Greece has long been revered for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. For years, it grappled with economic turmoil, but recent developments are painting a different picture of this Mediterranean gem. Greece is now emerging as a promising investment destination, with a growing economy and an enticing real estate market, especially in its picturesque islands. In this article, we will explore Greece’s positive economic trajectory and the opportunities it presents for those considering buying property in this enchanting land.
Greece’s Remarkable Economic Turnaround
The global financial crisis of 2008 left Greece’s economy battered and bruised, and it was often referred as one of the EU’s struggling economies, most notably and tastelessly being a member of the PIIGS nations (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece & Spain). However, in recent years, the country has embarked on a remarkable journey of economic rejuvenation. Analysts at Barclays have even gone so far as to predict a “3rd economic megacycle” for Greece, signaling an era of significant economic growth. This transformation has been so profound that the Financial Times dubbed it “Greece’s transformation from economic basket case to European growth tiger.”
Historically, Greece has experienced two periods of substantial economic growth: the first in the 1950s-1970s and the second in the 1990s after joining the EU. Following the devastating blow in 2008, it now appears that Greece is poised for another surge in economic prosperity.
Greece’s Economic Resilience
One crucial indicator of a country’s economic health is its credit rating. Greece, once saddled with a “standard default” (SD) rating, has witnessed a remarkable turnaround in its financial reputation. Japanese rating agency Rating and Investment upgraded Greece to an investment grade BBB-. Similarly, Scope, a European agency, raised Greece’s rating to BBB- and declared the outlook as “stable.” These upgrades are attributed to sustained support from Europe through monetary and fiscal interventions, along with structural reforms that have mitigated non-performing loans and improved the efficiency of the banking sector.
Moreover, Greece has made significant strides in reducing its debt, shrinking it from a staggering 206% of GDP pre-pandemic to a more manageable 171% today.
Impressive Economic Rebound and Tourism’s Role
In 2021, Greece’s GDP surged by an impressive 8.4%, followed by another robust growth of 5.9% in 2022. These figures outshine the performance of its European neighbors. Notably, Greece experienced a staggering 90% growth in exports between 2010 and 2019, while the euro area as a whole managed only a 42% increase.
Tourism has played a pivotal role in Greece’s economic resurgence, contributing a substantial 20% to its GDP. This feat is all the more remarkable given the pandemic-induced travel restrictions in 2020 and 2021. To encourage tourists, Greece announced an expansion of its seasonal budget-friendly flights, demonstrating its commitment to this vital sector.
A Haven for Overseas Buyers
The allure of Greece extends beyond tourism, attracting a growing number of overseas property buyers. According to real estate company Elxis, property sales to international buyers in 2022 were four times higher than in 2007. Greece’s Golden Visa program, a residency by investment scheme, has been instrumental in this trend. Recently, the minimum investment requirement for a Golden Visa has increased to €500,000 in certain areas, further signaling the attractiveness of Greek real estate to global investors.
Overall, Greece’s remarkable economic revival, combined with its allure as a destination for overseas property buyers, presents an array of opportunities for those looking to invest in this Mediterranean paradise. With a positive economic outlook and a thriving real estate market, Greece is not just a dream vacation spot but also a compelling investment destination. Whether you’re drawn to the mainland or the enchanting islands, Greece offers a world of possibilities for the savvy investor.
Featured pictures by Michelle Raponi.