Top of the Props: Foreign buyers go back to Greece

Top of the Props: Foreign buyers go back to Greece

Greece Italy United States World
  • Greece now 4th most popular country
  • Interest in Greek property at six-month high
  • Italy climbs to third place and Spain holds on to second
  • Investors return to Canada after recent dip in popularity

Foreign property buyers are going back to Greece at the start of 2017, reveals TheMoveChannel.com’s Top of the Props index. The country was the fourth most popular country on the international property portal in January 2017, its first time in the Top 10 in six months.

Greece stormed the charts at the start of the new year, rising 18 places to overtake Portugal in the monthly report. Greek real estate received 2.1 per cent of all enquiries on the international portal during January. This is the country’s highest share of enquiries since August 2013, when it accounted for 3.26 per cent of all enquiries. Greece’s last time in the Top 10 was in July 2016, when it was ranked ninth, with 1.39 per cent of enquiries.

Italy also enjoyed rising overseas interest, climbing five places in the Top of the props chart to be the third most sought-after destination. Italian real estate accounted for 5.97 per cent of January’s enquiries, up from 1.59 per cent in December 2016 and its highest share since August 2012 (6.12 per cent).

Spain held on to second place, confirming the country’s continuing appeal to foreign investors. Portugal rose one place into fifth, increasing its share of enquiries from 1.92 per cent to 2.02 per cent. France slipped into ninth, but remained in the Top 10 for the 17th month in a row, just above Thailand and just below Germany.

After a dip in popularity, following the introduction of Vancouver’s foreign buyer tax last August, Canada saw investors return, with the country climbing into sixth place.

The USA remained the most popular destination on TheMoveChannel.com for the seventh consecutive month, accounting for one in every six enquiries (14.65 per cent).

“After a brief rekindling of interest last summer, the start of 2017 showed signs of overseas demand for Greek property flickering back to life,” comments TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson.

“Interest was not just contained to one area, but across several regions, with enquiries soaring for property in the North Aegean, Crete, the South Aegean and Attica.

“After a year of political uncertainty elsewhere, talk of national debt and a potential ‘Grexit’ is back in the headlines in 2017, but Greece’s lifestyle appeal has not gone away. In fact, it is more affordable than ever, after house prices have dropped for the last eight years in a row. In 2016, however, they fell 2.2 per cent, the smallest decrease recorded since 2009. With the rate of decline slowing, and owning a holiday home now an attractive alternative to renting, foreign interest in Greek real estate may be showing the first signs of a gradual rebound.”

“US property remains one of the most appealing in the world,” adds Mr. Johnson. “The country’s economy, regardless of its political situation, is stable, with the Federal Reserve still on course to raise interest rates again this year. The country’s economic conditions may be the opposite of Greece, but their popularity shares one key factor: the low price of Greek real estate maximises the potential yield available from rental income, while in the US, investors are racing to find the best possible returns, before property values climb too high.”

Click here to see the full top 40 property destinations for January 2017.

 

— ENDS –

Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and TheMoveChannel.com

Founded in 1999, www.TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 1.4 million listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

TheMoveChannel.com is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.

——————————-

Do you need comment or statistics for an international real estate article? Our experienced editorial team and management are happy to collate data, provide example properties, or offer insightful comment to support your publication.

Please contact Ivan Radford on ivan.radford@themovechannel.com or +44 (0)207 952 7221

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  • Standard Ad Units: These show in 120,600, 160×600, 300×150, 300×250, 300×500, 300×750 and 728×90 formats, with a varying number of listings showing in each version.
  • Dynamic Portfolio: This is a completely configurable panel, where you can choose the number of columns and rows, plus the size of the listings and dedicate a section of a page, or even a whole page to a set of properties.

Please contact Ivan Radford on ivan.radford@themovechannel.com or +44 (0)207 952 7221

Hotspots Index: Rome leads European property rebound

Hotspots Index: Rome leads European property rebound

Cyprus France Greece Italy Portugal Spain
  • Rome most searched-for property location in the world
  • Portugal home to 14 of 50 most searched-for hotspots
  • France, Greece and Cyprus all in top 10

Rome is leading the rebound in demand for European property, reveals new research from TheMoveChannel.com. The portal’s latest interactive Hotspots Index shows that the Italian capital was the most searched-for location in the world in Q1 2015, as overseas buyers flock to the continent.

