Attorneys in Greece – Lawyers in Athens & Thessaloniki

Buying House in Greece: Legal fundamentals of buying a house or property

Abraam Kosmidis


Abraam Kosmidis
Lawyer since 1992
Real Estate Law, Commercial Law, Company Law,
Business Start-up, Mergers & Acquisitions

Paradisical islands, antique cities, and breathtaking landscapes: Greece has been one of the top tourist destinations for millions of travelers year after year. Many people dream of settling down in Greece or acquiring a holiday realty. Due to the financial crisis, the prices of Greek property have plummeted massively, partly up to 50%, which makes buying a house in Greece currently even more compelling for private citizens.

Our law office KPAG Kosmidis & Partners is your experienced point of contact for buying a house in Greece. We will gladly advise you on real estate questions and support you if you plan on acquiring property as a foreigner.

Buying real estate in Greece has proven to be very worthwhile and lucrative – an increasing number of Germans and English speaking foreigners invest in Greek property. Apart from maisonettes in major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki, luxury property on heavily frequented islands such as Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos, Corfu, or Santorini as well as vacation residences on the Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands or Chalkidiki is booming. Especially short-term rentals to tourists are a promising opportunity for handling Greek real estate.

In which regions is buying a house in Greece possible and reasonable?

Buying a house in Greece means having the agony of choice: The country is tremendously multifaceted and impresses with its rich history as well as its modern infrastructure. In the following, we will present you the most popular regions for buying a house in Greece:

  • • Athens & Attica: Attica is the most heavily populated area in Greece, here you will find among other cities the Greek capital Athens, which is steeped in history. As the first democracy ever, the polis flourished especially during the 5th and 4th century B.C. and was the place where philosophers like Plato and Socrates lived, wrote, and left a monumental heritage. These days the cityscape unites traditions as well as modernity and offers everyone who plans on buying a house in Greece plenty of choice. Albeit the prices for property in Athens have been rising again due to the high demand, they are still rather low compared to housing prices in Germany.
  • • Cyclades:The Cyclades are an archipelago in the Aegean Sea and especially popular with tourists. Whether Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, or Syros – the spectacular landscape as well as the sheer number of sights and attractions draw a great many travelers every year. Those who consider buying a house in Greece on the Cyclades are independent of hotel bookings and able to reach the mainland as well as Athens swiftly thanks to the excellent connection via ferry.
  • • Peloponnese: The peninsula south of the Greek mainland counts roughly 1 million inhabitants – historically significant are most notably the cities of Corinth and Sparta as well as the Sanctuary of Zeus in Ellis, Olympia. Thanks to the vast number of bridges, Peloponnese is well connected to the mainland. Those who are interested in buying a house in Greece will find that houses and mansions with ocean view are especially in demand here – these properties are often acquired as secondary homes.
  • • Crete: Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is not only popular with tourists due to its 300 days of sunshine a year, but also known for its agriculture – Crete is the biggest olive oil exporter in the EU. The island offers touristically developed places as well as pristine nature off the beaten track. Also, the prices for buying a house in Greece may differ widely on Crete: In the west of Crete, you will find more expensive property than in the east. Holiday realty is an interesting investment choice in particular, either for expert investors or for private buyers.
  • • Corfu: The second largest Ionian Island is considered to be one of the wealthiest regions in Greece and has been a favored travel destination – one of the most well-known tourists was the Austrian empress Elisabeth (Sisi). From a condo in one of the picturesque villages to a holiday mansion with a view of the Ionian Sea – the property range on Corfu is very diverse – any prospect, whether private buyer or investor, will find a suitable option for buying a house in Greece.
  • • Thessaloniki: The second most important Greek metropolis in the province of Macedonia offers a very unique flair: It has been a melting pot of different cultures for several centuries now. Thanks to its rich history Thessaloniki is one of the most popular travel destinations – as a hub to the Balkan, the city is also an interesting location for companies which are looking for a central place of business. Due to the high demand and the excellent infrastructure, the housing prices in Thessaloniki have been rising lately – nevertheless, property in the city is still greatly profitable for different investors who consider buying a house in Greece.
  • • Chalkidiki: The beautiful region in northern Greece is famous for its breathtaking beaches as well as its rich, green landscape. The peninsula in the shape of a hand with three fingers is just one hour away from Thessaloniki and offers locals and tourists alike a broad variety of free time activities. As the birthplace of Aristotle (he was born in Stagyra), the teacher of Alexander the Great, Chalkidiki also impresses with its interesting history. Therefore, the region is always worth a visit – and an excellent location for buying a spacious beach home at the coast.

No matter which region you are interested in – the law firm KPAG Kosmidis & Partners is your trusted partner for all legal matters and offers you reliable services if you plan on buying a house a Greece.

What types of property are available for purchase in Greece?

