Why and How to Find a Property in Crete, Greece (Ultimate 2021 Guide)

So, you want to find a property in Crete. Where you can find good properties for sale? What you should know before buying a house or an investment land in Crete? We are sharing with you our market experience and hard lessons we’ve learned, all in one easy guide.

For many, buying property in Crete, Greece is an ultimate dream. However, with a careful planning, a dedicated team of real estate experts and know-how it’s possible to make this a reality. To assist you identify the ideal property in Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion or Lassithi, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the purchasing process, from the start through to completion.

At ARENCORES, alongside our trusted partners will facilitate your decision making and assist you cross the often-tricky and much risky path to home ownership in Crete, ensuring your purchase goes smoothly.

Over the next few sections, you will find out some great motivations to buy a commercial or residential property in Crete, before we start to look at the step-by-step buying process. Then, find out more about making your move by downloading your free Crete Buying Guide.

Updated on December 22, 2020

How to Find a Property in Crete, Greece (Ultimate 2021 Guide)
How to Find a Property in Crete, Greece (Ultimate 2021 Guide)

How to Find a Property in Crete, Greece

At ARENCORES, we’ve published a lot of information on how to find a property in Crete, Greece over the years. Moreover, a series of dedicated guides for property buyers and real estate investors with ways and useful tips to identify, assess and purchase the ideal property in Chania, Crete are available in our website.

However, sometimes it can be confusing trying to find everything you need in one place. So today we’re going to share with you everything we know about searching, discovering and purchasing a property in Crete, over 14 years’ worth of experience and hard lessons learned, all in one ultimate guide.

Whether you’re just looking for a property to buy in Crete or are a real estate investor or developer, we promise you’ll find something useful in this guide!

Over 85.00% of the properties available for sale are now published on-line. While this is awesome, it also means there are thousands of different properties, locations, asking prices and risks to take into consideration before proceeding to the next steps.

Especially for first-time property buyers, this can quickly turn into a nightmare when they are start looking for a property to buy in Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion or Lassithi and they don’t know how or even where to start their real estate journey in Crete, Greece.

In our previous Chania Property Buyers Guide, we went over a lot of the fundamentals of the process and how it can have a huge impact on the success of your property purchase. But today we’ll be diving into applicable steps you can take to find a property in Crete including the objective factors that determine a property’s value. We’ll also share some resources that have been invaluable to us.

Should you Buy Property in Crete, Greece?

So, you’re wondering why Crete is so great for your next real estate investment. Real estate investing itself doesn’t come with the same plan for everyone, and the road to riches is often winding and risky. Find a property in Crete also comes with its own challenges and opportunities.

That being said, there are things you can do to put yourself on the right route and establish the foundation of your investment success. Listening to real estate professionals and successful investors is a great place to start.

Lots of expats love living in Crete either as permanent residents or for part of the year in their vacation homes. Yet, we’re sure you’re aware of the some of the most famous reasons people want to relocate to Crete, like the amazing Cretan cuisine, rich culture, brilliant beaches, wonderful climate and to experience a less stressful life, but did you know their real-world motivations too?

In Crete, you can also find the advantages of highly respected and well-known public academic institutions, an excellent connection network that links the island of Crete with many destinations in the mainland and a plethora of European cities (public transport prices are still cheaper than in most European capitals).

Moreover, there’s no denying that Crete has a lower cost of living than other areas in Europe yet, it scores really high in Standard of Living and Quality of Life, but how you get at that lower cost of living is much more complicated that one might imagine.

Not quite convinced? Here are some of the facts of living in Crete:

FAQs about Buying Property in Crete

Is it worth buying real estate in Crete for foreigners?

It is absolutely worth buying real estate in Crete, Greece for foreigners. Buying a residential or commercial property in Crete can establish high investment returns, and allow investors to get residency in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

What is the best place to invest in real estate in Crete?

Depending on the type of lifestyle you are looking for, there are endless opportunities in Crete. From Zakros to Palaiochora and from Heraklion to Chania there are some exceptional properties available. Discover more in our dedicated guides.

Can I get residency in Greece by buying property?

Thanks to the Greek Golden Visa program, you can get residency in Greece provided that you have purchased a property of a minimum value of €250,000. Eventually, you can also obtain a Greek passport.

Should I buy property in Crete?

