Buying a Property in Crete, Greece

 

From average property prices and associated taxes to first-time buyer schemes and from property identification to negotiation strategies, we explain how to buy a residential or commercial property in Crete.

Last updated: January 2021

Images Source 📷: TI Need Help: Photo by Mattyas Lamar,Why Buying Property in Crete: Photo by Despina Galani and Travel in Crete: Photo by Daniel Olah on Unsplash

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  1. Where to Buy Property in Crete?

From Elounda to Zakros and from Loutro to Palaiochora Crete’s regions are very diversified and they can offer spectatcular real estate opportunities for the poential buyer or investor.

You can decide if you want to live by the sea, in the countryside, or in the mountains. You can even decide if Aegean or the Lybean Sea would be your everyday view from your balcony.

There are many different types of properties to choose from at various prices: from newly built apartments and maisonettes in Chania, Heraklion, Rethymnon and Agios Nikolaos to luxurious villas, family homes and tourism facilities – commercial properties.

Depending on the type of lifestyle you are looking for, some of the best places to invest in real estate in Crete are Chania Old Town and modern city, the spectacular district of Apokoronas with its wonderful villages such as Almirida, Vrisses, Plaka, Kalives, Georgioupolis, Vamos, Kournas and Kokkino Chorio.

Moreover, the area of Palaiochora on the southwest coast of Crete with its crystal clear waters and well organised beaches is a very promising destination for those looking for land – plots properties.

What is more, Rethymno and the beach resorts of the south coast such as Plakias, Myrthios Agia Galini are considered to be among the best places to invest in Crete.

The prefecture of Lassithi also, has many opportunities to offer for those looking to invest in this thriving real estate market. Especially fascinating in terms of real estate investment, is Elounda and Agios Nikolaos town.

Buying Property in Crete - ARENCORES Real Estate

Images Source 📷: Tobias Reich, Daan Huttinga, Milada Vigerova, Florian Wehde & Alex Antoniadis on Unsplash

It is a common secret that Zakros and the popular seaside resorts of Sitia, Neapolis, Lerapetra and Makrigialos have much to offer to the real estate investors in this part of Crete.

The prefecture of Heraklion is well known for its great beauty. Heraklion City is the capital city of Crete and is also the seat of Crete’s cultural and economic centre. Archanes, Krasi, Zaros, Vori and Agia Varvara are among the most beautiful villages in this area with many foreigners looking to purchase an investment or vacation property in any of these spectacular destinations.

Crete’s coastal villages are quite charming. Many colourful traditions are kept alive in the smaller communities, but the large port towns are on the rise and becoming more modernized.

2. How to Buy Property in Crete?

You know you want to buy in Crete, you know where, and you might even know what. But do you know how to buy a property in Crete?

ARENCORES Property Buyers Guides are designed to provide a detailed and reliable information for those looking to buy a property in Crete.

They cover the basic legal framework, process steps, suggested tips and the main points potential investors should know about the acquisition and ownership of real estate assets in Crete, Greece.

You can find more information on how to buy a property in Crete in our Chania Property Buying Definitive Guide.

Despite the fact that this particular guide has been created for property buyers and investors interested in Chania’s real estate market, detailed information for all the necessary and required steps to facilitate your decision making  on the entire process life-cycle has been provided.

On this initial step, you will need a dedicated team of professionals to succesfully identify, negotiate and purchase a property in Crete.

A real estate agent of your trust, a lawyer with expertise in real estate matters and possible a civil engineer. ARENCORES is a part of ARENCOS, a dedicated team of engineers and architects with many years of experience in the market of Crete.

However, you may wonder “Why do I need a lawyer to purchase a property in Crete? Can’t real estate agents see me through? How to find a good real estate agent? “.

At ARENCORES we undertake detailed checks of the properties we source including their property legalization process – if any, topography plans compliance and land registry documents, all of which guarantees a smooth, reliable and efficient transaction.

Once, the most suitable properties will be identified, we will organise physical or digital property viewings and, once you have chosen the property you really like in Crete, specialised consultants  will be available during the property purchase life-cycle – including negotiation.

