Greek Government To Double Golden Visa Investment Requirement
22 November 2022
Greek Prime Minister Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently announced the Government's intention to double the minimum investment for real estate under the country's Golden Visa programme.
During his recent speech on policy plans at the Thessaloniki International Fair, Mitsotakis gave scarce details on the Government's plan, but he made it clear the Golden Visa’s minimum eligible property investment threshold will increase from €250,000 to €500,000 in select areas.
Mitsotakis shared that the reasoning behind the policy change is to maintain financial stability within the housing market for Greeks, stating: "To increase the affordability of real estate for Greeks, we are now increasing the minimum amount of investment required for the issuance of a Golden Visa from €250,000 to €500,000."
Mitsotakis did not mention when the changes will occur; however, stakeholders close to the Government envision it will announce the price hike in January of 2023, but it is still unknown when it will take effect.
The Greek Minister of Development also disclosed to stakeholders that the change would cover real estate investments in the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as select islands and upscale districts of Greater Attica.
What the change means for investors?
Standard practice usually dictates that the Government will give a grace period before the changes are fully implemented, and sources close to the Government have disclosed that while the plan is to enforce the changes on the 1st of January, 2023, the Greek Ministry of Migration would prefer an extended transition period.
Until then, the Government will continue to process any applications lodged before the deadline under the existing regulations, giving prospective investors a small window to act swiftly.
How will the changes affect demand for Greece's Golden Visa?
The Greek Golden Visa is one of the world's most popular Residency by Investment programmes. Since its inception in 2013, the Government has approved 9,610 investors along with 19,157 of their dependent family members.
The Government's recent decision, however, may have a dynamic effect on global demand in two phases.
The first phase comes before the implementation of the price hike, as experts now expect a flurry of activity with investors looking to lock in their applications under the current regulations.
The second phase comes after the changes, as one of the Greek Golden Visa's most attractive factors was its affordable pricing.
Raising the minimum property investment to €500,000 will put the Greek Golden Visa on par with the Spanish Golden Visa (also €500,000), above the minimum property investment under the Portugal Golden Visa (€280,000), which has a pathway to EU citizenship. Greece's price increase may well lead many investors to look at these alternatives.
Greece's Golden Visa must also contend with the growing price gap between itself and the Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP), which requires a varied investment requirement that could reach as low as €150,000 if an investor decides to rent a property instead of purchasing.
The Greek Golden Visa's new price bracket puts it in a highly competitive stance, as investors can consider other options within or lower than the new asking price.
However, it is worth noting that the property investment requirement outside the targeted areas will remain unaffected, meaning those who prefer Greece will still be able to obtain a Golden Visa for €250,000.
Another intriguing aspect that Mitsotakis neglected to address in his speech was whether the Golden Visa's term deposit option, currently priced at €400,000, would be subject to any change.
Similar to the recent growth in applications through the mutual investment fund option under Portugal's Golden Visa after new regulations were implemented on property investments, Greece could also see more investors divert their attention from real estate investments to term deposits.
The best course of action
Mitsotakis' announcement was clear; the Government will increase the investment amount. However, the lack of details makes the matter quite time-sensitive, as it is unknown when the Government will implement the changes, how long the grace period will be, and what areas will be affected.
The best option investors interested in the Greek Golden Visa can do is to act quickly before any new regulations take effect. Swift immediate action will give investors ample time to choose a suitable property (or properties), make their deposits, and submit their application.
To learn more about the Greek Golden Visa or any of Europe's other programme options, contact us today to talk to one of our Residency by Investment experts.