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#1 househunter

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:36 AM

Hi Everyone.

At present I am just researching property in Crete. There is a program on the local radio station which brought up the topic of House prices in Crete. The people involved are returning home in order to look after their elderly parents here and have been trying to sell their house for over a year without success to date.

They mentioned that the market for 2nd hand houses has fallen badly in the last few years and most buyers are buying new, even then they said the new properties are getting harder to sell due to their being so many for sale at present.

Hopefully there will be someone on this forum who could verify or contradict that the market is difficult at present.

In general are secondhand properties selling well?

I also read elsewhere about several English people wanting to return to the UK and that they were finding it hard to find a buyer and this radio program is saying much the same.

Is this the situation at present?

Thanks.
Dave.

#2 Laid Back Lil

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:05 AM

Hi there, yes, seems to be the concensus. We know of houses that have been on the market for well over a year before they've sold. Personally I don't think there's anything to worry unnecessarily about - the more the tax goes up here, and the more violence and yob-culture grows, the more people are looking abroad to escape it.

#3 househunter

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:00 PM

Thanks Lil.

The UK market seems to be suffering at bit as is Ireland but we've had colossal increases in house prices over the past 10 years but it's calming down a bit now.




It was the Crete market I was wondering about.
Dave.

#4 Assim

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 08:16 PM

The Greek market in general, moves slow. Its not unusual for it to take a year to sell a house.

#5 househunter

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 03:38 AM

Ok, thanks for reply.

Was beginning to think Crete has been evacuated as no one seems to reply. B)

Was thinking of going out next month but might look elsewhere as it seems impossible to get information on and I need to decide if it is worth looking at relocating but to me it doesn't seem so.

I've been looking at estate agent websites and they seem pretty secretive too.

It's a pity that there are so few people on this forum so it's not been a good start.
Dave.

#6 Emma1310

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 12:18 PM

It's a question of quality, not quantity here. B)

Hope you manage to find the right place hh.
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#7 xdb

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 01:29 PM

househunter,

Feel free to get in touch with me if you wish. I have a small company which sells property and a number of my customers have relocated so it would be a pleasure to help.

[email protected]


Regards,




John

#8 Pam

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 03:23 PM

Hi, Househunter, carry on doing the research. I'm not an expert, but we have been enjoying doing "research", which effectively has meant several holidays in Crete, talking to people who do live here, and spending time in a number of locations in Crete trying to decide on which area to live in when I do come to retire (about 2 year's time).. However, what I would say is that you should not look to relocate to Crete for any other reason than you love the island and it's culture - buying property here should not be seen as an investment as there is not a mature second-hand market. Cretans don't tend to buy houses, but will build on family land. Incomers wanting to buy as a holiday home or to live, would probably prefer to buy a new build, renovation project, or build their own. We are certainly expecting that any money we spend on buying in Crete will not be recoverable, though hopefully our families will get pleasure from it as a holiday home after we are no longer able to use it.

Hope this helps.

Pam & Bob

#9 Tim

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:32 PM

Refreshing realism from Pam and Bob on a number of fronts.
On the investment side, I do recall a property owner I knew making the point that, if they could sell their property, it would be for no more than what they had paid for it - whilst the same sum invested in a UK property would have realised increased funds. There are of course many different factors at work over time, and the same may not still apply- but it would nevertheless be niaive to expect that profit must follow.
Indeed, a love of Crete and Cretans is the best reason, and for some the only sensible one.

#10 Hooly

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:03 PM

Was beginning to think Crete has been evacuated as no one seems to reply.....

It's a pity that there are so few people on this forum so it's not been a good start.

They've probably gone out there for a restful life & have other things to do so don't spend all their time surfing the web, unless you go by the initials RIC B) . And hey, you haven't had a definitive answer within 24 hours, chill out. If you expect that sort of speed for anything on Crete you'll be in the wrong place (spoken only as a non resident house owner but regular visitor).

As for estate agents I don't see where you're coming from with that either. We bought a house last year & there are loads of people dealing in property in my experience, some better than others, & most are on the interwebbything. They hold many of the same places on their books and prices can vary between them, so that need to be checked. I went out on our 1st visit with a portfolio of places I'd downloaded to look at, some of which were unrealistic it turned out, nearly bought on that trip but spotted somewhere online before our 2nd buying jaunt & purchased it shortly after returning. Simple & fast in my experience.

I was going to agree with Pam, & I see Tim has whilst I was penning this, based on the little I know of the resale market. I am under no illusion that the house I'm having renovated will be worth little more than it's accumulated costs, if that, and then only to a non Cretan. As has been said most natives & many incoming foreigners want new builds & there are tens of thousands of plots out there. Every Cretan friend I have has several pieces of land dotted about & usually more than one house. These plots are always for sale at the right price or they'll build on it themselves, so the need for a village house like mine is limited to people, basically, like me.

I'm not due to retire for another 15 years, so for us it's a bolt hole that we can use as & when we want to, rather that being reliant on others like holiday companies. And that's where we'll make back by saving our money a little at a time. Hopefully in the interim we'll be able to spend more time there, who knows. But an investment, no. For me it's a love of Crete & it's people that makes me return & that's why we've done it.