Get residency in Greece by buying property

Buying property in Crete, Greece can give you the incredible opportunity to receive a residence permit, ultimately allowing you to get a EU passport.

The Greece Golden Visa Program is considered one of the most affordable residence-by-investment programs that provides access to Europe.

Successful applicants and their families are able to benefit from visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen Area within two months of applying. Launched in 2013, the Greek Golden Visa program allows investors and their families to receive Greek citizenship in exchange for an investment in real estate of a minimum value of €250,000.

To learn more about the Greek Golden Visa and its different investment routes, have a look at our Golden Visa guide.

Chania Real Estate Help and Resources

Help & Resources

Everything you need to know about the property transaction and home buying process in Crete, Greece.

Whether you’re looking for a detached house, a city center apartment or an office space, our guide will take you through all the required stages, from choosing a property which has the right usage classification to the finer points of the property transaction contracts and completion.

KEY TAKEAWAYS ON PROPERTY BUYING PROCESS IN CRETE

  • It’s often worth it to invest on a real estate attorney, but it is not legally required. However we stronly encourage to provide a power of attorney to a professional lawyer who also speaks your language to make the transaction a success and ensure your satisfaction. Discover a list of English speaking lawyers in Crete, Greece here.
  • Attorneys make sure all paperwork is properly drawn up and filed with the govermental and local authorities.
  • Attorneys do title searches, property transfers and can negotiate should a problem has been identified.
  • In Crete, property buyers and sellers in any real estate deal should be represented by lawyers to guarantee their rights and preserve their interests.
  • While lawyers can help if you face discrimination when buying a propery in Crete, there are also less expensive options.

3. How ARENCORES Can Help Me?

Years of professional and constant activity in the real estate market of Crete have allowed us to create a trustworthy real estate firm.

At ARENCORES we offer a wide range of services to fulfil your many and varying requests including the possibility of dedicated property searches in our off-market database if our current public portfolio fails to offer you the ideal property in Crete.

Our mission consists of responding to the needs of not an ordinary market but to the high requirements and standards of a niche and demanding market characterised by an expectant client base from abroad who seeks performance excellence, transparency and personal satisfaction.

Our in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market as well as working synergies with professionals from different fields, help us to identify only the best properties based on specific criteria specified from our clients.

We always undertake detailed checks of the properties we source including their supported documents, all of which guarantees a smooth and effective transaction.

Read more about us our services and our standards.

Real Estate Agents in Crete - ARENCORES

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4. Is it Worth Buying a Property in Crete?

It is absolutely worth buying property in Crete for several reasons. Not only because of the opportunities Crete has to offer itself, the outstanding quality of life and affordable cost of living, but also of its exceptional investment returns and the opportunity to get residency in one of the most wonderful countries in the world.

The propert market in Crete  is white hot—and neither the COVID-19 nor rising property prices can put out the flames. According to our research property purchases have steadily increased year-over-year since June 2018 as real estate assets continue to get more expensive across the country.

However, investing in real estate is a terrific idea if you are in it for the long haul, not a quick return.

Especially if you are a first time buyer, your best bet is investing in residential properties near the popular tourist resorts or the big cities such as Chania, Heraklion Rethymnon and Agios Nikiolaos that produce rental income year-round. 

Just make sure you understand all of the associated legal fees and are prepared for unexpected costs.

Is Buying a Property in Crete a Good Investment?

We asked 45 property purchasers. Here’s what they said.
  • Yes
  • No
  • It Depends

YES (60 %)

I purchased an apartment in Chania back in 2019. According to my experience, owning a property in Crete is not just buying a vacation home or sunshine and climate but a really good investment.

A vacation home in Crete can be a great way to build long-term wealth and ensure you have healthy finances upon retirement. You can sell it and use the cash to cover your future costs of living, travel and more.

Moreover,  you can keep it and enjoy the relaxing retirement in Greece you’ve always imagined. Either way, you win.