Rome accounted for 1.48 per cent of location searches in the first three months of the year, climbing one spot in TheMoveChannel.com’s Hotspots Index from Q4 2014. Rome is the first of two Italian hotspots in the Top 10, with Como sliding one place from the previous quarter to seventh place.

Spain soared into the silver spot, with Malaga climbing three places to become the second most searched-for location. While interest surged in the Costa del Sol, demand for the Balearics also boomed, with Mallorca leaping 10 places in the Index to become the third most popular hotspot. Malaga and Mallorca accounted for 1.45 per cent and 1.02 per cent of searches in Q1 2015 respectively.

Portugal followed closely in fourth place, as Albufeira accounted for 0.96 per cent of location searches in the three months to March 2015. With property prices now showing their first signs of rising following the recession, and the Golden Visa scheme encouraging investment from outside of the EU, the Portuguese property market is now the most widely sought-after on TheMoveChannel.com: the country was home to 14 out of the Top 50 hotspots in Q1 2015, up from 11 in Q4 2014.

Spain and Portugal have both enjoyed record levels of enquiries in the past six months, but demand for European property is now spreading across the continent. France made its debut entry in the Hotspots Index Top 10, as the Dordogne received the sixth biggest share of searches (0.81 per cent). Greece also entered the Top 10 for the first time: Corfu jumped 19 places in the chart into eight place.

TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson comments: “Europe has never been more attractive to overseas buyers than it is now. Mortgage rates are low in France, prices are rising in Portugal, and Spain’s market has bottomed out. With the pound at a seven-year high against the euro, spending power for Brits is exceptionally strong. Greece now accounts for six of the Top 50 hotspots – up from four in Q4 2014. The country’s economic uncertainty could be bad news for the euro, but it is certainly good news for buyers.”

The full top 50 hotspots on TheMoveChannel.com in Q1 2015 is available here.

Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and TheMoveChannel.com

Founded in 1999, www.TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

TheMoveChannel.com is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.
——————————-
Do you need comment or statistics for an international real estate article? Our experienced editorial team and management are happy to collate data, provide example properties, or offer insightful comment to support your publication.

Please contact Ivan Radford on ivan.radford@themovechannel.com or +44 (0)207 952 7221
——————————-
Sign up to our Daily International Property Newsletter:

– Daily updates on property market news headlines
– Quirky stories from around the world of property
– Hot properties being launched internationally
– Useful guides, surveys, research and trends
– Gossip, lists and other property chit chat

Sign up here: http://www.themovechannel.com/my/subscriptions/
——————————-
Feature property listings in your publication!

Our technical team has developed a great new solution for content publishers that allows the addition of high impact advertising units, which can be configured to show property listings, relevant to a type of property, country, region or a specific location.

There are 2 types of implementation:

  • Standard Ad Units: These show in 120,600, 160×600, 300×150, 300×250, 300×500, 300×750 and 728×90 formats, with a varying number of listings showing in each version.
  • Dynamic Portfolio: This is a completely configurable panel, where you can choose the number of columns and rows, plus the size of the listings and dedicate a section of a page, or even a whole page to a set of properties.

Please contact Ian Spencer on ian.spencer@themovechannel.com or +44 (0)207 952 7224

Top of the Props: Buyers go back to Greece

Top of the Props: Buyers go back to Greece

Greece

Buyers are going back to Greece, according to new research from TheMoveChannel.com. The portal´s latest Top of the Props report reveals that demand for Greek property has increased, taking the country back into the site´s 10 most popular destinations for the first time in seven months.

  • Greece in top 10 countries for first time in 7 months
  • Greek share of property enquiries trebled in Q1 2014
  • Confidence in Europe on the up
  • Italy in top 5 countries for first time in 7 months

Greece accounted for 1.84 per cent of enquiries in March 2014, taking the country back up to 10th in the Top of the Props chart. This is just the second time that Greece has appeared in the top 10 in the last 18 months, as buyers return to the country, attracted by low real estate prices.

