Israelis are trying to find housing in Greece's short-term rentals, often in a state of panic, terror, and horror brought on by the war.
They are primarily looking for short-term housing for their families—women and kids—away from their native countries and the conflict area.
Cyprus and Greece are two neighboring countries.
After all, the Israelis consider Greece to be one of the friendly and nearby nations. Regarding Cyprus, they share the same sentiments.
It is no accident that more and more Israelis are vacationing in Greece in recent years.
Along with the Americans, the Israelis had even risen to the top 5 of tourists visiting the country.
It is suggestive that in 2022, the highest number of visitors ever recorded from Israel to Greece (722,549), was recorded.
In fact, 11% of overnight stays in Thessaloniki are from Israelis. As a result, it is a familiar country for many of them. But this time they are being forced to travel instead of coming to experience the Greek summer.
Greece's real estate market
Israelis visiting Greece are looking for short-term rentals because they are unsure of how long they will need to stay to be safe from the war, according to market participants who spoke to OT.
They even favor these properties over hotels because they offer a less expensive alternative to lodging. Real estate sales agreements with Israelis that were scheduled to close in the ensuing days are simultaneously canceled one by one or put on hold until further notice.
A member of STAMA's Board of Directors, Mr. Giorgos Kanellopoulos, told OT that since last week, Israelis who had long reserved some of our properties for their vacations have canceled. Apparently, because they are in the middle of a war, they are unable to travel. However, at the same time, there is a rise in demand for accommodations in the Airbnb style from people seeking safety in Athens away from the conflict.
According to Mr. Kannelopoulos, the majority of them are searching for real estate in Athens' downtown. The war discovered additional Israelis who were on vacation in another nation and are using Athens as a stopover.
Mr. Kanellopoulos provides up a common instance involving a couple who were in Italy at the time of the first Hamas attack. They took refuge in Athens by signing a short-term lease on an apartment while they decide what to do.
Kosmas Theodoridis, president of the European Union of Real Estate Agents, paints a similar picture. "Recently, my Israeli client called me again to inquire about the safety of a neighborhood in Athens where he had found a short-term rental home for his wife and kids."
Israelis have been buying property after property in Greece for a long time because Greece has lower attractive prices compared to Israel, but there is also the incentive of the Golden Visa. As a result, they have shown strong interest in purchasing real estate in the Southern Suburbs as well as in the Center of Athens up until a few days ago (before the war).
One after another, real estate purchase contracts have recently been canceled, according to Kosmas Theodoridis, president of the European Union of Real Estate Agents. "For instance, I had a sizable contract for a property canceled that was going to be purchased by an Israeli investor; however, as he informed me, he was just recruited. Some people have already been drafted, while others are still waiting, but even if one is spared the draft and is safe from the fighting, Mr. Theodoridis says it is difficult for someone to proceed with an investment when the country is at war.