If you’re thinking of buying abroad then why not make a Greek Island your destination of choice…
Sunshine, sea and stunning scenery all make for a slower pace of life
For many years Greece has always been in the top ten destinations for buying a property overseas, and despite all the economic doom and gloom it still remains so today. The climate is certainly appealing with glorious sunrises and sunsets that are spectacular! With beautiful panoramic views of magnificent mountains, endless greenery and lovely beaches to soak up the sun and embrace a slower pace of life.
Crete accounts for 85% of the market for overseas property buyers in Greece. It’s easy to see why, with 320 days of sunshine each year, a winter that never sees frost or ice, stunning beaches and locals who offer a genuine and friendly welcome to visitors.
Airlines such as EasyJet and Ryan Air has increased flights providing scheduled low cost direct flights to and from the UK. Chania International Airport. located near Souda Bay, Crete, is opening up to western Crete, an area that is less commercial and gains more revenue from farming than it does from tourism. Moving westwards from the medieval stone city of Chania with its beautiful harbour and myriad of ancient narrow alleyways, lays a number of coastal villages worth taking a trip too. Such locations as Gerani, Maleme, the less commercial and picturesque fishing village of Kolimbari, and further along the coast to the market town of Kissamos all give you a true feeling of what it’s like to be a local. This area is proving to be a property hotspot for those wishing to discover the real Crete, yet it is still only 45 minutes from the airport.
Property construction in Crete never outstripped demand and consequently this balance has the effect of keeping prices stable. The market has undoubtedly changed, several years ago there were easy loans and the majority of Brits bought property for holiday use. Now, that market has disappeared, and replaced by the over 55’s planning for retirement who are seeking a place to live where their pension will go further and they can afford a better quality of life than if they remained in the UK. With cheaper utility bills and a short winter, requiring less heating, a couple can live comfortably within a monthly budget of £1,000.
One of the leading construction companies in western Crete is Snobby Homes. Their Marketing Director, Mike Saunders says, “Previously all our sales were made to buyers from the UK, but the British property market has collapsed, and because people need to release funds from a sale, they cannot afford to buy a home overseas. With Norway having a strong economy and their banks offering loans, Norwegians are becoming the driving force in sales. If this continues it will gradually raise the selling price of properties.”
Currently a detached two bedroom property in western Crete typically costs between 110,000€ and 140,000€, while a three bedroom would cost between 150,000€ and 175,000€. On top of these prices there are purchase costs, taxes and legal fees to add – as well as a BUYER’S fee of 2% if you use an estate agent. Typically all these costs come to around 15% of the buying price.
Says Mike Saunders, “Our prices are all-inclusive of a high specification and all purchase costs so you know precisely the figure you need to budget, confident you won’t have to pay any unexpected extra payment.
We have researched the market and discovered that a typical buyer from the UK has sufficient savings to pay a deposit, but need the proceeds from the sale of their house to complete on a sale. That’s why we have launched our Helping Hand scheme. Decide to buy a Snobby – and they are the lowest prices you’ll find in Crete for new build quality detached houses – on paying a 25% deposit we will transfer the plot of land into your name and issue a Purchase Agreement detailing the specification of the house and guaranteeing the build price, which is frozen for two years. When the buyer finds that elusive buyer for his UK property and can proceed, we then begin construction. Our clients are legally secured with land in their name and no stage payments are required. The balance is only paid when the house is complete. Falling in love with a location and being unable to proceed is extremely stressful. Our Helping Hand scheme puts control into people’s lives and removes the stress of selling.”