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Greek Islands: Property Market 2009

Where the tourists go, the property buyers follow: and the Greek Islands always leave the tourists wanting more. Stay a bit longer, come back more often or even buy a property and stay for ever. With some 15 million tourists every year and many of these bitten by the idea of having a home on the islands, no wonder the property market is so stable.

Recently the film Mamma Mia has fuelled interest not only in Skopelos where it was filmed but in all Greek Island property. According to PropertyIndex, interest in homes on the island has risen 120% compared with last year. This has had a knock-on effect on flights, with EasyJet reporting an increase of 13% in flights since the film was released.

Quest Property Magazines have also noticed an increase this year in the number of searches for property on all the islands as those with cash and savvy buyers see the opportunity to get a good value holiday home, taking advantage of the credit crunch.

Purchasers are clearly seeing this as a great chance to get into the Greek Island property market at incredibly good prices. Many vendors, particularly those with financial concerns at home or developers facing economic difficulties, are having to discount the price of their property in order to sell and now is the time for buyers to bag a bargain on their favourite island - it is a buyers' market.

The Greek Islands have always had enormous appeal for property buyers: having a wonderful sunny climate, healthy laid back lifestyle and low cost of living. Right now, you can add to this decently priced property for such an exclusive location and if buyers play their cards right, they will find luxury property with sea views at prices uneard of in the last few years. For those seeking to buy to rent, the islands are one of the most visited holiday destinations in the world, offering handsome rental returns. If you are considering retiring to the isles, then you could hardly find a more idyllic lifestyle.

Whilst there is no doubt that the economic crisis has affected property prices, it has been nowhere near as significant as in other European countries, particularly the UK. The Greek Island property market still remains strong backed by its healthy tourism market. Greek vendors are also reluctant to drop their prices, often because they have no mortgage worries. The Greek banks were also much more cautious in their mortgage lending, which has created a more stable property market and Greek property historically holds its value with a steady increase year on year.

However, there are property bargains to be found and prices have dropped by 10% this year with less transactions taking place. The key is to research, research and research again to find the best prices.


Popular Islands

The choice of location is endless but some of the most popular islands for property buyers are:

Crete has remained perennially popular with Brits and is one of the most appearling islands for a holiday home or permanent move. There are nearly 20,000 British owners.

Kefalonia is mostly unspoilt and the largest of the Ionian islands. It is mainly mountainous and the majority of property is to be found around the main port of Argostoli.  On the rest of the island, most areas remain undiscovered. A popular choice with buyers who are looking for buy to rent.

Samos has great access with direct flights from Britain. An island which is particularly popular with those who enjoy yachting. A traditional favourite for property buyers. 

Looking outside the coastal towns in the mountainous areas will throw up some great bargain homes. Rural property should be considered a good long term investment, as the opportunity for rural tourism is huge.