NO (10 %)

Back on 2018 we decided to purchase a property in Rethymnon. The ROI was not so good as we thought. In addition to the local rental regulations and market you’re buying in, make sure you have the time and resources to make your property investment in Crete a success.

There many other expenses to consider, like utilities, lawn care, and general maintenance. You’ll probably have unexpected repairs, too — and who knows what those will cost you? Take a good look at your larger financial picture and be sure the extra costs aren’t going to strain your finances before moving forward.

It Depends (30 %)

Our biggest advice to first – time property buyers is not to look  this house in Crete  as a ‘wealth-building’ move. You need to holistically research almost eveything, including the required taxes of property ownership in Greece, required maintenance costs, property management fees, local culture and area.

That being said, homeownership can lead to wealth-building. According to my experience, the  most significant element to consider when buying a property in Crete is location and maintenance costs. Where is this home and how much does it cost short and long term?

5. What’s the Property Market Like in Crete?

Will property prices fall in Crete? Bank of Greece, says the impact in the Greek real estate market from the recent pandemic will be uneven and that the recovery in the medium to long term will vary, depending on the features and location of each property.

In 2020, the Greek economy was affected by closed borders and the heightened uncertainty over the employment, finances and of course, physical and mental health.

Foreigners who were interested in buying properties in Crete could not come to the island for property viewings and conclude a contract of sale. Property prices have either stopped growing, or are growing much slower than in previous years.

Economy analysts at the European Commission expect the pandemic to decline in 2021. With the lifting of the social distance measures, the influx of foreign tourists to Crete will recover fast.

This will have a positive impact on the economy of Greece’s bigest island and real estate market.

From 2021 onwards, the situation in the economy and the real estate market will start to change for the better. Acoording to our latest research and market analysis the overall investment climate in the country is going to be improved.

We also conclude that property prices range depends on the type of building, quality of construction, age and  area.

Indicatively, prices for modern and new apartments in Chania and Rethymnon are growing faster than in old buildings. “Old apartments” in our research are considered to be objects built before 2012.

Average Asking Prices in Chania & Heraklion

Rent Per MonthHeraklionChaniaPercentage Difference
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre340.00 €390.00 € (Tzanakaki Street) +14.7 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of the City287.00 €340.00 € (Agios Onoufrios)+18.4 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre680.00 €690.00 € (Chrissi Akti)+1.70 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 510.00 €560.00 € (Akrotiri Area)+9.80 %
Apartment Price (Selling Asking Price)HeraklionChania
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre1,670.00 €1,700.00 € (Nea Chora) +1.79 %
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre1,284.00 €1,344.00 € (Agia Marina)+4.67 %

Moving into Crete and finding an apartment in Chania, Rethymnon or Heraklion has become stressful and mentally challenging for anyone on an average salary and looking to rent or buy.

According to our research, rents rose 7.2 percent on average between 2014 and 2020 throughout Crete. However,  if we focus on the city centers of Chania, Rethymnon, Agios and Heraklion, which attract large numbers of tourists and investors, median rental prices per sq.m. have almost increased by 23.5 % compared to 2012.

6. Can Foreigners Buy Property in Crete?

Crete is actually one of the most welcoming real estate markets in Greece to foreign investors. Buying property in Crete as a foreigner also comes with certain advantages, such as high ROI, flexible financing options, tax benefits, exceptional climate, friendly people and a unique way of living and working.

So, can a foreigner buy property in Crete? Many foreign investors will be happy to know that buying property in Crete from overseas is welcomed. Even if you don’t live in Greece, you’re still able to purchase a property as a vacation home or an investment object.

If you’re a foreigner buying property in Greece, there are certain steps you should take and some critical aspects you should know before getting started.

Non EU citizens may find that certain restrictions apply such as buying a property near military bases or areas  requiring special permission. These restrictions are often a mere formality for EU citizens, but permits may be more difficult for non-EU citizens.

An application is made to the Ministry of National Defense, and mostly involves submission of documents and proof of use intent.

How to find a good real estate agent in Chania, Crete?
How to find a good real estate agent in Chania, Crete?

