By Furkan Naci Top
ATHENS (AA) – Turkish investment in Greek properties is growing as market conditions favor buyers with help from a so-called golden visa program, real estate analysts have told Anadolu Agency.
Just over 160 Turkish citizens have invested more than €250,000 ($294,000) each to enable them to acquire a residency permit for five years, a Greek investment agency announced.
“Turks want to get a share of the cake, ” Pia Vafiadou, a real estate agent in Athens for the last decade, told Anadolu Agency.
Vafiadou said Turkish investors' demand saw a sharp increase parallel to other foreign nationals in the last two years. “The ones who made a purchase in the last one and a half years have already begun derive to profit, ” she added.
Although the golden visa is a plus, some Turkish citizens make purchases much higher than the minimum limit, pointing to an appetite for profit as their main motivation, Vafiadou said.
According to the Enterprise Greece investment agency, just over 2,000 individuals of various nationalities have entered the program since 2013.
Over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) has been spent on Greek properties. Chinese investors top the list with 850 individuals and Russians follow with 388.
Kostis Arslanoglu, a real estate consultant who works mainly with Turkish customers, said property prices have almost halved in the capital Athens since 2008, before the Greek crisis.
“None of my clients have moved to the houses they bought. They mostly rent them out through different means. Everybody aims to make an economically-viable investment, nothing else, ” Arslanoglu said.
According to the consultant, nearly 1,000 houses were sold in the last two years to Turkish customers, however the perception of demand has moved prices higher already.
“This might seem high for Greece's standards, since construction output is low. But, for Turkey with its 80 million population, it is a drop in the sea, ” he added.