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News: Investors eye unspoilt Crete

Tue, 27 Nov 07

Sitia airport on the North East coast of Crete is about to be upgraded, opening up a whole new area of this pretty unspoilt Greek island...

Sitia has not previously been used for commercial flights but according to the Greek Prime Minister the airport offers great potential for tourists and investors and will by 2009, be able to accept commercial flights from all over Europe. Already the foundations are in for the three new terminals which will make the airport capable of receiving up to seven planes in total at any one time.

Richard Brady, Director at Olive Tree International says, “If buyers are looking to invest in a country where all the signs are positive, then Crete should be seriously considered. The island, which is the largest of the Greek islands, is steeped in history, has an excellent sunshine record, low cost of living, most locals speak some English and its infrastructure is that of modern European standards.”

Massive investment

This is just part of major plans recently laid out for the promotion of Crete by the Greek Prime Minister as he spoke on prime time television and promised 2 billion euro investment within the next few years.

“This is excellent news”, continues Richard, “those looking to buy properties for capital growth should take serious note of such a financial commitment by the Government. The island has not been a prime area of growth but we have seen tremendous changes in other countries when they get substantial financial backing. We see this as a breakthrough for the property market of Crete”.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Kostas Karamanlis, stated that the Government’s fundamental strategic choice as part of the country’s development course has been to add to and extend the tourist industry whilst upgrading its quality. They support the creation of modern infrastructure, the development of new forms of tourism and the promotion of Greece, internationally.

Part of the plans are to are to open up the eastern coastal regions of Crete as it was felt that these were most favoured for substantial growth for investment to provide quality tourist areas with signature golf courses and five star hotels with conference facilities and spas to attract world travellers.

Government commitment

Concluded Richard, “The Government’s commitments to promoting and improving the tourist industry are superb. It offers dynamic, sustainable long term growth to the region, which in turn will increase capital growth of properties.

For those interested in buying at “Bay View” there are up 70% off plan mortgages available making it possible to benefit from excellent rental opportunities.”

Local agents report that demand for rental property exceeds supply. There are Government grants available of up to 50% for golf courses and 40% for five star hotels all of which is part of the “most favoured” status that Eastern Crete has received.

Always seen as a holiday or retirement destination, it is now emerging as a top investment market, poised to offer greater returns than Eastern Europe but with comparative and competitive market values.

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