7. What’s the Approximate Cost of Different Properties in Crete?

The cost of property in Crete is largely dependent on the type of property, the features and benefits of that property (the value), the overall real estate market, supply and demand, and what other similar properties have sold for in the same condition and size.

This table will give you a general idea of prices in various areas of Crete.

LocationProperty TypeSize (sq.m)Property Price (euro)
Chersonisos (Heraklion Prefecture)Land Plot630000 1,500,000
Heraklion CityLand Plot333130,000
Rethymnon (Κοumpes)Land Plot12001,200,000
Rethymnon (Sfakaki)Land Plot1000110,000
Plaka (Agios Nikolaos)Land Plot3285365,000
Makris Gialos (Lasithi Prefecture)Land Plot23000980,000
Nea Kidonia (Chania Prefecture)Land Plot5800185,000
LocationProperty TypeSize (sq.m)Property Price (euro)
Kato Elounta, Agios NikolaosDetached House 250520,000
Heraklion CityApartment100215,000
Rethymnon (Spili)Detached House 156250,000
Chania Old TownDetached House 114400,000
Chania City CenterApartment140210.000
Chania (Apokoronas)Villa340780,000
Kato Elounta, Agios NikolaosVilla3401,950,000

Market Value VS Market Price

The major difference between market value and market price is that the market value, in the eyes of the property owner- the seller, might be much more than what a potential buyer will pay for the property. Obviously, property value can create demand, which can also significantly influence price.

Yet, without the demand parameter, property value itself cannot influence price. As supply increases and demand decreases, price goes down, and value is not a strong influential parameter. As supply decreases and demand increases, the price will rise, and value will influence price.

It is laso very common that buyers and sellers can view value completely different. A property seller might feel that their 85.00 sq.m. pool is a benefit, but the buyer could see it as a negative in terms of maintenance costs or sustainability and place less value on the property.

Or the seller could feel the new roof  and solar panels they put on the house has great value; however, the potential buyer places no value on this because they expect the property to have a roof and solar panels in good condition.

Chania Property Prices Data.
Discover Chania Property Prices Historical Data with ARENCORES.

8. How Can I Find a Property in Crete?

There are no secrets or special tips to search and identify incredible real estate deals in the property market of Crete. For anyone thinking of buying a property in Chania, Heraklion, Lassithi or Rethymnon, today one of the most useful tools, and effectively most used, is the web.

In most instances, to buy a property in Chania (and anywhere in the world) involves building strong relationships with dedicated and professional real estate agents servicing the area of your interest.

Obviously, the web it’s useful not only for searching and discovering properties, but also for finding information on the area including distances from – to the property of your preference. However, it is hard to gain a true impression from photos illustrated on a computer screen.

Coming to Crete to have a tour of the properties is also an excellent opportunity to check that the area around the properties is to your liking. Even the neighborhood is crucial for your decision. After all, this is a very important investment.

8.1 Use the right property finding sites

Nowadays, there is large number of real estate websites and on-line platforms with a plethora of properties available for sale in Crete.

Some good sites to help you get started include:

But remember, for Chania properties you can search in our website and you can also use our iPRO platform for exclusive and off-market properties advertised only with us.

8.2 Property Agencies and Agents

Because of the nature of finding properties in Crete, most property-seekers from abroad choose to use a real estate agent. Many do choose to use an agent in their home country, however, this agent often then works in cooperation with an agent in Crete, Greece.

Real estate agents in Crete are dedicated professionals in fact, that many will help you find legal advice, engineering solutions, decorators, contractors and other required services after the sale. It’s also possible to find an agent who will deal with construction, architectural and engineering services on your behalf, including supervising the work.

ARENCORES is a part of ARENCOS, a well reputed architectural, engineering and construction firm based in Chania with several years of experience gained from working on many challenging but rewarding commercial and residential projects.

8.3 Find a Broker

Using a professional estate agent as a broker can be an effective decision and you should benefit from the fruit of this  wise decision which will further the progress of this extremely important process.