Pete

#11 Wim

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:47 PM

Hi Everyone.

At present I am just researching property in Crete. There is a program on the local radio station which brought up the topic of House prices in Crete. The people involved are returning home in order to look after their elderly parents here and have been trying to sell their house for over a year without success to date.

They mentioned that the market for 2nd hand houses has fallen badly in the last few years and most buyers are buying new, even then they said the new properties are getting harder to sell due to their being so many for sale at present.

Hopefully there will be someone on this forum who could verify or contradict that the market is difficult at present.

In general are secondhand properties selling well?


I also read elsewhere about several English people wanting to return to the UK and that they were finding it hard to find a buyer and this radio program is saying much the same.

Is this the situation at present?



Hi there Hunter,

I've been following the Cretan house market for quite some years by now and am sure there are 2 housing markets which don't run parallel. Let's call them "the home market" and the "touristic/expat market". The home market, reserved for the local population runs absolutely different prices. The local population would/could never pay that much money for a house offered at the touristic/expat market at the moment in Crete. But they wouldn't want to neither because who wants to live in expat colony?

A short introduction:
The hype with the "touristic/expat market" started roughly in the midst of the 70th. Crete became known, especially in England, by the famous TV sequences like "The Lotus Eaters" and "Who Pays The Ferryman". The first one shot entirely in Agios Nikolaos and the latter in Elounda, were directed and written by Michael J. Bird. Both places lost a part of there innocence due to over visiting by holiday makers who wanted to see and feel these villages and to relive their emotions. Of course this was a good development for the area and the same happened with Kefalonia where "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" was shot.

Good news travels fast and the major travel agencies in England, and later on the ones in the rest of Europe, started with holiday arrangements for those places and subsequently for the the other areas in the north. As you know from other famous destinations in Europe like France, Spain, etcetera, the arrival of clever property developers was just a matter of time.

The consequences:
Right; bad news travels even faster and the same happened in Crete where building prices started at a general level of E 500 and have nowadays mounted to a benevolently E 1000 - 1500. per m2. A house in Crete seemed affordable in general, compared to the housing prices back home, and TV programs like "A house in the sun" made Crete loving people wanting one too, because they had been to Crete and were caught by its magic. I need not tell you how the market works, it's a question of supply and demand. Or vice versa.

As you mentioned, and where the radio program was about, the early settlers going home want to sell there houses, with a profit of course, but for a price for which new comers can nowadays buy a brand new house in "almost" any area they want to. But are there many buyers? Apparently not, in view of the huge offer on the Internet by estate brokers and building companies in Crete. The supply and demand is clearly out of balance. Hence even more diminishing the changes for the second hand housing market. A fall in this market is logical and negotiating with a knife on the table a must when buying.

Even the housing part that I am interested in, the old stone houses in little laid back villages and areas, don't seem to be at a premium, though most of the time situated in fantastic areas with dazzling views and well renovated. Even the ones that need partly or full renovation are priced as if nobody wants to sell and as if waiting for better times ahead. Also renovation prices have gone up which makes it neither attractive to buy.There must be statistics about this all in the Chamber of Commerce so maybe you can ask them if there are any. Another institute like the "Land Registry Office" should be on the island but I couldn't find it and seems to give info exclusive to lawyers. Which I think is against EG rules.

Another negative development as Lil mentioned in her thread, is the growing yob-culture and violence that came along with the planes and ferries and that even worse, has regretfully been adopted by some less stable groups of the local population. This I think, and last but not least the fast growth of land developers, builders, brokers and speculators must also be taken into consideration and be added to the negative touristic/expat housing spiral, because too much supply and few demands.


B)
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#12 househunter

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:48 AM

Thanks Guys, have read all your replies.

Really appreciate all the different view points of buying in Crete.

I'm not looking to buy a property for a few years then sell it for a profit. This would be a permanent move.

The biggest concern is for my 10 y.o. son's education hence the need to find out about schools, we can always rent for a year anyway which has been advised by members here on other posts.

Have come across several properties of interest incl bars, hotels etc so it's good to see there is no real need to rush into buying.

I have read the replies twice and will read them in even more detail tomorrow.

Sorry if my panicking caused offence!

If I do buy a hotel then the opening night will be Free Meal, Entertainment and Drinks and room if needed. for you guys and THAT IS A PROMISE!!
Dave.

#13 Ros21

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:11 PM

Hi Hooly,

I'm in a similar position to yourself, in so far as I'm not officially due to retire for another 11-12 years. I'm hoping to relocate & possibly retire within the next 2-7 years, depending on circumstances.
I have spent many holidays over the past few years on Crete & have fallen in love with both Crete & it's people. In fact my 1st two visits, Wim, were to Agia Galini. I've mainly holidayed in what I would term to be Central Crete, on both the north & south of the island.

I now have several good friends of different nationalities, including Cretan & British that live in the Heraklion & surrounding area.

