, Kiotari, Genadi and Lachania are all popular with great beaches and good tavernas and bars. Greek property in Lindos village itself is very expensive and normally kept within local Greek families. The west coast is not so popular as the climate tends to be less favourable.
Of this island group, Mykonos and Santorini are both fashionable and stylish. Mykonos is ultra-chic and Greece’s most glamorous island. In the summer, the luxury yachts are moored in the harbour and beaches are filled with the rich and famous.
Crete is a popular destination for holidays and second homes. It is the biggest Greek island with a lot of variety. It is a friendly island with very low crime and good infrastructure. Prices are very competitive at present. Buyers tend to focus on traditional villages on the north coast around Chania in the west and Agios Nikolaos/ Elounda in the east. Rethymon is also popular.