Brokers can handle the whole purchase process, and will advise and assist you to overcome process and bureaucratic barriers. In any case, we suggest you ask them about the fees you have to pay to them and which services are included, to avoid unpleasant surprises.

8.4  Networking

Networking is arguably the best strategy in the real estate world to identify properties, and that holds true with off market properties also. You may find that networking becomes easier with time and practice, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

8.5 Builders & Contractors

In addition to real estate agents, builders and contractors are good friends to have if you’re an investor looking to find property deals. Local builders are usually “in the know” about properties for sale.

You often have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince!

Whether you are looking to buy an investment property in Crete, purchase a residential property for yourself or buy real estate for another reason, remember:

You make your money when you buy. If you want to have immediate equity in your property, which can help you build wealth in the future, or save you in case of an economic turndown, you must find great real estate deals from trusted resources.

9. How Do I Choose the Right Property?

From Elounda to Zakros and from Loutro to Palaiochora Crete’s regions are very diversified and with spectatcular opportunities. You can decide if you want to live by the sea, in the countryside, or in the mountains. You can even decide if the Aegean or the Lybean Sea would be your everyday view from your balcony.

There are many different types of properties to choose from at various prices: from newly built apartments and maisonettes in Chania, Heraklion, Retyhymnon and Agios Nikolaos to luxurious villas and family homes in Elounda (Lassitthi) and Agios Mathaios (Chania).

Property Types

Crete provides a wide range of property types that are available on the market: farmhouses, sea-side properties, rural properties, townhouses and apartments, Old Venetian style houses, maisonettes, city lofts and much, much more.

Crete is no stranger to breath-taking landscapes, with impressive mountains, magnificent gorges, turquoise lakes, and more than 650 miles of windswept shores.

A perfect destination for your next residential or commercial property.

The most desired types of property in Crete is detached houses, buidable plots and city apartments. However it’s a good idea to remember there are other options that may serve you better or cost less in the long run.

Small apartments (0ne – two bedrooms), for instance, can have exceptional accessibility characteristics and generate a good income as rental properties but additionally are significantly cheaper to manage and maintain.

That being said, there’s no type of property you can’t find in Crete – luxurious villas,  detached and modern houses, historic buildings – ideal for renovation projects, land plots, and city apartments are all available, depending on where you look.

Investment Properties 

Don’t be swayed by glossy property descriptions and slick marketing material when choosing your next investment in Crete (and anywhere else). Examine the market, evaluate its long-term potential data and crunch the numbers.

There are six broad categories that you must consider when looking for an investment property to buy in Crete. These are:

  • The location
  • The condition of the construction
  • The market drivers long term
  • The individual property’s characteristics
  • Property management and maintenance expenses
  • The associated taxes and fees

10. What are the Steps to Buying a Property as a Foreigner?

Depending on the type of property and parties involved (owner, seller, real estate agent, lawyer, engineer, surveyor), the specific steps within each real estate transaction might fluctuate somehow. However, for the most part, the majority of the property buying transactions look the same.

For the sake of continuity and simplicity, we’re going to use a residential transaction to outline the property buying process in Chania, Crete. Commercial and industrial transactions follow a similar process, but the residential process is likely the most common among consumers — given that almost 70 % of Chania families own their residence.

1. Hiring a Real Estate Agent

When someone decides to buy a home, he or she might do one of two things: secure a real estate agent who can help them discover a property, or start shopping for property themselves, choosing to hire an agent after they’ve found a property they like …

Buying a Property in Crete, Greece - What are the steps to buying a property as a foreigner?
What are the steps to buying a property as a foreigner?

Image Source 📷: Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

11. How Do Deposits, Down Payments and Bank Loans Work?

Typically you’ll be asked to pay 5.0 – 10% of the property’s agreed selling price to “reserve” it with a pre-contact agreement. The balance being paid on completion when the final purchase contract is signed.

If for some reason you withdraw from the sale transaction after all the conditions have been met, you won’t only lose your deposit, but may also be required to pay the estate agent’s commission – depending on the regulations of the signed pre-contract.

