A mini-boom is just getting started on some Greek islands.


Because since April Turks can now get a special 7-day express visa to enter the European Union to go to these islands specifically.

Getting a visa to visit the EU / Schengen Area is notoriously bureaucratic for Turks, and the rejection rate can at times be high due to political reasons.

These Greek islands now offers the easiest access to Schengen for Turks.

The result?

In Lesbos island’s case tourism from Turkey has already tripled.

It’s not just that Turks are happy to explore Europe, but also that prices have shot up in Turkey. Greek islands are now more affordable than staying back home in Turkey for vacation. Turkish social media is full of influencers and regular people explaining their shock at seeing how much better value Greece has become compared to Turkey.Two years ago this was not the case.

Real estate prices are bound to go up

Last year I made a video on Lesvos island with my agent Angelina. We showed very affordable properties that could be renovated and rented out on Airbnb. I even made a few offers myself but never ended up pulling the trigger, mostly because I was too busy with other projects.

This was essentially the bottom. Prices started rising modestly, and are bound to accelerate with this new surge in tourism.

I expect prices to go up because Greek banks are starting to lend again, and because the high rental yields will attract investors. However, do note that Turks are specifically prohibited from buying on these islands for security reasons, so they will just be Airbnb tenants and not fellow speculators.

Changes to the Greek Golden Visa regime

Changes were announced by the government regarding the Greek Golden visa. Properties on Lesvos don’t qualify as easily as before. You have to buy a historical house or ruin for at least €250,000, and get it renovated. Additionally, you cannot rent it out on Airbnb anymore if you want the Golden Visa. Pure investors can, but not Golden Visa applicants. And seeing that the long-term market is not attractive, you have to accept that you are buying a lifestyle property.

If you want a more classical Greek Golden Visa without renovations, reach out to me and my team shall introduce you to the right providers.

Lesbos real estate is a decent option for three types of people

  • Pure investors who want yield and capital appreciation
  • Golden Visa applicants who want a lifestyle property
  • Hybrid investors who want lifestyle part of the year and be able to rent out the rest

Is it risk-free?

No, though at such valuations prices would have a hard time going down much. Your biggest risk is the lack of liquidity in the market. Buying is easy, but selling is hard. Also, this boom is dependent on half-decent Greek/Turkish relations, which over the past decades have been volatile.

However, even a big economic recession resulting in less European and US tourism would not be that bad seeing the surge in Turkish tourism.

Do note that non-EU people have an extra wait time of about 7+ months before being able to buy on these islands, also for security purposes.

As a reminder, Lesbos island is a mere hour ferry ride away from the nearest Turkish port (I took that boat last year), and 2h30 hours away from Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city and where I own a home. There is a big market to capture.

If you are interested in finding out more, feel free to get in touch with Angelina my realtor on Lesbos island. She can help source a property, handle the renovations, and then manage the property.

To a World of Opportunities,

The Wandering Investor.

Other ways to get Golden Visas and Citizenships by Investment:

If you want to read more such articles on other real estate markets in the world, go to the bottom of my International Real Estate Services page.

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