If you are wondering whether you should buy property in Crete, just look to the market prospects and the latest quality of life surveys. Buying property in Crete gives residency to a country with a high quality of life, as well as high property investment returns.

What is the average price of the property in Crete?

The average price per square meter of a property in Crete is about 1,500 € but prices vary according to the region. For example, the price per square meter in Lassithi varies from 1,100-4,000 €, in Heraklion from 1,000-3,300 €, in Rethymnon from 800-3,100 €, and in Chania from 800-3,400 €.

1. Affordable Properties to Buy

Looking to find a property in Crete but you do not know the average property prices? Crete’s real estate market has a reputation as being quite expensive compared to other islands in Greece. Of course, distance to the popular beaches (and to the local amenities), views and construction age tend to influence the asking prices.

To purchase a renovation project in Chania Old Town, Rethymnon City or near the popular area of Elounda, Lassithi first-time buyers need to have earnings that are considerably higher than the national average, but much of rural Crete is deeply affordable.

Find a Property in Crete that you can Really Afford

When buying a property in Crete, try swapping Agia Marina, Chania for Apokoronas or Panormos for Vlichada in Rethymnon, and you’ll find property cheaper by over €800/m².

There are many properties for sale within a few minutes’ drive from the beach, a popular sea-side resort or the towns. Here you can benefit from lower property prices and still have all the amenities and facilities you need close by.

For example, €140,000 might get you one-bedroom apartment in Pithari, Akrotiri area, Chania or a two-bedroom flat in Mastabas, Heraklion. But, for the same price in Makris Gialos, Lassithi, you can buy a detached three-bedroom maisonette with a big garden.

Needless, to say that for the same asking price you can find a perfect land property to invest and establish high return of your investment short term compared to other areas.

Unlike in other areas in Greece like Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Athens Riviera where residential properties are rare to find and sometimes overpriced, the best property prices in Greece are in rural areas, small Aegean and Ionian islands and in the sunny South, where the wonderful island of Crete is located.

Great news for sun-loving Scandinavians, Brits, Germans and Russians wanting to make their vacation home in the beautiful Cretan countryside with views to the Aegean or the Libyan Sea.

Chania Real Estate Quote

Since our last survey, we found that more and more first-time buyers (age group of 35-55) are considering property investment in Crete. However, these new findings show that while this group feel more stable economically, they aren’t convinced this stability will last.

They have weathered four recessions in their lifetime including the COVID-19 crisis, and only few (17%) have confidence the economy in their country of origin will stay strong.

Chania Real Estate Quote 2

2. Lower Cost of Living

Looking to find a property in Crete but what is the average cost of living there? The cost of living in Crete has risen since 2018, as Greece slowly comes out of the economic crisis of the last decade. Basic goods and fuel on the Greek islands – including Crete – because of their remote location and distance from the port of Peiraeus and Athens, appear to be more expensive than on the mainland due to the transportation costs involved in the process.

Significant savings can be made at the large supermarket chains of Crete (SYN.KA, Sklavenitis, Vasilopoulos, Kritikos, Chalkiadakis) by buying their own-label products.

Moreover, at the local farmers markets, commonly known as ‘laiki’ you can find a breadth of local fresh fruit, fish and vegetables that can help you saving a lot of money compared to the expensive similar products available at the large supermarkets.

Nowadays (January 2021), prices are rising for most of the services. For instance, rents in the major cities of Crete (Agios Nikolaos, Chania, Heraklion and Rethymnon) are rising at a rapid pace.

However, not far from the cities property asking prices are fair enough. Medical-services costs are still going up, but transportation costs are much lower than the EU average. The overall prices of consumer goods, though, are fairly competitive.

In Crete a large selection of clothes and footwear with reasonable prices can be found even when there are no sales. In the periods of sales, also the household equipment such as electrical goods and furniture is discounted.

Winter sales run during the period from middle to end – January up to mid-February (maximum five weeks’ duration). Summer sales run during the period from mid-July up to the end of August at the latest.

Eating out in Crete is still is delicious and relatively cheap, particularly away from the main tourist crowded thoroughfares and local ‘in’ places. Cretan cuisine and restaurants are still largely affordable – typically €11.00–22.00 per person for a substantial meal with house wine.

The best strategy is to go where locals go, often less obvious backstreet places that might not look much from outside but deliver the the best value and quality. The two most common types of restaurant are the estiatorio and the taverna.

