In certain areas qualifying as frontier regions, which are of huge importance from a military and security policy point of view, purchasers may acquire property only if they hold official permission. Contracts possibly concluded without such permission shall be treated as null and void. Frontier areas qualify as among others - the Prefectures of Lesbos (Mytilini), Chios, Samos and the Dodecanese, as well as the islands of Skiros and Thira (Santorini) and the Prefectures of Chania, Rethymno and Lasithi in Crete. Since the designated frontier areas may be changed by virtue of a Presidential Decree at anytime, any interested purchaser should be advised on the currently applicable law from a lawyer specialized in real estate law before engaging in negotiations.
Although the restrictions apply to Greeks and foreigners alike, there is a different procedure for lifting the restrictions:
A) Procedure to be followed by EU- citizens (individuals and legal entities)
Application to the locally competent Prefecture
Greece is a Member-State of the EU since 1981. All EU-citizens have equal rights concerning the purchase of property in Greece. Like Greek nationals, they should apply for the lifting of restrictions at the Prefecture in which the property to be purchased is situated.
The application should contain:
A description of the item on sale, the purpose of the acquisition, information about the purchaser (e.g. profession, previous penalties, etc).
The application should be submitted together with the following documents:
The tide of ownership of the asset.
In the case of EU-based legal entities the following further documents are required:
An officially certified copy of the Articles of Association, the financial reports of last year, a Good-Standing Certificate, an attestation that the share capital has been paid.
In the case of a Societe Anonym also:
A list of the main shareholders, a list of the members of the Board of Directors.
Based on experience, the permission process lasts one to three months and is free of charge.
B) Procedure to be followed by third-country nationals
Application to the Greek Ministry of Defence
Third-country nationals (e.g. Swiss citizens) should address the permission application to the Greek Ministry of Defence. The respective decision-making Committee consists of delegates also from the Ministries of Finance, Public Order and Agriculture. Any awarded permission may be repealed by the Minister of Defence.
Apart from the documentation filed by EU-citizens, the Ministry of Defence additionally requires:
A topographic plan of the real estate asset and the surrounding area. By experience, this process is estimated to last three to six months and is free of charge.
Owning property in Greece is simple and straightforward. Anybody, regardless of nationality, can be a property owner. Property in Greece is under the protection of the State (Greek Constitution: Article 17, paragraph 1); all property owners in the country have equal rights and responsibilities.
All properties in Greece are freehold. A nationwide Land Registry is underway; some islands already have land registries, while properties in the other areas are registered in the Registry of Mortgages.
Buildings in Greece are designed and constructed in accordance with European Regulations and Standards, and they are in total compliance with stringent regulations for earthquake protection. Apartment buildings in urban areas do not exceed five stories, while in smaller towns and rural areas the buildings are much smaller, with single or two-story detached and semi-detached houses being the norm.
There is a wide range of properties for sale in Greece. High-quality, off-plan construction projects are readily available alongside detached stone houses in the traditional Greek style or modern semi-detached villas and townhouses. In addition, compared to the property prices in Northern and Western Europe, Greek property still represents an excellent value.
The most important part of the buying process is finding a property that feels like home. Once you have found your new home and secured financing, completion of the process should not require more than 6-8 weeks. At Ellasrealty.gr - ελλασρεαλτυ.gr , we stand by you every step of the way.
Greece is known across the globe for its blessed climate, bright light and people who enjoy life to the fullest. We invite you to make our country your home away from home.