A deposit can also be lost if you don’t complete the property purchase transaction within the period specified in the pre- contract.

Moreover, the contract can be cancelled by either party, the property buyer losing his deposit or the vendor paying the property buyer double the deposit.

However, in some cases, if one of the parties wishes to withdraw from the sale, the other party can demand that he goes through with it or that he receives compensation for damages.

To receive compensatory damages, the plaintiff (the property buyer or the seller) has to prove that a loss occurred and that it was attributable to the defendant.

Mortages and bank loans

While it’s theorotically possible for a foreigner to get a mortgage with a bank in Greece, you must attempt to secure financing with you local bank because in realistic terms is very unusual and difficult to get a mortage from a Greek bank.

Banks are free to accept or not your mortgage application. Before offering you a mortgage, the lender needs to assess your creditworthiness, that is whether you can actually afford it.

You can in principle also obtain a mortgage loan from lenders based in other EU countries; however, your country of residence, where you work or the location of the property may influence how the lender assesses your application.

The chances to be granted a mortgage loan in Greece are higher if the foreign applicant receives his/her income in Euro. The bank might consider the mortgage application for up to three months.

Even though the maximum age at the end of the mortgage term should be at leat 70, it is preferable that the applicant fully repays the mortgage by the age of 56. On the other hand, the minimum age to apply for a mortgage is 25.

The maximum mortgage loan amount differs depending on the financial institution, but as a generic rule is around 80.00 to 100 percent of the property price. On the other hand, the minimum mortgage loan amount is around €10,000 to €20,000. The maximum sum is not limited and depends on the income of the applicant. Banks accept an amortization period  between 6 to 30 years maximum.

Understanding how your creditworthiness is assessed is therefore crucial.

Opening a bank account

Foreigners who wish to buy real estate property in Greece are not expressly required by the law to open a bank account with a bank in Greece; in practice, however, they need to open an account in order to be able to pay the real estate transfer tax (which is payable to the Tax Office at the property’s location or to any other Tax Office in the district of the Notary who executes the deed of transfer, provided that it agrees to receive the transfer tax declaration).

Transfer tax is payable to the Tax Office in either of the following ways: a) A payment code is issued by the Tax Office and the payable amount of tax is wired to the respective account from a bank account held with a Greek bank, or b) By means of a cheque issued by a Greek bank to the Greek Government, which is deposited to the Tax Office’s treasury department.

What evidences are required?

Anyone opening a bank account in Greece – even locals – will need a hefty amount of paperwork to assure the bank they’re creditworthy. As a foreigner, you might need to have documents translated or notarized, which can add to the expense and complexity. Some banks, however, will accept documents in English as well as Greek. Check out exactly what your bank needs with plenty of time to spare.

  1. Passport
  2. Contact number
  3. Proof of address – usually banks will accept a recent utility bill
  4. Local AFM tax number
  5. Tax registration number in the country of origin, Greek tax registration number, where applicable;
  6. Evidence of your salary – either payslips or a letter from your employer will usually be OK
  7. Signature sample (which means that the person concerned needs to appear at the bank in person at least once).
  8. You may also be asked to provide a reference from your previous bank to show you’re creditworthy and sign a declaration confirming you’re opening an account for personal use rather than for a business

The above information must be evidenced by official documents which cannot be falsified.

12. What Kind of Taxes and Fees Will I Need to Pay?

The additional real estate expenses of buying a property in Chania (Greece) are on average approximately 10% of the property purchase price.

1. Expenses and Taxes for Property Buyers

TYPECOST
Notary Fees (all notary expenses included)1 - 1,5% (plus VAT) of property value
Transfer Tax3% of property value
Municipal Tax3% of the Transfer Tax
Land Registry Fee0,5%
Cadastre Fee0,65% (plus VAT) of property value
Legal & Technical Due Diligence Expenses vary according to the complexity of
the research and the value of the property
Technical Due DiligenceVaries in respect to the property aspects

2. Tax

Transfer tax is similar to Stamp Duty Land Tax in the United Kingdom. This is charged at 3% of the purchase price.

