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Golden visas for wealthy foreigners pushing Greeks out of housing

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ATHENS — Greece’s decision to double the amount of investment allowing wealthy foreigners to qualify for the golden visas that come with residence permits and European Union passports came after the lower threshold saw houses and apartments picked up, driving out the Greeks.

Forbes magazine noted that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made the switch after discovering investors were taking over neighborhoods with purchases at levels that many Greeks could not afford.

It has also seen rents soar, further displacing Greeks from where they live to other areas they could afford and which have not yet been targeted by wealthy foreigners who could rent apartments and apartments. houses on short-term platforms such as Airbnb.

Many are seeking a Golden Visa due to the inflated cost of living expenses and housing in the United States, the magazine noted, although Americans are not first in line to apply for the visas.

The Get Golden Visa company found in its survey of 320 applicants that 29% were motivated by the rising cost of living and were looking for a more affordable lifestyle, with Greece being a particular draw.

But the report noted the ripple effect of the wealthy looking for cheaper accommodation that they could rent or live in, but either way, making it unavailable to Greeks in more parts of Athens and other cities.

“In order to increase the affordability of real estate for Greeks, we are now increasing the minimum amount of investment required for the issuance of a golden visa from 250,000 to 500,000 euros,” Mitsotakis reportedly said in early September, according to International Advisor.