If you are interested in buying a house in Greece, you have a variety of options. When choosing a property, the intended purpose is one of the key factors: Do you want to acquire this realty to live in Greece, do you plan on investing or are you looking for a new location for your business in Greece?

  • • Residential estates: Whether in vibrant cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki, in tranquil villages on the mainland or on one of Greece’s many islands – an own property is the ideal haven and resort. Depending on the location, this can be about a flat or apartment which function as a second home, as well as a house or a detached villa – often this includes a spectacular view of the landscape. In contrast to other European countries, the housing prices in Greece are for the most part more favorable – as investment property, e.g., for tourist rental, the apartments and houses achieve a good return on investment.
  • • Land: Those who want to realize their individual ideas might consider buying land in Greece. Half-finished houses are quite common on the Greek real estate market –potential buyers can acquire them at a low price and build their very own dream house.
  • • Commercial property: Newly established foreign businesses or those that are expanding benefit from the attractive conditions and low administrative barriers in Greece as well as from the geostrategic location in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. From office blocks to logistics centers to productions sites – we help you with the purchase of commercial property as well as the legal execution of your investment plans in Greece.

Benefit from our experience and specialized expertise as well as our broad network when you consider buying a house in Greece! Whether you are looking for a vacation home, a second home or commercial property – we will provide you with detailed information about the specifics when buying real estate and will reliably represent you on-site.

Buying house in Greece: What you need to know about the house purchase, taxation & more

Looking at the Greek real estate market, the demand is massively exceeding the offer. Lucky buyers should be careful though, since more than a few houses show construction defects. Hence you should always inspect your targeted house by the shore, the villa in Chalkidiki and the Peloponnese as well as the maisonette in Athens or Thessalonica in the most careful way before proceeding with the purchase. A construction engineer is able to provide information about the structure and may point out potential risks. We will gladly offer you our comprehensive network of cooperation partners, which includes qualified construction engineers. When buying a house in Greece, look out for competent and local support!

As a basic principle, you should rely on competent assistance on-site when you are buying property in Greece. A Greek lawyer from our office is well acquainted with the prevalent real estate law as well as the difficulties and pitfalls of the local real estate market and will advise you directly on-site. We will help to remove legal ambiguities and collect all information and records, which you will need for your property purchase.

Buying a house in Greece: You will need these documents

As a citizen of the EU, you will need the following documents if you are buying property in Greece:

  • • Greek tax ID
  • • ID card / Passport
  • • Attestation of the lawyers ‘agency fee („parastasi“)
  • • Proof by the responsible tax office regarding the paid real estate transfer tax

We will gladly help you apply for a Greek tax ID or obtain the different attestations and documents.

Utilities & property taxation in Greece

Although property prices in Greece are currently comparatively low, you should never neglect the utilities as well as taxation of your real estate. Our experienced specialized lawyers are at your service to help, give advice and inform you about potential costs which could potentially arise when buying a house in Greece.

  • • Closing costs: The closing costs consist of different positions. Apart from the real estate tax (3,09% of the purchase price), notarial recording costs (approx. 1% of the value of the property) as well as attorneys’ fees (approx. 1% of the purchase price) must be paid. Moreover, further costs incur for the realtor (approx. 2% of the purchase price) as well as the entry in the Land Register resp. land registry office.
  • • Taxation of the property purchase: When buying a house in Greece, real estate transfer tax, VAT and speculation tax incur. The VAT is calculated at 24% of the purchase price and concerns newly constructed properties for which the building permit was issued after 1.1.2006; it should be noted that property purchases are exempted from VAT until 31.12.2022, as per a special exemption granted by the government to heat up the real estate market. In cases where VAT does not incur, the property buyer is obligated to pay the real estate transfer tax which is 3.09% of the purchase price (or the tax value, whichever of the two is higher).
  • • The speculation tax affects only the seller.
  • • Real estate tax: Since 2014 the standardized real estate tax „ENFIA“ applies for property in Greece. It will be calculated individually for every property. We will gladly inform you about the specific rate of taxes, how they are composed, and which potential costs may arise for you.

KPAG Kosmidis & Partners is your qualified partner for buying a house in Greece

Since 1992 already KPAG Kosmidis & Partners with headquarters in Thessaloniki and offices in Athens as well as Munich (service office) operates as a law firm in international legal matters. Our focus is on cross-border consulting concerning German-Greek as well as English-Greek legal issues, which is underlined by the individual backgrounds of our attorneys.

All our associates are bi- or multilingual and partially in possession of dual admissions. Therefore, we have a perfect understanding of the different countries’ mentalities and can offer quick solutions for the questions and problems of our clients. International companies which settle down in Greece appreciate our expertise and rely on our decades-long experience when seeking to expand. Naturally, we also advice you in other law sectors such as commercial law, corporate law, tax law as well as administrative law. As an Greek inheritance lawyer, we furthermore help you with matters regarding Greek inheritance law.