Property Ownership Tax

Special Tax of Real Estate Property is abolished. An annual tax on possession of substantial real estate property is imposed on an individual level on the following scale:

Property Value (€)Tax Factor (%)
Up to 400.0000
400.001 – 500.0000.1
500.001 – 600.0000.3
600.001 – 700.0000.6
700.001- 800.0000.9
800.001 and above1

3. Legal Fees

Lawyer’s fees are charged as a percentage of the purchase price. Fees typically total around 1% -1.5% of the purchase price. There may be an additional cost if a Power of Attorney is required. Your lawyer will advise you of their fees.

4. Notary Fees

The charges involve: a standard fee of 200 euro plus 0.8% of the purchase price up to 120.000 euro property sale cost (plus VAT) and it scales accordingly for the rest of the purchase price. This fee is decreased as the the amount of the purchase price is increased. There are usually some small additional charges in relation to the number of pages in the document to be signed and how many copies of the contract shall be issued.

5. Land Registry Fees

The payable fee is dependent on the assessed tax value of the property and range from 0.45% to 0.5% of the property value. There may be minor additional fees for stamp duties and certificates.

6. Estate Agents Fees

The estate agents fees are paid by the seller. The charge is 2%-3.5% of the sale price.

Additional Property Buyers Expenses Info

  • All costs are calculated using the highest value between the Contract Value and the Assessed Tax Value.
  • The Assessed Tax Value is determined by the Greek Ministry of Finance.
    Properties in Greece belong either to the Land Registry or to the Cadastre.
  • The registration of a property to the Land Registry has a 0,45% (plus VAT) rate, while the registration to the Cadastre has a 0,65% (plus VAT) rate.

13. Should I Hire a Lawyer?

The supervision of an independent Greek property lawyer when buying property in Crete is very important as real estate law in Greece is complex and requires an independent, competent, honest professional to search property titles for possible defects or burdens, supervise, co-draft and approve the process of buying property in Crete.

Lawyer representation for a property sale contract is not mandatory by law in Greece. Nevertheless, buyers of real estate are typically always represented by a lawyer.

The lawyer carries out the necessary Land Register searches, draws up the contract document and also signs the contract of sale, while ensuring the buyer’s rights are adequately secured during the transaction.

The lawyer should also ensure the property is free of any mortgage notes, claims, expropriations, rights-of-way and, in general, any legal issues.

What a lawyer can do for you

The lawyer can make the following necessary acts in behalf of the property purchaser:

Issues a Tax Registration Number for the property purchaser (client) from the competent Tax office. The Tax Registration Number is unique for each person and is a necessary condition for the purchase of real estate as it is the official tax identification of the buyer.

Performs an evaluation of the property deeds of the seller in the competent Land Registry/ Cadastral Office (Ypothikofulakeio). The legal order and correctness of the deeds of ownership and also the presence of mortgages, claims, sequestrations and rentals are being evaluated and assessed.

This legal assessment concerns not only the property seller but also all the previous owners of the property and covers the time until the first registration of the deeds of ownership of the previous owners in the Land Registry office.

14. What is the Role of the Hellenic Cadastre?

The Hellenic Cadastre irrevocably demarcates and ensures State and municipal property, limits bureaucracy and real estate property transfer procedures become simpler and faster, In addition, upgrades the real estate property market and raises the property value so that significant investments in real estate market are attracted.

Which is the main purpose of the Hellenic Cadastre?

The Hellenic Cadastre is a system of information in which the legal details of the real estate properties and the rights on them are recorded. Its aim is to ensure absolute publicity and security of transactions.

The purpose of the entity is achieved by the registration of legal and technical information, the precise determination of the location and boundaries of the real estate and the publication of legal rights over each real property.
The development of the Hellenic Cadastre aims at the creation of a modern, fully automated real estate property record, whose details are of an evidentiary nature, ensuring the best publicity and security of transactions.

