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A Comprehensive Guide to Real Estate Investment in Santorini

Santorini, renowned for its picturesque beauty, is not just a tourist paradise but also a prime location for real estate investment. With a landscape that boasts the iconic caldera, the sparkling Aegean Sea, and unforgettable sunsets, the island presents an array of real estate opportunities, from the quintessential cave houses to sleek modern villas and cozy apartments.

Investing in a Santorini property isn’t solely about securing a valuable asset; it’s about embracing a lifestyle and potentially reaping financial rewards through rental income and property appreciation. Nevertheless, navigating the ins and outs of property investment here requires careful consideration of various factors, such as location, property condition, legal requirements, taxes, and the overall investment landscape.

This article aims to guide you through the intricacies of investing in Santorini’s real estate. We will delve into the local market, outline the purchase process, and offer strategies for asset management and growth. Expert insights and practical tips will arm you with the knowledge to make a well-informed investment decision and achieve your property goals in Santorini.

Understanding the Santorini Real Estate Market

To make a wise investment decision in Santorini, it’s crucial to grasp the unique aspects and trends of the local real estate market. We’ll explore the range of property types and sought-after areas, market conditions, and the regulatory environment for foreign investors.

Property Types and Popular Areas

Santorini’s rich selection of properties caters to diverse tastes and budgets. Here’s what’s available:

Popular locations for property investment include:

  • Oia: Bursting with charm, this iconic village is synonymous with breathtaking sunsets, charming whitewashed houses, and the famed blue-domed churches. Its prestige makes properties here highly coveted and more expensive.
  • Imerovigli: Peaceful and chic, this village sits atop the highest point of the caldera, offering stunning views. If tranquility and exclusivity are what you seek, Imerovigli is perfect for you.
  • Fira: The bustling heart of Santorini, teeming with boutiques, eateries, and cultural spots. Properties in Fira cater to those wanting the convenience of urban amenities.
  • Akrotiri: This village offers a historical backdrop and is known for its archaeological treasures and unique red beach. Akrotiri provides more affordable living within a traditional setting.
  • Perissa: For beach enthusiasts, this vibrant resort area has a lengthy stretch of black sandy beach, water activities, and a lively nightlife scene. If you thrive by the sea, consider Perissa.

Market Trends and Investment Potential

Santorini’s real estate market stands out in Greece and across Europe for its allure and profitability. The combination of landmark beauty, scarcity of available land, and high construction standards fosters robust demand, particularly for properties listed as short-term rentals.

Spitogatos’ data reveals that the average listing price for residential properties in Santorini in 2021 stood at 4,519 €/sqm. This figure is a striking 144% above the national average, which is 1,852 €/sqm. The most expensive real estate was in Oia at 7,578 €/sqm, followed by Imerovigli at 6,667 €/sqm, and Fira at 5,000 €/sqm. Conversely, the more affordable options were located in Perissa at 2,222 €/sqm and Akrotiri at 2,500 €/sqm.

The island’s average annual return on investment for residential property in 2021 was 6.7%, surpassing the national average of 5.8%. The most lucrative yields were found in Perissa, offering a remarkable 9.1%, Akrotiri at 8.3%, and Fira at 7.1%. In contrast, the yields were less in Oia at 4.2% and Imerovigli at 4.5%.

Expectations point towards further growth in Santorini’s real estate market, thanks to its sustained appeal drawing visitors and investors globally. Remarkably, the Covid-19 pandemic has barely dented the market, with Santorini retaining its allure as a safe and coveted getaway. The island’s future is looking bright, especially with key infrastructure enhancements on the horizon, including an airport expansion, port development, improved roads, and a new hospital, which promise to improve accessibility and the standard of living.

Regulations and Legal Considerations

While buying property in Santorini is generally straightforward, you’ll need to navigate through certain preparations and due diligence. Non-Greek buyers particularly should understand the regulatory and legal aspects of property transactions in Greece and Santorini.

Critical steps and requirements entail:

  • Securing a tax identification number (AFM) from the Greek tax authorities.
  • Establishing a Greek bank account for purchase funds transfer.
  • Engaging a lawyer and a notary to confirm the property’s legal status.
  • Acquiring a verification from the Archaeological Service confirming the property is not in a protected area.
  • Settling the transfer tax (3% of property value) and notary fees (1.2% of property value) preceding contract signature.
  • Formalizing the contract at the Land Registry and Cadastre.

It’s wise to consult with a professional real estate agent who can facilitate the process and match you with a property that suits your preferences and budget. They can also support property management, maintenance, and rental, if you’re looking to profit from your investment.

Navigating the Buying Process

Embarking on property acquisition in Santorini requires a series of steps for a successful transaction. This section will navigate you through the critical stages of the buying process, from initial research and financing to securing the legal documentation and completing the purchase.

