In the foreign real estate market, Crete is one of the leaders not only among the Greek islands, but also in all regions of the country . This is not surprising: being the largest island in Greece, Crete combines all the delights of island life with the main advantages of the “mainland”. The former include the cleanest sea, numerous beaches and a developed tourist infrastructure, among the latter - easy transport accessibility, a large selection of places for recreation and leisure, as well as many historical and cultural sites for every taste.
The island is one of the most popular European resorts, as well as an important cultural and economic center of the country. This is partly due to the extensive coastline and warm climate; however, Crete owes much of its popularity to the civilization that originated here many centuries ago, numerous monuments and evidence of which can be found in different parts of the island.
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Crete is located in the south of Greece and is one of the southernmost points of the country. Therefore, it can be hotter here than in the central part and in the north of Greece, and the summer season starts earlier and lasts longer.
The sun shines in Crete most of the year. In winter, moderate precipitation falls, usually in the form of rain: snow on the island, especially in its coastal regions, is a rare phenomenon. But the summer is usually dry and hot. Humidity largely depends on the distance from the sea.
The tourist season on the island lasts from April to October. At the end of March, the air begins to warm up to comfortable temperatures, and it rains less and less. The sea heats up more slowly, although they begin to swim on the island at the end of April; the water becomes absolutely comfortable for swimming from the middle of May. The end of September and October are considered the velvet season on the island.
One of the main advantages of Crete, distinguishing it among the many islands, is its relatively easy transport accessibility. Two international airports operate here at once - in Chania and in Heraklion. In addition, there is another domestic airport in Sitia, which receives international charter flights during the tourist season.
The island is connected with other islands and the mainland of Greece by ferry service. By sea you can reach the port of Piraeus in Athens , as well as the islands of Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Halki, Karpathos, Paros and others.
Buying a property in Crete is worth it for several reasons. First, the island's climate is hotter than the more northern regions of Greece, which means you have more time to enjoy the beach season and bask in the warm Greek sun. Secondly, the impressive size of the island provides a wide range of regions for buying real estate. And thanks to several airports and major ports, getting to Crete is easy.
For history buffs, the island has a huge number of attractions, both natural and historical. Among the first are such world-famous sites as the Samaria Gorge, Dikteiskaya Cave, Mili Gorge, the unique freshwater lake Kournas and Balos Bay on the island. Gramvousa. Historical sites include many architectural monuments and archaeological sites, in particular the famous Minoan palace, the ancient city of Lissos, ancient Falasarna, the numerous museums of Crete, as well as many temples and religious shrines.
Finally, buying a property in Crete means making a profitable investment. Very often, houses here are purchased for subsequent lease - independently or through a management company .
As a general rule, property on the Greek islands is more expensive than on the mainland. Crete is no exception, although it is by no means the most expensive of the islands in Greece.
To a large extent, property prices in Crete depend on the location of the property. The largest cities on the island are Chania, Heraklion and Rethymno, located on the northern coast of Crete. Of course, these are not the most popular resorts on the island, and therefore prices are lower here than, say, in Agia Pelagia, Malia or Lassithi, not to mention expensive resorts such as Agios Nikolaos or Elounda.
On average, secondary housing prices in Crete start from 700-1000 euros per sq. m. In this price range, you can count on a modest studio apartment in old buildings. In the primary real estate market, the price will be from 2000 euros per sq. m, and elite real estate will cost from 2500 euros per square meter and more.
Foreigners can acquire and dispose of real estate in Greece on an equal basis with the citizens of the country. Moreover, the purchase of real estate for a total amount of 250,000 euros gives the right to obtain the so-called "Golden Visa" - a residence permit in Greece for property owners.
An exception to the general rule is the so-called border areas: here, in order to buy real estate, foreigners must first obtain an appropriate permit. However, back in 2011, the list of such territories was significantly narrowed in order to simplify the purchase procedure and attract foreign investors to Greece.
In order to buy real estate in Crete, foreigners only need to register a Greek AFM (analogous to TIN) and open an account with a Greek bank. In addition, when forming a package of documents for the purchase of real estate, you must provide confirmation of the source of income.
As already mentioned, Crete is one of the most popular European holiday destinations. Millions of tourists visit the island's resorts every year. The season here lasts from April to October, which means that most of the year real estate in Crete by the sea will bring a stable and high income.
For short-term rent, it is better to buy real estate in popular resort areas: Elafonisi, Bali, Malia, elite Agios Nikolaos and Elounda, and others. Housing prices are higher here than in large cities, but the same rule applies to rental prices.
However, due to its impressive size, life in Crete does not freeze with the arrival of winter, and therefore the island is quite suitable for long-term rentals. For these purposes, it is better to purchase real estate in big cities with developed infrastructure and well-established communications: in the capital of the island of Heraklion, as well as in Chania and Rethymno. The rent will be more modest than in the case of resort housing, but such property will generate income all year round, and besides, you will not have to constantly worry about finding new tenants.
The main items of expenditure include ENFIA - the annual property tax, as well as the payment of utility bills, the cost of maintaining the common area (kinochrist), telephone and Internet charges.
If we are talking about the purchase of individual villas or cottages in a complex, maintenance of the land plot, payment for the pool, security services, etc. are also added to the expense items. More information about real estate taxes and estimated costs can be found in our separate article.