Think Crete Real Estate Articles
Think Crete Real Estate Articles
Type Average Cost Cost Range Year
Transportation Monthly Pass: 60.00 EUR Average: 30 – 80 EUR 2020
Transportation Taxi Start (Normal Tariff): 1.29 € EUR Average: 3 – 7 EUR 2020
Transportation One Way Ticket: 1.20 EUR Average: 0.60 – 1.50 EUR 2020
Restaurant Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: 12.00 EUR Average: 8 – 14 EUR 2020
Restaurant Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught): 4.00 EUR Average: 2.8 – 6.5 EUR 2020
Market Eggs (regular-12): 5.30 EUR Average: 4 – 6 EUR 2020
Market Water (1.5 liter bottle): 0.60 EUR Average: 0.4 – 0.9 EUR 2020
Market Chicken Breasts: 4.90 EUR Average: 4.5 – 7.0 EUR 2020
How much does it cost to live in Crete per month?

The total cost of living is around 810 EUR in Crete. The average rent in Crete for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is approximately 490 EUR per month, and utilities cost around 120 EUR a month. Other costs will be around 470 EUR including transportation costs, eating out, market and leisure for one-person.

 

Is Crete expensive to live?

Crete seems not expensive to live in according to the average monthly salary which is 790 EUR. You probably need to make more than 790 EUR to live comfortable in Crete.

 

What is the average salary in Crete?

A person working in Crete typically earns around 790 EUR per month (After tax) and it’s not qualification specific. However, 790 EUR per month is not a good salary according to average cost of living which is 810 EUR.

 

What is the average rent in Crete?

The average one-bedroom apartment in Crete city centre (Heraklion and Chania) stands at around 490 EUR per month. If you’re okay with an apartment outside of the city centre that will be cost around 380 EUR.

Chania Real Estate Help and Resources

Help and Resources for Property Buyers in Crete.

Property Law in Greece by ARENCORES

All you need to know for the Greek Property Law.

Residence Permits & Golden-Visa Requirements

Residence Permit and the Greek Golden Visa Program.

4. Exceptional Climate

Crete has a predominantly Mediterranean climate with mild, occasionally rainy winters and sunny, hot, and usually dry summers. However, because of the topographical characteristics and the mixture of lowland and mountainous regions you’ll find plenty of regional differences and even micro-climates, yet you can swap 2000 hours of sunshine.

The mildest weather is along the coast and in the southern regions, including the island of Gavdos. Winter temperatures seldom drop to freezing in the south, while summers often reach 35°C or higher.

The climate of Crete is regarded as one of Europe’s finest, livelier and healthiest.

Heraklion Area

In Heraklion, the coldest month is January. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 26.4 °C (79.5 °F). January has the lowest average temperature of the year. It is 12.5 °C ( 54.5 °F). Nevertheless, Heraklion also boasts a surfeit of sunshine and as early as February, you’ll find days warm enough for sundresses and dinners in your balcony or garden even swimming.

Average Air & Sea Temperature in Heraklion in °C
 AprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober
Air17242427272621
Sea17192226262523

Lassithi Area

Located in the southernmost point of the island of Ctete, Lassithi area is blessed by pleasant warm and dry summers and wild blowy winters. Lassithi is much less rainer than Chania and Rethymnon, with the west boasting almost as many sunny days as southern Crete. Snow and harsh weather conditions are rare.

Average Air & Sea Temperature in Lassithi in °C
 AprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober
Air17242427272621
Sea17192226262523

Rethymnon Area

In Rethymnon and the surrounding area, hot, dry summers and rainy, mild winters are the norm. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 26.5 °C (79.7 °F). In January, the average temperature is 12.4 °C (54.3 °F). It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.

While most mountainous areas are in regions of medium to high temperature change, changes in precipitation vary considerably for different mountain areas, but still the weather is mild.

The strong north and south winds are a common phenomenon in the area. The long period of rainfalls lasts from the autumn until April – a typical characteristic of the Mediterranean climate.

As you travel south to the Libyan Sea, temperatures rise slightly and this area almost never sees snow or ice.

