Buying property  in Greece after Covid-19 is on the rise as the Greek government is looking to make purchasing a home in the country easier and cheaper through a range of attractive measures.

If you are dreaming for a cheap retirement in warmer climates, then the new initiative by the Greek government might be just enough to persuade you to buy property in Greece.

Like many other countries struggling with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Greece wants to revitalise the economy by incentivising foreign buyers to purchase their dream home in the land of the Myrmidons and other legends. One of the ways the government is trying to appeal to home buyers is by raising the tax-free ceiling on the supplementary tax included in the property tax surcharge known as ENFIA imposed during the bailout years. According to the Greek newspaper The National Herald, “the ceiling is 250,000 euros ($294,823.35) and may be increased to as much as 350,000 euros ($412,752.55) and the supplementary tax will be abolished once ENFIA comes under the jurisdiction of municipal authorities as of 2022. Earlier the government said it would offer European pensioners a flat tax of 7 percent no matter their income – it's 28 to 44 percent for Greeks – if the foreigners moved their tax base to Greece as a condition.” The condition for pensioners is that they “cannot have been a tax resident of Greece in the previous five years before the relocation and must be relocating from a country that has a dual taxation agreement with Greece.”

Greece’s Tax Incentives

Brits usually go to Spain, so why not Greece? Greece is making an attempt to attract British and other Europeans to relocate in the warm Mediterranean country and birthplace of Democracy. Known for the Parthenon at the Acropolis, its beautiful sun kissed islands and the romantic sunsets at Sounio, Greece is now appealing to pensioners through tax incentives. While many countries want to attract a younger generation, the Greek government is interested in luring Europe’s retirees. “The logic is very simple: we want pensioners to relocate here,” says Athina Kalyva, head of tax policy at the Greek finance ministry. “We have a beautiful country, a very good climate, so why not?” Kalyva said that the government initiative is centred on passing this new flat income tax rate of 7% for foreign retirees who will transfer their tax residence to Greece in the next 10 years. She explained: “We hope that pensioners benefiting from this attractive rate will spend most of their time in Greece. That would mean investing a bit – renting or buying a home.”

Greece wants to apply the flat rate not only to pensions but to other sources of revenue too. The chief economic adviser of the Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Alex Patelis, said that “the 7% flat rate will apply to whatever income a person might have, be that rents or dividends as well as pensions. As a reformist government, we have to basically try to tick all the boxes in order to boost the economy and change growth models in Greece.”

After successfully dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, Greece wants to boost the brand name Greece, Patelis said. “Once the pandemic subsides, we believe capital and labour will move to places that did relatively better.”

As economics professor Platon Tinios noted, “it’s a good idea if pensioners have easy access to a decent health system and good links to airports, so they can go and see their grandchildren. And golf courses, too.”

If you are considering buying your dream home in Greece, you should contact a foreign exchange specialist to assist you with transferring your money abroad, explain currency exchange, and hedge your funds from unpredictable currency movements. Get in touch with Universal Partners FX so you can have peace of mind when sending a large amount of money overseas. If you want to schedule ahead and safeguard your funds, talk to one of their foreign exchange experts today.