Specifically, the Hellenic Cadastre:

1. Records all deeds that establish, transfer, change or abolish rights on properties on a real property-centred basis. Thus, everything becomes simpler and more definite.
2. Guarantees all legal details it records, since every deed is registered only after its lawfulness has been checked, meaning that no deed is registered if the transferor is not the person that the cadastre shows to be the beneficiary.
3. Records the geographical description (shape, location and size) of the property too.
4. Unveils and systematically records the State real property for the first time in contemporary Greece.
5. Records the rights evoking from usucaption, which, especially in the province, may constitute the most usual way of ownership acquisition due to the informal nature of transactions.
6. Establishes the compilation, updating and operation of the National Cadastre, in accordance with the applicable legislation;
7. It is responsible for the Updates, Management and Operation of the Registrations and Mortgages System and geodetic material;;
8. It is responsible for the Updates, Management and Operation of the system of pledges;
9. Involves all the required procedures to update and evaluate the topographical maps and topographic diagrams – including the photogrammetric and telescopic tasks, i.e. aerial photographs and satellite images.

15. What are the Restrictions & Property Rights in Greece?

The right to property, as a fundamental right, is under the protection of the State, as provided in the Greek Constitution, Article 17, whereas it is stipulated that property rights cannot be exercised against the public interest.

Within this context, the Constitution imposes a restriction or deprivation of property (expropriation) for the sake of public interest, always under the prerequisite of a prior compensation of the owner.

Furthermore, the most significant source of property law lies in the third book of the Civil Code (articles 947-1345). Other provisions and property law rules exist in other books of the Civil Code, and the Code of Civil Procedure, as well as in various special laws.

The rights in real estate

Real estate property rights, i.e. rights which provide to the beneficiary direct and absolute power, are the ownership (article of C.C 999),  the servitudes  (articles of C.C 1118) and the mortgage (article of C.C 1257). Furthermore, the following distinctions are also met:

– the full ownership, which constitutes a universal real right. It may be absolute (100% ownership of the property) or a joint ownership (ownership belonging to two or more persons, i.e. the joint owners).

– the bare ownership, which is a limited real estate right and constitutes a part of full ownership, as the bare owner lacks the advantages of the usufruct, which means he cannot use or exploit his property. Usufruct, if not otherwise determined, is inactivated when the usufructuary dies.

Following the death or resignation of the usufructuary, usufruct is unified with bare ownership and the bare owner becomes full owner of the property.

– the  usufruct, which is a personal servitude and constitutes also a part of full ownership. The usufructuary may use and derive benefit from the property that belongs to the bare owner.

However, the usufructuary must preserve the property intact, i.e he cannot alter the property’s shape, form, size , etc, although he is not responsible for any deterioration or wear due to natural causes. Ususfruct is constituded with a legal act while the person is alive, or in the event of death, or due to ordinary or extraordinary usucaption.

– The right of habitation, which is  a personal servitude and consists of the right of residence in the property belonging to another, until the time of death of the beneficiary.

-The easements, which consist of a limited real right that belongs to the current owner of a specific property (dominant estate), in order that the latter is served at the expense of another property (servient estate).

Property Law in Greece by ARENCORES
Property Law in Greece by ARENCORES

16. What are the Requirements to Acquire Citizenship in Greece?

The Greece Golden Visa Program is considered one of the most affordable residence-by-investment programs that provides access to Europe. Successful applicants and their families are able to benefit from visa – free access to Europe’s Schengen Area within two months of applying.

Requirements

The Greece Golden Visa Program is a residence-by-investment program launched in 2013 that enables non-EU nationals and their family members to obtain permanent residence permits in Greece. The residence permits may be renewed every five years.

Residence Permits & Golden-Visa Requirements

Acquiring Citizenship in Greece

After residing in Greece for seven years, the applicant may apply for citizenship according to the Greek Nationality Code (Law 3284/2004) via the process of naturalization.

This process can only be achieved if the applicant can demonstrate that they have established close ties with the country and that they have successfully integrated into Greek society, both financially and socially.

The naturalization process also entails an exam to verify that the applicant has obtained an adequate knowledge of the Greek language.

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