Archive for GKTIZEIN thoughts

Golden Visa program growing rapidly

Greece’s special Golden Visa investment and residen- cy program has soared since the start of the year, reflecting growing investor confidence in the country after it successfully exited its third financial support program this summer.According to recent data, 3,154 residency permits have been issued under the program through the end of July – more than all of 2017 combined – making Greece’s Golden Visa initiative among the most popu- lar such programs in Europe. Applications are up 40% from a year ago and Enterprise Greece has been helping to promote the program, most recently with its participation at the International Citizenship Investment Property Fair in Cairo.

Launched in 2013 during the depth of Greece’s economic crisis, the Golden Visa program has come to prominence in the past two years amid waves of new investors from China, Russia and Turkey, among other places. Drawn by Greece’s growth prospects, political stability, quality of life and attractive asset prices, the Golden Visa has surpassed other investment and residency schemes in countries like Cyprus or Portugal.

The program grants a permanent residence permit – and access to 26 Schengen-area countries to individuals and their families who invest a minimum of €250,000 in fixed assets, such as real estate, in Greece. The program was recently amended to include investments of €400,000 or more in liquid financial assets as well. Golden Visa permit holders have invested an estimated €1.5 billion in Greek assets so far.

sourceenterprice greece

 

News in Brief

Growth Prospects

Greek think tank IOBE sees economic growth accelerating to 2.1% this year from an estimated 1.3% rate in 2017. The estimate is broadly in line with the official Greek government and Europe- an Commission forecasts, both of which see GDP growing at a 2.5% rate this year. Greece’s revised 2017 GDP data is due to be released in early March.

Tesla Greece

Leading U.S. electric automobile manufacturer Tesla is setting up an R&D facility in Greece to tap local scientific expertise in electric motor technology. The facility is expected to employ

More American Tourists in 2018

The U.S. State Department has included Greece in its top category of safe destinations for American travelers to visit under its newly created travel advisory system. U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said on Twitter: “I’m looking forward to seeing even more American tourists here in Greece in the year ahead.”

Tourism in the Peloponnese gains momentum

Tourism in the Peloponnese is gaining momentum, which is driven by the area’s upgraded infrastructure, the development of thematic travel products and promotional activities run by regional authorities.

Kalamata City, Photo: mythicalpeloponnese.gr

Ermionida, Argolis Photo: G.Ktizein

More specifically, the area was recently included among the 50 best places to travel in 2018 by the Travel+Leisure Magazine, along with Buenos Aires in Argentina, Marrakesh in Morocco and the Fiji Islands.

Housing Market Prospects

Domestic demand for housing is expected to be sluggish, since: (i) household disposable income is not expected to increase significantly in the near future; (ii) the unemployment rate is forecast to remain in double digit figure until 2030 (according to the European Commission, the 2015 Ageing Report, January 2017); and (iii) the extraordinary tax imposed on real estate property looks set to become permanent.

Given that domestic demand for housing is not expected to recover soon, it is worth exploring the potential demand originating from abroad.

Chart 22 shows that, in terms of value, housing in Greece is attractive compared to other Mediterranean countries though not to South – eastern European ones. However, according to the Global Property Guide, rental yields remain moderate and are lower than those in neighbouring countries such as Romania , Bulgaria and Cyprus.

In order to attract foreign investors, Greece offers a residence permit (valid for five years with the possibility of renewal) to non – Europe an citizens who buy a house worth more than €250,000 . In addition, in 2010 the real estate transfer tax was reduced from 10% to 3% on the property’s fair value. The above incentives resulted in partially revamping residential investment interest in 2016, with FDI for residential property increasing to €250 million from €186 million in 2015.

Overall, the recovery of the housing market in Greece is largely related to improving the investment climate and reducing tax burdens . Still, given that domestic demand for housing is expected to remain subdued, residential investment is not expected to support GDP growth to the degree it did before the economic crisis. At the same time, any demand for housing coming from abroad is directly related to the restoration of confidence in the economy.

source:
part Alpha Bank/greece economic and financial outlook 

The total  contribution of tourism to GDP is expected to increase in 2017

In 2017 tourist arrivals are expected to hit a new record high and tourism receipts to recover from last year’s decline , as Greece is considered to be a safer destination compared to its neighbouring peers and is offering high quality hospitality. (Chart 17).

According to the latest Bank of Greece data , tourist arrivals (excluding cruises) in the first eight months of 2017 increased by 9.9% yoy, compared to an increase of just 1.3% in the same period of 2016, while travel rece ipts increased by 9.1%, compared to a sharp drop by – 9.1 % in the first eight months of 2016.

Especially in August 2017 , tourism receipts increased by 16.4 % yoy (from – 13.0 % yoy in August 2016 ) and arrivals by 14.3 % yoy (from +1 .8% in 2016 ). In August alone, foreign visitor arrivals reached 5.8 million – the highest number ever for this month (Chart 18).