Buyers went back to Italy too, with the country climbing four places to enter TheMoveChannel.com´s top five for the first time since August 2013. Italian property received 3.08 per cent of enquiries on the site, enough to leapfrog buyer favourite Brazil, which fell to seventh place.

This is the first time Brazil has ranked outside of the top five destinations on the site since October 2013. Indeed, Brazil has established itself as a major market for investors in the last year, thanks to its strong housing market and the promise of the upcoming FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Now, though, buyers appear to be returning from South America to the eurozone, as confidence on the continent increases.

The USA remains the most popular property market in the world, accounting for 15.66 per cent of all enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com. The rest of the top five, though, is made up of European destinations, as Italy joins second place France, third place Spain and fourth place Portugal.

Interest is also still strong in The Bahamas, which has enjoyed a strong first quarter in 2014. The country soared to a record sixth place in January and, despite sliding into 12th in February, reclaimed its position in the top 10 last month, establishing the Caribbean market´s ongoing popularity as more than just a flash in the plan.

While America has dominated international property demand throughout the first three months of 2014, TheMoveChannel.com´s Top of the Props has seen several big changes. Political unrest has deterred investors in Thailand property, causing the country to fall from 8th place in January to 12th in March. In Europe, France has overtaken Spain to become the new most popular property destination, accompanied by a rebound in demand for Portuguese real estate.

Canada has also cemented its status as an investment hotspot, remaining in the top 10 alongside other sought-after countries such as Turkey. Greece´s property market, though, is enjoying an equally positive year. A steady growth in interest during Q1 2014 has seen the country climb from 18th place to 16th in February and then rise to 10th place in March 2014. Over the last three months, Greece´s share of activity on TheMoveChannel.com has trebled from 0.65 per cent to 1.84 per cent.

Italy has also returned to the top 10, climbing from 10th in January to fifth in March. Together, the pair highlight the irresistible appeal of low prices in familiar lifestyle destinations, but also growing confidence in the eurozone.

TheMoveChannel.com Accounts Director Naz Haghicomments:

“Buyers are returning to the eurozone thanks to a combination of low prices and improving sentiment. Greece and Italy have both enjoyed a consistent increase in enquiries during the first three months of 2014, a sign that this is not a one-off spike in interest. Argentina surged back to 11th place in March, for example, driven by attractive new launches in the area. Italy and Greece, though, have seen no new products or marketing activity in the last three months. Instead, we have noticed a significant growth in natural traffic for Italian and Greek property, as buyers both inside and outside of the EU search for the countries in Google, attracted by low prices and Greece´s Golden Visa.

“That improved sentiment have seen buyers toy with other old favourites, such as Bulgaria and Cyprus, but momentum remains with more traditional lifestyle destinations. With four out of the top five destinations on TheMoveChannel.com now made up of eurozone markets, confidence is certainly on the up.”

Click here to see the top 10 property destinations on TheMoveChannel.com in March 2014.

Notes to Editors
Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.
The office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.
Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.
Top of the Props: Buyers bid farewell to Greek tragedy

Top of the Props: Buyers bid farewell to Greek tragedy

Greece

Buyers bid farewell to Greek tragedy in August 2013, as the country joined the world’s top 10 property destinations for the first time in 11 months. America’s recovering real estate was the most popular on TheMoveChannel.com, accounting for more than one in five enquiries, but rising confidence in the eurozone saw Greece build momentum of its own, as the country received its highest ever volume of attention.

  • Greece joins top 10 property destinations for first time in 11 months
  • US property accounts for more than 1 in 5 enquiries
  • US, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy most popular countries for investors
  • Demand for Portugal trebles in three months to August
  • Eurozone accounts for 6 out of top 10 destinations

 

