Gulf News: Surge in sales of holiday homes in Greece and Cyprus as MENA buyers target EU residency

May 30, 2023

Leptos Estates featured in Gulf News. See full article below:

Leptos Estates has completed over €7 million worth of sales to Middle Eastern buyers.

Leptos Estates has recorded a surge in sales and enquiries for high-end holiday homes in Greece and Cyprus to purchasers from the MENA region looking to secure residency status and freedom of travel across the EU. In the past 12 months, Leptos Estates has completed over €7 million worth of sales to Middle Eastern buyers, with the majority taking advantage of the Greek and Cypriot Golden Visa Programme, which offers the cheapest permanent residency scheme in Europe.

Pantelis Leptos, Co-President of Leptos Group of Companies, said, “Cyprus and the Greek islands offer a fantastic holiday home destination for international investors looking for a property they can use, whilst also providing a strong rental return, if needed, when they are not using it. We have seen a growing interest from the MENA region over the past 10-15 years and this is increasing with the quality of homes on offer, opening of the Dubai Port in Limassol and the expansion to the Residency Programme in Cyprus and Golden Visa initiative in Greece.”

In 2021, the Greek and Cyprus Governments announced important changes to their Residency Programmes, with Cyprus abolishing the Golden Visa initiative and reforming their Permanent Residency initiatives.

The new Permanent Residence Programme in Cyprus permits foreigners to acquire an Immigration Permit through property investment, starting from €300,000. This allows individuals to enjoy unlimited access to the country and across the EU, which is an aspect that is proving especially popular with investors from the MENA, with personal or business interests in Europe or that desire freedom of movement across the EU.

Cyprus and Greece are also becoming more popular with international investors due to other EU nations, such as Portugal, Spain, and Ireland, discontinuing their Golden Visa and Residency programmes. Greece’s Golden Visa Programme is one of the last remaining of its type in the EU and offers the cheapest access to the Schengen Zone. Purchasing a principal residence or holiday home from as little as €250,000 qualifies the buyer to apply for residency.

The Greece Golden Visa offers lifelong permanent residency to the applicant, which also extends to their spouse and children up to the age of 21, as well as the parents of both the main applicant and spouse. Once issued, the Visa allows restriction-free travel in the EU Schengen Zone and if the applicants spend over 180 days per year in Greece, they qualify for an EU passport after 7 years.

However, the Greek Government is expected to raise the entry investment level, which Leptos Estates credits for a recent rise in enquiries from MENA investors for new homes across the Greek islands. Buyers from the MENA region typically favour larger purpose or bespoke built villas in secure fated residences occupying prominent locations in Greece and Cyprus.

Adonis Beach Villas, an exclusive collection of super modern detached luxury villas on the Paphos coast have proven popular with MENA purchasers, as they look to secure a prime home in a secure location. Ranging in price from €1.375 million to €3.59 million, the luxurious beachfront super homes overlook the Mediterranean Sea and feature modern architectural design and finishes, services, facilities, and amenities of the highest standard. Each home comprises private overflowing pools, landscaped gardens, large verandas, and expansive outdoor living areas.

Located in Limassol is Blu Marine, a striking collection of contemporary towers, which comprise over 240 apartments that benefit from breath-taking views of the Mediterranean Sea, deep private balconies, 24-hour concierge and luxury amenities including a state-of-the-art Health Spa and Gym.

Close to Dubai Port, Limassol Marina, and Old Town, as well as featuring its own private beach, MENA investors have purchased at Blu Marine for personal use, as well as to benefit from the impressive rental yields on offer. Apartments are available in a range of sizes, from one-to-five bedrooms, with prices starting at €1.316 million. The Greek island of Crete is also the subject of increased interest from MENA investors, with Leptos Estates’ Viglia Beach Villas development in Chania attracting the most enquiries and sales.

Positioned at the westernmost side of Crete, Viglia Beachfront Villas, that have been inspired by traditional Cretan-style architecture, feature sizeable plots (varying from 1,500 to 2,000 square metres), that provide impressive living areas, sizeable bedrooms with modern-style bathrooms. Ranging in price from €830,000 to €1.55 million the custom-built villas are just a few metres from an idyllic golden sandy beach and bay.

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