Last year I bought a renovated 2 bed village house in a traditional rural village 18 kms south west of Heraklion.
At the moment it's use is as my holiday retreat, but I have furnished it mainly for use as a permanent home, which will become it's purpose. A 1km/10 min walk takes me to a bus route with frequent buses running to Heraklion between 07.00 & 20.00 all year round. The bus takes around 30 mins & the drive to Heraklion around 20 mins.

My immediate neighbours in my village are amongst the most welcoming & genuinely friendly people I have ever met. In fact I met them & was made to feel so welcome by them while I was viewing the house & checking out the village & surrounding area.

I found my house on the internet during several months of research. I came out in March last year & had several appointments with different agents to view various properties in different parts of the island arranged.
I viewed a few properties on the 1st morning towards the east end of the island & went to view my house late on that afternoon. After having seen the house I arranged to come back again the next day & cancelled all my other viewings.
The rest as they say is history.

I know my house was bought & renovated by 2 English women in 2005 & was put on the market in 2006 for around
Euro 100,000. I paid just under Euros 70,000. The house had been up for sale for 12 months or more & the girls had relocated to Bulgaria & wanted a quick sale, hence the price reduction. There are several unrenovated properties in my village & surrounding villages that have been on the market for at least 2 years now, these are owned by local villagers & their families. Their attitude appears to be if we get the price we want we'll sell, if not we'll wait. Most of these abandoned/derelict houses belong to cousins, brothers etc who moved away many years ago.

Ros.

#14 Emma1310

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:59 PM

PARTAAAYYYY!!!

B) B) :D

What are the inheritance laws in Greece and do these have any bearing on the property market?

Bit of a red herring I'm afraid, but i'm curious about this.
Now is the time for drinking, now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.

#15 househunter

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 03:02 AM

Some good posts here, we have moved around a lot and always found that as long as we fit in with the local people and accept their way of life then we were always treated well and accepted.

It is we who have moved to their area and we have never expected anyone to change their way to ours, people are nice everywhere and are always willing to help when they see the "new people" trying to fit into their community instead of trying to change it.

Good to see that people here have good neighbours and that you have done whatever you could to fit into their villages. It's reassuring to find that Cretans will accept people and welcome them..
Dave.

#16 Retired in Crete

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:32 PM

I started to pen a reply to this a couple of days ago, and, strangely enough I started "There are really two housing markets here" Almost word for word what Wim has written!

By the way Wim, you cannot find the Land Registry for Crete because currently there isn't one. They are trying to compile it at the moment.

I have never ever bought a house as an investment. I have always bought a home. In fact if you look at most houses being offered as "good investments" they usually make rotten homes!

Did I say that there are two housing markets, there is really three, as Wim said. The cretan, the holiday home and the ex-pat. All three look for different things in a house. A Greek will never pay extra for a sea or mountain view, something which is desirable for a holiday home and for ex-pats. Land is probably a disadvantage with a holiday home but generally required by ex-pats. etc.

Land prices are rising by 10-15% per year. There is still plenty available, but much of it is not in good positions. As in the UK, location is everything. The same goes for houses. Those in a prime location will sell quickly, others can take much longer, but generally, I agree with the previous posts.

Although I was, and still am, delighted with our house if I were starting again I would by a re-sale house. There are some excellent ones on the market and you can see what you will get. You can judge the quality of the build, the level of insulation and the type of interior fitting used. I was recently show round a new house, built to the owners spec and costing 780,000 Euros. There was a difference of one and a half floor tiles in the width of the lounge from one end to the other! I bet that the spec said the corners should be 90 degrees!

John
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#17 househunter

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:52 PM

The house was €700,000 but you do have to pay for extras!! :lol:

Starts getting really expensive if you ask for foundations... :rolleyes:


Hope these were small floor tiles!! ;)
Dave.

#18 Fotini

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 06:14 PM

PARTAAAYYYY!!!



What are the inheritance laws in Greece and do these have any bearing on the property market?

Bit of a red herring I'm afraid, but i'm curious about this.

Of course they have Emma. I would like to give you more details , since this is my job actually , but I am afraid it is too complex to understand, since you are not Greek.
Furthermore, it is true that Greeks don't buy property that easily and the reason is that not all Greeks can afford to do so.

#19 househunter

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 08:51 PM

Hi

I can understand that it is a very complex issue and I'm not asking for you to explain them but can I ask you this..?

If a person from another EU country inherited a property in Crete would they be restricted to complying with Greek laws/rules/regulations or can they ask for the laws of inheritance which apply in their own country to be used instead?

I know it is your job and I'm not asking for information etc just a yes or no would suffice, if you don't mind that is.
Dave.

#20 DaveW.

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:14 PM

Fotini.
I appreciate and understand your comment about Greeks not being able to afford to buy property. We have the same problem in all of the beautiful areas of the UK. Local folk are unable to afford property in many places such as the Lake District, Peak District, parts of Wales, Cornwall etc as people from the cities buy them as holiday homes. This obviously has an effect on younger people who then tend to move away and the villages become run down, shops and schools close.....and so it goes on.
If you look like your passport picture....you probably need the holiday!