Greece’s great rebound marks the continued rising appeal of European real estate, even as the US dominates demand.
American property was number one on TheMoveChannel.com for eight months in a row from October 2012 until June 2013, when Spain seized the spotlight with a 30 per cent share of enquiries. That interest increased again in July but plummeted to just 7.5 per cent in August, as buyers rushed to invest in the rising values of US real estate. Indeed, America accounted for 27.26 per cent of all enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com in August, surpassing the country’s previous record of 25.95 per cent.
Nonetheless, buyers remain confident in Europe’s economy. The eurozone accounted for four of top five property destinations in August for the second time in 2013. Spain slid into second place, but demand for Portuguese property trebled across the three months to August, enough to hold on to the number three slot. Italy’s share of enquiries doubled over the same period, climbing into fifth.
The eurozone’s biggest winner, though, was Greece, which leapt 10 places up the chart into eighth – the first time it has been in the top 10 since September 2012. Buyers continue to have wider favourites, from Turkey, which held on to sixth place, to Brazil in seventh. Cape Verde also climbed into the top 10 for the fourth time in 2013, but Greece bounced back even higher. Greek property accounted for 3.26 per cent of all leads on TheMoveChannel.com, a record for the country.
Katerina Kochraki of Greek construction company Action Constructing attributes the sudden growth in Greece’s popularity to lowering house prices:
“Greece was always a favourite destination for people from all over the world thanks to the sunny weather, beautiful clean beaches, culture, Mediterranean food and Greeks themselves, who are always friendly and hospitable.
“Then the economic crisis hit. All the media were talking about how difficult things are in Greece. But Greeks don’t give up! After four years of chaos, we found some ways to recover. We decided to reduce our property prices but without reducing the quality of construction. People from other countries continue to love Greece and they are very interested in being able to have their dream home there without paying a fortune.”
The Greek market has also been boosted by the introduction of residency laws for non-EU investors, which offers five years of residence to investors who spend at least €250,000 on Greek real estate. Indeed, Greece offered its first residency permit to a Chinese man this month for buying a property in Attica.
TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson comments:
“With the market recovery in full swing, US real estate is the most attractive in the world right now. Rising values have boosted investor confidence, while also driving buyers to secure strong rental yields before prices get too high.
“In Europe, though, it is the opposite story: falling values are driving demand, with bargain hunters returning to old favourites where places in the sun are no longer out of their reach. Spain and Portugal have both seen demand surge, helped by recent announcements of residency laws designed to attract non-EU buyers. Greece now looks set to follow suit.”
Click here to see the top 40 destinations on TheMoveChannel.com in August 2013.
Notes to Editors  

Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners. 
The website address is http://www.TheMoveChannel.com and the office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.
Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information

Infographic – At a Glance: Greece

Greece

The Greek housing market is all at sea, according to TheMoveChannel.com´s latest At a Glance report.

The infographic, which depicts the activity on the portal over the last year, shows that interest in mainland property is markedly low compared to homes on the islands, which accounted for an overwhelming 64.97 per cent of all enquiries.

The Peloponnese was the most popular region on solid ground, generating 15.49 per cent of enquiries, while Attica received some attention thanks to property in Athens, but northern areas, such as Central Macedonia, received far fewer enquiries. Some, such as West Macedonia, saw no enquiries whatsoever – indicative of a lack of sellers as much as buyer demand.

The islands, in contrast, are visibly full of investors and Crete is king, receiving almost one-third of all Greek property enquiries (29.71 per cent). Indeed, size matters, with the largest Greek island only rivalled by the South Aegean region, which took 19.65 per cent of enquiries.

The infographic also shows that a large number of buyers travel south when hunting for property, with the red bottom half of the chart getting warmer as it stretches into the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, North Aegean property, while more preferable than many mainland markets, attracted 5.72 per cent of enquiries, just one fifth of the number generated by Crete.

Crete´s profile stretches across the infographic to tower over buyer searches as well. Indeed, out of the 10 most searched-for Greek locations on TheMoveChannel.com, a staggering seven are located on the island.

The At a Glance series also charts buyers´ wider search behaviour on Google, revealing that when buyers are looking for Greek property on the internet, they like to look for villas. Indeed, "Greek villas" appeared in 3,000 searches in the last quarter of 2011, far overshadowing searches for "property for sale in Greece". That number almost doubled in the third quarter of 2012 compared to general nationwide searches, which only increased by 710.

Editor Ivan Radford comments: "Crete is undoubtedly the most famous of all the Greek islands. With its climate and tourist appeal, it´s no surprise that buyers are keen to look there for property. What is surprising is just how many shun the mainland altogether, although the lack of enquiries away from the popular hotspots may simply be an indication that there are fewer homeowners looking to sell during the ongoing eurozone crisis when prices are lower.

