• High quality health care facilities
  • Easy flight access throughout the year
  • Low cost air carriers
  • Golf courts
  • Euro currency
  • Low living cost
  • Mediterranean climate
  • More than 300 days of sunshine
  • Clear and warm blue-green seas
  • History, Gods & myths

Until recently, few people from overseas bought property in Crete, especially compared to other destinations such as Spain, France and Italy. This changed when Greece relaxed its regulations for the purchase of property by foreign nationals in Greece. Now that property purchase in Greece has become a simple process, especially for nationals of EEC countries, the house market in Greece and in particular Crete has expanded year after year. The Olympic Games in 2004 put Greece well and truly in the limelight and gave it welcome international coverage. Athens and Sitia in Crete got new airports and Olympic stadiums were developed on the mainland and also in Heraklion in Crete. These facts along with improvements in infrastructure have helped to fuel a growing property market in Greece and especially on the island of Crete. Not surprisingly, Greece consistently tops the destination list in surveys taken from potential second home buyers in Europe. Crete takes a very large portion of this market with house prices increasing at approx 15% year on year in some areas of the island. This gives investment in Crete property fantastic capital appreciation potential and yet property prices are still competitive in comparison with countries such as Spain and Italy.

Undoubtedly the original wave of property buyers in Crete were people who had spent many happy vacations on the island and had long wanted to fulfill their dream of owning a villa of their own to enjoy extended stays in sunny Crete. However, recently there has been an increase in the number of discerning investors who have recognised the relatively untapped potential that exists on the island of Crete. Investors point to the increased ease of access to the island with the expansion of charter flights to the main airports of Heraklion and Chania and of course the development of a beautiful Golf Course in the East of Crete as being signs of increased investment potential. Buy to let investors are increasingly interested in the seasonal vacation rental potential of property bought in Crete as the island remains one of the most popular destinations for holiday makers from all over the world. This potential makes the possibility of mortgage repayment using funds from property rental a reality. The recent developments in high-end tourism and the second home market itself have increased the potential for year-round tourism which have a positive effect on the mainly seasonal tourism market in Crete and will also further increase the value of investments made here.

Apart from Crete's obvious popularity with tourists there are several other factors that enhance its investment potential. As an EEC member state it can offer free health care to fellow EEC member nationals. The relatively low cost of living and property prices ensure that it remains a favorite retirement destination. Strict building laws have ensured that the island's natural beauty remains unspoilt and over development has not blighted the landscape as it has done in some other European destinations. The very low crime rate is also an important factor as well as the fact that Greece is a safe, non volatile country with a rising economy. Bureaucratical obstacles that were blocking Greece's full share of EU funding have been removed and the economy is growing by more than 4% a year. Add to this recipe the fact that tourism enjoyed a record year in 2007 with more than 16 million visitors and unemployment that has fallen to a rate not seen in living memory and Greece, and Crete in particular, is shaping up as a perfect investment opportunity.

Of course any investment carries its share of risk but the majority of Crete's many timeless attractions will not be effected by outside influences. Crete's unique mixture of rich culture, ancient historical heritage and laid back charm, the friendliness and hospitality of the Cretan people, the excellent local cuisine, the superb natural beauty and the endless activities available on the island, not to mention the longest summer in Europe, ensure that Crete will remain one of the most sought after property investment destinations in the world.

So whether it is the case; a holiday home, a place to retire to, an investment to supplement a pension- or even a combination of all three- Holiday-Properties will be happy to fulfill your needs in the best possible way.

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