Average Air & Sea Temperature in Rethymnon in °C
 AprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober
Air17242426272521
Sea17192225262423

Chania Area

Winters in the western part of Crete start in December and last through March (or April some years). Expect snow and temperatures that drop below freezing at the mountainous areas of the White Mountains, but as you might expect with tons of sunshine nonetheless.

The Meltemi, the wind from the north-west, blows from mid-May, cooling the air but with significantly lower intensity than in the central islands of the Aegean Sea, such as Santorini, Mykonos or Naxos. The rains are nearly absent between April and October, while increasing significantly between November and March.

Along the coast, especially along the west coast, the sea breeze cools the temperature that usually reach in the summer months an average maximum temperature around 26-32 ° C. On the south coast – towards the Libyan Sea – due to the lack of wind the temperatures are higher, in this area would generally have average maximum temperatures varying between 32 ° C and 36 ° C.

July is the hottest month in Chania with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F). The coldest month is January with 12.2 °C (54.0 °F) – the lowest average temperature of the year.

Average Air & Sea Temperature in Chania in °C
 AprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober
Air17242426272420
Sea17192224252423

Facts about the Cretan Olive Oil

According to archaeologists, the true origins of the olive tree go back in time as long as 60,000 years. The oldest equipment for storing olive oil dates back to 3,500 BC. It was found on Crete which suggests that it is there where everything started.

Crete is the second national producer of EVOO with 30% of the national production. Endless fields of olive trees have naturally led to the registration of 9 PDO regions. Being Koroneiki the most predominant variety, while some other local varieties, such as Tsounati, Throumbalia, and Hondrolia. Each of them accounts for the distinct flavor of every region.

Information Source: Karatarakis Group Blog

5. Stunning Landscape

Is there anywhere in the world as easy on the eye as Crete? From a great ancient civilization remains to heart-stopping coastlines and from charming and authentic Cretan villages to stunning gorges and landscapes, you could criss-cross the island at random and come across thousands of spectacular sights with no shortage of picturesque and stunning backdrops.

One of the most wonderful facts about Crete is that it is a huge, yet of exceptional beauty island.  Despite the fact that more houses and hotels have been built (particularly near the big cities) – there is so much space, so you never feel Crete will be spoiled.

The landscape of Crete is very diverse. The stone giants of Psiloritis and White Mountains have snow-covered peaks, wonderful plateaus and fertile valleys. In their foothills are large and beautiful lakes such as Kournas, Preveli and White Lake.

Down through the north coast of Crete the mountains are dotted with charming hilltop villages, and a short drive away there are spectacular beaches – very popular destinations for both locals and tourists.

What do you prefer? A well-organized beach facing the Aegean Sea near the popular sea-side resorts or a more isolated beach with views to the Libyan Sea? Within a single region you can often find plains, gorges, hills, mountains and the most beautiful coastline in Europe.

Real Estate Agents in Crete - ARENCORES
Find a Property in Crete - Exceptional Landscapes
Find a Property in Crete - Exceptional Landscapes

Images Source: ERROR 420 📷 & Pat Whelen on Unsplash

The landscapes are so outstanding that they are recognised by UNESCO. They include the Minoan palatial centres (KnossosPhaistosMaliaZakrosKydonia, the Samaria Gorge – an acknowledged natural site and symbol of the island of Crete and the Fortress of Spinalonga.

Cypress, oak, pine, plane, chestnut, palm forests, orange and olive groves grace the landscape across the island. Most of Crete’s incomparable olive oil is produced in the southern regions of Lassithi, Heraklion, Rethymnon and Chania, however, so this is where they dominate the landscape.

The vastness of the island groves, led naturally to the immediate registration of 9 PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) regions for the island of Crete.

This beautiful Greek jewel of a place is well-known globally for its crystal-clear blue waters, golden beaches, and magnificent gorges.

Passionate, risk-taking and thrill-seekers can go surfing or hire a sailboat, trek across the scenic mountainous region, go snorkelling, swim at the Libyan or the Aegean Sea, and scuba dive in underwater caves between rocks in crystal clear surroundings.

6. An Amazing Culinary Mosaic

One of the most authentic cultural elements of Crete is its cuisine. The unique tastes of each region of this spectacular Greek island are linked to the synergistic qualities and exceptional characteristics of its culture.In Crete, food is a formula of communication and sharing, a way to pour your heart out.

Cretan cuisine, with its distinctive character, authentic flavours and heady aromas represents an impressive culinary mosaic that makes the most of what is grown locally.

