2023 European Summer Market Report

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Increase in High-Net-Worth Buyers

Expected as Market Stabilizes


Possible Extension for Golden Visa Program


Málaga Transforming into Tech

Haven—And New Home Hot Spot


United Kingdom

Reverse Migration Fuels London’s Buoyant Property Market

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The real estate market around the world has experienced tectonic shifts over the past few years—from the pandemic boom fueled by the desire for room to roam and low interest rates, followed by a market correction, and now, a time in which so many political, financial, and lifestyle-driven factors are poised to determine what lays ahead.

Throughout Europe, pending possible elections may influence the cost and ease of foreign investment, while the continuation of the Golden Visa program for some countries is hotly debated and at the center of conversation. These factors are top-of-mind for the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Greece.

In Greece, the monetary threshold to secure a five-year residency visa will rise on August 1, 2023 from €250,000 to €500,000. While there is certainty for Greece, the final decision on the fate of the Golden Visa in Portugal remains in flux. For now, it is anticipated to continue.

Despite some buyers pausing, the prices for prime properties and vacation rentals across the board in Europe are trending upward, with Americans still very active in markets like Spain. In fact, it’s been reported that there has been a 25% increase of American buyers in Spain from 2019 to 2022.

Emerging hot spots throughout Europe are the beneficiaries of commercial shifts. Málaga, for example, continues to grow its sizable tech sector, with Google, Bombardier, Siemens, and Oracle calling the city home.

In a recent Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network-wide event, the leaders of our global companies spoke to these topics and more, and shared their expert forecasts as we move into the second half of the year.

These trends from Greece, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom are detailed here in our second-annual European Summer report.

I hope you enjoy this report and have a wonderful and prosperous summer.



With positive political developments and changes to the country’s Golden Visa requirements, Greece is poised to experience a booming residential real estate market, according to Kyriakos Xydis, Managing Partner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Athens Properties.

While Greece’s snap election in May didn’t produce an outright winner, the ruling party’s 21% lead over the opposing party puts the previous Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in good stead to regain control over the country when citizens vote again on June 25 under the enhanced proportionality system.

“This is great news for all markets—financial, real estate, every market connected to the Greek economy,” Xydis said. “The Prime Minister is extremely market friendly.”

Regarding Greece’s Golden Visa—a program that allows individuals to gain


residency of a country via a minimum real estate investment—Xydis confirmed that August 1, 2023, will see an increase in the monetary threshold to secure a five-year residency visa from €250,000 to €500,000.

“After the increase is implemented, and following the election, we do expect to attract more higher-net-worth individuals as they see that the country is very stable and market friendly,” Xydis said.

“We’re expecting a booming market,” Xydis added. “If people want to invest, now is the time. In a few years, prices will be sky high.”

The vacation rental market is another sector in Greece that’s experiencing a

current boom in activity, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Athens Properties has tailored its services to seek and source properties for clients as well as exclusively manage properties in Athens and Mykonos.

The company is currently establishing its own booking engine and will be increasing its rental offerings over the coming months. “We have made major investments in technology, property, management of services, etc., and we aim to have very satisfied customers. If you’re looking to visit Greece, contact us and we’ll find you the best accommodation at the best prices.”



Portugal has become a firm favorite destination for overseas buyers in recent years thanks to its favorable living conditions and government incentives. And while there may be changes on the way for its Golden Visa program, there is still much attracting investors to the country.

Tatiana Vale, Marketing Director at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Atlantic Portugal, explained: “The luxury market in Portugal has grown significantly in recent years. Various conditions are having a positive impact on the real estate

market, including Portugal’s status as the fourth most peaceful country in the world, its excellent quality of life, the hospitality, advanced healthcare, weather… these all contribute to investors seeing Portugal as a great option.”

Vale stated that there are three trends that are prevalent in the Portuguese luxury market. The first is a demand for properties with the likes of environmental certifications, sustainable materials, and eco-friendly design.

The second; convenience and proximity through walkable amenities that allow buyers to “live the local life” and, the third trend, properties that allow the opportunity for a more relaxed lifestyle.


Interest in the Portuguese market from Americans is growing according to Vale. “They have emerged as the top buyers of luxury properties in the Lisbon region,” she explained, adding that, in 2022, 6% of home purchases in the country were by foreign citizens. U.S. citizens made up 15% of that number, and of those American buyers, 40% chose Lisbon.

“The competitive prices and appreciation of the U.S. dollar are some of the factors increasing interest among Americans,” Vale added.

Portugal’s Golden Visa program looked set to wind down this year, but Michael Vincent, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Portugal Property, shared some good news: “Just recently, the Portuguese parliament has discussed extending the Golden Visa program until December 31st, 2024.”

He stated that 33% of the company’s buyers in 2022 were from the U.S. and the majority of them wanted to pursue the Golden Visa. “Portugal has been recognized as the number one place to retire in the Global Retirement Index,” Vincent added.

