If one check’s out listings on real estate sites or property management and rental apps, they will see that there are a lot of very luxurious villas available in Greece. In fact some of the biggest, most gorgeous and most perfectly equipped villas in Europe seem to be located on that tiny country, which isn’t known for its wealth. Some people may assume that those listings are just scams and that there’s probably something wrong with them, some fine print that will rob of them of their money. That however is not true. It might seem weird to you, but there are a lot of good reasons why there are so many luxurious villas in Greece.
Now, most people know about the financial crisis that greatly affected many countries in 200 and lasted for several years. Greece underwent a financial crisis of its own during that period and the government had to take on a huge bailout loan from the EU and the IMF, thus entering a period of strictly austerity that greatly reduced the income of most Greeks. Simply put, no one in Greece, from the poorest families to the richest tycoons were left unaffected from the crisis. Things however weren’t always like that. Greeks used to be EXTREMELY wealthy.
The golden years
From the mid-nineties forward, the average income of the Greek family kept becoming greater and greater and as a result, a lot of businesses became very successful almost overnight. It’s not an exaggeration to say that by the time the 2004 Olympics happened, Greece was one of the most countries in Europe, as far as GDP and average income was concerned. The problem however was that the Greek economy was a bubble ready to burst. It was a bubble built on loans and government spending, so when the time came to pay back those loans, the economy collapsed.
Home owners by tradition
Greeks have always understood the value of real estate. For them owning land or a house was the most important investment a person could make. Anyone who was not a home owner in Greece, was considered poor or unsuccessful professionally and financially.Greeks are known for being a bit excessive and the same applies in their investment style. Greeks don’t just own the house ir apartment they live in,they usually also own a summer house and the home their parents grew up in.Furthermore, they are always looking out to buy new property, as soon as they can afford it.
The property boom of the golden years
This brings us back to the “origins” of all those villas that are available to buy and rent in Greece. During the so called golden years, all the rich and nouveau rich people in Greece invested in real estate and they built luxurious villas that would serve as their primary residence or summer house, depending on the location. Pretty much everyone took on a pretty substantial loan in order to get the funds needed for the construction and furnishing of those luxurious villas. The real estate boom was so large in scale, that the construction sector became the main source of income for most Greek families.
The crisis strikes
When the financial crisis erupted however, even the wealthiest Greeks so their profits and bank accounts take a significant hit. Furthermore, there was a significant tax hike on property taxes which up to that point, were almost negligible, especially when compared with property taxes in other countries in Europe. This caused many Greeks, including the wealthier ones, to default on their loans, which resulted in thousands of properties becoming available on the market, almost overnight and that’s why there are many luxurious villas on the market today! And it’s not only the amount of villas available, but the fact that even the best luxury villas in Greece are now sold in extremely low prices compared to previous years.