Greek recession brings wealth to holiday home owners

Santorini 08/02/2011 – Mainland Greece and the Greek Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world every year. With its stunning beaches, unspoilt islands, laidback culture and welcoming people, Greece is also among the most popular summer holiday destinations as far as Brits are concerned. What’s more, following the 2004 Athens Olympics, the country has become the focus of extraordinary international interest that fuelled not only tourism, but the property market as well. Recent events, however, have brought about far too much uncertainty as to the effect of the austerity measures, and people are now unwilling to risk buying property as long as the country’s economic situation remains unsure.

Insecurity or opportunity?

With Greece’s economy in disarray and gloomy prospects for investors, most foreign buyers now doubt any claims of investment potential. The country’s weak economy, however, has caused prices to fall thus presenting lots of bargain opportunities for anyone seeking to buy property. 

Lilian Lorenz, owner of a mountain cottage in Evia ( comments: “It is a wonderful time to invest in Greece because prices are no longer misleading. It is important to think long and hard about the investment though, because it may be a few years before values recover. So it’s more of a market for someone who wants a place of their own in the sun, that they can perhaps rent out went they’re not there, rather than a quick flip for profit.”

Holiday home owners should also be aware that in order to legally rent out a Greek property to travellers, one must obtain a licence from the Greek National Tourist Organisation (ETO).

Read more about obtaining an EOT licence in Greece

A flourishing holiday home market

Surprisingly, the global recession has positively affected the Greek holiday home market, as travellers looked for cheaper accommodation alternatives. Alex Calothis, owner of a holiday cottage in the Peloponnese (, comments: “I think the recession helped us, funnily enough. Self catering is cheaper than a hotel, plus I think more people are becoming aware that it is possible to holiday in this way. Our business has experienced healthy growth right through the recession.”

Holiday home owners advertising on HomeAway Holiday-Rentals have hardly noticed any negative impact on bookings; on the contrary, some of them have experienced surprising growth. Rob Ogden, who owns a villa on the Aegean Islands ( reports unexpectedly high interest, in fact the summer season 2010 was his best season so far. And Jo Kirk, owner of a traditional stone house in Rhodes ( says: “We have been renting out our property for three years now. The first year was our first attempt so we only had a few guests. But during 2009 we were booked for about 8 weeks of the season, and then in 2010 we were almost fully booked between April and October with 22 weeks occupancy.”

So regardless of the problems affecting the country at the moment, Greece looks set to remain popular with both visitors and investors alike, as it still offers hot summers, beautiful beaches, a relatively low cost of living and a wealth of historic, cultural and scenic attractions. currently lists more than 2,400 holiday homes in Greece