Greece has come through the coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed. Athens now hopes to welcome back vacationers, but increasingly foreigners are looking to pick up a home or investment property under the sun.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have dealt Greece’s tourism a devastating blow, but it is proving to be a boon for many European home hunters, turning this sun-drenched country and its islands into the biggest buyer’s market in over a decade.

British demand alone has surged by more than 200% in recent weeks, riding a rising tide of investment interest since the UK government announced plans to relax travel restrictions weeks ago, local and international real estate agents say.

In a spray of data recently released by Britain’s biggest property marketplace, Rightmove, Greece ranked as the hottest search destination in Europe, next to Spain, France, Portugal and Italy. The interest, in fact, has been so intense that more than a million online inquiries were recorded on the day the government announced its new travel orders in late June.

Location, location, location

Across the board, the five favored destinations — Greece, Spain, France, Portugal and Italy — reported a 340% rise in overseas interest compared to figures recorded in mid-June, real estate officials say.

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