Russian buyers are scrambling to buy bargain properties in Greece, as the financial meltdown has eroded luxury real estate prices, reported Damien Sharkov forNewsweek.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of sales: Greek real estate egency IRM Aegean Estate has put properties in package deals, with two villas in Corfu — private beach and all — selling together for $US4.9 million.
That’s partially because of Russia’s own currency crisis — rich people are looking for safe places to park cash — but also since real estate prices in Greece have fallen roughly 50 per cent since 2009, Bild reported.
“If a villa on the Greek island of Syros still cost €1.6m a few years ago, it is now selling for just €800,000,” said Isabelle Razi, the founder of the Greek realtor agency IRM Aegean Estate to Newsweek.
The strengthening relationship between Russian buyers and their Greek holdings is mirrored by ties between their national governments.
Last month, the two countries agreed to build a $US2.27 billion gas pipeline reported Damien Sharkov for Newsweek — and some critics are concerned the move signifies a tug-of-war between the West and Russia, as Athens may be inching toward the Kremlin’s umbrella of influence.