Idyllic Greek haven Corfu currently presents strong property investment opportunities, especially due to the tourism growth and the need for holiday accommodation
Corfu, situated in the Ionian Sea on the Italian side of Greece, is known as the green Greek island. And the chance to invest in a holiday home with the advantage of added income from tourism has seldom been better, says award-winning Corfu estate agent Roula Rouva.
TOURISM PROFILE IN GREECE
Corfu airport reported the second largest arrival figures of all Greek airports in 2016, showing a growth of 14.4% compared to 2015, according to the Greek Tourism Federation. And the Association of Corfu Travel Agents expects that tourism will again increase by double figures this year. Tourists are expected mainly from the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland. Over the last two years, tourism in Greece increased by almost double the global industry average of 3.9%, as reported by the World Tourism Organization – this is according to Forbes.
THE PROPERTY MARKET
Tourism is important to the recovery of the Greek economy after the country’s financial crisis in 2009. Corfu in particular provides some of the best opportunities for property investment because of this and the timing is right for long-term investments, says Roula. An upswing in Greek residential property prices has started after seven years of falling figures, reaching a low of 42% compared to the peak in 2008. “Although not by leaps and bounds, the growth trend is expected to continue. Buyers can enter the market at a low level and the income from tourism can be topped with a capital gain in the medium to long term,” says Roula. There is also a wide range of available properties to choose from.
THE GREEK APPEAL
Breath-taking panoramas, unpolluted air, the healthy climate, ancient historical sites and a vibrant festival culture contribute to the island’s popularity as a tourist destination. There are also a variety of sea and land sports, and recreational opportunities available such as sailing, golf and hiking. The island also has an international airport, an acclaimed yachting marina, a university and a modern hospital. “The inborn Corfiot values of hospitality and tolerance, and the laidback lifestyle, creates a relaxed atmosphere second to none,” Roula says.
When deciding whether to invest in Greece, consider that you can obtain a five-year residential permit with a property investment of 250 000 euros (about R3 915 000) or more. “For South Africans, investing in Corfu provides the added benefits of entrenchment against the falling rand and an unbelievably crime-free environment,” Rouva says. Roula Rouva Real Estate can provide clients with an all-inclusive service, including administrative and legal matters, such as obtaining residence permits, and assistance with development, engineering and construction. “We can also help investors to rent out their Corfu property, helping them to realise the best possible income on their investment,” says Roula.
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