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28/01/2008

Greece has become an increasingly attractive destination for people looking for a property overseas.

According to a 2007 study conducted by "A Place In the Sun" a specialist magazine, through exhibitions devoted to property seekers in Britain, Greece has acquired position No 7 in the top ten most popular countries for a British to purchase a home in the sun.

Results of a survey published in January of 2008 in an article in the Greek newspaper "Kathimerini", showed that in Athens and Thessaloniki in the so called "premier areas" the value of properties have increased by 175% between December of 1998 and December of 2006. On average this rise in value equals to a 26% annual increase. At the same time in the less expensive areas, the value of properties has increased by 91% for the same period, which translates to an average percentage of 13% per annum.

In other parts of Greece as in Crete, the annual rise of property prices is 10 to 15% despite the fact that on the island of Crete, developments emerge mostly in premier areas. The natural formation of this island offers a large number of plots in what is considered by locals and citizens of the world as premium locations.

In the same article mentioned above "Kathimerini", writer Giannis Siotou mentions: According to the experts, renewing a property portofolio according to when it was built and to the current market trends i.e. emerging markets, can protect its value from time. A property is not like wine which gets better as time passes by. Despite regular maintenance its value shrinks as years pass by. However in the Greek property market there is limited experience of investments leading in damages.

Two of the main factors that will help a property maintain its value even in times of crisis are highlighted in the above article but are also known to most property seekers these consist of: a) location and b) quality of construction.

There are a number of developers who believe that in the wider Chania area in Crete there is now an emerging market where prime location is offered widely. Views of the sea and/or mountain peaks covered with snow are found in the majority of villages while access to sandy beaches is often a matter of a few minutes drive or walk. As a result the factor "location" is covered in the majority of cases.

As far as quality of construction is concerned the competition in Chania and Crete is probably more intense when compared to the rest of Greece. The reason behind this is exactly the number of interested buyers attracted and the offer of options through various builders and developers. Naturally selecting a quality builder is vital and property seekers may always remember that people get what they pay for.

In general quality and location exist and that is the reason why, while in most areas in Greece prices remain stable the prices in Crete are raising. However, the raise when compared to other areas in Greece or overseas is reasonable and that is a key factor that protects the market and the purchaser.

A home seeker or an investor may not forget the importance of real estate companies. They are bound to be professional and guide people by offering them independent advice when conducting a research for them.

This article has been written by Nektaria Kladitis, owner of Talos Properties.

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