HOUSE FOR SALEThe Greek real estate market aspires to emerge as a “Promised Land” for the ubiquitously interested buyers of holiday homes, thanks to a series of targeted interventions taken by the government, which framed the existing “tools” to attract investors / buyers, but also the inherent advantages of the country over the competition. Over the past 12 months, the government has first instituted a 24% VAT suspension, which “paves the way” for foreign buyers to acquire newly built, and therefore higher quality, holiday properties.

Through this measure, which is valid for three years, from the beginning of 2020 until the end of 2022, those who acquire a secondary residence in Greece will not be taxed with the 24% VAT, which was valid until recently, but only with its transfer tax. 3%. In fact, the cost of obtaining housing, to which VAT is applied, becomes much more attractive for foreigners and of course for Greeks, who already have a first home. It is recalled that the suspension applies to all these properties, ie to all constructions erected with building permits issued from 1 January 2006 onward.

Bilateral agreements

HOUSESEven more important is the regulation for the transfer of the tax headquarters of pensioners from countries with which Greece has bilateral agreements to avoid double taxation. This is included in the bill being voted by the Ministry of Finance. It stipulates that any retired foreign citizen who chooses to transfer his tax headquarters to Greece, will pay income tax at a very low rate of 7% of the amount of the pension. This rate will be valid for 10 years.

In addition to the existence of a bilateral agreement, the condition is that the retiree resides in Greece for at least 183 days. Also, he must not have been a tax resident of Greece, for the previous five of the last six years, before the transfer of the tax residence to Greece. In fact, the regulation provides for a special deadline, already for 2020, with a deadline for submitting applications for transfer of tax residence on September 30.

This provision is made mainly for retirees who have already acquired a residence in Greece and would be interested in the transfer of their tax residence. From 2021 onwards, the “frame” will include the interested buyers of holiday homes, who may have been looking for a property in another Southern European country, with similar programs, such as. Malta, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus.

The above measures are combined with the “golden visa” residence permit program, which concerns prospective buyers from non-EU countries. In short, Greece as a destination for the acquisition of a holiday home now has tax and investment incentives for both citizens from EU member states and those from third countries, such as China, Russia, Middle East and the USA.


In addition to incentives, Greece has significant advantages over other competitive markets, such as the affordable cost of acquiring a holiday home, and even the most expensive properties offer much more benefits and are located in locations much more privileged than similar properties in other countries. countries, which cost much more. Also, the natural beauty of the country and the fact that it has not been saturated by the oversupply of holiday homes, such as e.g. areas in southern Spain and southern France, serve as additional benefits for the country, especially in the current context of the coronavirus, where social distancing and privacy are key prerequisites for more and more buyers.