Golden Visa: How the measures affect the real estate market – Short-term leases and the “plate” in housing

The new arrangements associated with increasing its acquisition limits and short-term leases as well as the Bank of Greece’s housing loan framework change the data in . The Ministry of National Economy and Finance has announced legislation to increase the limits for Golden Visa in order to address the housing problem – reducing demand in ‘filette’ areas – and to address distortions in the real estate market, with a reduction in particularly high prices. At the same time, it goes on to establish three speed limits depending on the geographical location in which a property is located, as well as the special treatment for those investing in preserved buildings. Without, as he estimates, the incentives for the introduction of investment funds into the country and the development of the land market are lost. The evolution of the real estate market As New Deal Real Estate Group CEO Christos Bletas points out on the basis of an investigation by the Group’s real Estate Academy, for the development of the real estate market over the next 12 months, the majority of participants, owners, interested buyers and real estate consultants are optimistic about the progress of the real estate market and about the time a property needs to be sold. While they consider it reasonable to deduct up to 10% from the initial price during the negotiation. According to the findings, there is a general optimism about raising property prices, with a combination of 37.9% of the responses predicting a slight increase and 23.8% predicting a significant increase. This shows that the majority of respondents see the market direction positively. However, there is also a portion, with a significant percentage (15.7%) believing that prices will remain stable. With regard to the discount rate considered reasonable, 38.6% considers a rate of 6 – 10%, while 34.5% prefers an even smaller discount of 1–5%. This shows that most people appreciate that a purchase has been formed so that it allows owners not to drop prices they do not want low in order to sell, but neither lose the value of their property. Finally, about the time it will take to sell a property, the results differ. The largest group, with 28.3%, expects the sale to take 3-6 months, while significant rates also see the sale take place within 1-3 months (23.8%) or 6-12 months (23.5%). This shows some optimism about the rapid sale, but also a reality that an important real estate market remains difficult to predict accurately. While some are optimistic about quick selling, others prepare for a long-term process, showing the wide range of views and expectations in the current real estate market. To address the housing crisis, a shift is needed towards a fairer and sustainable development model New Deal Real Estate Group CEO Christos Bletas, referring to the new arrangements for Golden Visa and short-term lease, in order, inter alia, to address the housing issue, points out to the RES/APM that the problem we face is multidimensional and is directly linked to the country’s development policy, which: It relies significantly on tourism, with many properties turning into short-term rental accommodation via platforms such as Airbnb, causing a significant reduction in the availability of housing for long-term lease, and seeks to attract foreign investors through programs such as Golden Visa, which, although it is only 7% of trade in the real estate market, has a disproportionate impact on the market due to focus on specific, desirable areas. Therefore, efforts to increase the limits and apply more stringent conditions to the Golden Visa programme, leading to its gradual abolition, are not expected to bring meaningful solutions, but only to reduce public revenue and foreign investment likely to be directed towards other markets. These arrangements will have a positive effect mainly on sales of real estate in urban reconstructions Referring to the new arrangements announced for the new increased amounts for the acquisition of Golden Visa reaching 800,000 euros in certain geographical areas, Giannis Revithis, economist – real estate assessor and honorary president of the Association of Real Estate Agents of Attica, in his statements to the AIA-APM, is in favour of the views they consider the new arrangements will freeze the number of residence permits and will generally have no benefit for the purchase of real estate. The freezing of the Golden Visa market, a 10 billion-euro market, will have direct and indirect significant negative effects on sectors such as State tax revenues from real estate transfers and will affect a number of occupations around real estate. With reference to short-term leases (in the case of those who lease up to two properties) Mr.Rebythis considers that it is an important additional income for their owners who in most cases belong to the middle income classes and therefore no further restrictive measures should be introduced. Golden Visa retained real estate prices estimates V2 Development Golden Visa not only is not the cause of the increase in real estate and rent prices, but if prices did not exist, Vangelis Kteniadis, president of the real estate development and management company V2 Development and vice president of the Greek-Chinese Committee on Development and Entrepreneurship of the Athens Professional Chamber of Commerce, would have increased much more. To date 20,000 properties across the country have been allocated for the acquisition of Golden Visa, says Mr. Kteniadis. 60% of these properties, i.e. 12,000 properties were developed by the manufacturers, through the development of abandoned buildings, buildings that were in the concrete or very old buildings after radical renovation, and sold to investors. Only 8000 properties were removed from the market, he states. He also points out that because of the Golden Visa programme, 4000 properties were placed on the market, which if there were no housing prices would have increased. Of the 20,000 properties allocated through the Golden Visa programme only 6% were owned by investors, i.e. 1200. If we remove from the 4,000 properties the surplus created by the program, the 1200 owned, then the mark remains positive for 2,800 properties. Mr. Kteniadis estimates that the very large number of properties passed to banks and management companies and not placed on the market, as well as the number of properties in short-term leases (183,000 properties in the Attica Basin) is the main cause of the housing crisis that does not allow prices to retreat but is increasing constantly rather than the Golden Visa programme. The Bank of Greece lies in the amount of housing loans. According to an Act of the Executive Board of the TE from 1.1.2025, a maximum allowable limit is set for the debt-to-income ratio, when approving and also the loan-to-value index when approving new loans and other credits. In particular, the cost of service of the loan will not exceed 50% of the borrower’s income and the amount of the loan may not exceed 90% of the value of the property. According to estimates of bank managers contacted by the APM-APM, the specific decision of TTE does not change current data in the field of housing credit and hence the purchase of real estate. Banks with the credit criteria they apply in essence take account of these criteria. The decision is an additional institutional guarantee for the banking system to remain shielded from future effects of a new generation of red loans.