Types of land plots in Greece

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Basic information

Building a house in Greece begins with selection of a construction site: whether it will be a villa on the first line from the sea, an apartment in a busy tourist village or a secluded cottage far from civilization - you are the one who makes a decision. But when choosing a location, legal aspects cannot be underestimated as there are specific regulations and construction requirements for each category of land in Greece. Therefore, selection of a site for building a house is a whole science, with its own intricacies and nuances.

Land plot categories

In order to understand the basics of Greek land management, it is necessary to understand the difference between the existing categories of land. Types of land in Greece are different from the categories we are used to. At the same time, it is the plot category that is crucial in estimating its construction potential and cost.

Ikopedo is a piece of land belonging to settlements. The main advantage of Ikopedo lies in quite high building coefficient, being, however, significantly individual for each plot. Depending on the region and urban development regulations, the construction coefficient of a plot can range from 0.4 to 2.4 - and in some cases even exceed this value. Our specialists will help you identify these details for each specific plot.
Agrotemahio is a land plot located outside the settlements. Using the terminology familiar to us, agrotemahio can be attributed to agricultural lands. However, the comparison is not entirely precise, since it is allowed to build residential buildings, complexes and even commercial real estate on agrotemahio. The construction coefficient for this type of land is certainly much lower and also depends on many additional factors mentioned above.

Selection of a land plot

Before buying a land plot in Greece, it is necessary to carefully study its location and construction potential. In addition to the type of plot, there are several more important characteristics that determine its potential, as well as general principles of land turnover, without which it is difficult to navigate the intricacies of Greek land law. Knowledge of these principles is necessary to profitably invest funds, involving construction potential of the land to the maximum.

In matters of land use, the chief distinction of the Greek legislation can be defined as follows: Russian and the CIS countries apply the “no less than” principle to construction, whereas Greece operates on the opposite principle - “no more than”. The explanation is pretty simple: due to the location and relatively small size of the country, there is not much land suitable for construction. Therefore, majority of restrictions are aimed at saving the available resources.

What you need to know

Land use - when searching for a land plot under construction, it is important to consider the types of permitted use. The most common of them are for housing construction and creation of tourism infrastructure. In Greece, permitted land use depends on the area within which the land plot is located. As a rule, each area has its own rules and regulations, but one area can be divided into zones, each having specific types of permitted use. Learn more about the use of land in a certain zone from Greece Invest specialists (https://greece-invest.eng/contacts).

When selecting plots for construction it is worth studying the urban development plan of the area. Agrotemahio lands located near settlements, can be subsequently included in the urban development plan, which leads to urbanization of the plots. In this case, their category will be changed to ikopedo, significantly increasing build-up ratio and affecting other criteria: coverage ratio, minimum area for building a house, height, intended use and, definitely, the plot price.

Terrain - it is necessary to take into account that construction within the plots with severe elevation difference may require significant costs for earthworks and retaining walls.

Footprint area - before buying a plot, it is necessary to define the footprint area - part of the plot within which it is allowed to erect buildings. On agrotemahio setback from the plot boundaries must be min.15 meters, which means that footprint area is somewhere in the center of the plot. It may turn out that there will be no sea view from the part of the plot where you can build.

Setback from the plot boundaries must be min.15 m.

Traffic convenience - building a road is very expensive, in addition, the road is not your property, which means that apart from extra costs, you need to obtain relevant road permits. Thus, if there is no asphalt road to the plot the first is to learn who is the owner of the road part that requires resurfacing. Also, you should assess if the construction machinery can reach the plot by this road.

Archaeological zone - it is necessary to check whether the given area belongs to the archaeological zone. If the plot turns out to be the area of archeological interest, you will have to notify the archaeological service of construction commencement and a representative from archaeological service will be present at pit excavation.

Remoteness of utility lines - in the case of ikopedo, all utility lines, as a rule, are already available or very close, but when buying agrotemahio, the distance to the nearest electric pole and water source must be verified as utility engineering costs will entirely become your burden. As a rule, there is no sewerage organized within agrotemahio and cesspools are used. During construction, our company uses more advanced and environmentally friendly solutions - a biological treatment system.

The cost of a land plot is an important criterion, which is considered in calculation of the property cost upon submitting documents for a residence permit for property owners.

150 sq.m. project on 750 sq.m. agrotemahio

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Land for hotel construction

The construction of hotels is allowed both on ikopedo and agrotemahio. In the first case, the built-up area remains the same as for residential real estate. When building a hotel or other commercial real estate on agrotemahio, the development ratio is much higher and usually amounts to 20%, in special nature protection zones it can be 10%. However, not every agrotemahio is suitable for building a hotel. To obtain a permit to build a hotel on agrotemahio, its area must be 10.000–15.000 (depending on the region), and the land use purpose must be tourism. Plot engineering and construction expertise shall be performed before purchase to confirm the right to implement the design project within the allocated plot.

