Buying Property in Greece as a Foreigner

Buying Property in Greece as a Foreigner

Are you considering buying a property in Greece as a foreigner?

Well, this is the page for you!

The Greek real estate market is open for business with foreigners, which is great news for UK expats!

Though the whole process has been made that much more complicated since the UK exited the EU, it has not deterred eager buyers hungry for a slice of paradise.

Plus, the Golden Visa program has made it an even more attractive proposition for non-EU citizens to move to Greece, particularly retirees.

Safe, family-friendly, and the perfect destination to spend your “Golden Years,” the thousands of lucky foreigners already residing in Greece enjoy a lifestyle that is hard to beat.

Living here offers a harmonious blend of ancient traditions, modern culture, and a laid-back approach to both work and life.

Plus, you can enjoy day after day of beautiful sunshine, with the country boasting over 2,500 hours of it every year!

So, if you are particularly interested in finding out about how you could own a piece of Greek real estate, read on.

Our guide outlines the key steps to “buying property in Greece as a foreigner” and provides insights into some of the country’s most attractive locations.

About The Greek Property Market

Houses in Santorini, Greece

Houses in Santorini, Greece. Image credit: Pixabay

In the past fifteen years, Greece has experienced some major economic struggles.

The country is still recovering from the 2009 crash.

The pandemic also took its toll on the country’s fortunes.

However, the housing market overall has been steadily rising since 2020.

In fact, 2023 saw the markets rally substantially.

With this in mind, now is a good time to be buying property in Greece as a foreigner.

Many homes are still priced on the low side, and most buyers are open to offers, even more ‘cheeky’ ones are considered however, this looks set to change.

By the end of 2024, Greece is set to raise its profile, joining the likes of Portugal, Spain, and France as one of Europe’s top real estate markets for foreign investors.

Fuelled by high investor interest and the popularity of the Greece Golden Visa program, there is strong potential for growth, positioning Greece as a leading destination for property investment in Europe.

With this potential growth coming it is important to keep up to date with how the Greek property market is performing.

Do I Need to Have a Permanent Visa in Greece to Buy a Home There?

Greek Visa

You don not need a Greek Visa to purchase a property. Image credit: Envato Elements

No, you do not need a permanent visa to buy a home in Greece as a foreigner.

Greece allows non-residents to purchase property without any visa or residency requirements.

However, buying property does not automatically grant you the right to live in Greece permanently. You will need to obtain a Greek Tax Identification Number (AFM),

Greece offers a Golden Visa program, granting residency to non-EU citizens who invest a minimum of €250,000 in real estate.

This program provides a renewable five-year residency permit, allowing you to live, travel, and work in Greece and other Schengen countries.

If you plan to stay in Greece for longer periods or permanently, you must apply for a residence permit.

The permit can be obtained either through the Golden Visa program or other routes, like employment, family reunification, or retirement.

Step-By-Step House Buying Guide

Buying a property in Greece

There are some steps to follow when buying a property in Greece. Image credit: Pexels

The process of purchasing your perfect Greek home is quite easy.

We have put together a simple, easy-to-follow step-by-step process for you to follow:

  1. Identify where you want to relocate to. This can sometimes be the hardest part, particularly in Greece where there are so many stunning locations.
  2. Carry out plenty of research. Once you know where you want to be, explore the local property listings. It will give you a good idea of the pricing trends and popular areas.
  3. Hire Local Professionals. Use the services of a local estate agent familiar with the area. Engage an English-speaking lawyer specialising in real estate transactions and an accountant who understands the taxation system.
  4. Get your Tax Identification Number (AFM). As a foreigner, you will need a Greek Tax Identification Number (AFM) to buy property in Greece. Your lawyer can help you obtain this number from a local tax office.
  5. Secure your Financing. There are plenty of mortgage providers in Greece. If you are a cash buyer, ensure your funds are ready for transfer.
  6. Arrange property searches. Several important checks must be carried out. Structural issues, confirmation of ownership, any outstanding debts against the property and environmental checks are all important before the sale is confirmed.
  7. Make an offer. Make your offer and when agreed a deposit amount is set (generally at 10% of the total value). And the contract is prepared.
  8. Legal and financial documentation. Once the property searches have been carried out the contract can be signed, and the final balance paid. The property is registered in your name at the Greek Land Registry.