“The Prime Minister understands that foreign money is important. But we’re telling our clients—right now, it’s on the table. Get it, because once it’s gone it’s gone.”

On what buyers can expect to pay for a luxury property in Portugal, Vincent said, “For the company, our average sale price is about €850,000. I class luxury as anything over €500,000, but prices go up to €40 million. In Vilamoura, for example, €500,000 gets you a beautiful condo. In the Azores, it gets you a nice three-bed villa with a sea view—and the Azores are only 4.5 hours from Boston.”

Concluding, Vincent said, “We saw an 18% rise in real estate prices in Portugal last year. I expect a 10% rise this year.”



Another country seeing an increase in U.S. buyers, Spain has reached a record high in American investment, with a recent report stating a 25% increase from 2019 to 2022.

Bruno Rabassa, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Spain, attributes the rise in interest to a wide variety of factors, including the relatively low cost of living, a favorable exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, a world-class transportation infrastructure—Spain’s high-speed rail network is only second to China in terms of size—and a stable political and economic climate.

“Americans are looking to strengthen their retirement dollars,” Rabassa said. “This is a safe and secure place to invest in property. Experts predict this upward trend to continue; in fact, Spain’s property prices have continued to rise steadily over the past years, making it an attractive investment for foreign buyers.”

One particularly exciting area in the country is Málaga, a coastal resort that has long been a favorite destination for European sunseekers.


“Málaga has seen huge growth in the sale of new homes, overtaking Barcelona to the second spot,” Rabassa explained. “New institutions have transformed the city, including the Picasso Museum which is located close to where the painter was born. Property, however, is still more affordable than other Spanish cities. In Málaga, the average price per square meter is €2,600. In Marbella it’s €4,100 and in Madrid and Barcelona, it’s between €6,200 and €7,000.”

The mayor of Málaga, Francisco de la Torre, has been credited with the city’s transformation, Rabassa said. The mayor’s goal is for Málaga to become an innovation and sustainability powerhouse, and with a sizable tech sector already in place—with the likes of Google, Bombardier, Siemens, and Oracle calling the city

home—it looks like the region is already on the way to achieving that status.

Under an hour’s drive from Málaga, Marbella’s super luxury market continues to go from strength to strength. “Marbella has reached a whole new level of recognition as a luxury destination,” Rabassa said. “It has finally become a household name in Europe as well as an international symbol of quality.”

Rabassa explained that real estate prices in the area have been driven upwards due to low inventory and higher demand, which has, in turn, caused an historic increase in the sale of properties that are off plan or under construction.

Commenting on trends and buyer profiles, Rabassa noted that a typical buyer today is “younger and trendier,” with a background in web development, technology, or start-ups. These buyers, according to Rabassa, are looking for high-quality homes with contemporary architecture and state-of-the-art tech, as well as more sustainable and eco-friendly homes with designs that allow owners to get closer to nature.



In the United Kingdom, the reverse trend of buyers moving back into London after seeking solace in the countryside during the pandemic is still prevalent according to Martin Bikhit, co-owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices London.

“As more people are coming back into the office, many are keeping their country homes but are also buying or renting a smaller London base as they don’t like to commute,” Bikhit explained. “Also, many who moved to the countryside in hope of

this wonderful, idyllic lifestyle haven’t really adapted to it, due to, for example, a lack of Michelin star restaurants, art galleries, and things to do in general.”

Addressing the general sentiment among today’s buyers, both overseas and domestic, Bikhit said, “Foreign buyers are still attracted by the relatively weak pound—they are definitely getting more bang for their buck than they were, say, in 2016. Sales to international buyers are up about 25% compared to last year.”


“Domestic buyers are generally affected more by local mortgage interest rates, especially outside of London. But central London buyers tend to be more cash rich, so are therefore less affected by interest rate rises.”

Bikhit explained, however, that a likely general election in 2024 could make things more restrictive for international investors to buy property in the United Kingdom. “If there is a Labour government [after the next election] there is talk of introducing additional taxation above the existing rates on international purchases—as well as a potential restriction on the number of units that can be sold to international buyers on new construction projects,” Bikhit said. “So now is the time to strike, and we are seeing international buyers accelerating their plans in light of this.”

While development is still taking place in the country’s capital, Bikhit noted that they “have a dwindling development pipeline,” adding that, right now, what can be developed, has been.

And local governing bodies are also contributing to the construction decline. “Westminster Council, which oversees one of the major London municipal areas,

United Kingdom

including Mayfair and Westminster, has introduced a restriction which prohibits the construction of any new dwelling in excess of 2,150 square feet,” Bikhit said.

“What we expect to happen is that the value of apartments larger than that is quite likely to appreciate at a greater rate than smaller units, simply because there is now a limited supply. And that’s a 10-year plan—it’s not something that can be changed next year.”

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