Each area, village and family produce its special Cretan dishes full of flavour and character. Fruits and vegetables, dairy products and eggs, wine, tsikoudia and even locally raised downright delicious meats.

Basic, yet impressive ingredients

Crete is well known for its healthy Mediterranean diet but there are also five main secrets behind its uniqueness: good quality fresh ingredients, good usage of endogenous herbs and spices, the famous Greek olive oil, fantasy and simplicity.  The flavours in a Greek salad or in chicken cooked in the hoven are like nothing tasted anywhere else in the world due to those secrets.

The list of great Italian cheeses is also very long and includes, Dakos, Fried snails (Chochlioi boubouristi), Cretan Cheese Pies (Kaltsounia), Lamb with stamnagathi, Gamopilafo, Mountain Bulbs (Askordoulakous), Smoked Pork (Hirina apakia) — the list goes on!

Furthermore, many regions in Crete, produce top quality wines, some of which are famous throughout the world because of the fascinating mosaic of the Cretan indigenous grape varieties.

White Vidiano, the extraordinary red Liatiko, Assyrtiko, Kotsifali, Mandilari, Thrapsathiri, Vilana and Dafni are among the most popular wines produced in Crete. According to Wines of Crete, there are more than 80 producers on the island, with some brilliant wineries in Chania and Sitia.

Nevertheless, the heartbeat of this winery journey is based primarily in Heraklion area. These terroirs, which have existed since the Minoan ages, are home to around 55 producers that make up 87% of total production.

Crete's Amazing Culinary Mosaic

Images Source: 📷photo-nic.co.uk nic, Thomas Verbruggen & Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

7. Cretan Culture: A Life of Joy

Cretans are popular for their rich history, regional pride, own spirited music – and dance – and strive to keep alive the traditions they are so proud of. Patriotic with a fiercely independent streak Cretans, have found themselves in the path of conquering armies throughout history but they never lain down in defeat.

This multicultural melting pot has led to a wonderful array of wonderful historical sites, magnificent attractions, cuisines, and cultural traditions. They will often introduce themselves as Cretans before they say they are Greek but they love their country so much that they were willing to sacrifice their lives in order to protect the freedom of Greece.

Exploring beyond major cities of Heraklion, Chania, Agios Nikolaos and Rethymnon, you’ll meet Cretans speaking local dialects, creating regional delicacies, and combining arts, family, architecture, religion, food and music.

Taking pride in their cultures and celebrating them is essential parameter in combating difficulties and pride themselves on their capacity to enjoy life with kefi. Kefi is a Greek word that refers to zest for life, passion, spirit, happiness and joyful exuberance.

Local festivities, or panigiria in Crete can provide any visitor the opportunity to embrace the Hellenic spirit and realize the true meaning of life. Crete is known as the ultimate destination with the best and biggest festivals in Greece!

Family time is very important to Cretans, with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles regularly gathering around the lunch table. In Crete, it’s commonplace to see families with young children out late in the evening for their volta, and filling tavernas and cafes with family or their parea (group of friends).

Fibd a Property in Crete - Cretan Culture: A Life of Joy

Images Source: 📷David Kaloczi, Chris Kin, Despina Galani, Eddie & Carolina Stigson & Jesus Loves Austin on Unsplash & Chania Tourism

Why buy property in Crete, Greece

Buy Exceptional Properties in Fantastic LocationsBig Variety of Properties to BuyObtain a EU Passport & Residence PermitSafe and Stable CountryFantastic ClimateBooming Real Estate Market

No matter what type of property you are considering purchasing, or whether you plan to rent or resell it afterward, investing in the real estate market of Crete is a wise decision. With Crete’s high quality of life, incredible culture, lanscapes diversity, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder why a high number of foreigners are drawn to Crete — in fact, foreigners account for around 25% of Crete’s real estate market buyers.

There are many advantages for foreigners looking to buy property in Crete:

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.

Get profitable yields by renting your property — short-term holiday rentals are very popular in Crete nowadays due to the high number of tourists coming to Crete every year.

Invest in the real estate market of Crete and get a residency and eventually Greek citizenship via the Greek Golden Visa scheme. 

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.

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 houses, maisonettes, city lofts and much, much more.

Buying Property in Crete as a Foreigner

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