"While the words ´all at sea´ seem to describe Greece´s housing market in more ways than one, though, the Google search trends paint a promising picture. Searches for "Greek villas" peaked in the third quarter of this year, appearing in 5,900 searches. The curious thing is that the same thing has happened with of the other keywords too: after a year of falling prices, is interest in Greek property starting to reappear?"

Click here to view the full infographic.

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

The website address is http://www.themovechannel.com and the office address is 24 Jack´s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.

Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.
 

Property Inspector: What happens if Greece leaves the euro?

Greece

TheMoveChannel.com’s Property Inspector, taking a closer look at global real estate.

In this month’s podcast, the Property Inspector investigates his biggest mystery yet: the ongoing financial crisis and the rumours of Greece’s exit from the euro. Will the country really leave the single currency? What does that mean for real estate markets? Could it be the end of the world – or even worse, the end of buying property?

The inspector tracks down Ross Michaelides from Buy and Sell Estate Agency in Crete to uncover the answers.

How is Crete’s property market faring in the recession?

“Crete and especially the area we operate in (Agios Nikolaos) is affected by the current Greek recession to far less an extent than other areas in the country. The local economy depends on high quality tourist services and agriculture and is not as dependent on the state economics as other areas. “

How would Greece’s exit from the eurozone affect the market?

“In my opinion it will be good for overseas homeowners. People who have incomes in Sterling or euro and live in a country that has Drachmas will enjoy a better lifestyle for less money. Services and goods are bound to be cheaper and foreign home owners who live and work in our area will also see an increase in business as a return to the Drachma will affect tourism positively.”

What would happen to house prices on the island?

“House prices in our area would not be influenced by this change as much as they will in the rest of the country. The reason is that property is owned by people of various nationalities who tend to price their properties according to the currency and economic situation back home rather than the situation in the local market. For example, properties owned by British citizens in our area that have been put on the market for sale are cheaper than properties owned by Greeks or other Europeans as the British will benefit from the drop of the pound to the euro in the last 5 years.

“There will be quite a few bargains on the market nonetheless but this is already happening as a result of the austerity measures currently taking place in the country.”

You mention bargains – if Greece adopts the Drachma and the currency weakens, will that make the property market more attractive?

“I believe it will. One of the discouraging factors for potential overseas home buyers in our area has been the high cost of living – caused to a high extent by the expensive euro. A return to the Drachma will be a blow to the quality of living for the majority of Greeks and for many companies doing business here but for a homeowner or potential homeowner this could prove a blessing. “

The investigation then led to Mike Saunders, Marketing Director of Greek building company Snobby Homes. The Property Inspector interrogates him on the likelihood of Greece’s decision to depart from the single currency.

Mike, what is the chance of this actually happening? Could Greece leave the eurozone?

“Greece leaving the EU may be a possibility, but it is most definitely NOT a probability – no more than Spain and Italy going back to the Peseta and Lira. Polls show 77% of Greeks want to remain in the EU and have endured three years of extreme austerity. However, during all this time there has been no strategy implemented for growth and consequently the population has been void of all hope. The recent election was a wake-up call for the two main parties to get their act together.”

What kind of effect would Greece leaving the euro have upon foreign property buyers?

“The consensus in Europe now seems to be that growth and austerity measures should be considered in tandem, rather than just total focus on cuts and the EU are gradually working to that effect.  Thus, the question of what COULD happen is purely scaremongering and does nothing at all to promote buying property overseas. Where is the sense in putting off potential purchasers from buying property in Greece or anywhere else in Europe?”

While speculation may not help market confidence, there is still the wider financial impact the situation could have upon the continent’s property markets. The Property Inspector quizzes Robin Haynes, Managing Director of Currency Index, to determine the state of the single currency.

If – and this is a big if – Greece does leave the euro, what happens?

“Who knows? It’s an unprecedented situation. There’s no way that’s been worked out yet for them to leave, but there’s still a month before the Greece elections and I’m sure the European authorities are putting contingency plans in place in case an anti-austerity government is elected, which is when you could possibly be looking at the scenario. “

How could it affect other countries?

