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Spanish Media Portal, El Mundo, Interviewed Stroumboulis for Article on Greek Property

GreekPropertyExchange.com (Greek Property Exchange - GPE) – Greece and Cyprus’ top real estate and property website – was featured in the popular newspaper and website in Spain, El Mundo, in an article featuring the sale of Greek real estate titled – Island for Sale due to Crisis.

El Mundo is a media portal in Spain that was first published in 1989. El Mundo ("The World") espouses a style of reporting modeled on American investigative journalism, which on occasion veers towards sensationalism.

The article, written by journalist Hector Estepa, featured key facts and figures about Greece and its price sensitive property market. Founder of Greek Property Exchange, Georgios Stroumboulis, was interviewed to speak on behalf of his website’s experience and the 1,500+ professional Greek realtors under his company’s umbrella.

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Island for sale, due to crisis El Mundo Madrid | By Héctor Estepa

Times are hard for private owners of Greece’s islands. Faced with a new troika-imposed property tax and rising interest rates, they are selling off their land. Prospective buyers, however, will need to deal with the local bureaucracy.

Fancy savouring the fresh air of the Aegean Sea from your own private island? If you have the money, it’s time to start exploring the option. The crisis has led to a doubling in the supply of private islands in Greek waters (the islands owned by the state are not for sale). Idyllic beaches, dream views and an exceptional temperature throughout the year are just some of their attractions.

“Before the crisis we always had between six and ten islands on offer, but now we have almost 20,” says Chris Krolow, director of Private Islands, a Canada-based Internet company specialised in selling islands all around the world. Their website lists a good number of Greek islands for sale, ranging in price from one and a half million euros, for the small island of St. Athanasios, to the 150 million euros asked for Patroclos. This majestic island of 260 hectares, very near Athens, boasts beaches that are “large and sandy, with unpolluted waters rich in fish,” according to the website.

Although experts say that the prices have not fallen far, good buys can still be found. “We’ve seen properties going for four million fall to two,” says Nicolas Mugni, broker at the top-tier Grece Demeures agency. The economic crisis, which is keeping almost 28 percent of Greeks below the poverty line, has also hit property landowners.

Tough negotiators One of the factors forcing some owners to sell more cheaply – either the entire island, or plots of land or buildings on it, such as recreational luxury villas – is Greece’s new property tax. “Most of those landowners have money invested in other assets or land, and the new taxes that have been approved under the austerity pact for Greece means the wealthy will have to pay a lot. The percentage varies, but if you own an island or a large villa it could come to a small fortune. For an expert buyer it’s easier to haggle with such sellers,” says Mugni.

In addition, many landowners in the islands are unable to pay the interest on their bank loans and have to sell cheaply. Stavros Stellas, a realtor very familiar with Aegean real estate, admits this too. He himself has been forced to lower the price of a plot of land he owns: “I have a large plot of 17,000 square metres, and a few years ago I started to sell it for 1.7 million euros. Now I’m offering it for a million, because I’m under pressure from the bank,” he says.

However, if you have money and want to buy a Greek island, you have to work tirelessly to find it: almost everyone who owns an island property is rich enough not to fall victim to a speculative chaos. Nor do they fear that prices will fall if Greece exits the euro. “A luxury property will not fall in price even if the country goes back to the drachma and the currency gets devalued. He who has no economic problems doesn’t sell cheaply,” Mugni stresses. The Greeks also have a reputation for being tough negotiators.

Proverbial Greek bureaucracy Another problem scaring off potential buyers is the proverbial Greek bureaucracy: “For an investor it’s an irksome task to buy an island in Greece, knowing that decades will pass before you can build something on it,” Krolow emphasises.

Nevertheless, eager new entries have boosted demand across the battered Greek real estate market dramatically: “We used to have buyers from some 70 countries, but in the last ten months alone that number has climbed to 120”, says Georgios Stroumboulis of the online agency Greek Property Exchange.

“As with any economy in trouble, there are a lot of people out there hunting for a good buy,” the broker adds. Indeed: Greece’s financial problems have turned the country into a stomping ground for professional bargain hunters.

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BouliBrand™ is a boutique marketing + entrepreneurship + communications + branding movement focused on creating vibrant, purposeful and revenue-generating media experiences on a partner-by-partner basis. With strategic partnerships in New York, Toronto, Athens, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Shanghai, we work directly with savvy, driven and optimistic clients wanting to produce fresh platforms of communication and target nouveau markets internationally with their startup businesses and services. BouliBrand is propelled by Georgios (George) Stroumboulis (Γιώργος Στρουμπούλης) - an internationally seasoned marketing professional with tangible business experiences across multiple industries and diverse cultures. To learn more about BouliBrand, Georgios and the stimulating team spearheading the BouliBrand movement forward, get in contact at www.BouliBrand.com, www.Facebook.com/BouliBrand, www.Twitter.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.Instagram.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.LinkedIn.com/in/Stroumboulis, www.YouTube.com/Stroumboulis or www.Pinterest.com/BouliBrand. Georgios Stroumboulis has been featured in several forms of international and domestic media, including: newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, television, radio and as a public speaker. His and his company’s efforts have been published and broadcasted in many languages in popular news outlets, including: The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Barron’s, Ethnos, Ta Nea, El Mundo, India Today, G1 Brasil, Kathimerini, Naftemboriki, Athens News, Greek Reporter, Antenna TV, ERT World, SKAI News, MEGA News, The Electrical Distributor, Lighting Design + Application, Athens Radio, Imerisia, Neos Kosmos, Kerdos, Axia, GR Reporter, Isotimia, OPA! Magazine and several others. Stroumboulis was also recognized in 2014 by Greek America Foundation (GAF) with the 40-Under-40 Award as one of the most influential Greek business leaders in North America. Stroumboulis works with political leaders in Canada, the USA, Greece and Australia to push Greek interests forward through various charities and Hellenic-inspired initiatives.

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