ATHENS – Greece has been inundated with tourists this year, with more and more wealthy people preferring luxury resorts and even buying properties and now the country’s golf courses are attracting them.
A number of new courses, including designs by famous PGA Tour professional golfers, have been added, with the country providing a near-perfect climate to play the game most of the year.
In an article, The New York Times reported how people with money associate the acquisition of real estate with the desire to spend their free time romping around on a golf course, many of which are linked to golf resorts. luxury.
Michael Valdes, chairman of real estate company eXp Global, said the game is propelling a growing property market that is attracting buyers from countries including Britain, the United States, Scandinavia, Germany and France. , according to the newspaper.
“Golf is a new discovery in Greece and yet another reason for second home buyers and retirees to buy property in a country that already has a lot to offer,” Valdes said. “Ten years ago people would flock to the Algarve in Portugal or southern Spain when they wanted a golf home combined with other entertainment. Now they are turning to Greece.
It’s because of the high quality of life and low cost of living in Greece, although that’s not a factor for those who have the money to spend and the time to devote to what Mark Twain called it “a good walk wasted”.
Valdes said “your money will go a lot further here than in many other countries” as Greece is already a popular destination for foreign visitors and those looking to buy holiday homes and second homes.
Katerina Katopis-Lykiardopulo, an Athens-based hotel and real estate consultant, told the newspaper that the price of a three-bedroom single-family home near the water starts at $350,000, a drop in the bucket for the well-heeled.
“Plus, everyday life is inexpensive when it comes to grocery prices, restaurant meals, and entertainment like concerts and movies,” she said, though you probably can’t. not convince many Greeks struggling with record inflation and a value of 24%. Added tax (VAT) on food, including in supermarkets.
Celebrity chef Maria Loi, who shoots a series for PBS based in Greece, said: “The weather is usually sunny all year round; the food — produce, meats and seafood — is fresh and healthy,” Loi said. “Also, the locals couldn’t be friendlier and the infrastructure is solid with good roads and hospitals.”
Site Sothebysrealty.com said searches for Greece and the golf lifestyle rose 205% from January to July this year, compared to the same period in 2021, the report adds.
Savvas Savvaidis, president and chief executive of Greece Sotheby’s International Realty, said the company achieved $50 million in home sales in Greece in 2022 in areas or developments where golf is a primary interest, compared to $10 million. million dollars in 2017.
Most of the golf house market in Greece is concentrated in the Peloponnese, but Glyfada, a suburb of Athens, and the island of Crete, are among the places where the wealthy and the golf players congregate.