“For the rest of the eurozone, it’s hard to know. There is an argument that says like a pack of animals, if the weakest is killed off the rest will become stronger. We have seen the euro strengthen a little bit just after these rumours started to become more realistic, but it depends on how the markets see the Greek withdrawal and how it could affect the rest of the currency zone.”

There are already signs in the UK that mortgage lending is down as well as home buying, both of which are being attributed to the lack of confidence as a result of the eurozone economic climate. How much would Greece leaving the single currency affect the UK?

“Our financial system is exposed to European debt and European banks, but again it depends on how well contained it is within Greece. If it looks like it could spread and Spain may be the new Greece and Portugal may be the new Spain, it could start to affect our economy more than if there’s a managed exit and the problems in other, weaker countries are more contained.”

Could it be good news for property buyers – or would it just be bad news for sellers?

“It could be. You could see very cheap property and holidays and so on in Greece for buyers in the coming months. If you hold assets there, they would devalue relative to the pound but would still have a value in the Greek system. Of course, if you’re selling a property that might be a big concern. There are ways you can hedge your bets a little bit – for example, you can fix your exchange rates in advance with a currency broker, so if you have got money or assets in Greece you’re thinking of bringing them back, it may be worth talking to a broker in advance of the elections to work out your options and protect yourself from any potential devaluation.”

What about those who have money saved in Greek banks?

“The banking system won’t be allowed to collapse. Throughout all the eurozone problems and the financial crisis, no depositor has lost any money in the banks as yet, so I’m sure that will continue to be the case. It’s also worth knowing that if you’re holding money in a British bank, even euros, they’re also covered by the FSA Financial Services Compensation Scheme so there’s no need to panic about money disappearing in the banking system – it’s just a case of making sure you’re not exposed to exchange rates moving against you.”

As the euro has weakened in recent months, British property buyers have already been able to save several per cent on the price of a house in, say, Spain. If the single currency keeps getting weaker as the Greece situation plays out, does any of this benefit UK investors?

“If the euro were to weaken in the coming weeks, you would assume that would be a temporary movement, but if you were thinking of buying a property within a year, you could fix an exchange rate based on what the market does in the next couple of weeks and secure a really good rate that could make your property cheaper when you do buy it in the coming months.”

Listen to the full investigation here.

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

The website address is http://www.TheMoveChannel.com  and the office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN

Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.

Property Inspector image courtesy of Snowshot.

Greece leaves British property buyers in the dark over exchange rates

Greece

As the Greek government finally voted to accept crushing austerity measures yesterday by a majority of 2 to 1 MPs, Robin Haynes, MD of FSA regulated and award-winning Currency Index asks what this means for exchange rates for British buyers of European property?

“The weaker Euro since the crisis escalated in November, has given Brits buying in Europe the best exchange rates since October 2010. A Pound now goes nearly 8% further than it did last summer, and with real estate prices continuing to drop across Europe, overseas property is now as cheap as it has been for many years. With the Eurozone crisis rolling on, Greece must work to accept its bailout package by March 20th to avoid defaulting on its debts.

“The Euro is expected to strengthen once the bailout is finally completed. This is because there will be, temporarily at least, stability in the debt markets, with Greece able to refinance its loans and therefore likely to stay in the Eurozone. The Euro will once again be seen as a safer currency with disaster averted, and if investors buy Euros, the price will rise giving lower exchange rates for buying the single currency.

“The short term outlook is a little harder to predict, giving mixed signals for people looking to exchange sterling to Euros, due to ongoing unrest in Greece and worries that the austerity measures may not actually be implemented. The EU and IMF have had enough of broken promises and funds will only be released to Greece when there is clear commitment to implementing the measures.

“While nobody wants to see riots in Athens, instability in the fragile political and economic environment in Greece may give further weakness in the Euro, and we could therefore see a short term spike in Euro exchange rates which buyers can take advantage of before the situation is resolved and, presumably, the bailout goes ahead.

“Eurozone finance ministers meet on Wednesday, by which time the fragile ruling coalition must say how €325m of the €3.3bn in budget savings will be achieved. Brussels also wants written commitments that the terms of the deal will be implemented, even after an election pencilled in for April.