Initial Steps: Research and Financing

Begin your journey by thoroughly researching the Santorini real estate market. Gather ample information on available properties, their features, and pricing. Online portals like Spitogatos or HomeGreekHome are excellent for perusing listings and performing comparisons. Alternatively, reaching out to local agents such as Santorini Real Estate or Santorini Selection could provide bespoke advice and support.

Securing Your Financing and Determining Your Budget

The second step involves firming up your financial plan and establishing your spending limits. It’s crucial to evaluate what you’re financially comfortable spending on the property, including the added expenses like taxes, fees, and upkeep. Then decide on your payment method – cash, mortgage, or a mix. If a mortgage is part of your plan, reach out to a Greek bank and start the application process. Prepare to show income proof, tax documents, bank statements, etc., to demonstrate your creditworthiness. Additionally, compare interest rates and terms across various banks to identify the most advantageous option for you.

Finding the Right Property

The third step is to locate a property that matches your needs and desires. Utilize the criteria developed during your research – property type, location, size, condition, and price – to filter your choices. Apply specific filters and keywords for features like a sea view, pool, or garden. It’s also essential to review the property’s legal status, ownership history, energy performance certificate, and building permit.

Closing the Deal: Legal Paperwork and Transaction

The final step involves finalizing the deal, including all legal paperwork and transactions. After selecting your preferred property, make an offer to the seller to begin negotiations on price and contract terms. Engage a lawyer and a notary to assess the property’s legal status. Also, ensure you get clearance from the Archaeological Service confirming the property isn’t in a protected area.

Before contract signing, handle the financial obligations such as the transfer tax (3% of the property value) and notary fees (1.2% of the property value). Move your funds into a Greek bank account and secure a confirmation receipt. During contract signing, in front of the notary, seller, and witnesses, ensure all the property details are included. Post-signing, the notary will record the contract at the Land Registry and the Cadastre, and you’ll obtain a copy of the title deed. Congratulations on your property ownership in Santorini!

The Asset Management and Growth Strategy

Acquiring property in Santorini is simply the commencement of your investment. You’ll need a solid asset management and growth strategy to keep your property well-kept, lucrative, and sustainable over time. Topics we’ll cover include successful property management, investment maximization, and the benefits of a long-term investment outlook.

Effective Property Management

A vital component of asset management is effective property management, which covers operational, fiscal, and legal responsibilities – cleaning, upkeep, renovations, utilities, taxes, insurance, and protection. You must also adhere to local norms and regulations regarding energy efficiency, building permits, and health and safety practices.

Managing property effectively can be a complex task, particularly if you’re not on-site or juggling multiple properties. Consider enlisting the services of a professional property manager to simplify your life. They can ensure your property remains in top condition and manage the nuances of marketing, booking, and customer service, especially if you’re looking to rent it out to guests or tenants.

Maximizing Your Investment

To truly benefit from your investment, you need to enhance both its performance and profitability, while also ensuring guest or tenant satisfaction and retention. Keeping an eye on market trends, understanding the balance of demand and supply, and staying competitive is key. Adjusting your pricing strategy and offerings is equally critical. Moreover, investing in your property’s quality and appeal through thoughtful renovations and feature enhancements can greatly increase its allure.

Although the pursuit of maximizing your investment can be fruitful, it’s not without its risks. You must carefully weigh the costs against the potential benefits. Consideration of the environmental and social implications of your choices is also essential—adopting sustainable tourism practices that honor Santorini’s natural and cultural resources is paramount. Adhering to the strategic tourism plan for the island can help balance sustainability and effective crowd management.

Considering Long-term Investment Benefits

Thinking long-term about the benefits of your investment means transcending instant rewards and focusing on your property’s future potential, including capital appreciation, resale value, tax incentives, and inheritance opportunities. Aside from financial gains, owning property in Santorini brings personal joy and cherished experiences unique to such a picturesque setting.

Delving into long-term benefits is motivating yet complex; staying ahead of the market’s fluctuations and future uncertainties will require agility. Being adaptive, prepared to adjust your approach and objectives as scenarios change, is crucial for long-term success. Consulting with a financial advisor or real estate professional could prove invaluable in effectively orchestrating your investment strategy over time.


In this guide, we’ve taken you through a comprehensive journey of real estate investment in Santorini, examining the local market landscape, navigating the purchasing process, and discussing asset management and growth strategies. We’ve also included expert tips and firsthand investor insights.

By adopting the principles outlined here, you’ll be well-informed in making property purchase decisions on Santorini, securing not just an asset, but also a coveted source of income and a personal haven on one of the globe’s most enchanting islands.

Are you poised to embark on your Santorini real estate adventure? Connect with a proficient real estate agent who can expertly navigate you to the perfect property that aligns with your desires and financial plan. Alternatively, take a moment to explore our website for a curated selection of Santorini properties on offer. Seize the chance to invest in this idyllic locale and watch your real estate dreams become reality!

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