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My big fat Greek real estate buying spree: Russian investors flock to Greek fire sale

By D. Sidney Potter
web posted June 13, 2016

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."  Don't quote me on that, but it was either William Shakespeare or William Clinton who said that. 

All kidding aside, it was the former and is one of his most famous lines from The Tempest. And more particular, the second act of the infamous play that all mother-in-laws are modeled after.  The purpose of this prelude is not to demonstrate with the pen on how snarky this writer thinks he is, but to highlight an otherwise boring subject matter – home sales on the European continent, with a little bit more sizzle and snap!  Ergo, this writer wishes to emphasize the distasteful love/hate relationship – and the downright dichotomy that exists between the Russians and Greeks – and it's very direct relationship to single family home investor buying trends that have recently taken shape in Greece.

According to a recent tid bit of high brow journalism from CNN, in one of their typical 100 word news stories found online that masquerades as serious journalism – much the same way Anderson Cooper and Don Lemmon are the Walter Cronkite's and Edward B. Murrow's for the super awesome millennial generation – who act as if they invented the transistor radio (and sex).  The reason for the real estate stampede!  Well, according to CNN, "Brave investors are hunting for cheap island villas in Greece in the hopes that the crumbling economy will boost their bargaining power."

And according to Forbes in connection to real estate buying opportunities – a perennial news reporting agency if ever there was one, noted the following:

"The news from Greece over the past few years has been quite dire as the country is on the verge of bankruptcy. However, despite seemingly desperate economic conditions there is a real estate market where many properties are being purchased at a healthy rate – in particular purchases by Russian investors."

When you think of Russians' digging into their pockets to nab the pick of the liter for Greek luxury properties, you might view this as a match made in heaven.  Or if you were to stretch your imagination, it is what real estate brokers define as the perfect ‘supply and demand' equation. A motivated buyer – and an equally desperate and motivated seller – who could ask for anything more!  Almost like a crack addicted whore looking for her next high and a more than willing John willing to supply the juice. (Super sad, but super true).

Bottom line, most luxury home investors from other countries are very much concerned that investing in Greece is a losing proposition, given that the country will be eventually out of the Euro – even though they dodged a bullet on this last year.  However, the Russian investors have demonstrated a stronger inclination, at least according to the Forbes article, to put their money into the Greek real estate market irrespective of an imminent economic collapse.

Wherein Russia, always above board – who were at least implicitly honest enough to state to the world what their intentions where with Ukraine, but not before taking over parts of the country by fiat.  (Who needs enemies like these when they're conveniently situated next door along your border?). Russians', and by that, existentially meaning Vladimir Putin – who never meet a former USSR satellite country he didn't already dislike, likely looked upon their own dastardly deeds coupled with single family home purchases from their wealthy elite as a form of job creation in Greece. Without exception, this is a country who so desperately needed it – and still does.  Desperate times cause for desperate measures. ESR

D. Sidney Potter has worked in the real estate and mortgage industry since 1992 and is also a contributing writer to iReport (CNN), DigitalJournal and Newsvine.com (apart of MSNBC).





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