“With this in mind, many buyers of overseas property are currently looking to fix an exchange rate in advance. This can be achieved by using a Forward Contract from a reputable currency broker, and guarantees a rate now for a transfer up to 2 years in the future, so that once the Greek problems are resolved, the sterling cost of a property elsewhere in Europe cannot increase due to a strengthening Euro.”

For more information on currency exchange and Forward Contracts contact Currency Index today on 0800 043 2623 or visit www.currencyindex.co.uk.

 

Will you be a ‘super trouper’ to Greece this year?

Greece

After the success of the hit film Mamma Mia in 2008, the highest grossing film of all time at the British box office, there can only be a small minority of people who have escaped the draw of the crystal clear waters and the archetypal white wash houses against the piercing blue skies of the southern Mediterranean. Well it appears that Greece hasn’t escaped the attentions of the low cost and leisure airlines either, with several announcements recently to increase numbers of flights to the mainland and islands from the UK. Greece is sure to be the ‘dancing queen’ of 2009.

EasyJet has a number of target destinations in Greece including Santorini, home to one of natures great wonders, the Santorini Caldera, and Corfu, made famous by Gerald Durrell in his novel ‘My Family and Other Animals’. EasyJet will be flying to Santorini three times a week from London Gatwick with Manchester and Bristol adding flights to Corfu to their schedule.
It isn’t just the islands which are proving popular, Monarch has announced new flights to Volos on the mainland, Greece’s third city, famed for some of the best seafood in the country and a good base if one wants to visit the beautiful Sporades islands of Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos. The flights will jet people over from London Gatwick and Manchester every Friday between 15th May and 9th October. EasyJet too have made the addition of a twice-weekly service from Manchester to the historic capital city of Athens starting in August.
The increase in passenger numbers to every corner of Greece will no doubt have a positive knock on effect to the rest of the tourism industry, which will be reflected in greater demand for hotels and rental accommodation. It is a glorious prospect to think of bustling streets of happy holiday makers, something some resorts can only dream of in the unfortunate economic downturn.
London based Piraeus Bank UK, specialists in foreign exchange services and Greek mortgages, are delighted for their clients, many of whom have second homes across Greece. Irini Tzortzoglou, Deputy Manager of the bank comments:
“Greece is fortunate to have been a focus on the big screen in 2008, which I believe, has further positively profiled this diverse and beautiful country. Whether it has been the Mamma Mia effect or other factors leading airlines to increase flights to Greece, Easyjet’s takeover of GB Airways routes for example, it is certainly bright news in what can only be described as a very grey time. As a bank not affected by any toxic debt, unlike most high street banks and institutions, we are remaining positive for what 2009 will bring. With more people travelling to Greece it is a good time for the launch of our competitively priced and transparent foreign exchange service.”
For more information on Piraeus Bank UK services call 0845 603 6538 or visit the website www.piraeusbank.co.uk.
——————— Ends ———————–
Notes to Editor:
Piraeus Bank is Greece’s fastest growing financial institution. Its international banking operations include an extensive branch network of over 540 branches in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Egypt, Albania and USA, and corporate banking and specialist mortgage teams based in the City of London.
Piraeus Bank, London provides a foreign currency exchange service as well as mortgage finance for property in Greece and Bulgaria.
We offer:
§         Competitive Euro loans secured on the Greek or Bulgarian property
§         Specialist help throughout the buying process ~ in English
§         London based staff process your loan, backed by the Bank’s extensive resources in Greece and Bulgaria
§         We provide a quick decision in principle
§         Excellent foreign exchange terms on international fund transfers
(T) 0207 920 6000 or 0845 603 6538 (local rate)
Piraeus Bank S.A., London Branch, 8th Floor, Tower 42
25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HQ

Aristo Developers announces an exciting new look for 2009

Cyprus Greece

Leading developers and real estate experts in Cyprus and Greece, Aristo Developers, have announced an exciting new look to take them into 2009 and beyond. This modern take on the established and trusted brand is all part of Aristo’s continuous efforts to remain at the very fore of the markets in which they specialise.

 

The revised branding encompasses a new logo that builds on the previous, but evolves it into a more modern and recognisable shape – with a bright blue used to symbolise the Mediterranean Sea and escapism, whilst the gold represents the sun and the perfection of the lands in which they develop.

