Israelis are investing in real estate in Greece
an article by the law firm NEXUS
The residential and commercial real- estate market, as it currently formed in Greece, is a highly profitable market, that sets the ground for many property investments. The collapse of the prices in the urban centers, due to the severe financial crisis of the last decade, along with the great growth of tourism in Athens and Thessaloniki, have made these two cities, a place of opportunities. During the last couple of years, many Israelis have shown great interest in investing in properties in Athens and Thessaloniki, as this is an investment with a very high return (among the higher one can find in EU countries), contrary to the current situation in Israel, where real-estate prices are dramatically high.
The investments already made by Israelis are large ones, such as hotels, malls or block of apartments or smaller ones, such as flats and apartments especially in the heart of the two cities. The options for the potential foreign investors are many, some of them choose to renovate and rent their apartments, having a stable monthly income, they are able to short- term rent their apartments via online platforms, such as Airbnb or they can renovate and re-sell it, making a profit. It should be noted that if the total sum of properties equals (or exceeds) the amount of 250.00 euros a residence-permit for the owner and his/her family members (wife/husband, children, parents) is granted. This permit allows the beneficiaries to stay, study and travel among the EU countries without limitations.
Is it safe to buy property in Greece?
In general, the notarial contract and the certificate of the civil engineer that is required for the notary contract secures that the property being sold is legally built and transferred by the legal owner, while the legal search ensures that the property is free of any burdens (e.g mortgages).
Moreover, the Land Registry in Greece (and especially in big urban centers) is well established and the registration of the deed is made quickly and easily. The growing foreign investments in Greece indicate that the legal procedure and the transactions are transparent and fully secure.
Although the transaction can be completed via a bank transfer from a bank account outside of Greece, it is advised to the foreign investors who seek to invest in Greece, to open a bank account, so that they have easy and flexible payment options, especially when the lease their property and receive income. In case of larger transactions, the legal form of the investment company should be decided, after thorough tax planning, according to the needs of the investors and the country that the final dividend will be given.
Which is the procedure for purchasing a property in Greece and how much is costs:
The steps for buying a property in Greece are simple and with low expenses. First, the potential foreign investor must issue a Greek Tax Number, in order to be able to make transactions in Greece. This procedure takes about 30 minutes and the Tax Number is issued immediately. Following the issue of the tax number, the notary prepares the contract and arranges the contract- related issues. At this phase, the transfer tax (3% on the transaction price) should be paid, a tax based on the objective value of the property. After the technical and legal search and consulting, the contract is ready to be signed. The signed contract, which is the property deed, is later registered in the Land Registry (“Tabo”). The cost of the transactions shall be counted at an approximate 8,5 to 9% of the transaction price of the property. At this cost the cost of lawyer, notary, agent and transfer tax is included. On all services in Greece a vat of 24% is imposed.
How is the income by the real estate property taxed in Greece:
Currently the income by individuals, deriving from buying and reselling a property is not taxed. In the coming year(s) and income tax of 15% will be put. The same income for companies is 29%.
Regarding the income of individuals produced by renting the property, this is taxed on progressive scale, as shown below.
Income from property Rate %
0 – 12.000 15%
12.001 – 35.000 35%
35.001 – 45%
In case, a company (legal person) is renting the property, the income is taxed with a flat rate of 29%, as it is considered income from business activity. Specific rules may apply to the short-term leases, via platforms such as Airbnb.
Legal assistance for real estate transactions in Greece:
It is underlined that in all steps of the procedure, the investor is accompanied by a professional lawyer, with extensive experience in the real-estate field. Our firm is not only engaged in the buying of the property, but has a wide range of associates, who are also involved in the management of the property as well as the tax responsibilities. Having a constant presence in large real-estate transactions in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, our firm is highly- specialized in this area, ensuring the best result for our clients. For further information and/or questions, please contact us at