A look at three Greek Island property hotspots for buyers seeking a second home or permanent move. The Greek Islands are still a bit of a mystery in the overseas property market and much of this can be put down to little proper promotion of the islands for property buyers. Hundreds of days of sunshine every year, friendly people, low cost of living, easy access and affordable properties in an idyllic location - should add up to make every buyer interested.
This is the most popular of the islands with UK and Dutch property purchasers; and in particular with retirees. You can buy a renovation project from 25,000 euros or a newly built family home in private gardens for 200,000 euros. This is the largest of the islands and the most southerly. There is pretty much no industry so the seas are really clear and there is much organic produce. Crete is also the most popular choice with tourists. With two international airports, both sides of Crete are well served and receive numerous tourists.
The majority of buyers head for the western coast, particularly Chania and Rethymnon where there are the best beaches and it is still unspoilt in the areas around the two towns. The area east of Chania has become increasingly popular as it is especially beautiful and dotted with tons of little villages where you are likely to be able to pick up a bargain.
There has been increased buying activity in the area around Rethymnon and the town itself has many swish bars and restaurants, together with a lovely sandy beach. It is worth checking out some of the old little villages in this area if you are looking for a property in a small fishing village with a laid back ambience. One of the main attractions for property buyers is that this area is within an hour of both international airports on the island.
Tip: Kolymbari, which you will find west of Chania, is up and coming and has good property prices.
There are any number of pretty villages inland where you'll find traditional stone houses just ripe for renovation.
For those seeking a bit more hustle and bustle, the eastern side of the island is busier with more tourists. Officially the "season" ends in October but the winter on Crete is mild and you'll even see people swimming in the sea late November.
A long-standing favourite with all overseas property buyers, this is the second largest island in Greece and very busy with tourists. With such an established tourism industry, most of the island is well developed.
Particularly popular with the buy to let set, due to the vast number of holiday makers, where owners can potentially make good rental returns. Popular locations are generally in the north east and north west of the island, especially on the coast. A little away from Gouvia has recently been more sought after as the prices are slightly lower, being just inland, yet only about ten minutes from Corfu Town.
The island is also easily accessible with numerous charter flights. The weather is good in summer as there is generally a breeze, keeping it more temperate than some of the more southerly islands.
Property is in the main high end villas, which you will find in the villages along the north eastern coast. At the other end of the price range, there are cheap apartments in the resorts, plus plenty of village properties for renovation.
This large island has a large expat population of many nationalities. Most buyers prefer the northern part of the island, which is less developed for tourists. Those seeking village houses to renovate head for the west coast where you can still find a one bedroom traditional home with sea views for under 85,000 euros. This is a popular and cosmopolitan island. There is a lot of property available here, from apartments in modern resorts to townhouses and farmhouses. Fortunately, planning has been strictly controlled so you won't find mass developments with hundreds of apartments. Any developments are on a small scale and more 'boutique' with low density and of traditional Greek design.
Tsambika and Lindos have become very popular and prices there tend to be expensive. Lindos is consiered the jewel in the crown of the island, with excellent amenities and super connections to the whole island, and property in the village itself is consequently pricey. Buyers tend to look just outside the village, where prices are slightly lower. A studio would be around 70,000 euros and a family villa about 220,000 euros.
Those wanting a really unspoit area could take a look at Genadi. There is a massive expanse of beach with tavernas and the village is traditional with all amenities remaining open all year. This is starting to become a very popular area for Rhodes property buyers.