Juwai.com is a platform connecting international agents real estate agents and Chinese buyers. According to its figures, Greece’s move to put foreclosure auctions online may encourage more Chinese buyers to seek “bargains”.
Chinese investors account for 42% of all Greek investor visas issued — equal to the next five nationalities combined. Greece’s “Golden Visa” program gives investors of 250,000 euros or more a renewable five-year permit to reside and work in Greece.
According to Carrie Law, CEO of Juwai.com, “After a weak first half of the year, Chinese buying interest in Greek property began growing rapidly in the fourth quarter of 2016. While the trend backslid in the third quarter, still remained well above the long-term average.
“In the third quarter of 2017, Chinese buying inquiries went up 158.5%, compared to the same period in the previous year.
“Through the second quarter, we had three straight quarters of double-digit growth in Chinese buying inquiries.”
“In part, this is because of Greece’s economic and financial woes. In the Juwai.com 2015 Mediterranean Report, we observed that Chinese buyers were holding back and did not yet trust that Greece was on the road to recovery. Now, that sentiment has changed. The belief is that the worst is over. This is a good time to take advantage of the low prices and to benefit from future capital gains as the market recovers.
“The Chinese buyer median property inquiry price is approximately 300,000 U.S. dollars and the highest inquiry price is 10 million. The buyer mix includes those looking for small apartments and homes at affordable price points and the less numerous buyers who are looking for much more expensive luxury property for second home and vacation use.
“Athens is the top Greek destination for Chinese residential property buyers. The capital has a substantial lead over all other destinations in the country.
“One incentive is Greece’s investment visa. It is one of the more lax visas that allow you to use property investment to get yourself onto the path towards European Union citizenship.
“Greece is three or four hours closer by air than Barcelona and Lisbon, two popular cities in other countries that also have appealing investor visas.
“We have some buyers who are very interested in Greece’s e-auction process. They believe it will offer opportunities to purchase at the bottom of the market,” the Juwai.com CEO concludes.