Buying a house in Greece? | Golden Visa Scheme | Tax Registration Number | Open a Bank account | Hire a lawyer is recommended | Mortgage | Costs involved | Real Estate Transfer Tax (Law 1587/1950) | Recurring Property Taxes | Gov.gr platform of the Greek Government | Is It Easy To Buy A House In Greece? | Buying a house in Greece summarized | Video
Buying real estate in Greece is not hard, provided that you do your homework. In this article, we take you through the necessary steps and highlight the most important things to consider when buying a house in Greece.
Everyone can purchase property in Greece, yet EU citizens or residents are considerably more advantageous in the process. For EU citizens, it is easier to buy property in Greece. Non-EU residents may need to prove both their connections to Greece and their intent for property use. Their application goes through the Ministry of Defense which evaluates the submitted proof of intent and connection. Now that the UK has officially left the EU, buying property in Greece is a bit more difficult than before. You still have the right to buy and own property, but you may also face restrictions and a few more administrative processes. On the other hand, as a non-EU citizen, British buyers are now eligible for the Golden Visa scheme. To buy a home, every potential buyer needs a tax registration number (AFM) and bank account. Top ⇑
Greece has a Golden Visa scheme that grants a five-year residency in return for investment in property. You’ll need to spend at least €250,000 on the house and meet other criteria such as having health insurance and no criminal record. Once granted, the holder of a Golden Visa and their immediate family members can legally live and work in Greece. Note that residency and work permits are connected in Greece. So if you do not qualify for the golden visa, and you are not a member of an EU country, you will need to secure your permit prior to purchasing a residential property.
The Greek government has announced that the Greek Golden Visa’s minimum investment is €250,000 at least until the 1st of July 2023. After that, the minimum amount will be increased to €5000,000. We will be updating this information. Top ⇑
Buying a house in Greece requires a tax registration number (AFM) which is issued at the local tax office. This can be arranged in one day, and you do not need an appointment. In order to obtain the tax registration number, you need to bring your registration card or residence permit for Greece. Together with the tax registration number, the tax office will provide you with access codes to the national online tax system called “TAXIS”. All buyers will register whether the property is for residential or investment/rental purposes. The Greek government charges an annual residential property tax (ENFIA), which is calculated on this basis and must be declared on your tax return. Therefore, all property owners must be registered taxpayers and hold a Greek bank account. Top ⇑
Buyers need to open a Greek bank account. This account will be used to transfer all the funds required for the purchase (property price, notary fees, registration fees, etc.) To open a bank account, you’ll need to bring your passport and your tax registration number. Many banks will ask for additional documents, such as proof of address (a recent utility bill, for example), a work contract, or a reference letter from your previous bank. Top ⇑
It is recommended to hire a local real estate agent to help you with the various steps of the purchasing process. Some also hire an engineer, who will establish the age and condition of the property and identify any specific zoning regulations. There are many properties in Greece in need of maintenance. Thus, it is always a good idea to inspect the real estate beforehand and make sure everything is okay. Further, it is mandatory that you hire a lawyer and a notary. We recommend that you find someone who speaks your language if you are not fluent in Greek. Top ⇑
After the Greek economic crisis, it has been very difficult to secure a mortgage through a Greek bank. Although this is changing, Greek banks do not give out a large amount of mortgages anymore. Generally, they don’t lend more than 75 percent of the property value. However, some might want you to set 50 percent of the total value. You may consider using a bank or lender from outside of Greece. You will need to provide documentation detailing your funding source to ensure the money is not taxed as income. Top ⇑
There are several costs involved when buying a house in Greece. These are the fees for the real estate agent, legal fees, notary, and surveyor fees, as well as an initial deposit. By depositing a small amount, you reserve the property with the seller and affirm that you will buy the property. This deposit is usually 10 percent of the total price. You will then get your preliminary contract. Note that the payment of the deposit is not a legal guarantee of the sale. Once all the relevant documentation has been approved, the notary finalizes the transfer of ownership. Another thing to keep in mind is the exchange rate costs involved. Top ⇑
When you buy a house in Greece, you become subject to taxation. There are two types of the real estate tax. The first one is the transfer tax or tax on the acquisition. Each transfer of real estate, which is not subject to VAT, is subject to real estate transfer tax. The real estate transfer tax is imposed at a rate of 3% on the taxable value of the property. Moreover, on the amount of main transfer tax is imposed an extra tax of 3% in favour of municipalities and communities. Top ⇑
A real estate property tax known as the ENFIA is charged every year. The ENFIA consists of a principal tax imposed on each real estate property and a supplementary tax imposed on the total value of the property rights. More specifically, this tax is not imposed on the objective value of real estate property but is determined on the basis of various factors, according to the final registration of the property at the land registry. The rate of this property tax can be calculated via Taxisnet, the website of the Greek tax authority, using your personal passcodes. Top ⇑
The official English website of the Greek government provides up-to-date resources about regulations and taxes related to buying property in Greece.
You may feel overwhelmed with all the information. But buying real estate in Greece is not hard, provided that you do your homework and appoint a competent lawyer who can help you. It is important to become a taxpayer in Greece if you buy a house and that you open a bank account. After that, you can pay the stamp duty, which is around 3 percent of the value of the transaction, and all the fees involved. Finally, the acquisition has to be completed before a notary and registered at the local Land Registry. Top ⇑
1. Get a bank account
2. Get a Tax Registration Number (AFM)
3. Hire a lawyer
4. Pay the fees (notary fee, a stamp duty, and the registration fee)
5. Approve transaction at the notary
6. Register the property in the local Land Registry