Assess the following

- Type of land
- Build-up ratio
- Land use type
- Communication and utility lines
- Traffic convenience
- Terrain features

Plots for construction

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Popular questions about construction in Greece

Plots in Greece are measured in stremmas. 1 stremma is equivalent to 10 acres, 1000 sq. m or 0.1 ha.

Yes, you can. You can build several houses and sell them with adjacent plots. 4.000 sq.m. are required to obtain a building permit. Completed houses can be further sold with adjoining plots subdividied at your discretion.

For 4.000 sq.m. "AGROTEMAHIO" build-up area is 200 sq.m.
For "AGROTEMAHIO" of 4.000 to 8.000 sq.m. build-up area is 200 sq.m. + the remaining area is multiplied by 0.02.
For "AGROTEMAHIO" of over 8.000 sq.m. build-up area is 280 sq.m. + the remaining area is multiplied by 0.01.
The development factor for commercial real estate (hotel, villas for rent, offices, etc.) is 0.2.
4.000 = 200 sq.m.
6.000 = 200 + (6.000 - 4.000) * 0.02 = 240 sq.m.
8.000 = 280 sq.m.
10.000 = 280 + (10.000 - 8.000) * 0.01 = 300 sq.m.
20.000 = 280 + (20.000 - 8.000) * 0.01 = 400 sq.m.
Maximum 2 floors + basement can be built on "AGROTEMAHIO".
In addition to residential meters, the construction of a basement floor is allowed at a height not exceeding 2 meters.
In order to increase the development ratio, large plots are most often divided into plots of 4,000 sq.m. For example, a plot of 20.000 sq.m. can be divided into 5 plots of 4.000 sq.m. to obtain building permit for 200 sq.m. within each plot i.e. 5 * 200 = 1.000 sq.m. For comparison, on a whole plot of 20.000 sq.m. it is possible to build only 400 sq.m. However, according to the new law, not every plot can be divided, but only those adjacent to the road.

For agricultural plots that have been divided into several segments, the owner is entitled to sell both the entire plot and individual segments. If the plot is already minimum segment and you sell part of it, you will not be able to obtain a building permit yourself, so if, for example, you bought a 40 acre plot and want to build a house on 20 acres, and sell the remained land, it is recommended to first obtain a construction permit for two houses, and then sell part of the plot with already issued permit.

This is a mutually beneficial business arrangement, popular in Greece, when the plot owner provides his land for development to a construction company, which, in turn, undertakes to build it at its own expense, and upon completion of the construction, the owner of the land receives ownership of part of the buildings. As a rule, the share is pro rata agreed by the parties based on the land price and is expressed as percentage.

The cost of electrical installation is paid by the owner, but is carried out only by public power corporation ΔΕΗ, which also determines the cost of work depending on the required number of poles and transformers, as well as work complexity. The approximate cost can reach up to 30 euros per meter.

The cost of laying water pipeline to the plot is approximately 5 to 10 euros per 1 sq.m.

Obtaining a drilling permit is the issue of immense complexity as there shall be no water pipeline or other well within a radius of several kilometers. In actual practice, many wells are drilled illegally, without a permit or with a geothermal permit. Such an illegal well can be further legalized by declaring it in the relevant organization. The cost of drilling and well equipment is approximately 100 euros per meter.

We highly do not recommend buying a plot without engineering and construction expertise. Standard procedure is: our engineer first reviews all documents to determine all building codes applicable to a given land, then makes a site visit with a topographer to set the plot boundaries and construction footprint. Engineer analyzes soil, terrain and other construction-related details. This expert assessment costs 200 euros, but it can save you tens of thousands.

You can, however, you need to understand that a building permit is issued for a specific architectural design, and in any case, you will need to modify it to suit your needs. Almost all plots in Greece are sold without a building permit, unless the owner planned to build on the plot himself, received construction permit and then changed his mind and decided to sell the plot. A construction permit can be issued for 4 years and can be extended for another 4.

The cost varies by manufacturer, technology and the number of people who are expected to live. The average cost of a biological treatment system for a house for 6-8 people is 3,000 euros.

  • A recent topographic plan indicating all building codes certified by urban planning
  • Certificate from the archaeological department stating that the plot does not belong to the archaeological zone
  • Certificate from the forestry department stating that the site is not a forest
  • Purchase and sale contract

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Thinking about buying a property in Greece? Are you interested in construction or residence permit? Ask us a question and leave your phone or email. Our specialist will contact you within an hour for a consultation.

Elena Dolmenidi
real estate agent