British citizens maintain the right to buy and own property in Greece after Brexit, as owning real estate in the southern European country is not restricted to those from the European Union.
Greek law states that residents from non-EU countries can also own a place by the beach in the country, in line with rules generally considered to be investor friendly. It is also important to note that the cost of buying a place in Greece does not depend on the nationality of the buyer – it is the same for all, regardless of country of origin.
These rules mean that British citizens can just as easily acquire their own home in Greece. In fact, UK nationals are in a relatively better position, enjoying several more benefits than other non-EU buyers, according to Elxis lawyer Antonia Theodoridou, who has extensively dealt with the issue.
Antonia, who has been practising law for more than two decades, said that British citizens can travel to Greece without a visa, a privilege not available to other non-EU nationals.
“All that is needed for a UK national to visit Greece is a valid passport, which gives them the right to stay in the country for up to 90 days. This right is not provided to most other non-EU citizens, which means that straight away the British save time and money on entering the country,” said Antonia.
Another advantage that UK nationals have is that the British banking system remains part of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), a financial network that covers all 27 EU member states. This enables easier payments to be made to Greece, a crucial part of the investment process.
“This is important not only when the house is purchased but also throughout the duration of the investment, when payments need to be made for such things as taxes and maintenance costs,” said Antonia.
Now that the UK is no longer a member of the EU, British nationals can qualify also for one more significant benefit: Greece’s Golden Visa program, one of the world’s most attractive residency-for-investment programs.
By investing at least 250,000 euros, non–EU buyers can secure a residency visa in Greece, along with family members, for at least five years, in a period that can then be extended infinitely for as long as the investor owns the home.
Greece has long been a popular holiday spot for travellers from the UK, drawing some 2.5 million holiday makers from the country every year. Additionally, UK nationals also rank among the top European home buyers in Greece, alongside buyers from Germany and the Netherlands, and show a clear preference for homes on Corfu, Crete and Rhodes.
Another drawcard for Brits looking for a dream home in Greece is that housing prices are cheap. They are far less than the price of property in the UK, and considerably below housing prices seen in other Mediterranean markets, such as Spain and Italy.
This, along with enormous demand for short-term accommodation driven by the strong tourism market, means that homes in Greece are among the best performing in the Mediterranean, data shows.