 

Along with the new logo, Aristo have also redefined the property product they sell, with two distinct categories of home for sale – the ‘Aristo Classic’, the well-known range of quality properties currently on offer and the ‘Aristo Signature’, a new collection of high-end projects of luxurious aesthetics and designed by world-famous architects.

 

This is an exciting time for the company, already amongst the elite developers of both Cyprus and Greece, and Managing Director Theodoros Aristodemou agrees that they are looking to a bright future,

 

‘Aristo Developers continues its pioneering and leading course of development, always aiming towards providing to every customer who dreams of owning a home in Cyprus or Greece, the finest the Mediterranean has to offer! We are certain that with an ambitious vision and by preserving the core values of our organisation, as well as by hard work through proper planning, we will achieve it!’

 

For more information on Aristo Developers or the Aristo Classic and Aristo Signature collections please contact 0800 856 3338 or visit www.aristodevelopers.com.

Greece voted second most popular European destination in national poll

Greece

 ‘The isles of Greece… Eternal summer gilds them yet’ – Lord Byron

Amidst the global financial crisis and the multitude of headlines foretelling doom and gloom for the property market, one destination still seems to be riding high amidst all the negativity. The Telegraph Travel Awards 2008 and their poll of over 25,000 readers have placed Greece in second place in their Best European Country ranking – only falling short to the ever-popular Italy – and in turn staking its claim as a growing destination of choice amongst the British.
Greece’s ranking ahead of the golfing paradise of Portugal and the traditional British holiday destination of Spain is a sign that the injection of €40 million by the country’s Ministry of Tourism in 2008 is bearing fruit – with recent figures released by the National Statistical Service of Greece also showing that turnover in the tourism sector has increased by 2.7% in Q2 2008 compared to the same period in the previous year, suggesting that this investment is paying dividends.
In terms of the numbers visiting these Mediterranean shores, most recent figures are also positive, showing that during January to September 2007 arrivals in Greece by UK tourists grew by 6.4% compared to the same period in 2006, according to the Greece Tourism Report Q3 2008. And it is not only investment in the tourism industry that is increasing interest in Greece. Following the summer 2008 hit film ‘Mamma Mia’, inspired by the songs of ABBA and starring A-listers Pierce Brosnan, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Julie Walters, Greece has firmly earned its place in the spotlight, with the world’s leading online hotel booking site Hotels.com claiming that online searches for the country on their site have increased by some 70% since the box-office smash.
With such positive growth in the tourism sector, it is easy to see why Greece is held in such fond regard by foreign visitors – with halcyon blue seas, warm and welcoming locals and historical settings second to none. Nick Edwards, co-author of ‘The Rough Guide to Greece’, agrees,
It´s easy for people to combine cultural sightseeing with lazing around in the sun and water sports” and this of course makes for a good holiday. It is not however, simply the holiday sector that is set to reap the rewards of Greece’s recent positive results, the property market is also set to blossom.
According to Forbes.com Greece is said to be predicting a 2.7% growth in its economy in 2009, a positive figure given the context of the worldwide ‘credit crunch’ and one that will surely be inviting for those looking to buy a home abroad either for personal holidays or as an investment purchase. This is sure to also be encouraged with new flight routes to the country and its islands opening during 2009 by budget airlines looking to cash in on Greece’s increased popularity – for example Jet2’s new Manchester to Crete service launching in May next year.
Irini Tzortzoglou, Deputy Branch Manager of Piraeus Bank UK, who offer mortgages on Greek properties, recognises the potential of 2009 for the Greek property industry,
“It is true that we cannot bury our heads in the sand when it comes to the global financial crisis, however it is important to look at the bigger picture and to recognise that different economies are set to fair differently during this time. Greece, for example, is one destination that is currently riding on a wave of popularity following a good year in 2008 and these positive results should see it through 2009 more securely than many European countries. As a second home destination, Greece has a great deal of potential and is still relatively undiscovered meaning that the ‘true Greek lifestyle’ is still very achievable, and 2009 looks like a good year to discover it.”
Only the dawning of 2009 will truly unveil what the future has in store for Greece but until then the future looks bright.

For more information on Piraeus Bank UK mortgage products and services call 0845 603 6538 or visit the website www.piraeusbank.co.uk.