Overseas bargain hunters poised ready to snap up cheap property in Greece

Overseas buyers are becoming increasingly interested in property in Greece as people expect prices to plummet if the country leaves the euro.

According to estate agents prices could fall another 20% as political and economic uncertainty continues.

‘Greece has been flat since Lehman Brothers collapsed, but we are having many more conversations now. People are naturally expecting to pick up good opportunities,’ said Piers Williams, director of international sales at high end estate agent Aylesford.

The firm typically sells property in the €1 million to €10 million sector and specialises in the islands of Corfu and Paxos. Aylesford is planning to boost its marketing efforts after the election.

‘Prices, which have already fallen by about 20% and could fall by about the same amount again if Greece leaves the euro,’ Williams told Reuters.

Greece was forced to call a fresh vote on June 17 after an election this month left parliament divided between parties that support and oppose austerity conditions attached to a €130 billion rescue package agreed with lenders in March.

The outcome of the new election, which could determine whether Greece remains in the euro, is too close to call. The latest opinion polls indicate that parties for and against the bailout are  neck and neck or very close to one another.

The office of Beauchamp Estates on the island of Mykonos is receiving three or four email enquiries per day, compared with about five or six per week a year ago.

‘People have decided that this is the time to buy, though obviously they are waiting for the elections. For better or worse they want to get ready to act,’ explained Roi Deldimou who runs the Greek arm of the London based luxury estate agent. She reckons that prices will drop another 20% whether or not Greece leaves the euro.
Enquiries and sales are double what they were a year ago, according to Spyros Mantzos, director of Apropertyingreece.com. ‘There are already bargains out there, and buyers are betting that if Greece leaves the euro they will be able to live much more cheaply,’ he said.