If you are buying a house in Greece, you can rely on our competent lawyers who are specialized in real estate law. As a lawyer in Greece, we accompany you throughout the whole buying process and ensure that your purchase goes well anywhere in Greece. Call us now – we are looking forward to hearing from you!

Buying a house in Greece – Overview

The sales contract

A notarial, precise sales contract is required to transact any real estate businesses in Greece. This contract describes the object of purchase in detail, states the price and its due date, determines the rights of withdrawal and contractual penalties for delays in payment and/or the withdrawal of contract as well as the contract execution for achieving the transfer of property in the Land Register. Generally, a lawyer is necessary to conclude the notarial contract.

Land Register in Greece

Similar to German law and according to the Greek Civil Code, a change of ownership is executed at the land office responsible for the respective property. The payment of the purchase price or the remaining purchase price is to be made immediately with the notarial minutes and is registered in the notarial transcript. The payment of the real estate transfer tax is required for the change of ownership, which is usually conducted by notaries.

Property Register in Greece

The new land office (in Greece Ktimatologio) is administered similarly to the one in Germany and responsible for specific communities. However, the Greek Land Registers have been and still are partially not recorded according to plots but according to owners (in Greece called Ipothikofilakio). During the research of the Land Register, it is examined if, when and through which legal act the potential owner has become the owner, and if any charges, land easements, legal disputes, etc. are recorded. To remedy any difficulties which may arise during the investigation of ownership, a modernization of the Land Registry practice has been determined. This reorganization has been summarized under the term „Ktimatologio” in Greece.

Ktimatologio / Land Register in Greece

The Greek Land Register, which has been under development for quite some time now and involves – according to German understanding – the management by plots and not by owners, the public faith of the plot’s owner etc., has been concluded and come into effect in several Greek regions. In this process, the Greek Land Register / Ktimatologio has been implemented in phases.

Mandatory representation by lawyers regarding real estate sales contracts in Greece

In Greece, the mandatory representation by lawyers regarding the notarial protocolling of sales contracts exists only for the acquiring party and if the purchase price is higher than 80.000 €. Since 01.01.2014 there is no mandatory representation by lawyers required in Greek law. Nevertheless, the commission of an attorney is especially recommended for the acquiring party since a lawyer conducts the research of the Land Register and prepares the contract. If mandatory representation by lawyer exists, compulsory charges must be paid to the local Law Society when concluding a notarial sales contract assisted by a lawyer.

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FAQ Buying house in Greece – All information at a glance


Why is buying a house in Greece worth it?

Greece is one of the most attractive real estate markets in Europe and as such not only popular with private buyers but also with companies. Of course, the decrease of prices – due to the financial crisis – is one of the key factors here, but the immense range of different properties on sale draws a lot of investors to the Euro and EU country Greece as well. Thanks to its great economic importance as well as its flourishing tourism industry, Greece enjoys a high rentability right now.

How can I buy property in Greece?

If you consider buying a house in Greece, the purchase of property is safest when relying on a legal representative on-site. Thus, it is possible to coordinate the appropriate examination of the property, and to have a reliable support while concluding the notarial sales contract. In this case, a lawyer is not only recommended but also vital. A law firm with multilingual representatives which can advise you on cross-border matters and has relevant experiences with the Greek real estate law is your ideal choice here.

What types of realties are available for purchase in Greece?

In Greece, you can find essentially every type of property for sale – whether you are looking for a holiday home by the shore, apartments in tourist areas, a city flat or a company building. In many cases these properties need renovation or a legalization process for building extensions and alterations, wherefor a detailed examination on-site is indispensable. KPAG Kosmidis & Partners has recourse to a wide network of local specialists and experts. Thus, we can help you identify the right realty and assist you in buying a house.

What do I have to consider when buying a house in Greece?

When buying a house in Greece, it is crucial to rely on an expert who can advise you in English on all matters regarding the Greek real estate law, who represents you on-site in Greece and who draws on long-term experience in the transactions of cross-border legal issues. A respective dual admission for English speaking countries as well as Greece is also recommended. KPAG Kosmidis & Partners offers you exactly these attributes.

How do you support me in buying a house in Greece?

As a Greek lawyer with long-term experience and expertise in the Greek real estate law, we have advised a lot of businesses as well as private buyers on buying a house in Greece. In the process, we take care of the coordination on-site as well as the necessary research of the Land Register, let experienced construction engineers examine the property and compile all important documents you will need for the purchase. Furthermore, we take care of the notarial conclusion of the sales contract and guarantee you a safe, legal, and untroubled purchase. We will advise you in English – get in touch with us!