According to Greek Tourism Confederation estimates (May 2017), in 2017 tourist arrivals (including cruises) are expected to reach approximately 28.5 million and receipts to increase by 7.5% yoy. In addition, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the total contribution of tourism to GDP in 2017 is expected to increase by 6.9% to approximately 20%.

source:
part Alpha Bank/greece economic and financial outlook

Buying Greek Property

Foreign demand for Greek real estate is soaring as overseas investors are drawn by attractive asset prices and amid signs the Greek real estate market has bottomed out after years of decline. Data show that foreign investment in Greek property has more than doubled since last year to well over €1 billion euros, while property-linked residency visas issued under Greece’s Golden Visa program are up by a third and recently surpassed 2,000 in total. The vast majority of foreigners are buying properties in and around Athens, say industry sources, with investors coming from China, Turkey, Russia, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. After falling by as much as 50% from their pre-crisis peak, Greek property prices have now stabilized, data show.

Source: National Bank of Greece
(https://www.nbg.gr/greek/the-group/press-office/e-spot/reports/Documents)

Record year for Greek tourism

Greek tourism is set for another record
year in 2017 with the country on track to welcome 30 million visitors. In the last three years, Greece has seen a sharp increase in investment in its tourism industry, which accounts for roughly a sixth of the economy and last year brought in more than €13 billion in
revenue.

Over the next three to five years, more
than €4 billion are expected to be invested in approximately 200 tourism related projects around the country. “For 2017, the first signs of the market are positive,” according to a recent National Bank of Greece report, which estimates that the country needs some €22 billion in tourism-related investments over the next
five years.

TARGETED TOURISM INVESTMENT COULD INCREASE RECEIPTS BY 40% OVER 5 YEARS

+¤1.2 Bln in HOTELS
annually for 5 years

+¤3.3 Bln in INFRASTRUCTURE
annually for 5 years

+5.5 Mln TOURISTS
annually after investment

+¤5 Bln in RECEIPTS
annually after investment

Source: National Bank of Greece

(https://goo.gl/TgoxhC)

Ερμιονίδα- «Σωσίβιο» για την περιοχή το φυσικό της κάλλος, λείπει η σοβαρή και συστηματική προώθηση…»

Αναδημοσιεύουμε από την εφημερίδα “Ενημέρωση Πελοποννήσου”

Έρευνα: Κώστας Πρώιμος

Με αιτία και αφορμή την απερχόμενη τουριστική σεζόν καταγράψαμε τον απολογισμό της, μέσω των συνομιλιών μας, με τέσσερις γνωστούς επιχειρηματίες, που δραστηριοποιούνται στην Ερμιόνη και το Πόρτο – Χέλι.

Το κύριο εξαγόμενο συμπέρασμα της ακόλουθης έρευνας,  αποτελεί η διαπίστωση πως η «Τουριστική» Ερμιονίδα, παρά τις σοβαρές ελλείψεις σε αναπτυξιακές υποδομές, καταφέρνει μέσω παρατεταμένης ύφεσης να επιβιώνει, χάριν πρωτίστως στο φυσικό της κάλλος και τις ιδιαιτερότητές της, που την καθιστούν θελκτική, σε όσους την επισκέπτονται είτε συστηματικά, είτε για πρώτη φορά…

Πάντως, εν όψει κοσμογονικών εξελίξεων, στο γεωπολιτικό χάρτη και τα διεθνή  οικονομικά συστήματα, ο έμπειρος επιχειρηματίας κ. Παναγιώτης Γούτος,  «κρούει τον κώδωνα του κινδύνου», ισχυριζόμενος πως είναι επιτακτική ανάγκη, η δημιουργία ενός ενιαίου Τουριστικού φορέα προώθησης και προβολής της Ερμιονίδας, αλλά και των γειτονικών νησιών Σπετσών και Ύδρας… συνθέτοντας ένα «μαγικό»  τουριστικό τρίγωνο…

 

Παναγιώτης Γούτος- (GODAI):  «Η εφετινή χρονιά για την επιχείρησή μας που αποτελεί και μια καινούρια επένδυση στην περιοχή, μπορώ να πω ότι ήταν καλή και φαίνεται πλέον ότι «πατάμε» γερά για τρίτη συνεχόμενη σεζόν, χάριν στην επιμονή μας για ποιότητα και παροχή υψηλών υπηρεσιών… Θέλω όμως να επισημάνω πως,  κανένα GODAI  ή άλλη τουριστική μονάδα,  δεν μπορούν από μόνες τους να σηματοδοτήσουν την περαιτέρω ανάκαμψη της περιοχής μας. Καθώς δεν υπάρχουν  υποδομές προς αυτή την κατεύθυνση, ούτε και οργανωμένο marketing από τους καθ΄ ύλιν αρμοδίους…

Avoiding Capital Controls: Real Estate Revenues From Foreign Buyers Deposited in Banks Abroad

056_MG_4466The majority of revenues of Greek luxury real estate transactions acquired by foreign nationals remain in banks outside of Greece, sources have reported.

In fact, many of the Greek sellers are even prepared to travel abroad in order to close contracts and open foreign bank accounts where they then deposit their profits. A major motivation for sellers opening bank accounts when dealing with the luxury real estate market and foreign buyers is to avoid capital controls imposed on Greek banks.

Unfortunately that means that the money spent on luxury Greek properties by foreigners never enters the Greek credit system and only some of it enters the Greek economy, but is impossible to track back to its original origin.

After the imposition of the capital controls [at end-June 2015], the cases of sellers requesting that money be deposited abroad have multiplied. Of course such transactions are entirely legitimate and taxed in Greece, but the revenues remain in other countries.

www.gktizein.gr