By following these steps, buying a home in Greece as a foreigner should be a breeze.

How to Apply for your Greek Tax Identification Number (AFM)

Obtaining a Greek tax identification number, known as an AFM (pronounced AFIMI), is crucial if you plan to live in Greece.

Not only must you have it to buy a home, but it is also needed if you intend to work legally and open a bank account.

To apply for and obtain an AFM, certain documents and steps are necessary.

The good news is that you can now obtain your AFM entirely online, allowing you to apply from your home country without needing to visit Greece.

This tax number also grants access to online services from the Greek tax authorities, including filing your tax return.

Visit the Lisbob website for an easy hassle-free explanation of how to go about applying for your AFM.

Where should I buy a Home in Greece?

Athens, Greece

There are some stunning locations in Greece, including Athens. Image credit: Unsplash

So many expats living the Greek dream have discovered their ideal location having holidayed there first.

Perhaps we have all had that wonderful feeling of contentment when sitting in a Greek taverna with a glass of wine and enjoying a tasty meal.

It certainly makes you want to be able to enjoy it permanently.

Greece’s natural beauty is renowned, with its countless islands, beautiful beaches, and mountainous landscapes offering a stunning backdrop for everyday life.

The Mediterranean climate, with its warm, sunny weather for much of the year, allows for a variety of outdoor activities and a more active lifestyle.

You may already have your piece of heaven marked out.

However, if you have little or no idea where you want to settle, here are some of the popular locations you might find that will suit you perfectly well:


There is not a more historical city in the world than Athens, the Greek capital city.

A vibrant metropolis that combines ancient history with modern living seamlessly.

Every corner you turn you come face to face with ancient historical sites such as the Iconic landmark the Acropolis.

Athens attracts many expats who enjoy urban living with easy access to historical landmarks.


Arguably one of the most photographed locations in Greece.

Santorini is beyond stunning, its white-washed buildings and breathtaking sunsets make it a firm favourite among tourists and expats.


Known as the “Manhattan of the Aegean, is famous for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches, Mykonos attracts expats who enjoy a lively social scene.

Unfortunately, it can be an expensive location. If your budget allows, you can enjoy high-end shopping at Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

Paros and Naxos

These Cycladic islands offer a more laid-back atmosphere, attracting expats seeking a balance between relaxation and community.

Smaller towns and villages on the islands are a retreat from city life and busy towns making them popular with retirees.


This is the country’s largest island. As with most of the Greek islands Crete also provides a relaxed island lifestyle with pristine beaches and picturesque villages.

Chania and Heraklion are the two main cities on Crete, each with its unique charm and growing expatriate communities.


The Peloponnese is a region on the Greek mainland. Residents enjoy the area’s rich history and diverse landscapes.

Mountains, beaches, and archaeological sites are the order of the day here. Cities like Nafplio and Kalamata are popular among expats seeking a quieter lifestyle with easy access to both urban and natural attractions.


Located on the Greek mainland, and its second-largest city, Thessaloniki, is a lively and cosmopolitan hub.

Known for its youthful energy, rich history, and vibrant food scene, Thessaloniki appeals to expats seeking a city with a slightly slower pace than Athens, yet with plenty of cultural and entertainment options.

How will my belongings get to Greece?

WACO Truck

White & Company Truck

Now you are armed with much more information and insight about how to buy a home in Greece, it is likely you will want to bring some if not all your possessions with you at some point.

Getting your belongings anywhere abroad takes time the process does differ.

Using an experienced removalist such as White & Company will mean that you have the peace of mind that your precious effects are well cared for.

White & Company have been exporting to Greece for decades and in that time, we have built an excellent relationship with our Greek counterparts.

So, not only will your belongings receive the best attention in the UK, but they will continue their journey to your new home aided by our trusted partners on the other side.

All consignments to Greece are shipped by container. The container will arrive at the closest port of entry, be offloaded, customs cleared and then delivered right to your front door.

Contact our offices and book a no-obligation survey. We can also offer a video survey, however for large moves a face-to-face visit is recommended.

Following the survey, we can give you a competitive quotation for the move.

As long-standing members of the industry regulators BAR, OMNI and FIDI you have the reassurance that with White & Company, you will receive the best possible service.

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