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Surge in Demand for European Properties from Turkish Customers in exchange of residency permits

By Ela Gonca Izmirli

Greece and Spain real estate agents are reporting a significant increase in property sales to Turkish customers since the summer of 2016. Greece and Spain joined in 2014 a residency permit scheme called “Golden Visa” that was established first in Portugal. The “Golden Visa” program allows investors who spend at least 500,000 euros on a property to hold a temporary resident permit.

Later other European countries joined the scheme and the price tag for the permit was lowered. In Portugal and Spain investors have a minimum spend of 500,000 euros on a property to get temporary residency, in Cyprus it is 300,000 euros, and in Greece, it is 250,000 euros.

Portuguese Border Services (SEF) last year issued a report on Golden visas and said that it generated 1.8 billion euros, 1.64 billion euros invested in real estate alone. The visa itself was designed to attract people with money to buy homes in these countries.

Mark Stucklin from Spanish Property Insight, reported that right after the Turkish referendum on April 16th, they noticed a surge in in his “Spanish Golden Visa Guide” from Turkish Internet users. He also said that a Barcelona based real estate agency reported an increase in demand for residential properties in the range if 500,000 euros to 1,5 million euros. Alex Vaughan from Barcelona-based estate agency Lucas Fox told Mr. Stucklin that Turks were the fastest growing group by nationality.

Greek real estate agents have been reporting a similar trend in Greece. They are saying that since last summer’s coup attempt on July 15th, they saw a spike in sales from Turkish buyers. In Greece, buying a house worth at least 250,000 euros in an Athens neighborhood, or a renovated villa on a Greek island can get the buyer a residency permit that good for five years and could be extended to other family members.

Turkish news agencies are also reporting that Turkish citizens bought 12 percent of all the houses sold in Barcelona in the first quarter of this year.

 

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